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 Astor KQ battery portable
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 3:13:54 PM on 17 September 2018.
Nemo's Gravatar
 Location: Bendigo, VIC.
 Member since 17 September 2018
 Member #: 2295
 Postcount: 8

I bought this while visiting Tassie as it it seemed to me to be rather unique, having valves and presumably (I didn't try to open it) a large battery which I see is rated a "B"
I have 7 other valve models, all mantel, and reckon this one will compliment them, at least.
I came across this forum while googling for info and read this earlier thread.


Which answered some of my questions.

As you can see in the photos this one appears to be the shoulder strap version as the strap appears never to have been used at all, being still wrapped neatly around the case. I don't blame the original owner for not trusting the thin plastic that way. The small carry handle would have been perfectly functional, given the weight of the radio. even so, there is a fracture at one end of that, which I'll leave be rather than ruin it's originality
While I'm only interested in collecting for appearance sake (I read somewhere that the broadcast band used ( AM ? ) is soon to be discontinued, I'm happy if my radios will at least make some sort of noise/hum/static and even light up (where applicable.)

Obviously I can't go out and by a battery like the original, how can I test that it at least functions to some degree or the other? I notice it seems to use two 1.5V torch batteries as well, is that for the speaker amplification? If so, I presume that alkalines would be OK.

While I've been buying radios based on my own sense of whether the price seems fair enough, rather than any knowledge of actual market value, was $50 reasonable? The unit appears to be in VGC overall.

Astor KQ Portable Valve Radio
Astor KQ Portable Valve Radio
Astor KQ Portable Valve Radio
Astor KQ Portable Valve Radio

The Valve Placement label identifies the model and then has 329/279 Any idea what those represent?. and where can I look for a serial number if it has one?

Thanks in advance Smile

 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 4:46:55 PM on 17 September 2018.
Johnny's avatar
 Location: Hobart, TAS
 Member since 31 July 2016
 Member #: 1959
 Postcount: 410

Hi Nemo,
The Astor KQ is a nice, and collectable radio.
The 1.5 volt batteries are for the valve filaments, to make them glow and warm up.
The B Battery in this radio is meant to be 67.5 volts and is no longer available.
But you could find a radio repair man that lives near you to wire up some 216 type 9 volt batteries in series, to see if it goes.
Chances are it may but will probably need some bits testing/replacing for performance and reliability.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 5:44:00 PM on 17 September 2018.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1905

Hi Nemo and welcome!

I use eight 216 9 volt batteries in my (similar) AWA portable. Alkaline batteries will run these radios for a long time, mine gets used most days during breakfast for about 15 mins and existing batteries have been in it for years.

You can snap the 216's together in an array that's about the same shape and size of the original battery.

Unlike in Europe, AM radio won't be going away any time soon in Australia IMHO. Reasons:

* No-one else wants the frequency band
* Iit covers long distances much better than any other technology
* Most stations were upgraded to all solid state transmitters (usually Ampfets) many years ago. Very reliable transmitters.
* They need no maintenance and cost their operators very little to run.
* No-one wants the swampy land the towers are on!
* The business case for closure is just not there.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 9:31:05 PM on 18 September 2018.
Brad's avatar
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6349

Photos uploaded.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 9:11:15 AM on 19 September 2018.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4342

I often use the 216 9V batteries as they interlock: 1 up, 1 down. Ten tape them. There is a person in HRSA that makes a module that fits in the "B" battery case & runs on gettable batteries.

That looks like its had, or has a leaky cell in it. Normally from it being in there for ages, However, I have seen & had, a couple of Chinese manufactured types that have leaked before even going flat or getting to their claimed storage date.

That damage needs treating to neutralise that or it will continue. I have a set here now, photo's available, where the battery has dissolved the wood & that's common. We had to put a new bottom in a collectors coffin set, after one set of batteries dissolved it.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 12:22:22 PM on 19 September 2018.
Sue's avatar
 Location: Daylesford, VIC
 Member since 13 January 2011
 Member #: 809
 Postcount: 311

Hello Nemo,
Pull out the 67.5V battery, and the serial number should be stamped on the chassis next to it. $50 for a radio like this in good condition is very reasonable, I think. You may find it's still working; the HT electrolytic looks like it's been replaced, and this was the only faulty part on my KQ when I bought it. The wax capacitors are a bit leaky, but despite this the set functions well.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 11:21:27 PM on 20 September 2018.
JamieLee's Gravatar
 Location: Clare, SA
 Member since 27 March 2016
 Member #: 1894
 Postcount: 508

It's a real beauty. I have several battery portable valve radios, but I'm only lucky enough to have one with the original battery cases. I simply carefully pulled the innards out of the original battery box and discarded and used 216 nine volt radios clipped together in series to get the voltage, soldering the connector wires to the original sockets for the battery plugs, so that the battery by all accounts looks original and plugs in as normal. Well worth the effort, as the original batteries are very rare and sought after, even when long dead, as they add that originality when stuffed with modern batteries.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 12:16:27 PM on 21 September 2018.
Nemo's Gravatar
 Location: Bendigo, VIC.
 Member since 17 September 2018
 Member #: 2295
 Postcount: 8

Thanks for all the feedback.
The battery is not the "leaker" and is in pristine, well aged, in all respects. no doubt dead, but that's Ok.

My first step is to fire it up, if only for a short while as I test its reception and sound. I would hav eno use for th e9v standards if the radio wasn't a goer.

I normally would just find the cheapest 9v alkaline and do as recommended, but I've come across some 9v door opener

Type: 32A
Voltage: 9V
Size 2.1cm x 0.7cm
Weight: 3.7g (1pcs)

at 67cents each (ex-HKong)

I use something similar on our garage door remotes, but they are 12v.

It will either do to tick it over and if the set works well I will get the standard ones and fit them into the original packaging as suggested.

Thanks for the responses, my wife is now talking to me again (I had to "bot" off her. Not for just that but a larger Philips many\tel which I'll make a new post about.)
I got these at a stall in the Hobart Sunday market. He had a few other vintage jobs, all said to be working ( he admitted he didn't know with the Astor) and all reasonably priced. I would have bagged a third but I'd pushed my luck far enough as it was.

I'll report on the test run as soon as I get the batteries.


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