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Amazing and Rare 1939 Wireless Record Player Turntable, PHILCO RP1, transmitting 78 rpm Records to any nearby AM Radio, including three 78rpm records of your choice
In a Nutshell
This 70 years old wireless record player is jaw dropping, it broadcasts (transmits) to all nearby AM radios. With a few modifications you would even be able to play your mp3's through a vintage radio
Philco (abbreviation for the factory's 1906 name "Philadelphia Battery Storage Co.") from 1927 on was one of the "big three" radio manufacturers together with the Zenith Corporation in Chicago and The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in New Jersey. Philco entered virgin soil with its innovative and pioneering inventions of the first wireless remote control, called the "Mystery Control", or their 1939/42 remote wireless record players or their "Beam-Of-Light" tonearm the same year. Famous designers like Ed Combs, Clyde Shuler and Ben Nash created Philco's unforgettable line of cathedral and tombstone radios, which still can be admired in old nostalgic movies, and which top the price range, collectors are willing to pay.
Philco built these wireless record players RP-1 and 41(or42)-RP1 through 6, and Zenith built their S-7000 series during the years 1939 - 42. They are so jaw dropping and mind-blowing, that for a long time kits based on the original design were sold until the early 1960's. The technology is rather simple: a multigrid tube (here the pentagrid converter 6A7) is used to mix the carrier BC frequency and the phono cartridge output signal, to produce an AM modulated high frequency signal (around 590 kHz), which is transmitted through a small coil (later versions used larger coils) to
any radio capable of receiving the AM/BC band. The only other tube is a rectifier tube (here an 6Z4 = 84), generating the plate voltage for the HF tube. The players built by Philco differ mainly in the design of the (wooden) cabinets (lidded versions, consoles), and by their tonearms (linear tracking). The RP1 was the first one built (mine in January 1939).
This model has a "Direct drive" motor with worm gear, made by "The General Industries Co. in Elyria, Ohio" (pict.s 15, 21), whereas later models used a cheaper capstan-drive motor, together with a new cheap platter and on/off switch.
http://www.philcorepairbench.com (owned by Chuck Schwark)
About my record player:
The player is in excellent condition, with original finish, decal, and power cord and plug. I made a new bottom cover along the original one from plywood (pict.s 13,14). I recapped the electronics, and replaced the dried-out cartridge with a ceramic flip-flop cartridge, having in addition to the 78 rpm needle a 33/45 rpm needle (pict.s 23,24). Finally I installed a spring at the rear of the tonearm to reduce its weight and the pressure of the cartridge on the record (pict.25). The record player played continuously for many hours, transmitting to various AM radios, including contemporary wooden tube radios, like the Philco 42-716 (click on pict.31), or modern transistor radios (click on pict.32). Generally a vintage radio with a loop antenna does better than one with
only a long wire as antenna. When using a transistor, only the ferrite
antenna (not a telescope antenna) is needed. It may be worth mentioning, that interest in AM transmitters is increasing, since a. AM broadcasting on AM is said to terminate soon, and b. connecting devices like CD and mp3 players to vintage radios is getting fashionable. This 70 years old tube transmitter is a valid and cheap alternative to an "SSTRAN" AMT-3000. Please e-mail me (Kris) for any questions, ich spreche Deutsch, je parle Français.
Here are the specifications:
|Technical Description of Item
||Philco, Philadelphia, USA
||RP-1, Code 121
||2-tube wireless 78 rpm record player turntable, broadcasting to AM
||Mini bulb in tonearm
||main on/off, on/off in tonearm rest
||AM 530 - 600 kc, tunable on bottom of unit
||6Z4 (rectifier, = 84), 6A7 (Oscillator)
|| 12" x 10" x 6" including tonearm
||3.4 kg = 7½ pounds
||Near mint condition, serviced and perfectly working