Other radios based on the same chassis:
6-valve plus magic eye tuning bandspread multi-band radiogram with reverb.
Model shown is branded Philips, but the Fleetwood is identical apart from the model code, logo and badge
The Cambridge English dictionary describes Plano as flat [noun] a level, even part. The Cambridge Spanish-English dictionary describes Plano as level [adjective] flat, even, smooth or horizontal. Its easy to see how this name was used to describe these models when compared with the more box-like chest models that typically preceeded them. The later models were known as the Conbrio, a shortening of the musical term 'Con Brio', meaning to be performed with liveliness or spirit.
There are two distinctly different chassis' - the earlier 1959 Plano model has mono-stereo and tone pushbutton switches at the top of the face and utilises output transformers, while the 1961 Conbrio update has no pushbuttons at the top, and balance / tone controls either side of the piano keys at the bottom of the face, and the new Hi-Z output where the output transformers are replaced by high-impedance speakers.
The radiogram models ending in '17A' have the Philips A2Z06A Reverberation unit fitted, and despite their model numbers matching the later chassis models and a date code (the middle numeral, '1' in this case) of 1961, they use the earlier chassis with output transformers.
The radios in this series are:
Intermediate Frequency: 455kc/s
Frequency Bands: 4
Chassis Notes(most schematics can be clicked to download a full size version)
Service information philips-f7z17a.pdf
General Construction Notes for Philips Electrical Industries of N.Z. Ltd:
Philips early-mid century were probably the Google of their time - they had branches in many countries and a global brand that everyone knew - and were apparently happy to let engineers come up with new ideas and implement them. Construction is often overly complex but very well engineered - although repairs can also take a complex path. They used time-in-motion studies to find the most cost effective way to asemble sets and sometimes this means repairs can be nightmarish (if you've ever worked on a V7A Theaterette this will be all too aparent). U suffix model numbers are transformerless (hot chassis) sets and great care should be taken, or the sets avoided altogether.
Philips model codes are complex - they are explained in-depth on the Philips brand page.
Mullard codes: The model codes from Mullard sets (unlike their Philips counterparts) appear to contain valve count and date information. For example, the model 525 is a 5-valve 1945 design. The 2 appears to just be an identifier (most likely in case there were two models in 1945 with 5 valves, which there was - the 515 is the small 'Meteor' mantle set).
Fleetwood codes are often just a rearranged version of the Philips code. For example, the FL374T transistor radio is a rearrangement of the Philips model L3Z74T. Early Fleetwood codes were numeric with F on the end. From about 1959 onwards the codes were much more like their Philips counterparts. They start with F or FL (or sometimes FZ for larger consoles)... These later codes also tend to end in a Philips-style identifier for the power source (A for mains, B for battery, T for transistor battery, etc - see the Philips brand page for more info on that).
|1961||Philips F7Z17A 'Aristona Plano'|