Philips model B3 IF90U valve radio


Philips B3 IF90U Merrion AC/DC table top valve radio housed in brown Bakelite case.Long, medium and short wavebands plus pickup selected by four pushbuttons. Valve line up:UCH81, UF89, UBC81, UL84 and UY42. The radio as received had no visible model number but did have a label indicating that it was originally supplied by JV Bowden and Co Ltd of Boyne Street, Dublin. There was also a large faded label on the perforated back indicating that the radio was the property of some other company and a paper label with a serial number had been glued over the original Philips identification label on the chassis. When this was soaked off I discovered its true identity - model B3 IF90U. This is a model B3 X90U manufactured in Ireland. For an explanation of the Philips manufacturing codes see: Gerard's radio corner The IF stands for 'Irish Free State'.
Now working. Eire 1959/60

Philips started manufacturing in Ireland in 1929 and set up a factory in Clonskeagh, a suburb south of Dublin in 1955. In 2003 University College Dublin (UCD) purchased the Philips complex at Clonskeagh, which consists of a site of 9.2 acres and an office/factory building of over 10,000 square metres. Philips Ireland was transferred to Fonthill in Liffey Valley. A Google view of the partially demolished site is shown below:

I have discovered that JV Bowden and Co Ltd went into liquidation in 1973. Merrion Square is a well known Georgian Square in the centre of Dublin and nearby is a Hotel of the same name. Could it be that this radio was specially badged for this Hotel or was it more widely available in The Irish Republic at the time?

I found a diagram for the B3 X90U here and I soon discovered that the radio had been inexpertly repaired in the past.

The volume control had been removed and replaced,the dial lamp holder and thermistor had been removed and the resistors used to replace the broken dropper resistor were incorrect (1000 ohms and 3300 ohms) These together with the broken original were replaced with 125 and 1000 ohms respectively which was more nearly in line with the circuit diagram. A 6.3V dial lamp shunted by a thermistor of unknown type was fitted adjacent to the tuning capacitor. When I came to clean the valve bases I found that that for the output valve had almost completely disintegrated due to poor connection in the past leading to charring of the insulating material. The only printed circuit holder I had was a ceramic type with long legs and this was pressed into service. The mains switch on the volume control failed to close both contacts so this was taken apart and cleaned.

The electrolytic capacitors seemed fine and the voltages I measured were approximately in line with those on the Philips diagram. The set now worked though it does not have a pleasant sound or the output expected. Some replacement valves might sort this out.

'As received' view of chassis. Note the broken shunted dropper resistor.

View of underside of printed circuit board. Note the broken shunted copper tracks adjacent to the volume control.

View of underside of Wave change and tuning section.

Components replaced

The remains of the holder for the output valve!