Parts or Repair? - Philips AL990 Shortwave Radio

  • Published on Jun 9, 2019
  • If something is broken there’s little to lose but much to gain by attempting a repair - even when I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.
    • I don’t want to plug this into power - so it’s fine that this part doesn’t work.
    • I don’t need to use the alarm - so it’s fine that this doesn’t work.
    • I used electrical insulation tape on the soldered wires as I couldn’t find my bag of heat shrink tubing.
    • It uses 6 C-Cell batteries - the red battery release ribbon is looped behind the rear two batteries, so one pull of the tape releases all the batteries.
    • I checked the polarity of the 12V DC plug by reading the service manual before I plugged by adaptor in
    • This is not my first rodeo
    • Try to just enjoy things as they come - it’s more fun than looking for holes in them. It’s a simple video about an old radio that just needed new batteries.I’m really not trying to fool anyone here - these types of videos take a long time to shoot but then are edited down to the highlights. Just like watching a 30 minute TV show where someone builds a house - you are seeing selected highlights - a house takes more than 22 minutes plus adverts to build and like that this video was spread over three days of shooting which accumulated about ten hours of video. If something isn’t shown in the videos it doesn’t necessarily mean I forgot it - I mean who in their right mind would leave bare wires pushed up against a circuit board - the suggestion is preposterous, of course I covered the wires...but no one really needs to see someone wrapping wires in insulation tape any more than they’d like to see me walking to the Amazon locker to pick up my aerial delivery or the hour long section where I tried to get both of the incredibly fiddly copper washers back into the new aerial.
    It’s just a video it’s not a challenge.

    This channel can be supported through Patreon
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  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 990

  • Techmoan
    Techmoan  Month ago +94

    *There’s a bit more information about this in the video description text box.*

    • toxic scifi
      toxic scifi 9 days ago

      why not whilst it was open just piggy back the dc jack to battery holder. ?

    • fhhsvnggbh
      fhhsvnggbh 10 days ago

      I got sad when you said about the label on the back and years to ome... :( i was wondering wheather the alarm fucntion not working has soemthing to do with the alarm strip on top, it could be shorting? But shortwave is a little sad now days, not many left in the english speaking world.
      Thankyou for your videos I really enjoy watching them!

    • Sam Taylor
      Sam Taylor 15 days ago

      Good onya mate! Many of us enjoy your videos for what they are. Any by the by - you do know more than the average bear!

    • scot shabalam
      scot shabalam 29 days ago

      This is the thing about electronics repair: You're going to have a device you love you'll patch it up as best you can but be unable to fix some things but after a year or two of learning more it becomes a project to come back to.

    • Henry Friedman
      Henry Friedman Month ago

      My father was an engineer and coniseur of audio and radio equipment. He was also a tv repair man at one point . All that you review reminds me of all the stuff he had i had immaculate had me downs of stereo equipment that i wish i still had today ! Your work brings back so much memories !

  • Fred Flintstone
    Fred Flintstone Day ago

    Nice buy for 40 bucks.

  • darkcoeficient
    darkcoeficient 2 days ago

    For the alarm you could trace that switch. Maybe it is dead or the circuit is open. Just saying. U do u.

  • Frank Castle
    Frank Castle 2 days ago +1

    Nice I want one

  • Archaeoptery X
    Archaeoptery X 2 days ago

    Good job. Nice old kit like that deserves a new lease of life. I just did a similar level of restoration on an old compact Sony SW radio from 1985. FM reception is terrible on it, but it's such a neat old thing. Sony ICF-4900.

  • Neil Cates
    Neil Cates 3 days ago

    Excellent videos man. Love your channel.

  • Jerry Ericsson
    Jerry Ericsson 4 days ago

    Shortwave Radio story - In 1971, I returned home on Emergency Leave from Vietnam, my wife was giving birth and needed a C-Section, back then it was a rather big deal. So when I returned to Nam, my room had been invaded by some transient soldier and all my crap was gone, including my beautiful little TEAK radio/Cassette unit. So it was off to the PX in DaNang, the nearest large base to replace my crap. Well I found a fantastic radio it was of course, AM/FM/SW/LW/MW/a bunch of other crap. I loved that radio, but let this new guy talk me out of it. Well soon after he bought my radio on credit, he was transferred down to a lower unit, out in the bush, and it took me till the day I left to get the money out of the idiot. So at any rate, that was 1971, I had carved my name on the handle of that radio. Roll forward to 1975, I was still in the Army, and was transferred from Fort Bliss Texas to Fort Mayer Va, and assigned to The Old Guard. On checking in, there on the desk of the Company Clerk of C Company was my old multi-band radio! I told the dude at the desk that I had once owned a radio like that, and when he pulled the tape off the handle, there was MY NAME! Well I tried to buy it back but the dude would not part with it. Ah well I have a much nicer SW radio now. KE0JBL

