Item nr.

Philips B2X40U Table top

Bright colors of the sixties

Data for Philips B2X40U
ProductionBenelux, 1964.
Price was 150 guilders.
BandsLW, MW.
Tubes UCH81, UBF89, UCL82, UY89.
CabinetPlastic. Size 36x18.5x12cm. Weight 1,95kg.
PowerACDC 127/220V@43W.

The Design

By the early sixties, Philips had developed the craft of building small and cheap radio's to perfection. This radio plays well on MW and LW, is very sensitive, and played without serious repairs for half a century.

This set is produced in various colors, and I assume that they differ in the letter at the end of the type number. So, 00L would be red, but there are 00F and 00G, too, one of which must be grey and green.

The type year of the model is 1964/65, but my unit has date code 508, so week 8 (February) in 1965.

Obtained1/2017 from Wouter through Marktplaats.
Condition8; plays fine, is complete, some dents in the decorative stripes.

This Object

The seller told me the radio was "dusty" and this photo shows she didn't say too much. In addition, the metal strips and dial in front had come half loose and had to be glued. The Marktplaats advertisement spoke of solid sixties sound, so I presume they tested the radio and got sound out of it. I preferred to give the radio an overhaul and cleansing before putting it into use.

The overhaul started with taking the chassis out. I glued the front decorative strips. I repaired the switching pot, which sometimes refused to shut down. I replaced C30 (rattling cap), C27 (coupling cap), C28 (Boucherot cap), C19 (HF screen decoupler), and C18 (AVC). The replaced caps all measured with good capacity and no leak could be found. I measured the four tubes in my Knight 600C tube tester and found all four OK. I checked the loudspeaker and found it OK. The heat protective sheet at the top had come loose, and I saw that it had been stapled to some glueing material that now was eroded. So I stapled it again to some adhesive vilt pieces and put it back where it came from. I cleaned the knobs. I fitted a white power chord to fit my house better, but put the original black cord inside the set.

Then it was time to apply power. Two days before I had put together a little series bulb box, and I used it for the first time on the B2X40U. The bulb lit up perfectly as expected, and the radio played with a 40W bulb in series. I put more power with a 53W bulb, and even more with Direct AC voltage and everything worked perfect.

I measured the voltages on all tube pins and the filter caps and found everything to be perfectly in accordance to the service docs. Then I put the chassis back into the cabinet. Now it is not well possible to switch between long and medium waves when the chassis is pulled (due to the construction of the band switch). After putting the chassis back I found this switch to operate poorly. When switching to L, it would got to L position, being pulled by an iron chord, but when switching back to M, the chord would be released and the switch would return to M position badly. I applied some lubricating contact spray and found the problem gone.

The set receives dozens of MW stations in the evening (February 2017). Perhaps my "repair" had not really been necessary, but better safe than sorry! I observed a few "weak points" in the radio, and if the set needs a repair in years to come, I expect this to be in the power or band switch, or the heat shield falling off again.

R2 of 1kiloOhm is a resistive ballast to run the 110V heater chain from 230V. In February 2019, I reduced the power consumption of the set (from 44W to 28W) by unsoldering it on one end and putting a ballast capacitor (1.5uF, bridged by a 430k bleeder resistor) in its place. With a cost of 15 cents, a power reduction of 16W, and electricity price of 24 cents per kWh, the procedure is cost effective after about 40 hours of playing the radio. The heat shield had indeed become loose again and I reglued it with two sided tape.

Part of Gerard's Radio Corner.
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