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Old 14th Feb 2020, 10:29 am   #1
Mycroft
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Default Anyone have info on this radio? ALCO Alconic clone.

New to forum, hope I'm posting this in the right place....
Recently acquired this set to add to the ever expanding collection.
Though in need of a good clean it's in pretty good order and after a few minor repairs working well.
I'm guessing it's of Japanese origin and likely from 60's but aside from 'Sceptre Solid State' it has no other info at all on it, though it does have a label inside back cover with a schematic diagram, which is nice!
Hunted around internet but drawn a blank, any information gratefully received
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 1:17 pm   #2
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio?

Looks more like a late '60s / very early '70s Hong Kong set to me. Japanese products were somewhat more up-market, and the features of this one, the imitation leather covered cardboard case, the expanse of printed wood effect, the brushed aluminium, the little slider wavechange switch, are all typically HK. Hundreds of brand names came and went, some stuck around for a while but others were introduced only for a particular model or order. I'd not be at all surprised if this model sold under several different brands, though it's not one I recognise and a quick trawl through RM.org's gallery of generic HK sets hasn't shown me any that are obviously the same.

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Old 14th Feb 2020, 2:15 pm   #3
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio?

I'm sure it isn't one, but it is reminiscent of Grundig designs in many ways, the slatted faux wood panelling, general shape, leatherette case etc etc. And of course, the 'far east' tended to copy popular designs for obvious reasons.
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 2:27 pm   #4
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio?

If it was Japanese it could be Koyo, they used the black, padded, stitched, plastic around the case and the same sort of panel for sockets on the side.

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Old 14th Feb 2020, 4:38 pm   #5
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio?

Thank you for your responses, much appreciated.
Hadn't thought of Hong Kong, there's an avenue to investigate...
I've had little to do with older transistor sets, 'til recently I've overlooked them in favour of valve equipment, but the house is getting full & transistor sets are so much smaller!
Unfortunately I fear it's not of Grundig or Koyo quality, but not to worry and it deserves to be saved from the scrap pile.
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 4:51 pm   #6
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio?

There were a large number of radios with cardboard stitched vinyl covered cases made by several big Hong Kong manufacturers from the mid 60s to mid 70s. Some were simple MW/LW sets and some were big 'world radios', but they all have the same distinctive cases.

As Peter says in #4, Koyo used a similar case design for rather better quality radios, and this appears to have been copied by the HK makers. I think Koyo themselves also had a HK operation for a while.

They sold at the bottom of the market, selling through independent dealers, market stalls and mail order. They were sold under a large number of obscure Japanese sounding brand names. Most sound pretty grim, but some are OK and they satisfied a demand for cheap but flashy radios at the time. There hasn't been much interest in them from the vintage radio community up till now, but I get the impression that interest is now increasing and they are becoming collectable.
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 4:57 pm   #7
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio?

I had a few of the HK sets in my early teens, they worked quite well (and where free). Well worth keeping as a set and piece of history, I bet most are landfill by now. I have a few "posh" valve jobs but my favourite set is a 1960's Perdio transistor one.
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 8:46 pm   #8
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio?

Mycroft have you got anything to do with the Mycroft open source AI project?
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Old 15th Feb 2020, 12:46 am   #9
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio?

Not guilty! Mycroft's the name but no AI in our house, just a lowly TV/radio engineer with an unfortunate inability to throw old things away��
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Old 15th Feb 2020, 7:47 am   #10
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio?

Looks a lot like this one https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/unknown_alconic_2462.html

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Old 15th Feb 2020, 8:47 am   #11
Mycroft
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio?

That's the set, good spot, thank you. Ours says 'Sceptre' where that one says 'Alconic' but otherwise looks identical. File under miscellaneous I guess.
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Old 15th Feb 2020, 9:11 am   #12
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio?

As an afterthought, and I realise it's a cheap set of little interest at present but as Paul pointed out in earlier post this seems to be changing... I've scanned the little circuit diagram and (as no values marked) written in most component values, so if anyone wants a copy for interest I can post it (if that's within forum rules).
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Old 15th Feb 2020, 10:05 am   #13
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio?

I too was given a small box of Hong Kong-type pocket sets as a child. Most didn't work, a couple did. Names like Benkson, Shibuya, Waltham, Academy(?) ring a bell, plus a good few unbranded types.

Also remember my mum having a valve radio in the kitchen, circa early 80's. Thanks to the Internet, have learned the set was a Rincan KFA-W7, in cream.

With the passage of time, they have all sadly gone the way of things, and trying to find a nice example today is rare. Although we cannot keep everything, it's nice to see survivors.

Some of these sets work incredibly well, have recently bought a Tecsun(?), it is very good, ideal for checking my Marconi signal generator output is setup correctly.

All good fun,

Mark
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Old 15th Feb 2020, 10:24 am   #14
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I've scanned the little circuit diagram and (as no values marked) written in most component values, so if anyone wants a copy for interest I can post it (if that's within forum rules).
Yes please. The more service info that's available the better.

Crackle might wish to add it to the RM site if you're in agreement
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Old 15th Feb 2020, 11:04 am   #15
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio? ALCO Alconic clone.

These sets were mostly very conservative designs with transformer audio amps, so they're not difficult to work on, though access to some of the more complex sets can be tricky. They often have a circuit diagram of some sort stuck in the back, a welcome touch and an acknowledgement that they weren't sold through authorised dealer networks who could provide after sales service.
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Old 15th Feb 2020, 12:26 pm   #16
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio? ALCO Alconic clone.

Here's diagram, excuse the rough quality but it's blown up from a little label pasted onto back cover.

By all means add it to RM site or anywhere it may be of use. I'll be filing the paper copy within the archives here along with all the other never likely to be used again service info.
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Old 15th Feb 2020, 12:35 pm   #17
60 oldjohn
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
There were a large number of radios with cardboard stitched vinyl covered cases made by several big Hong Kong manufacturers from the mid 60s to mid 70s.

There hasn't been much interest in them from the vintage radio community up till now, but I get the impression that interest is now increasing and they are becoming collectable.
True, occasionally you find may one in pristine condition, I would expect these are the ones to pay a little extra for. If the stitching, or the chrome effect finished plastic are showing signs of wear any attempt to repair will always be noticeable.

John.
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Old 15th Feb 2020, 1:01 pm   #18
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2collection View Post
I too was given a small box of Hong Kong-type pocket sets as a child. Most didn't work, a couple did. Names like Benkson, Shibuya, Waltham, Academy(?) ring a bell, plus a good few unbranded types.

Also remember my mum having a valve radio in the kitchen, circa early 80's. Thanks to the Internet, have learned the set was a Rincan KFA-W7, in cream.

With the passage of time, they have all sadly gone the way of things, and trying to find a nice example today is rare. Although we cannot keep everything, it's nice to see survivors.

Some of these sets work incredibly well, have recently bought a Tecsun(?), it is very good, ideal for checking my Marconi signal generator output is setup correctly.

All good fun,

Mark
Not sure that you meant to do so, but I wouldn't put Tecsun in the same bag as these old HK radios. Tecsun makes some excellent radios, they make some for Eton Radios who made the first hand cranked radio and also offer 'Grundig' Satellit models.
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Old 15th Feb 2020, 1:15 pm   #19
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio? ALCO Alconic clone.

Toyo OEM'd for Grundig too.
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Old 15th Feb 2020, 1:25 pm   #20
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Default Re: Anyone have info on this radio? ALCO Alconic clone.

I did in the 70's (still do) enjoy getting sets with a circuit diagram, I did (and do) spend ages looking at them.
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