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Gizmos A - Z

Accoson Sphygmomanometer

Acoustic Coupler

Advance PP5 Stabilised PSU

Aibo ERS-111 Robotic Pet

Aiwa LX-110 Linear Turntable

Aiwa TP-32A Tape Recorder

Alcatel Minitel 1 Videotex

Aldis Folding Slide Viewer

Alpha-Tek Pocket Radio

Airlite 71 Aviation Headset

AKG K290 Surround 'Phones

Amerex Alpha One Spycorder

Amstrad NC100 Notepad

AN/PRC-6 Walkie Talkie

Astatic D-104 Desk Microphone

Apple Macintosh SE FDHD

Avia Electronic Watch

Aitron Wrist Radio

Aiwa TP-60R Tape Recorder

Amstrad CPC 464 Computer

AlphaTantel Prestel

Atari 2600 Video Game

Atari 600XL Home Computer

Audiotronic LSH 80 'Phones

AVO Multiminor

AVO Model 8 Multimeter

Bambino Challenger Radio

Bandai Solar LCD Game

Baygen Freeplay Lantern

Bellwood, Bond Spycorder

Benkson 79 Mini Tape Recorder

Betacom BF1 Pianotel Phone

Binatone Digivox Alarm

Binatone Long Ranger 6 CB

Binatone Mk6 Video Game

Bio Activity Translator

Biri-1 Radiation Monitor

Bowmar LED Digital Watch

Boots CRTV-50 TV,Tape, Radio

Brydex Ever Ready Lighter

BSB Squarial

BT Genie Phone

BT Linesmans Phone 282A

BT Rhapsody Leather Phone

Cambridge Z88 Computer

Candlestick Telephone

Canon Ion RC-260 Camera

Cartex TX-160 Multiband Radio

Casio VL-Tone Keyboard

CD V-700 Geiger Counter

CD V-715 Survey Meter

CDV-717 Survey Meter

CD V-742 Pen Dosimeter

Channel Master 6546

Chinon 722-P Super 8 Cine

Citizen Soundwich Radio Watch

Citizen ST555 Pocket TV

Clairtone Mini Hi Fi Radio

CocaCola Keychain Camera

Coke Bottle AM Radio

Commodore 64 Home PC

Commodore PET 2001-N

Computer Novelty AM/FM Radio

Compact Marine SX-25

Concord F20 Sound Camera

Coomber 2241-7 CD Cassette

Craig 212 Tape Recorder

Craig TR-408 tape recorder

Dansette Richmond Radio

Daiya TV-X Junior  Viewer

Dancing Coke Can

Dawe Transistor Stroboflash

Diamond Rio Media Player

Dictograph Desk Phone

Direct Line Phones x2

Dokorder PR-4K Mini Tape

Eagle Ti.206 Intercom

Eagle T1-206 Intercom

Eagle International Loudhailer

Electrolysis Cell

Electron 52D Spycorder

Electronicraft Project Kit

Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart Radio

EMS Stammering Oscillator

Ericsson Ericofon Cobra Phone

Etalon Luxor Light Meter

Euromarine Radiofix Mk 5

Exactus Mini Add Calculator

Fairylight Morse Set

FEP Microphone & Earphone

Ferguson FC08 Camcorder

Ferguson FHSC 1 Door Cam

Fi-Cord 101 Tape Recorder

Fi-Cord 202 Tape Recorder

Fidelity HF42 Record Player

Fisher-Price 826 Cassette

Fleetwood Globe AM Radio

Franklin LF-390 Guitar Radio

Gaertner Pioneer Geiger Counter

GE 3-5805 AM CB Radio

GEC Transistomatic

GEC Voltmeter

General Radiological NE 029-02

Giant Light Bulbs

Giant Watch-Shaped  Radio

Gowlland Auriscope

GPO Headset No. 1

GPO Keysender No 5

GPO RAF Microphone No. 3

GPO Telephone Series 300

GPO Telephone Type 746

GPO 12B/1 Test Meter

GPO Trimphone

GPO Ring Microphone No 2

Gramdeck Tape Recorder

Grandstand Video Console

Grundig EN3 Dictation

Grundig Memorette

H&G Crystal Radio

Hacker Radio Hunter RP38A

Hacker Radio Mini Herald

Hanimex Disc Camera

Harvard Batalion Radio

Henica H-138 Radio Lighter

Hero HP-101 Intercom

Hitachi MP-EG-1A Camcorder

Hitachi WH-638 Radio

Hitachi VM-C1 Camcorder

HMV 2210 Tape Recorder

Homey HR-408 Recorder

Horstmann Pluslite Task Lamp

Ianero Polaris Spotlight

Ingersoll XK505 TV, Radio

International HP-1000 Radio

Internet Radio S-11

James Bond TV Watch

Jasa AM Wristwatch Radio

Juliette LT-44 Tape Recorder

Jupiter FC60 Radio

JVC GR-C1 Camcorder

JVC GX-N7E Video Camera



King Folding Binoculars

Kodak Brownie Starflash

Kodak 56X Instamatic

Kodak 100 Instamatic

Kodak EK2 'The Handle'

