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Old 5th Dec 2018, 7:04 pm   #1
Backtoreality
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Default Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

Hi folks,
I saw this radio for 3 at a car boot sale last Sunday and couldn't resist. Surprisingly I haven't been able to find out anything about it from Google or any of the service data sources I have access to. It has an early pcb, with the word Bambi etched on it, a six transistor circuit with three AF117s, an OC78D and two OC78s. Any information related to the manufacturer "Marina Radio" and/or the circuit diagram would be really appreciated.
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Old 5th Dec 2018, 7:18 pm   #2
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

How cute! It looks a bit of a mashup to me - I'd date it to the early-1960s. Goodmans speaker and Mullard-type transistors suggest European, along with a totem-pole output-stage - but the polyvaricon and osc/IF-coils look somewhat typical of Hong-Kong 'Empire-made' gear from the same era.

I'm wondering if it could be one of the radios that were sold by the then-popular 'catalog-credit' companies like Kays or Littlewoods?
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Old 5th Dec 2018, 7:22 pm   #3
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

Possibly a kit, though the soldering is well done.
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Old 5th Dec 2018, 7:29 pm   #4
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

Its certainly cute! That and the "basic" appearance (looking at the single screw connecting the tuning knob to the tuning condenser). I was really pleased to get it for only 3. I did wonder if it may have been made by Perdio but there is no evidence for that!
David
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Old 5th Dec 2018, 7:41 pm   #5
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

I hadn't thought about the possibility of it being a kit but there does seem to be a large number of unused pads on the pcb which I suppose could suggest circuit and/or component variations for a kit.
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Old 5th Dec 2018, 7:55 pm   #6
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

Oh! I know exactly where that came from!

The 'Marina' is a bit of a fib, it was actually a factory set up in a disused building on one of the Thames wharves off Argent Street in Grays (I lived there at the time.)

Of course, it's all housing these days.

The only one I ever saw was cream, I think.

It was advertised on one of the ITV advertising programmes "Jim's Inn" before the then ITA banned them.

Probably a very basic circuit - it shouldn't be too hard to trace it out.

I'm amazed at the size of the audio driver transformer, though!

As for accurately dating it, can't you read the Mullard date codes? I've had a good look on the photo but none visible!
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Last edited by terrykc; 5th Dec 2018 at 8:00 pm. Reason: Added reference to dating
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Old 5th Dec 2018, 9:55 pm   #7
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

I've just had a look at the transistors and two of the AF117s have ORO codes. The OC78D has RJ and the OC78s have SM. Does that date them to around 1966/7?
David
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Old 5th Dec 2018, 10:12 pm   #8
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

Or 1960/61 according to info about military date codes on Mullard Magic?
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Old 6th Dec 2018, 3:29 pm   #9
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

I must admit that I was really thinking of Philips group valve date codes which obviously didn't migrate to the new fangled transistors!

As has been said those inductors look far eastern but more from the size than anything else as they don't have the large ferrite adjusters found in far eastern sets but the tuning cap and volume control couldn't be anything else so that means that the date cannot realistically be before 1963.

I can be very certain about that for reasons that I described here.

I thought that the only example of this I'd seen before was crude, compared with the sets made in Hong Kong and Japan, a view reinforced by the sample under discussion. I can't remember what price they were sold for but they obviously couldn't compete with Hong Kong labour costs but the did have one advantage - Long Wave.

Remember that those far eastern sets were originally aimed at the US market - they even had the US CONELRAD Defense frequencies marked on the dial (a square and a triangle) and were marked in kHz, an alien concept in the UK at the time.

There is no Long Waveband in the US, only a Broadcast Band - equivalent to our Medium Waveband - so none of those sets included LW coverage.

As was obvious in 1962, these little sets were the 'have to have' present of the year amongst the youngsters but, pre Caroline, and before Luxembourg stated up in the evening, the music these youngsters craved was restricted to the limited offerings of the BBC Light Programme.

