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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

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Minolta 10P 16mm Camera

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Minolta XG-SE 35mm SLR

Minolta Weathermatic-A

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Mohawk Chief Tape Recorder

Motorola 5000X Bag Phone

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MPMan MP-F20 MP3 Player

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Nagra SN Tape Recorder

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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

Oric Atmos Home PC

Panda & Bear Radios

Panasonic AG-6124 CCTV VCR

Panasonic EB-2601 Cellphone

Panasonic Toot-A-Loop Radio

Panasonic RS-600US

Parrot RSR-423 Recorder

Penguin Phone PG-600

Pentax Asahi Spotmatic SLR

Philatector Watermark Detector

PH Ltd Spinthariscope

Philips CD 150 CD Player

Philips Electronic Kit

Philips EL3302 Cassette

Philips EL3586 Reel to Reel

Philips PM85 Recorder

Philips P3G8T/00 Radio

Philips VLP-700 LaserDisc

Pifco 888.998 Lantern Torch

Pion TC-601 Tape Recorder

PL802/T Semconductor Valve

Plessey PDRM-82 Dosimeter

Polaroid Automatic 104

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Polavision Instant Movie

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Prinz 110 Auto Camera

Prinz Dual 8 Cine Editor

Prinz TCR20 B&W TV

Psion Series 3a PDA

Psion Organiser II XP

Pye 114BQ Portable Radio

Pye TMC 1705 Test Phone

Rabbit Telepoint Phone

Quali-Craft Slimline Intercom

RAC Emergency Telephone

Racal Acoustics AFV Headset

Radofin Triton Calculator

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

Royal/Royco 410 Recorder

Sanyo G2001 Music Centre

Sanyo M35 Micro Pack

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Satvrn TDM-1200 Sat Box

Science Fair 65 Project Kit

Seafarer 5 Echo Sounder

Seafix Radio Direction Finder

Seiko EF302 Voicememo

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Sharp CT-660 Talking Clock

Shira WT106 Walkie Talkies

Shira WT-605 Walkie Talkies

Shogun Music Muff

Simpson 389 Ohmmeter

Sinclair Calculator

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Sinclair MTV1A Micovision TV

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Sinclair PDM-35 Multimeter

Sinclair System 2000 Amp

Sinclair Super IC-12

Sinclair X1 Burtton Radio

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Sinclair Z-30 Amplifier

Sinclair ZX81

Smiths SR/D366 Gauge Tester

Speak & Spell

Sony Betamovie BMC-200

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Sony Walkman TPS-L2

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Speedex Hit Spy Camera

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Starlite Pocket Mate Tape

Staticmaster Static Brush

Steepletone MBR7 Radio

Stellaphone ST-456 Recorder

Stuzzi 304B Memocorder

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Tomy Electronic Soccer

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Uher 400 RM Report Monitor

Vanity Fair Electron Blaster

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VideoPlus+ VP-181 Remote

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Waco Criuser AM Radio

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Weller X-8250A Soldering Gun

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Coomber 2241-7 CD Cassette

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Kodak Brownie Starflash

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Kodak EK160 Instant Camera

Kodak Pony 135

 

TRANSISTOR RADIOS

Satisfying as crystal radios are -- it really is something for nothing -- the need for a long aerial and the lack of volume tended to limit their appeal (and portability) somewhat.

 

Forget the Summer of Love, Flower Power and Woodstock, the ‘swinging sixties’ really began with the arrival of cheap pocket-size transistor radios or ‘trannys’.

 

Every kid wanted one, mainly to be able to listen to Radio Luxembourg and later the offshore pirate stations, which at the time were the only source of decent music. One day I hope someone will do some proper research into the sociological impact of the transistor radio...

 

I recall saving up for months from my paper round and doing odd jobs to buy my first one. I don’t remember exactly how much it cost but I suspect it was more than a fiver, which according to the now sadly out of date ‘What is it worth today’ website (http://www.eh.net/hmit/), would have been worth over £150 at 2002 prices (the last year it covers), which puts it into the same price bracket as an iPod today.

 

My first tranny was a Benkson, a 6 transistor model, beautifully crafted from maroon plastic; it came with a real leather case and an earphone and was powered by a 9 volt PP3 battery that seemed to last for about five minutes. I must have taken it apart scores of times, to see how it worked, until one day, towards the end of its short life I got careless and it stopped working.

 

Despite my best efforts -- at that time mostly confined to prodding and wiggling components -- it never worked again. I would dearly love to replace it but I’ve never seen another one. I have found several quite like it, though, and my current favourite is a little Hitachi TH-620 (above). As with so many of my most recent finds it came from ebay and is definitely worth a lot more than the £3.50 I paid for it .It is a real gem, still in its original box, in fact it looks as though it has hardly been out of it. The leather case is in perfect condition and it still has the original earphone in its carry pouch, and yes, it works.  

 

The next radio is badged Viscount (above). It's a bit tatty and I’m including it as an example of what's available to budding collectors of sixties technology on a tight budget. It cost me ten pence at a car boot sale and at that price it really doesn’t matter if it works or no as it can be useful for spares. As it turned out this one was a runner and all it needed was a quick wipe over with Mr Sheen. There’s plenty more like it out there but, not maybe for much longer as 60's ephemera has become highly collectible. You have been warned!

 

The last radio I'm featuring here is the Sinclair Micromatic. I have a couple of good examples dating from 1967 and 1969. They were sold as kits, for fifty-nine shillings and sixpence (around £2.95 in today’s money), or ready built for 79/6 (just under £4.00). Sinclair's marketing was brilliant and I was suckered into buying three of them. Not one of them ever worked properly, I blamed my soldering skills but now I realise it probably wasn’t my fault. The darn things were badly designed and I later read that Clive Sinclair (now Sir Clive) bought up out of spec and reject transistors from Plessey and these went into the kits.

 

Early Micromatics and the even earlier Micro 6, on which this design was based used then state of the art metal alloy transistors (MATs), which were notoriously delicate and easily damaged. There were three of them in the Mk1 radios and the one pictured (below right) could be one of the few in captivity that actually works. The crude regenerative circuit with its postage stamp trimmer can only pick out one or two stations but you really can hear something in the earphone (apart from your hair growing) providing you are within half a mile of a powerful transmitter. The Mk II model came out a year or two later and it has two silicon transistors. These are more stable with higher gain so later Micromatics are more likely to work (and easier to repair if they don't)  but I still prefer the cruder Mk1 for its novelty and rarity value.

 

Micromatics turn up every so often on ebay but they are now fetching silly prices. I’ve seen rough ones go for upwards of £60, an unbuilt kit sold recently for almost £200, so if you’ve got one tucked away somewhere look after it.

 

Update

I am indebted to George Hill for bringing a You Tube video of the Saint TV series (the original one, starring Roger Moore), which shows him using a Sinclair Micromatic as a walkie talkie. Must have been a special edition version...

 

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