  • mcdus78
    mcdus78 4 days ago

    What a killer radio! Good job!👍🏼

  • LondenTower
    LondenTower 5 days ago

    believe it or not, but the thrift store that I'm working at just received one of these! however, the rectangular arial is sadly missing...
    EDIT: sadly it doesn't work right... FM radio is broken in the range of 96 mhz to 100.4 mhz.
    there is just no sound or fm squealing at all...
    so... it's going to be dismantled. :(

  • Kyle Swartley
    Kyle Swartley 6 days ago

    I'm in love with that pop-out control panel

  • Orbis92
    Orbis92 7 days ago

    This radio is a beauty, it reminds me at those big ham radio stations :)
    I didn't know that short wave is still a thing. When I was a child I always wanted a world receiver to listen to it... and now 15 years later I want one again :)

  • TheGmr140
    TheGmr140 7 days ago

    need this for my cb radio

  • Grahame Willmott
    Grahame Willmott 8 days ago

    The BBC World Service is a shadow of itself today.
    I remember when traveling around the world in the early nineties you could guarantee to pick up the BBC.
    Today that is not the case.
    In Europe West or East today you can still pick up voice of America, but no sign of BBC World Service.

  • xcab66
    xcab66 8 days ago

    OK, I've been watching these videos for a couple of years now and I have two questions, that I'm sure gets asked all the time:
    1. What is the digital signal nouse at the very end of your videos?
    2. Can you be my uncle?

  • Richard Smeets
    Richard Smeets 8 days ago

    A Philips radio from the era Philips still made quality audio/video.
    Nowadays they sell 1st class rubish audio/video electronics.

    That Shortwave Philips radio (AE3205) from the early 90's stil works flawless .
    I bought that radio new so i could listen to the worldservice abroad.
    Strange how a sound from home can give you a smile when you are far away from home.

  • Franco UK
    Franco UK 9 days ago

    I am new to your channel my braun t 1000 radio need repair ( work on fm with white noise on the rest of the bands) i wonder if you could repair for me regards frank

  • HedgiBun
    HedgiBun 9 days ago

    Love yr videos Liv retro audio to. I had a Phillips d2999 and a Eddystone 740 lived old radio and Rx . Also made my crystal set at 6

  • Aidan Montgomery
    Aidan Montgomery 9 days ago

    I've got a couple old 1940s Tube (Valves for you) radios in my collection with Shortwave band, maybe I'll try it out once I get them fixed up and restored.

  • the last troll
    the last troll 9 days ago

    Wow when Philips went toe to toe with the best

  • Bits & bleeps
    Bits & bleeps 10 days ago

    Nice video enjoy it great radio

  • Michael Graham
    Michael Graham 10 days ago

    I think I had one of these when I was a kid. I had something similar anyway, I remember the metal bars coming out the front, and it had sw bands.

  • Paul Huinink
    Paul Huinink 12 days ago

    You prove that common sense makes up at least 50% of being an electronic god.

  • Rudy Toth
    Rudy Toth 12 days ago

    Repair not and never parts to be used elsewhere. SWL since 1989. ⚠👍😀

  • Alex K
    Alex K 13 days ago

    Would like to say this is one of my favorite videos of yours. The thought of these old beasts winding up in a landfill cause it needed batteries is just plain sad. Besides, the process of personally rescuing & restoring a piece of kit like this is so much more rewarding than buying a perfect "New In Box" specimen for 10x the price. Well done!

  • Elizabeth Marks-Graham

    I like the sound it has

  • Yohann Last
    Yohann Last 15 days ago

    Amazing how prices in England of them Sony and Panasonic Multi Band High End Radios were so Costly there, I bought a High End Sony SW Receiver in 1984 for $350 USdll. Yours was 2,000 Pounds.I also bough The Very First Radio Shack 4 Channel Police Scanner in 1974 cost $100.00 and Crystals $5.00 I had Police, Sheriff and The Other Taxi Cab company in slots 1-3, National Park Rangers in 4th.I was a Taxi Cab Driver in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas. The entire City is a National Park. Wen I was a Teener We Had Full Gambeling All Out in Open, Even the Restarants down town had Slot Machines along the walls, the Continental Trailways Bus Depot had Gambeling Games to play whiles yous woit for Bus. Slot Machines, Live Chickend that Play Panio for $.25 Cent in a Slot: The Chiven gets CORN if it Plays a Tune on a Tne Piano! Yeah, ""I.Q. Zoo" on whittington ave. I worked at DRYDEN'S POTTERY also in 1960s.

