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Old 26th Jul 2020, 1:54 pm   #1
Jolly 7
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Default Binatone Commando successful repair

Quite some time ago I posted about this pocket radio. I finally got around to successfully repairing/ modifying it. The RF stages were all fine but there were three unmarked AF transistors which appeared to be problematic. I decided to use a TDA2822 chip instead. I have used just one channel of the stereo IC and the radio is quite loud. Pictures attached.
Thanks to everyone for the earlier pictures and ideas.
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Old 26th Jul 2020, 2:54 pm   #2
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Default Re: Binatone Commando successful repair

Bearing in mind the state it was in when you got it I think you've done well, there's nothing wrong with an honest "get it going" repair or modification.

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Old 26th Jul 2020, 3:48 pm   #3
Jolly 7
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Default Re: Binatone Commando successful repair

Thanks. Looking at the history of this radio, it seems to have been made around 1970. 50 years is quite a long time for this average build radio to have survived. Fitting the IC with all those bulky electrolytic caps in a tight space was tricky, but fun.
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Old 28th Jul 2020, 4:00 pm   #4
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Default Re: Binatone Commando successful repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly 7 View Post
Quite some time ago I posted about this pocket radio. I finally got around to successfully repairing/ modifying it. The RF stages were all fine but there were three unmarked AF transistors which appeared to be problematic. I decided to use a TDA2822 chip instead. I have used just one channel of the stereo IC and the radio is quite loud. Pictures attached.
Thanks to everyone for the earlier pictures and ideas.
There was a lot of radios styled with the Military look. To quote Jon Evans, "cheap Hong Kong Tat"!
The Branding "Binitone" doesn't instill too much confidence.
It's amazing that someone would invest the time to repair it, but that's the spirit of collecting. As usuall, Dave USradcoll1.
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Old 28th Jul 2020, 9:48 pm   #5
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Default Re: Binatone Commando successful repair

I think these were sold under a few different brands, the were the Harvard Cadet in their range of military themes radios.
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Old 29th Jul 2020, 1:26 am   #6
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Default Re: Binatone Commando successful repair

I had one when I was a kid, probably about 1975-6. Wasn't badged Binatone, I think it was something-Sonic.

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Old 29th Jul 2020, 12:37 pm   #7
GeoffK
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Default Re: Binatone Commando successful repair

I bought this when on holiday in Jersey Channel Islands in the mid seventies from a novelty shop and still use it as it still works ok, quite good audio for a small speaker. Minor wiring repairs and a battery box was all it needed to keep it going. The Varta cells seem to be much better than Duracells.
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Old 29th Jul 2020, 1:26 pm   #8
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Default Re: Binatone Commando successful repair

Quote:
The Branding "Binitone" doesn't instill too much confidence
reputedly named for the sister of the founders of Binatone, Bina Ramani

https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2019/11...-khas-village/
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Old 29th Jul 2020, 10:20 pm   #9
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Default Re: Binatone Commando successful repair

http://www.vintage-radio.com/manufac...t-trannie.html

This has a few other military themed radios if you scroll down.
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Old 29th Jul 2020, 10:48 pm   #10
kevinaston1
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Default Re: Binatone Commando successful repair

Used to repair those at Makro.

One of the lads had one on his bench which refused to be repaired. After spending an hour and replacing dozens of components, he took it out to the car park, and after kicking it from one end to the other, he filled in a return to manufacturer form stating it was very intermittent on FM, pleas advise.
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Old 30th Jul 2020, 6:35 pm   #11
Jolly 7
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Default Re: Binatone Commando successful repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffK View Post
I bought this when on holiday in Jersey Channel Islands in the mid seventies from a novelty shop and still use it as it still works ok, quite good audio for a small speaker. Minor wiring repairs and a battery box was all it needed to keep it going.
It seems that yours is the 3 volt version, with driver and output transformers as opposed to my 9 volt version using a preamplifier transistor and two transistors in push-pull configuration.
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Old 30th Jul 2020, 7:17 pm   #12
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Binatone Commando successful repair

I wonder how often people lost the original twin battery box and connected a 9V rectangular battery to the clip?
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Old 1st Aug 2020, 6:16 pm   #13
Jolly 7
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Default Re: Binatone Commando successful repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by McMurdo View Post
Quote:
The Branding "Binitone" doesn't instill too much confidence
reputedly named for the sister of the founders of Binatone, Bina Ramani

https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2019/11...-khas-village/
Thanks for the background of the company name. An interesting read. They don't seem to be making radios nowadays, but other devices like baby monitors are still being manufactured by them.
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 9:59 am   #14
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Default Re: Binatone Commando successful repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly 7 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffK View Post
I bought this when on holiday in Jersey Channel Islands in the mid seventies from a novelty shop and still use it as it still works ok, quite good audio for a small speaker. Minor wiring repairs and a battery box was all it needed to keep it going. The Varta cells seem to be much better than Duracells.
It seems that yours is the 3 volt version, with driver and output transformers as opposed to my 9 volt version using a preamplifier transistor and two transistors in push-pull configuration.
The driver and output transformer are the usual arrangement for these small radios, and for just about all radios before capacitive and direct coupling between stages became the standard way as transistors improved. The transformer output is still push/pull.
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 11:08 am   #15
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Binatone Commando successful repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly 7 View Post
They don't seem to be making radios nowadays, but other devices like baby monitors are still being manufactured by them.
As far as I know 'Binatone' were only really ever an importer / badger, which is why a lot of products with their name on can also be found badged by other notable 'badgers' at the time, like 'Kingsonic' or 'Lloytron'. It seems to have been a common theme of the time, put 'Tone' or 'Sonic' or 'Tron' on the end of your brand name, and you were good to go.

At their peak they badged quite a diverse range of products, from Portable TVs, simple 'pong' type video game consoles, clock-radios, wired phones, analogue cordless phones and several CB radios.

The Binatone name was therefore not really much of a guide to the quality of what was inside, although they tended to go to the low to medium end. At least two of their CB radios had decent Japanese-made innards, although the same Japanese chassis was found inside at least a dozen other-branded radios.

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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 3:48 pm   #16
Richard_FM
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Default Re: Binatone Commando successful repair

The Binatone TV set I had was made in Hong Kong in 1983, & probably used a chassis used in sets with many different brandings.

I've noticed the Binatone 12" black and white sets seemed to vary a fair bit, as if they switched supplier a few times.
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