Philips Transistor Sets


Wavebands - MW, LW

Transistors - unknown

Date - 1970s ?

Status - In my collection

This was a Christmas (2003) present bought on eBay by my partner. It is fairly dirty and there is significant wear around the controls - this set has had a lot of use! The tuning capacitor is loose. It works reasonably well. I am undecided whether to keep or sell it.


Wavebands - MW, LW

Transistors - Six Transistors

Date - Late 1960s ?

Status - In my collection

This is another eBay purchase, costing under £10. It is complete in original box, with earphone. The radio is fairly dirty and the Philips name is partly worn off. It is working but the wavechange switch is intermittent and the volume control doesn't go down to silent. The battery wiring has been extended unprofessionally and the battery holder is broken, so it will need a new holder and wiring.

It uses six silicon transistors. The circuit board is very similar to the Pye 1020 "Poppet", except this Philips uses all silicon transistors and has the earphone socket on the board.


Transistors - Unknown (germanium types, AC128 etc.)

Date - 1964 ?

Status - In my collection

Yes. I know it isn't a radio! This is one of the first cassette recorders produced by Philips, and something of a classic design!

The white switch controls tape movement - push it towards the cassette for play, back for stop, left for rewind and right for fast-forward (rewind and fast-forward have to be held). To record the red button is pressed while pushing the lever to the play position. There are two edge controls on the left side, one for volume and one for record level. The little meter to the right of the main switch is the level indicator.

There are actually two similar models. The EL3300 that I have is the earlier version. It is recognisable by the round record button, and is apparently quite rare. The later EL3302 has a rectangular record button and a window in the lid to view the window in the cassette.

The cassette recorder was a gift from Terry Martini. It came in a carrying case which appears to be intended for the EL3302 (it has a cut-out to line up with the lid window) and with a microphone that is obviously far too modern.

With a 7.5V power supply applied, the mechanics operate (although there isn't much torque probably due to worn belts) but no sound came from the speaker. This turned out to be due to an internal short-circuit in one on the output transistors. With this replaced and new belts from CPC, it works reasonably well, although tape speed stability isn't great.

I would like to obtain a Philips 7.5V mains power adapter for these models. Can anyone help?

Pete Roberts commented:

Just noticed your Philips cassette recorder - they do have a place in a vintage collection as they date back to Philips' introduction of the compact cassette in 1962.

Steven Braggs added:

I noticed that you had a picture of a Philips EL3300 cassette recorder. I have two of these. I think the case in the picture may be right for it. Both of mine have cases and they both have the cutout so you can see the tape.

The instruction manual I have for them says that the case does have the cut out hole and that you should remove the plastic lid if you want to see how much tape has been used. In the instructions they never used the word "cassette". The cassettes were referred to as cartridges.

I agree that the microphone is more modern.


Transistors - Unknown (germanium types, AC128 etc.)

Date - 1965 ?

Status - In my collection

The EL3302 is the revised version of the EL3300 above. It uses the erase-protection tab on the back of the cassette, and has a speed control circuit for the motor. The cover has a window to allow the tape position to be seen, and the aluminium trim around the case gives more of a quality feel.

I now have two of these units. They are almost identical except one has a black tape cover with a window and the other has a smoked transparent tape cover. I also have a carrying case and a manual (which does use the word "cassette").

From a brief test they both play, but not very well. Thanks to Jon Evans and Martyn Miles for helping me obtain these units. All I want now is a Philips 7.5V power supply to go with them, and a correct Philips microphone.


Wavebands - MW, LW

Transistors - OC44, OC45, OC45, OC81D, OC81, OC81

Date - 1960

Status - No longer in my collection

This set uses the same chassis as the L3G91T below, with a couple of slight variations to suit the later types of audio transistors. The set was a gift, but unfortunately I have lost the email and cannot remember who sent it to me. Thanks, whoever it was!

The fabric is torn and tatty, and will need to be replaced. The vinyl is dirty but should clean up OK. I don't think the handle is the original (it is a darker colour and looks too modern). However since I had too many radios and not enough time, I sold this one with several other trannies at Wootton Bassett in December 2002.

Richard Holder commented:

Just noticed on your website that you once owned a Philips L3G01T and you commented that you didn't think the handle looked original. Well, I have just purchased one and the handle on mine looks exactly the same as the one in your picture. It is a dark green colour and made of plastic. Now, either I have your old radio (with speaker cloth repaired) or, it would appear, that this handle was correct? Just thought you might be interested to know.


Wavebands - MW, LW

Transistors - OC44, OC45, OC45, OC78D, OC78, OC78

Date - 1959

Status - In my collection

This is another transistor set that has crept into my collection! My parents owned one of these sets for many years when I was a child. When they eventually replaced it, it was given to me and in due course I had dismantled it like kids do. :(

Therefore, I was very pleased to see find example at a car boot sale for 5. The sound was distorted when receiving strong signals, the cause of which turned out to be a faulty OC45 transistor in the IF amplifier - the varying AGC voltage did not affect the gain of the transistor as it should. Fortunately, I have a small stock of these early germanium transistors from scrap sets, and the set was soon as good as new!

The main problem with the cases on these sets seems to be the speaker grill, which becomes dented where it covers the large cut-out for the speaker itself. The corners also tend to come away and are often re-stuck with too much glue resulting in a mess on the front of the grill. These problems are easily resolved though; the grill can be removed, cleaned with varnish stripper, flattened by hand, and refitted with a much more sparing amount of glue (EvoStick works well).

Also the plastic seems to become slightly off-shape over the years, but the deterioration is much less than some other plastic cased transistor sets I have seen. On my case the base is slightly curved so that the locating lug on the bottom edge of the back no longer locates. Some versions use a press-stud fastener arrangement to hold the bottom of the back in place.


Wavebands - MW, LW

Transistors - 11

Date - early 1970s

Status - In my collection

My grandfather had one of these sets when I was young, however it failed after a couple of years so was replaced (with one of those horrible fake-crocodile-skin Binatone things). I obtained one when I was in my teens from a jumble sale, and this was also dead - due to faulty output transistors.

I purchased this example on eBay in late 2003. I can't remember how much it was, but I'm sure it was under £10. Some of the chrome paint has worn away and it needs cleaning. The leatherette case is falling apart at the seams. It is in working order, and sounds reasonably good.

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Last updated 14th April 2006.