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Old 04-09-2016, 01:04 AM
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Audiotronics 300B battery operated classroom record player

Here's an oddball record player that I just obtained - an Audiotronics 300B that looks like other more common classroom record players from the '60's, except this one is battery operated (uses nine D-cell batteries). The amplifier is handwired with TO3 cased output transistors and for the exception of not having a power transformer, rectifier diode, and filter capacitor, it looks like the amplifier in the AC operated models. The drive mechanism looks like it was sourced from BSR and I found a 1966 date code on the speaker. Over the years, I've seen a couple of these on ebay; but, I've never had my hands on one.



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Old 04-09-2016, 01:52 PM
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That certainly is an oddball record player. I started working on AV equipment when I was still in high school in 1975 and then did it full time for a school system for many years after that and I've never seen one of these.

I can see how it would come in handy if the school had an outside event. We had "field day" every May in elementary school and used a battery powered "lecturnette" to announce the winners. That could be done with this unit if you just added a mike. This was also made before the advent of the battery-powered cassette player and a long time before the boom box.

It's funny--the clear stalk where the pilot light would go has no light, for obvious reasons. Too much drain on the battery. I can see this being left on accidentally and draining those batteries. It also looks like battery acid has leaked inside. It doesn't look like it was used very much.

It does look vintage 1966. Many of our Audiotronics record players, bought with ESEA funds (Elementary and Secondary Education Act), were bought in 1966 and dated on the outside "ESEA-1-66" in permanent marker. But none were battery models like this one.

Last edited by jsowers; 04-09-2016 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 04-09-2016, 02:07 PM
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Quite an interesting oddity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsowers View Post
This was also made before the advent of the battery-powered cassette player and a long time before the boom box.
The Compact cassette was released in Europe in 1963 and in the USA in 1964. Given it's size I'd imagine battery powered transistor portables were available from the get go.
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Old 01-01-2017, 05:17 PM
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Cassettes were uncommon in the USA in educational applications until the late 1960's-early 1970's.
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Old 03-06-2017, 02:49 PM
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The elementary school I went to had an old Sony stereophonic portable tape player unit in one of the classrooms I was in that dated to the 1970s and had the large 1/4" headphone jacks and everything, they also had some Sony Stereophonic portable Cassette/CD Player units from the mid-1980s in some of the classrooms that also had the 1/4" headphone jacks on them and they still used these units at least up until I had stopped going to elementary school which was around 2001, and they may have still used them even after that, but not sure, and those units were battery powered or AC powered.
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