(Please note:  All instructions and advice given for restoration are simply methods that have worked for me.  They may not be the best or most expeditious methods of restoration. These techniques can seriously damage a radio if you aren't careful or sure of what you are doing!  Use these instructions and advice at your own risk.)
Transistor radio restoration can be quite a bit of fun, and very satisfying.  Better yet, you can choose exactly how much restoration you want to do, from a simple clean-up to a complete re-build inside and out.  You don't need to have knowledge of electronic workings or equipment to do minor cleaning and repair of many radios, but a soldering iron is often required for complete disassembly of a radio into its component parts.  We'll go through a simple cleanup and minor restoration on this radio, a Universal PTR-62B.  The photos show the radio as I received it.  It is quite dirty and some of the markings have worn off the volume control.
Front of radio before restoration.Back of radio before restoration.
Tools for working on transistor radios.
At the left some tools are shown which I consider the minimum for working on radios.  From left to right:  two small hexnut drivers, two special earphone jack removal tools, needle-nose pliers, small slotted and phillips screwdrivers, an X-acto knife (witha #1 blade), and a small wattage (under 30 watts) soldering iron.  All but the earphone jack tools are easy to acquire.  The only place I know of for the earphone jack tools is in Japan, but you may be able to find them elsewhere.
Most transistor radios have a slot at the bottom which can be used to open the case (use a coin, carefully).  Beware of radios such as the TR-1, which does not have a slot and can be damaged if you try to open it the standard way!
Slot for opening the radio case.
Opened radio.
Now that we have the case open, we can inspect the interior.  In this case, it appears the interior is in fairly good condition.  The label is loose in the back, and another label is missing from where the battery connector is.  Make sure you save anything loose that might be laying in the case.  We can now set about removing the chassis from the case.
Most radio chassis are held in by screws, although you'll find some that use hex nuts, and others that use no screws at all.  Frequently, one of the screws will be hidden under a battery label.  In our PTR-62B, we find one phillips screw in the lower right.  These screws are sometimes covered with paint or other goop to keep them from coming undone from vibration.
View of chassis screw.
Hex nut holding chassis in.
One screw is usually not enough to hold the chassis in, so we look around and spot this hex nut near the tuning variable capacitor.  Be cautious in choosing which screws to take out, especially on older radios, as someimes these screws hold things like the tuning cap and volume control to the chassis.  This nut is removed using one of the small hex drivers.
Keep any of the small parts you remove in a cup or something where they won't be missed.  Small screws and parts can be very difficult to find if they drop on the floor!
Cup holding small parts.
Earphone jack
There's one more thing before we can remove our chassis, and that is the earphone jack.  We need to make sure it is removed so we can then remove the chassis.  This is where our handy earphone jack remover tool comes in.  Note the slotted ring at the edge of the jack--that is where we use the removal tool.
The removal tool comes in two sizes.  Most often, you'll need the smaller size.  The tool fits into the earphone jack and has two tips that fit into the outer slots.  You can then remove the jack ring just as you would a screw.
Using the jack removal tool.
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Copyright 2003 by Sarah Lowrey.  All Rights Reserved.