Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lidl 'Silvercrest' radio teardown

Last week Lidl (a German budget supermarket chain) had a small "transistor" radio on special. Like a lot of their low end electronics it was "Silvercrest" brand. For various reasons I had need of one (actually I was planning to canabilise it for its ferrite rod antenna, but found an alternative source in the mean time).

Usually Lidl stuff is fine. Not brands you'd normally recognize, but solid stuff none-the-less. So this was rather disappointing.
On powering up, the LCD was faulty. The top half of the display wasn't working.

So I had a look inside:

Apart from the grubby PCB (normal enough for low end electronics these days) there was a botched bodge capacitor (not connect on the left terminal) and a wire to the ferrite antenna nicked by a screw.

So I exchanged it for another. But thankfully decided to checked it out in the car before leaving. Radio #2 didn't even power up. So I tried #3 which did work fine. Two out of three failure rate seems a bit high... or maybe I was just unlucky.

The IC in the photo is a Sony CXA1691 AM/FM radio chip. Everything else looked like it was lifted right out of the 1970s. But hey, it's just a "transistor" radio...