Transistor radio


A classic Emerson transistor radio, circa 1958

“A transistor radio is a small portable radio receiver that uses transistor-based circuitry. Following the invention of the transistor in 1947—which revolutionized the field of consumer electronics by introducing small but powerful, convenient hand-held devices—the Regency TR-1 was released in 1954 becoming the first commercial transistor radio. The mass-market success of the smaller and cheaper Sony TR-63, released in 1957, led to the transistor radio becoming the most popular electronic communication device of the 1960s and 1970s. Transistor radios are still commonly used as car radios. Billions of transistor radios are estimated to have been sold worldwide between the 1950s and 2012. The pocket size of transistor radios sparked a change in popular music listening habits, allowing people to listen to music anywhere they went. … The use of transistors instead of vacuum tubes as the amplifier elements meant that the device was much smaller, required far less power to operate than a tube radio, and was more resistant to physical shock. Since the transistor’s base element draws current, its input impedance is low in contrast to the high input impedance of the vacuum tubes. It also allowed ‘instant-on’ operation, since there were no filaments to heat up. The typical portable tube radio of the fifties was about the size and weight of a lunchbox and contained several heavy, non-rechargeable batteries — one or more so-called ‘A’ batteries to heat the tube filaments and a large 45- to 90-volt ‘B’ battery to power the signal circuits. By comparison, the transistor radio could fit in a pocket and weighed half a pound or less, and was powered by standard flashlight batteries or a single compact 9-volt battery. The 9-volt battery was introduced for powering transistor radios. … Transistor radios were extremely successful because of three social forces — a large number of young people due to the post–World War II baby boom, a public with disposable income amidst a period of prosperity, and the growing popularity of rock ‘n’ roll music. The influence of the transistor radio during this period is shown by its appearance in popular films, songs, and books of the time, such as the movie Lolita. …”
Wikipedia, W – Regency TR-1
Vintage Transistor Radios of the 1950s and 60s
YouTube: The most influential transistor radio design of all time 1958 Sony vintage unboxing, Assembling Transistor Radios 1955


TR-63

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