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Restoration Of Antique Philips Valve Radio Model 15RB525/11Z

By on May 21, 2021
Philips valve radio repair







philips valve radio repair

This antique valve radio was lying in a shop and my two wheeler mechanic located it by chance. He picked it up along with another one, Model ARC. Both of them were just bare without the cabinets. This Philips Radio had no front dial glass even. The ARC had a dial glass, but was with a lot of missing parts including valves. So, the customer requested me to try restoring the Philips. You can see the remnant mud of white ants that ate up the entire wooden cabinet! My immediate job was to do a blower cleaning without using any hard brushes, as the coil wires might get damaged. I also cleaned and lubricated the valve bases.

When I powered it on, all the filaments were working! But there was no sound output. The B+ was good with the old electrolytic can capacitor itself. Looked for any open resistors and found a couple of them. As I had the schematic of this Radio, trouble shooting was easy. Replaced it and found the audio side working:

philips valve radio repair circuit board

philips valve radio repair circuit board schematic

Then I traced fault in one of the IF transformers. I removed it and opened it up. Found the condensor defective (shorting). Replaced it with a 100pf.

how to fix Philips valve radio

The Gang condensor was shaking as its base was melted. So, removed it and placed new rubber bushes.

radio tuner service

After refitting everything, I aligned the Radio feeding 455Khz Modulated Signal and tuned the IFTs very well for a peak output. Afterwards, when I tried, the Radio was working very well in all bands except one. In that the coils were found shorted and nothing could be done to restore it, as these were housed inside small cans and we cannot even attempt to remove it from the hardened wax.

Radio feeding 455Khz Modulated Signal

The customer came and picked up the set for giving it to a carpenter friend, to do the cabinet making. After several months, it was delivered back to me for final adjustment and tuning, as was planned. This was lying in one corner as I had a lot and lot of sets, especially TVs coming in and I gave only last priority for this. Recently, when I took it up, because of the pressure from my mechanic friend, I was shocked to see that the ECL82 was broken and one pin was stuck inside the base.

The Mains Transformer had suffered damage as some sharp instrument scorched the windings. There were damages to the coils too! I informed the customer immediately, who requested me to do what best I can to bring it back to working condition. When I applied power, the B+ was dropping and the transformer got extremely hot and burning smell came out. I switched it off immediately, waited for it to cool down and removed the transformer for giving it for rewinding.

rewinding transformer

Though one of my techie friends dismantled the transformer and took count of the turns, he could not complete it as getting 39swg coil during this pandemic period was almost impossible. But another of my techie friends accepted the job, as he had the coil in stock. So, I collected the dismantled transformer and gave the winding details and provided it to the latter. He did a neat work and returned it after a couple of weeks. He could not fix the frames properly as he was not having bench vice. I used C clamps and held the sides tightly and fixed the frames. Then reconnected the transformer and replaced the ECL82 from my stock. Switched on and found the Radio had life left in it.

c clamp

The radio worked well, though the meddling with the coils caused some disturbances and tuning problems. I tried my best to restore the Medium Wave bands. Retuned and made the best that could be possible given the circumstances and limitations. As the speaker was not able to deliver the load properly, I replaced it later.

how to fix and repair Philips valve radio

I fixed the back cover with screws. Also fixed the bottom cover which had an opening for troubleshooting. The dial reflector along with the two bulbs were given to the customer, who came to collect the Radio.

He has to get it fixed outside with a suitable glass. I have no idea what all further damages that await this set! Anyhow, from my side the work was over and that was enough for satisfaction to jump into its collection bag!

This article was prepared for you by Parasuraman Subramanian from India. He is 72 years old and has more than 30 years’ experience in handling antique equipment like Valve Radio, Amps, Reel Tape Recorders and currently studying latest tech-classes conducted by Kerala State Electronics Technicians’ Association. He has done graduation in BBA degree, private diploma in Radio Engineering and retired as MD of a USA company. Presently working as Consultant to Hospital and other institutions.

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You may check on his previous repair article below:




  1. Edd Eugene Whatley

    May 21, 2021 at 10:58 am

    I see neither pin 1 gT nor pin 8 Kt on that tube . . . how they do dat ?.. . . without breaking the tube envelope.But I do see pin 8 impaled down inside the tube socket.
    I might expect the tuning eye tube , will be leaving that "youngster /owner" in awe for a short period of time.
    You just don't see that exact aspect on modern solid state receivers.

    ISOLATE and stay Covid free . . . . in your current HOTBED.

    73's de Edd

    • Parasuraman S

      May 21, 2021 at 11:49 am

      Looks like the carpenter would have removed it after knowing what happened and put it back. The missing pin might be because of it! Many thanks for your comments!

  2. Riaan

    May 21, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    Bravo. Amazing job.

    • Parasuraman S

      May 21, 2021 at 8:46 pm

      Many thanks for your comments!

  3. Waleed Rishmawi

    May 21, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    when I read about antique stuff you come to mind because you deal with them all the time and that is commendable. I do not even dare to do such repair unless I really have to..good job my friend and thanks for sharing

    • Parasuraman S

      May 21, 2021 at 8:47 pm

      Many thanks for your comments!

  4. Andrew F. Ali

    May 21, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    Great work. You are not only a Technician but a Magician as well. I really enjoyed your article.

    • Parasuraman S

      May 21, 2021 at 8:47 pm

      Many thanks for your comments!

  5. Bobby

    May 21, 2021 at 8:17 pm

    Hello Parasuraman, once again great work you provided. Thank you so much and greetings from the Philippines.

    • Parasuraman Subramanian

      May 23, 2021 at 12:42 am

      Many thanks for your comments!

  6. Yogesh Panchal

    May 25, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    Antique equipment specialist!!!
    Well Done! sir.

  7. Henrique J. G. Ulbrich

    May 26, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    Wonderful, Parasuraman. Many thanks for transporting me back to old times, when I began dealing with electronics (from 1964 on...). Many rubber bushes replaced; many high quality can capacitors (different from nowadays capacitors...). Many valves without identification that I had to guess. And so on. Thank you again, even answering 5 days later!


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