Motorola Model 66T1 Transistor Radio (1957)


Can you spell 1950s? The Motorola Model 66T1 transistor sports a snazzy chrome and black case, accented with yellow and red.

This was Motorola's second transistor radio. Dating from 1957, it was preceded by Model 56T1. It measures 5.5 by 3.5 by 1.5 inches with the handle folded down. The hinged metal case makes it heavier than you'd expect.

As in other Motorola portables, including tube models, the antenna is contained in the handle. When the cabinet is made of steel, the antenna obviously needs to be located outside. You can also use the handle as a support to tilt the radio back.

This radio came complete with its original box and owner's manual—a welcome bonus for any collector.

When stowed in the box, the handle is folded all the way down, below the case.

This is a six-transistor radio with a printed circuit board. The transistor cases look like little rounded metal rectangles in this chassis view.

Here is the 66T1's schematic diagram.

Like many old transistors, this one suffered corrosion damage from a leaking battery. The damage looks worse than it is in fact. The corrosion was confined to the case back and battery carrier, discoloring the paper label but not touching the electronics on the chassis. Rust is easy to remove from metal parts, but I'm afraid the label is beyond saving.

Here are the manual pages. They are saved in fairly large size and printable in portrait mode for anyone who wants to reconstruct the manual.


I haven't yet tried out this radio. That will have to wait until I clean up the battery area and reattach a little green wire that broke loose from the earphone jack in the back cover.

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