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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Old National Panasonic Radio

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QUESTION: Hello, bought this old National Panasonic 6-Transistor Model R-8 Hideaway Radio at a yard sale. The Hideaway Radio came in a variety of colors. Pink is supposedly rare. Also because it says 'National Panasonic' it is supposedly older than one that says 'Panasonic'. The top opens to hide small items. When was it made, what is the value, and is it more collectible or rare because it is pink?

ANSWER: We checked ebay and found one on sale for $54.95 with 4 watches. There were, however, no bids yet. You might check and see if any bids come up.

This is a very early transistor radio and was probably made in the early 60's or possibly even the late 50's. It was made in Japan and used discreet transistors instead of an integrated circuit which would combine many transistors on a single substrate as we do today.

The color pink is generally associated with items owned by the ladies. Pink items were quite commonly given to girls by their parents or boyfriends. Mary Kay used to give away pink items, I don't know if this is the case with this radio. Mary Kay even went so far as to request the Caterpillar engines used to power her yacht were to be painted pink. Lionel made a production run of pink electric trains hoping to expand their sales based beyond boys. This was unsuccessful as they could not get girls interested in electric trains. These pink trains command a very high price as they are extremely rate. Yes, I would say your pink radio is more valuable.

I notice this is a battery powered radio and I assume it does not have an AC adapter. Since it uses only 3 AAA cells I assume it uses germanium transistors. Does the radio work? If not, it is probably due to a failure of one of the transistors. They are probably PNP and would probably be available at Radio Shack. With this low operating voltage, silicon transistors might not be a good replacement choice.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: The radio sadly doesn't work anymore

Answer
A very common cause of battery radio failure is corrosion. The relatively low voltage, in your case 4.5V, does not make its way through corrosion very well. I would check that and measure the voltage where the wires or clips enter the printed circuit board. This should measure 4.5 to 5 V with new batteries. If the corrosion is too severe, you might want to go to Radio Shack and pick up a new battery holder and connect it in to the circuit. I do not know how much room you have in the cabinet but this may be impossible if you cannot fit it in.

Just a little though I had that might save having to do electronic trouble shooting.  

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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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BEE. Graduated Cleveland State University.

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