8 Philips 60's transistor radio's




Eight early  Philips transistor portables

Brand and type: All are Philips. For this page I made a selection, in the way that all radio's should be good to mint. Some 20 other radio's in my collection also meet these requirements but that would result in a giant picture, so I picked out 8 pieces. I have some more Philips portables, some modified, some with missing parts like the carrying handle. Lately I found new carrying straps for some radio's which helped me to complete some radio's unexpectedly! Also the aluminium strips around the pushbuttons with the printed symbols for the button- functions on it, are often gone. Very hard to find. Philips must have used a lousy kind of glue for these things!

Upper row from left to right:
L3X23T (1962) - B4X45T (1964) - 22RL390 (1967) - L3W30T (1963)
Next row:
22RC067 (1966) - L3X21T (1962) - L3X80T (1958) - L4X20T (1962).


I still don't know the methodology used in the 22XX... type-numbering system, some years later the 22 changed to 90. The "22" numbers first appear in 1965. The guys at the Philips concern archive didn't make me any wiser on this subject so far. Of course the well-known system used until then was clear but had to bleed to death, because an L3X80T already was released in '58 so it was undesirable to use it again for a '68 model! This system is limited in its possibilities, so it's understandable they changed it to a more flexible standard. I still hope to find out what systematics they invented after that period. Some say that the 22 stands for the specific development department in Eindhoven.

Produced: From 1958 up to 1967, all in Holland except for the L3W30T. The W indicates that this one was produced in the US.

Cabinet: Study the design: what scale is more often present? It's obviously the horizontal one, still with station names on it. Only two have circular scales mentioning meters or KHz. The B4X45T isn't a portable in fact, the B means it is a table radio (but still easy portable of course, because of the handgrip in the back.....)
Bakelite falls from grace by then, it's all plastic or plywood covered with fake leather.

Power: These older transistor radio's often use 4 to 6 fat D-cells for supply, sometimes C-cells, so operate on 6 or 9 volts. The table-radio B4X45T employs 8 D-cells: 4 cells in series are connected parallel to the other 4 batteries. This means it also works on 4 cells, on 8 cells working time is doubled. This radio is in daily use, and I guess the batteries will deteriorate quicker in time by aging, rather than be exhausted by use. OK, this doesn't apply to the nowadays alkaline super-power supplies. So why 8 cells are used is misty to me, because the power consumption is humle enough to allow only 4 batteries. Or maybe it was used in huge workshops or factory halls at full power all day? In fact it's able to produce a lot of noise! But in that case, why not use a mains-operated radio? So this one is a bit of a mistery to me.
I got the suggestion that this radio could have been used in areas without mains supply. But as we talk about the 60's, only very small parts had no mains, like nature reserves. Would anyone bring in a radio like this? The use would be under prohibitive regulations anyway. Maybe anyone has a clear answer to this?

Bands: From only mediumwave at the 22RC067, to long/medium/2 shortwave bands on the L4X20T. The B4X45T has MW and 2 SW bands, from 3.5 to 20Mc. In this case an external antenna and earthing should be connected. The rest have MW and LW. The FM band isn't available on any of these radio's. Other Philips portables I have from the period do cover the FM-band, the '64 models already up to 108 MHz. A '62 model goes up to 104MHz. The earliest Philips FM portables cover from 88 up to 100Mc.

Obtained: All on regular flea-markets, some for a few guilders, much more for the L3X21T because of the mint condition. Do you have any nice transistor-radio from the 50's/60's for sale? Contact me from my homepage. Especially the Philips L6X38T multiband portable is an interesting item to me.

Condition: From good, meaning some minor scratches or wear, to mint. All are complete and in good working condition.