  • Yaboijjonah ._.
    Yaboijjonah ._. 16 days ago

    Hey tech moan,I have an old Sony radio headphone set from 1982 and it just stopped working recently ,any idea for any common cause it stopped working or way I can fix it?if you could respond that would be awesome. Im a big fan!! Keep up the great videos !!!

  • metatech
    metatech 17 days ago

    Plastic bits are repairable especially in the world of 3D printing.

  • NebukedNezzer
    NebukedNezzer 17 days ago

    often there is a fuse link in the transformer. examine it carefully.

  • BDPhotog67
    BDPhotog67 17 days ago

    Dumb Idea-Use a drone or a small-ish helium balloon to carry the aerial up into the air...high enough to be clear of most interference...BTW, WHEN is the BBC going to recognize your talents and hire you as a presenter?

    • BDPhotog67
      BDPhotog67 17 days ago

      @Techmoan Excuses, excuses..Jeremy Clarkson's older than you..You'd be great..I suppose you'd give up a lot of creative freedom..So do you have a review on the Sony Rx10? Im considering the RX10IV to replace my 80D..Love to see one if you haven't done it yet..Thanks Mat.!

    • Techmoan
      Techmoan  17 days ago

      I’m way too old and not based in London.

  • Alex
    Alex 17 days ago


  • Anoop Sahal
    Anoop Sahal 18 days ago

    I used to listen to the numbers stations in the 1970’s , do they still transmit?

  • Martin D A
    Martin D A 18 days ago

    @6:06 requires a short back and sides to maintain peak performance.

    Good buy, well done Mr Techmoan.

  • kjetil Bergesen
    kjetil Bergesen 18 days ago

    swap doubble D with lipo batt

  • Clint Jay
    Clint Jay 19 days ago

    It's worth doing a little disassembly on the transformer, they often have a fuse in the primary and it can be really simple to replace.

  • piero rossi
    piero rossi 19 days ago

    Hello, where did you order the replacement antenna from? My AL990 still works, but when I pull out the telescopic antenne to full lenght, the 2 small internal copper shims at the bottom work loose and the whip comes off.

  • ShamanKish
    ShamanKish 19 days ago

    Internet killed these exotic beasts.

    MAC DUNLAP 19 days ago

    I have the Panasonic equivalent from 1981 and it still works even now

  • Eddie Willers
    Eddie Willers 19 days ago

    For forty quid, that's an excellent score!

  • Jon Evans
    Jon Evans 19 days ago

    Possibly the alarm feature only works if it’s under mains power

  • overbuilt automotive
    overbuilt automotive 20 days ago

    look up mr carlsons lab YT channel i learn from him build a few of his test tools cool super smart guy and easy to learn as he teaches properly..that unit looks to be easy to fix

  • Ben Reaves
    Ben Reaves 20 days ago +1

    Sometimes the manual is worth more than the radio. Last year I did an estate sale on many of my father's treasures, including a Hallicrafters shortwave set. The operating manual was worth more than the radio! Same for an old Pixie vacuum cleaner and many other devices for which we no longer had the device but my father had meticulously preserved the operating manual!

  • PhaktTheIsolationist
    PhaktTheIsolationist 20 days ago

    The reason so many of these old radios are in terrible condition is that when the owners got an upgrade, they were all taken on to worksites, garages etc with them. Hence why so many are covered in shit, paint and dust. Also, the alarms only work on mains power, not battery. It's a failsafe.

  • Todd Stewart
    Todd Stewart 20 days ago

    I have always wanted to get one of these. Does the reception on shortwave work like AM, as in at night you can pick up far distances and during the day not so good?

  • Graeme Robinson
    Graeme Robinson 21 day ago

    Brings back some great memories. Great video.

  • kenshinflyer
    kenshinflyer 21 day ago +1

    I'm kind of interested in its SSB functionality.

  • jmm1233
    jmm1233 22 days ago

    forget the transformer install a usb charge pack for mains power

  • Feng Gao
    Feng Gao 22 days ago +1

    13:20 Chinese song

  • Fragmented Mind
    Fragmented Mind 23 days ago

    Great video and beautiful radio! I've been a shortwave listener and ham nearly my whole life. Have to say that imo the dual clock would be pointless for me in your location as I always set my radio clock to GMT. I greatly miss the shortwave broadcast from the cold war era. Your very fortunate (radio wise) to be in the UK as there is still much to listen to easily. Keep up the great work!