Kodak EK160 Instant Camera

Kodak Pony 135

Kvarts DRSB-01 Dosimeter

Kvarts DRSB-88 Dosimeter

Kvarts DRSB-90 Geiger Count

Kyoto S600 8-Track Player

La Pavoni Espresso Machine

Macarthys Surgical AM Radio

Magnetic Core Memory 4kb

Maplin YU-13 Video Stabilizer

Marlboro Giant  AM Radio

Mattel Intellivision

Maxcom Cordless Phone

McArthur Microscope OU

Memo Call Tape Recorder

Micronta 22-195A Multimeter

Micronta 3001 Metal Detector

Microphax Case II Fiche

Midland 12-204 Tape Rccorder

Mini Com Walkie Talkies

Minolta 10P 16mm Camera

Minolta-16 II Sub Min Camera

Minolta XG-SE 35mm SLR

Minolta Weathermatic-A

Minox B Spy Camera

Mohawk Chief Tape Recorder

Motorola 5000X Bag Phone

Motorola 8500X ‘Brick’

Motorola Micro TAC Classic

MPMan MP-F20 MP3 Player

Music Man Talking Radio

Mystery Microphone


Widget Of The Week

National Panapet R-70S AM Radio, 1970

By their nature many collectors tend to be  completists and seek to acquire at least one of everything they collect. The problem, though, is there’s usually at least one rare or elusive, and occasionally mythical piece, and for the small band of collectors devoted to this week’s featured item it’s known as the ‘purple one’.


The collectible in question is the National Panapet ‘ball and chain’ radio, reportedly designed for Expo 70, the 1970 World’s Fair held in the Japanese city of Osaka. It’s a striking and very contemporary (for the time) design; there were lots of ball-shaped things in those days, everything from TVs and vacuum cleaners to weird items of furniture. Panapet was generally available in five colours: red, green, blue, yellow and white (yes, I know white’s not a proper colour…), but there was also the fabled sixth colour, purple or lavender. It appears that very few of them were sold, and when one comes up on ebay it can sell for three figure sums. In fact it is so rare there are rumoured to be fakes in circulation so if you are thinking of starting, and finishing, a collection of Panapets make sure you check the inside of the case for signs of spray paint…


Happily there is no shortage of the other colours but they do seem to attract some rather optimistic prices, especially on ebay. More about that later. The Panapet was one of a number of idiosyncratic radios from National in the early seventies (these days they’re better known under the Panasonic brand name, or Matsushita, the parent company). In comparison with the even quirkier Toot-A-Loop radio (1972) it looks fairly normal, but it’s worth remembering that before National’s designers started getting all funky, the vast majority of small portable transistor radios were dull rectangular boxes.


It was all about the shape, styling and cosmetics and the actual radio was a fairly conservative design. Early models, like this red one contained an unremarkable 6-transistor superhetrodyne receiver with AM Medium wave only reception and virtually no frills, though it does have a nifty rotating tuning dial and an earphone socket. A later version was given an FM tuner, and there were also changes to the power supply (from two AA cells to one 9 volt PP3 type battery). But that’s about as fancy as it gets, unless you count the very high standard of construction and eye-catching touches, like the chrome-plated tuning and volume knobs and that rather odd key chain. By the bye, the case is made in two halves and the bottom part, which has to be removed to replace the batteries, is held in place by a single knurled screw.


This one came to me via a fellow collector, in exchange for a small tape recorder of similar vintage. It was in good working order with no signs of corrosion in the battery holder but it still needed a complete strip down and a good clean up. Luckily the fiddly tuning mechanism, which uses a tensioned cord to move the rotating tuning dial, was in good shape but a few dabs of light oil were applied to the moving parts to keep it running smoothly. The outside of the case needed some TLC to get it looking presentable. It hadn’t been particularly well cared for and there were a few surface marks and some light scratches but I managed to polish most of them out using Brasso. It’s not just for brass; the mild abrasives it contains do an excellent job on most plastics, even clear pieces, like the tuning window. Armed with a soft cloth and a lot of elbow grease it’s possible to restore most surfaces to a showroom like finish. However, it’s important to remove all traces afterwards, especially from the nooks and crannies, to avoid leaving behind a yellow crust when it dries out. To buff it up to a mirror finish (and take away the smelI of the Brasso), I find car dashboard spray cleaner, bought from my local pound shop, does a really good job.


Although the speaker is quite small it is surprisingly loud, and the quality isn’t too bad, considering. Sensitivity is better than average and it manages to pull in a few stations but there’s not much to listen to on the medium wave these days otherwise it could be quite a useable little radio.


What Happened To It?

