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Philips HX347A Radio/gramophone (probably 1954)

The HX347A is a nice and small radiogram. It comes in a square bakelite case. I traded this one for an RCA combo.
This is quite a simple radio with a simple record player. On the front, there are only two knobs: one for volume/on/off and one for tuning. No need for a band switch, because it covers only the MW band. Switching to gramophone input is done by a switch on the top marked "R / PU", next to the record player. It must have been produced around 1954. The case is Philite (Philips' trade mark for Bakelite), painted creamy white on the front and top. There is no Philips logo on the front or on the tuning dial, but there is one on the record player on top.

The 3-speed record player is integrated in the Philite case. It has a transparent cover with hinges on the rear. The turntable is covered by a brownish red felt mat. This was OK for 78-rpm bakelite records, but not a good idea for the vinyl microgroove records that were just being introduced at that time. The pick-up arm is quite short and heavy, it's made out of dark red plastic. At the end is a crystal pick-up with a twin sapphire needle, one for microgroove records and one for 78 rpm records. Don't play your valued hi-fi LP's on this one!

I got this radio from a friend who inherited it from her father. It looked like it was in good condition, having only a few scratches. The gold painted window-frame for the tuning dial had a crack but the glass of the tuning dial was in perfect condition.

inside view

A view from the bottom.

As you can see, the radio chassis inside is quite small. It is actually a chassis from a small table top radio model, built into a larger case with a record player. This is a more practical and economic approach than to make a whole new design. After all, Philips must have sold many more table top radios than combinations. The chassis is in the back. The thin steel cable for the needle on the tuning dial is extended and there are two extension rods behind the volume and tuning knobs. The pilot lamp is still mounted on the frame and lights the tuning dial from a ridiculous distance.


Details on the inside.

This is one of those direct-powered radios without a mains transformer, so all the heaters are in series and have a 100 mA working current (leading letter U in type number). The tubes all have a rimlock base (40-series). The tubes are: UCH41 (oscillator and mixer), UF42 (IF amplifier), UBC41 (detector and AF pre-amplifier), UL41 (output amplifier) and UY42 (mains rectifier). On the back, there are only two receptacles: one for aerial and one for ground. There is no external speaker connection. There are three capacitors near the "R/PU" switch, probably coupling capacitors to isolate the record player from mains.. On the photograph on the right, some of the Philips tar-encased paper capacitors are shown. These were in a reasonable condition so I did not replace them.

Loose tuning cords

Some loose ends in the tuning cords.

As I turned the tuning knob, the needle didn't move. So this was one of those nasty tuning-mechanism string-wrestling puzzles. As can be seen on the photograph on the left, there were two loose ends in the tuning cord. It looked like a knot had untied itself. I joined the two ends, stretching the spring in the wheel on the tuning capacitor and was able to get things moving again.

After turning it on, the radio appeared to work fine again. But I could not play my 78 rpm records on it, because the stylus was missing.

In August 2002 I got a mail from someone living in the US, asking me if I was willing to part from the radio. This resulted in a barter deal, from which I got the RCA Victor 4-Y-511 radiogram, also from 1954.

Copyright © 2000-2002 by Onno's E-page         published 2000-09-05, last updated 2002-11-11