Item nr.

Philips BX998A Table top

The superb radio for who already had everything else.

Data for Philips BX998A
ProductionThe Netherlands, 1955.
Price was 820 guilders.
BandsLW (870-2000m), MW (185-580m), SW1 (57.5-185m), SW2 (20-59m), SW3 (11.3-20.4m), FM (3-3.43m). IF: 452 kHz and 10.7 MHz.
TubesEBF80 (RF stage AM), ECH81 (mixer AM), EF80 (RF stage FM), EC92 (mixer FM), EF89 (1st IF), EBF80 (2nd IF, det AM), EF85 (3rd IF, FM), EAA91 (det FM), ECC83 (preamp AF and trebles driver), EBC41 (bass driver), 2xPL81 (bass output), EL84 (trebles output), 2xEZ80 (rectifier), EM34 (magic eye), 15 dial and pilot lights.
OA50 (suppressor), OA72 (signal limiter FM).
CabinetWood. Weight 27 kg.
PowerAC, 100W.
DocumentsFull factory documentation plus English translation of the text.

The Design

Philips uses a type numbering system where the first digit codes the luxory class of the radio; the higher the first digit, the more expensive is the radio. During the fifties, Philips produced only a single home entertainment radio in the 9 class. (There also was a BX925A professional receiver.) Understandibly, the model had to reside on my wish list for a while before I could obtain a copy in reasonable state for an affordable price.

A more complete description of this model and an evaluation of some of its characteristics can be found in this separate article. You can find the text of this article in various places on the internet, but it was written by me originally, in 1996.

Obtained10/2004 from Piet Voorburg.
DisposedSold 2/2010.
Sound samplePLAY SOUND   August 16, 1977, was the day on which this King of Rock died, and the Dutch station Radio 2 replayed a lot of his songs on that date in 2005. A nice occasion for this 50 year old radio to demonstrate that it can still reproduce the sounds from the days of its making quite well.

This Object

When one is not in a hurry buying a certain radio, one can pass a few occasions until a profitable one occurs. Indeed, I was a bit lucky with this radio, being able to buy it for 150 euros. It required a lot of work, though. Usually this does not demotivate me because repairing radios is my hobby, but during the work on this radio I had a few moments where I almost gave up.

Of course, when opening a 50 year old radio, one should not be surprised to find some dust inside. This radio had plenty of it, and further, the motor band switch didn't work, which made me worry a bit. I started out to work on greasing and repairing all of the 18 drive chords that connect the buttons on the front with moving parts inside the radio. Here especially the drive chord for the FM tuning caused me a lot of headaches; but I managed it (:-) which made me feel very good and gave me confidence that I could solve all other problems that would come up.

Working the band switch was a bit scary. There was an intermittent short in the motor circuit which had caused the fuse to blow. Intermittent faults are always nasty because it is hard to be sure that there are done. And it is difficult to diagnose a short in a circuit that can deliver over 20 Amperes without damaging anything. Some meter wires went up into smoke, but I managed to get the motor running. Strangely enough the switch always stopped slightly off-position, but I found out that mechanical adjustments are possible on the traction wheels.

The electrical overhaul was a lot of work, of course, but mostly routine. About ten of the 15 tubes were bad and had to be replaced (most I had in stock) and measurements indicated that for the rest almost everything was fine. Except, of course, for some leaking coupling condensers, which I could easily replace.

When restored, the radio produces a superb sound! I used it in the living for some time. Later the set was in my computer corner, but its acoustics didn't do justice to the sound quality. I sold the set.

Part of Gerard's Radio Corner.
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