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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Old Admiral Solid State Radio

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Hello, I bought this radio for $2. It is an old Admiral Solid State radio with a clock. The radio and clock work. When was it made, is it rare, and what is the value? Thanks in advance.

Answer
Solid state radios were produced in the US beginning in approximately 1960 and when the 1980's came along foreign competition pretty much put them out of existence. The Admiral Corporation, which was a subsidiary of Continental Radio & Television Corp., ceased operation in 1979. The first solid state radios were identified as all transistor as individual (discreet) transistors were used rather than solid state chips which incorporated many transistors onto a single substrate. My guess would be that it was built approximately 1970.

The antique value of this is not yet being appreciated, however, there are quite a few people collecting transistor radios today. That was a good price you paid especially since both the radio and clock still work. Eventually the electrolytic capacitors will fail and it will develop a hum. these are easily replaced at a reasonable cost. Silicon integrated circuits have no known "wear out rate" and are usually damaged only by lightening strikes or extreme heat. Even lightening strikes do not usually bother the integrated circuits as a rectifier diode usually takes the heat here and this is easily replaceable. Unfortunately, if the integrated circuit fails it will probably will be difficult to find an easy substitute.

It might be a good idea to oil the pivot points in the clock where shafts rotate. A sewing machine type oil would probably be fine for this. Many of these clocks use a sealed movement which is difficult to lubricate.

I have a few radios like that in my collection. I typically paid $3 to $5 for them at estate sales where you are buying at what American Pickers would call wholesale prices. Antique stores would ask in the range of $10. to $30. for the similar radio. It might actually sell for a bit less if the price was negotiable, which is the case sometimes.  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Tom Williams

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I can answer questions about age, repair procedures on antique radios.

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I have been a radio and tv service man. I am an electrical engineer.

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Historical radio society.

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