Motorola Model 5P21N Tube Portable (1958)

This simple, robust portable has a utilitarian look and feel. Just right for knocking around at the summer cabin or firing up the barbeque.

The label inside the case proudly proclaims "This radio equipped with Motorola exclusive plated circuit chassis (R) PLAcir." The term printed circuit eventually supplanted plated circuit, although, if you think about it, "plated" more accurately describes this type of chassis board.

Printed circuits were introduced in the mid-1950s to cut labor costs. They also improved reliability over hand-wired circuits and enabled the miniaturization that led to shirt-pocket transistors and other modern marvels.

The carrying handle of this set conceals the antenna, as in some other Motorola portables (see Model 55L2). Four tubes are found inside: IR5, IU4, IDN5, and 3V4. This set can take either AC or battery power, using one 90V B battery and one 7.5V A battery.

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