Panapet was one of the first of National’s range of wacky radios, jointly marketed under the Crazy Color Portables, banner. Ads for the radio on its own had the tag lines ‘Don’t listen to squares’ and ‘Your next radio can really be a ball’. The company’s toe-curling attempts to create a teen-friendly trendy, hip image didn’t last very long, though, and by the late 70s the range had been drastically trimmed and the emphasis switched to more grown up products. Nevertheless during its short life it proved popular and, thanks to sensible pricing, they sold in comparatively large numbers. The quality of construction and materials also meant that survival rates were good and there are still a fair few of them around today. This should mean that prices today shouldn’t be too scary but it didn’t work out that way. These iconic little radios have become highly collectable, and expensive. Needless to say mint, boxed examples can cost a pretty penny but even well used models can sell for between £25 and £50. Fortunately there are enough of them around for the occasional bargain to slip through the net and escape the attention of collectors. Patience pays off and badly described or poorly timed Panapets sold on ebay can be had for under £20, maybe half as much for fixer-uppers. You might even be lucky enough to find one at a boot sale at a bargain price, but don’t forget, if you ever come across an authentic purple one selling for less than £100 grab it quick, it could turn out to be a nice little earner!     


First seen                  1970

Original Price           £8.00

Value Today             £35 (1016)

Features           6-transistor superhetrodyne AM only receiver, rotating tuning dial, 55mm speaker, attached carry chain & keying, rotary on/off volume & tuning, 3.5mm mono earphone jack socket

Power req.                     2 x 1.5volt AA cells

Dimensions:                   111 mm diameter sphere

Weight:                          380g

Made (assembled) in:    Japan

Hen's Teeth (10 rarest):  7




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More Gizmos A - Z

Nagra SN Tape Recorder

National Hyper BII Flashgun

National RQ-115 Recorder

NatWest 24 Hour Cashcard

Nife NC10 Miner's Lamp

Nimslo 3D Camera

NOA FM Wireless Intercom

Nokia 9210 Communicator

Novelty AM Radio Piano

Olympia DG 15 S Recorder

Onkyo PH-747 Headphones

Optikon Binocular Magnifier

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Panasonic AG-6124 CCTV VCR

Panasonic EB-2601 Cellphone

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Parrot RSR-423 Recorder

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PH Ltd Spinthariscope

Philips CD 150 CD Player

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Philips EL3302 Cassette

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Polaroid Automatic 104

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Prinz 110 Auto Camera

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Raytheon Raystar 198 GPS

Realistic TRC 209 CB

ReVox A77 Tape Recorder

Roberts R200 MW/LW Radio

Rolling Ball Clock

Rolls Royce Car Radio

Ronco Record Vacuum

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Sanyo MR-115 Tape Recorder

Sanyo M35 Micro Pack

Satellite AM/FM Radio

Satvrn TDM-1200 Sat Box

Science Fair 65 Project Kit

Seafarer 5 Echo Sounder

Seafix Radio Direction Finder

Seiko EF302 Voicememo

Seiko James Bond TV Watch

Sekiden SAP50 Gun

Shackman Passport Camera

Sharp CT-660 Talking Clock

Shira WT106 Walkie Talkies

Shira WT-605 Walkie Talkies

Shogun Music Muff

Silma 120M Projector

Simpson 389 Ohmmeter

Sinclair Calculator

Sinclair Black Watch

Sinclair FM Radio Watch

Sinclair FTV1 Pocket TV

Sinclair Micro-6 Radio

Sinclair Micro FM Radio

Sinclair Micromatic Radio

Sinclair Micromatic Kit (Unbuilt)

Sinclair MTV1A Micovision TV

Sinclair MTV1B Microvision TV

Sinclair PDM-35 Multimeter

Sinclair System 2000 Amp

Sinclair Super IC-12

Sinclair X1 Burtton Radio

Sinclair Z-1 Micro AM Radio

Sinclair Z-30 Amplifier

Sinclair ZX81

Smiths SR/D366 Gauge Tester

Speak & Spell

Sony Betamovie BMC-200

Sony CFS-S30 'Soundy'

Sony DD-8 Data Discman

Sony CM-H333 Phone

Sony CM-R111 Phone

Sony FD-9DB Pocket TV

Sony M-100MC Mic'n Micro

Sony MDR3 Headphones

Sony MVC-FD71 Digicam

Sony TC-50 Recorder

Sony TC-55 Recorder

Sony Walkman TPS-L2

Sony Rec Walkman WM-R2

Speedex Hit Spy Camera

Standard Slide Rule

Starlite Pocket Mate Tape

Staticmaster Static Brush

Steepletone MBR7 Radio

Stellaphone ST-456 Recorder

Stuzzi 304B Memocorder


Talkboy Tape Recorder

Taylor Barograph

Tasco SE 600 Microscope

Technicolor Portable VCR

Telephone 280 1960

Telex MRB 600 Headset

Thunderbirds AM Can Radio

Tinico Tape Recorder

Tokai TR-45 Tape Recorder

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VideoPlus+ VP-181 Remote

Vidor Battery Radio

View-Master Stereo Viewer

Vivalith 301 Heart Pacemaker

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Waco Criuser AM Radio

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