But, the MW network consisted of a synchronised network of 14 transmitters to serve the main population centres. The countrywide service was provided from Droitwich, on Long Wave.

This set was the only one, to my knowledge, to provide LW coverage to suit those parts of the country where MW coverage was poor. Perdio made some small sets but not as small as this.

I don't think its cheap and nasty looks would have appealed to many although, I'm sure, the one I saw before had the tuning dial securing screw hidden in a knurled plastic disc about a centimetre in diameter.
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Old 6th Dec 2018, 5:11 pm   #10
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

The only Bambi pocket radio ive ever heard of was the Salora Bambi transistor radio from about 1960 .
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Old 6th Dec 2018, 10:12 pm   #11
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

Well don't keep us in suspenders... connect up a pp4 and see if it still works
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Old 6th Dec 2018, 11:38 pm   #12
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

Any bets on the tin whiskeryiness?
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 9:14 pm   #13
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

Sorry for the delay, I'm working nights as a Christmas Casual for the Royal Mail!
Closer inspection of the polyvaricon reveals the name Plessey, and the tuner screw does indeed go through a knurled brass knob which I originally thought was a piece of bakelite.
I haven't tried connecting power yet because of the burst electrolytic visible in the photo below but I'm going to email Dr Who to see if she can get me an Ever Ready PP4 for Christmas!
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 9:42 pm   #14
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

Just had a close look at the AF117 transistors and they have all had the shield lead cropped so whiskers shouldn't be a problem. There isn't anywhere on the pcb for the shield leads so I assume they've been cut before assembly.
All of the transistors, including the OC78s, check out okay with a multi-meter.
There is nothing left of the aluminium can of the burst electrolytic and no evidence of the value.
David
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Old 8th Dec 2018, 12:44 am   #15
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backtoreality View Post
Just had a close look at the AF117 transistors and they have all had the shield lead cropped so whiskers shouldn't be a problem.
David
Less of a problem, perhaps.......

Whiskers from the can hitting two different junctions can still happen, though if the standard two diodes and no CE short dc tests are OK they should work.
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Old 8th Dec 2018, 12:50 am   #16
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backtoreality View Post
I haven't tried connecting power yet because of the burst electrolytic visible in the photo...
Wow, those PP4s must have packed a punch
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Old 8th Dec 2018, 6:49 am   #17
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

Wow, a Bambi radio, I really like it, what a great buy. It will be fun to fix it up! It might still need some AF117's replacing, AF178's will work just fine.
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Old 8th Dec 2018, 7:19 am   #18
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

I think the PP4 may have just corroded away and taken the electrolytic with it through contact. One of the PP4 connectors is actually still in the battery connector! Hopefully later today I'll get a chance to replace the electrolytic, test the other caps, and see if it works with a PP4 substitute.
I have a selection of AF127s and AF137s for AF117 replacement purposes but I'm hoping the AF117s will be okay. For some unknown reason I'd like to keep it as original as possible! (This is not something I've worried about with my other restorations!)
David
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Old 8th Dec 2018, 7:15 pm   #19
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

David,
you can check the another electrolythic-left side, a little slimmer, then if its a 10 or 22uF you need probably a 22 or 47uF-maybe 16V types...
Rgds, Karl
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Old 8th Dec 2018, 7:34 pm   #20
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Default Re: Marina Bambi Pocket Radio

If the 'burst' blue electrolytic is the capacitor coupling the output-stage to the speaker then something like 220 or 470uF 16V would be a good substitute.

Same goes if it's the 'big' decoupling capacitor across the supply-rails.

(I remember those blue electrolytics - can't remember who made them - Plessey? - but I replaced quite a few in things like battery-powered intercom amplifiers/baby-alarms and very-cheap cassette-players. They were 'cheap and cheerful' capacitors intended for stuff that was not expected to have a long or arduous service-life)
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