in this instructable we'll be covering the basic rebuild of an early portable transistor radio. these big transistor radios where called "lunchbox radios" and were how folks took their entertainment outdoors 50+ years ago. some folks called them camp radios.
portable radios were not a new idea but transistor technology meant your batteries could now last a year or so instead of a few hours like they did with tube portables. eventually the big lunchbox sized AM only radios fell out of favor and were replaced by shirt pocket AM radios that weren't much bigger than our current cellphones.
when it comes to first generation transistor radios, the olympic 447 is in a league all it's own. let's say your a radio manufacturer in the 1950's but not one of the big boys. you're anxious to get on the transistor radio bandwagon but don't have the R&D budget that the big boys have. what to do?
you take one of your current vacuum tube radios, have your engineers redesign the circuit, and shove the transistor leads right down the same sockets the tubes used to plug into! that's what the 1956 olympic 447 is all about.
using only 4 transistors in a circuit that used to be setup for 4 tubes, this early transistor radio performs quite well despite it's low transistor count. the big ferrite antenna helps it pull in stations much better than the 4 transistor sylvania reflex radio i have in a different instructable. power was furnished by (2) 9V brick style batteries. in a radio like this, batteries of that size would easily last over a year with daily use.
ok, enough history, let's see whats inside.