  • ka9radio
    ka9radio 25 days ago

    D-batterys cost more then the radio! Lol Better to buy a computer rechargeable back up battery, install a handle and that out to the garden, and bring the laptop too! :-)

  • Mr Gonorrhea
    Mr Gonorrhea 25 days ago

    Agh now i want to dig out my tecsun again

  • twicebitten thasme
    twicebitten thasme 26 days ago

    Excellent video.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Gary Gendel
    Gary Gendel 27 days ago

    Nice job, I enjoyed watching your diagnostic process. One tip... When I clip off something like the battery holder, I usually snip each lead at different lengths. This way it's less possible that they might short out. Also, if they feed through a hole in the case they won't jam up in the hole at the splices.

  • Abdi Piano
    Abdi Piano 28 days ago

    Who transmit on shortwave in 2019?

  • Larsman S
    Larsman S 28 days ago

    Hello teckmoan i realey like your video’s if you wand me to help you with the dutch Manuel i can help you

  • sbcontt YT
    sbcontt YT 28 days ago

    Imagine Radio Ga Ga being played on this radio.

  • scot shabalam
    scot shabalam 29 days ago

    Those fuses are made by Apple who makes really sturdy fuses that won't blow no matter how much you put through them.

  • C0n57an71n
    C0n57an71n 29 days ago

    Those Chinese stations..., Jesus, they are everywhere...

  • Jerry Davis
    Jerry Davis 29 days ago

    I totally dig that you're doing these types of videos. While I enjoy your reviews on dash cams, this is a nice change of pace, and you're getting better at the repair too! Keep it up my friend!

  • JoJoGunn1956
    JoJoGunn1956 29 days ago

    Oh well, I wanted to see if the BFO worked.



  • Richard brobeck
    Richard brobeck Month ago


  • ben smith
    ben smith Month ago

    hi,more intersesting than the title implied,good work mr techmoan,keep it up aub.

  • Juan Arellano
    Juan Arellano Month ago

    This is a good stuff.... May be you can repair the "power supply" these radio.... You're check the "ac/DC diodes" and the capacitor from power supply, and read the voltage out. Check the voltage regulator, read the out voltages from the power supply, and your radio can work.... The transformer dead, you can replace with other similar.... (May be 12v ac out to 1amp) great stuff... Regards from México. 👋👍

  • Ryan Brooke
    Ryan Brooke Month ago

    The alarm amd radio was replaced. You were right the 4k helps. Love my TCL 65IN 4k tv :)

  • Kevin Song
    Kevin Song Month ago +1

    13:18 Apparently you received some chinese channels 😂

  • wkruit1
    wkruit1 Month ago +1

    £5 for a picture of a radio. One must be mad to pay anything for a picture of a radio...

  • Xantylon74
    Xantylon74 Month ago

    I want Puppets!

  • GTOger
    GTOger Month ago

    This video makes me appreciate my Panasonic RF-2200 which has been collecting dust under my desk all this time. I've managed to lose the battery compartment door somewhere...

  • reggiep75
    reggiep75 Month ago

    Starts listening shortwave number stations and spy messages.
    Good old SW radios!

  • dogastus
    dogastus Month ago

    I'm a bit disappointed you didn't tune it to an amateur (radio ham) band like 14 MHz so you could have demonstrated the BFO I noticed. You can get a 'real' communications receiver quite cheaply such as the ICOM IC-R70 on Ebay - look at Put up a long wire outside and feed it into the house for indoor reception.

  • Zappa Woman
    Zappa Woman Month ago

    Like me with my beloved Casio CTK-731 keyboard. It stopped working, and I was hoping it was just the transformer. I bought some batteries, put them in and yelled, "She lives!" because it came back on again.

  • Chris Morse
    Chris Morse Month ago

    Fascinating. I have great memories of being a kid listening to my ITT Combat radio in my bedroom and finding stations from other countries. It was a magical experience.

  • MyGodisYahweh
    MyGodisYahweh Month ago

    Great video as always.

  • Youtubehasaids
    Youtubehasaids Month ago

    I just found a Panasonic DR22 at a thrift store for £10! Couldn't believe it. Works great and everything :)

  • Ben H.
    Ben H. Month ago

    Great video!

  • 宋健
    宋健 Month ago

    Didn't expect to hear a Chinese song here😂😂

  • M Hoppy
    M Hoppy Month ago

    Can’t believe some of the comments to which you have alluded in the description above. I really enjoyed this one. Thanks Matt. Lr

  • Squirrel Monkey
    Squirrel Monkey Month ago

    Love your videos!

