CLIPPER 5M4 'JUNIOR' (1954)

The Clipper 5M4 was manufactured for G. A. Wooller & Co. Ltd by Akrad Radio Corporation Ltd in 1954, production ran for about 3 years.

The Clipper 5M4 'Junior'** was the first plastic radio to be fully designed and manufactured in New Zealand (other models of this size existed - the Bell Colt for example - but they used imported dies for the cabinet). Several colours were released, however ivory is by far the most common to be found. The rarest is black, as it is believed only a handful were made to be presented to the shareholders of the company. Other known colours are red, blue, brown and green.

One example (pictured above) has been sighted with a red and black dial, rather than gold and black.  The origin of this dial is unknown, and it is the only one seen in this colour scheme (SJD collection).


Also released in an oak cabinet, as seen for sale - no further details known.

**Known to most just as the Clipper, or Clipper 5M4, however the 'Junior' label was used in some advertising as a model name which either never caught on, or which has been lost in time.

 

The Clipper 5M4 Story as told by Rod Osborne who worked at Akrad when this model was designed and produced.

Clipper 5M4 Story by Rod Osborne

1954 Clipper 5M4 "Junior" - R&E Sept 1954

Valves (5): ECH42, EF41, EBC41, EL41, EZ40

Chassis Notes (most schematics can be clicked to download a full size version):

There are at least two main chassis variants, both using almost the same circuit and the same valve lineup, and can be seen in here with the older variant at the bottom.
 
The earlier chassis has the serial number stamped on the back while later models have a serial plate riveted on.Earlier models also have round IF cans, where the later models use more modern rectangular units.The later models have a Rola 5" speaker providing feedback to the 1st audio section via a resistive divider and also have an internal foil antenna glued to the inside of the cabinet and attached by a small bolt and nut in addition to the external orange aerial wire where the earlier models have no feedback and just the external orange aerial wire (both have a black earth wire as well).A few other minor variations have been noted, such as Ducon capacitors in the earlier models with mustard caps in the later and a metal shield over the dial lamp in the later ones, presumably to try and cut down on the amount of glow through the cabinet, and / or cracking or deforming due to heat.

General Construction Notes for Akrad Radio Corporation Ltd:

Akrad sets often consist of 3 (or 4) numbers (eg: 518, 1059) or number-letter-number (5M4), and a common pattern exists for these sets: The first digit(or 2 digits in the case of 10-or-more valves) is the number of valves, the second is the number of bands and the third is the last digit of the year. Where the middle digit is a letter rather than a number it generally refers to the type of set - M for mantle, P for portable, G from radiogram etc

Often sets can be dated by the speaker, as many Akrad sets from the Pye era have the date of manufacture stamped on the back of the magnet housing.