Channel Master Model 6518 Transistor Radio (1960)


This largish 14-transistor radio reminds me a bit of the "coatpocket" tube portables of the early 1950s. Measuring 9.5 x 5.5 x 2.25 inches, it's a little longer and narrower than the typical tube portable, but the size isn't that different.

The leather case shows moderate wear, with the usual scuffing and some makeshift restitching on one side. But it did a good job of protecting its occupant over the years. You won't find a scratch or dent anywhere on the radio itself.

Out of the case, the radio has a distinctive shouldered profile. The chunky portion on top of the case houses the AM antenna and its top provides two parallel troughs into which twin FM antennas can fold down when not in use. Both of the FM antennas have been broken on this set, but, fortunately, they're a type that's easy to replace.

The radio is powered by four 1.5-volt C batteries held end-to-end in a single tube. Looking inside, it's evident that the radio's length was dictated by the decision about how to stow the batteries. Putting all four in a row simplifies the battery carrier, but it also defines a minimum length for the cabinet.

This is a nice-sounding radio on AM. As soon as I replace the broken antennas, it should sound good on FM, too.

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