  • Doellimann
    Doellimann Month ago

    I’ve currently own a National Panasonic DR28 which cost me only a few bucks and some repair.
    It still got a nearly broken power switch which is really hard to fix but I used a way around it: the Radio stays in the (on) position the whole time and is plugged into a TEAC TT-2 HiFi-timer which turns the power on and of...
    what sounds linke a overkill is actually pretty neat: this two radios now form a very fancy clock radio.
    Besides that, I’ve managed to get my hands on an old National Panasonic GX 400 and (what’s way cooler) it’s Japanese counterpart the cougar no7.
    The number seven was briefly featured in one of the Neon Genesis Evangelion movies 1.11 or 2.22... it stood on shinjis desk and catches immediately my attention because of its cyberpunk-military aesthetics.

  • yunihorn
    yunihorn Month ago

    We had one National brand (Japanese) radio and cassette player. After its cassette player broke a loop string inside I opened it's back and after few times I never closed it, because it was old and something inside would brake at anytime. I could use it perfectly while open. Its shortwave radio was my internet that time. I felt myself connected to the world using that and I learned even few languages (including English) and listened to songs of many languages that I never learned. I was so used to the noises that after digital technology I couldn't bear the high quality of the same songs and radios. For a long while high quality voice and music didn't sound "natural" to me :D

  • gary price
    gary price Month ago

    Billy turned the dial on his short wave radio
    How he wanted to talk to the people
    He wanted his own show
    Tune in Moscow Tune in New York
    Listen to the Welsh kid talk

  • notuber
    notuber Month ago

    Don't know why the stand-by symbol looks so modern to me! I checked and it was introduced in in 1973. Wow

  • Mr Carlson's Lab
    Mr Carlson's Lab Month ago +1

    Hi Techmoan. They must really like my photo, seen at 0:44 in your video. The receiver shown (a restoration video on my channel) is a CRF-320, not the 330K as mentioned. You can clearly see there is no tape deck option on the CRF-320, where as the 330K has the option, and is much taller.

    • LeiserGeist
      LeiserGeist Month ago +1

      Wow, I thought that looked eerily familiar. Selling someone else's TheXvid thumbnail printed off a cheap inkjet for $7.. that's certainly a new one!

  • Иван Морозов

    Тявкает как пёсик а говорить не может.

  • Gordon Welford
    Gordon Welford Month ago

    I just love that line when someone's trying to sell you a repair item "It's probably just a loose wire" Oh if I had a £1 etc etc.

  • Gordon Welford
    Gordon Welford Month ago

    Believe me everything can, and usually does blow before the fuse does!

  • Steven Whiting
    Steven Whiting Month ago

    What are you talking about? A house really does only take 22mins to build +adverts. The builders have to stop during the adverts. And when the adverts are finished they need to explain what happened before the advert for over a min, in case during that short break, you have such a bad memory you've forgotten.

  • mattikaki
    mattikaki Month ago

    You did not measure the transformer, so how can you be sure it is broken? Also it did not work with DC either so I believe that there is something wrong after the power supply. Why didn’t you try to find the fault which is probably just a transistor or so?

  • KK Teutsch
    KK Teutsch Month ago

    I attempted to buy from a friend in '90 a taywanese made Zenith Transoceanic I don't remember the model was, it is in a mint condition, only needed to apply some contact cleaner at swiches and pots...

  • KK Teutsch
    KK Teutsch Month ago

    Tell me where I can buy one like this, I'll pratice my old skills to fix it, since this is in reasonable state e no parts missing, tell me!!!

  • TechBaffle
    TechBaffle Month ago +1

    5:55 I love that - infact every switch and dial is a work of art

  • TechBaffle
    TechBaffle Month ago

    I remember having an alarm clock where the alarm broke - and was stuck on going off at 12:00am

  • Jan Kowalski
    Jan Kowalski Month ago

    Hello from Poland, good job!

  • Marcelo Frau
    Marcelo Frau Month ago

    For a moment I had an impression that the stations tuned in the short waves appear to be from the past...

  • Lusty Glaceon
    Lusty Glaceon Month ago

    I got a Worldstar MG-6000 the same day you posted this video and I love these types of radios, I hope you get lots of use from your radio and have fun

  • Mako-kun
    Mako-kun Month ago

    9:51 & 10:10 I hope you've put some heat shrink or electrical tape to insulate the contacts. Also, the transformer can be checked by putting your multimeter across the primary connections and across the secondary connections of your transformer. The transformer could be fixed by replacing the windings on either the primary or secondary. I'm guess its maybe a couple dozen turns at most.

  • Cristian Arreola
    Cristian Arreola Month ago

    Try to repair one of those huge dual deck boombox's with a TV and radio built in.