Tag Archives: ICF-5500W

The Sony ICF-5500W: My morning companion

Sony-ICF-550W-RadCom

I spent this morning doing a lot of work around our property. When it was time for a break, I turned on my trust Sony ICF-5500W and tuned to WTZQ: one of my favorite regional AM braodcasters. Though WTZQ is over 30 miles from my home, any good AM radio, like the ICF-5500W, can receive their 1,000 watt signal with ease.

As luck would have it, when I turned on my 5500W, WTZQ started playing Love Me Do by The Beatles. It sounded absolutely amazing via the 5500W’s internal speaker: full-on, rich AM audio fidelity! Absolutely brilliant!

I cranked up the volume so our local black bears could enjoy.

I relaxed a good half hour, and caught up on reading the latest two issues of RadCom with my ICF-5500W playing WTZQ in the background.

Sometimes it’s the simple stuff that starts one’s morning off the right way.

That and plenty of good coffee.

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Best solution to restore a vintage plastic radio chassis?

Sony-ICF550W-FrontFriday, I brought home an untested, slightly grimy, Sony ICF-5500W. I purchased it through Goodwill for $20.

Sony-ICF550W-Right

I crossed my fingers as I put three C cells in the radio and turned it on. Fortunately, I was rewarded with brilliant audio. I tuned the ‘5500W on AM/mediumwave and heard CFZM,  500 miles to my north, and Radio Reloj, 860 miles to my south. A quick scan on the FM dial revealed that I could also hear all of my local benchmarks. Whew!

Other than the dial needing a little calibration, and DeOxit on a few pots, it’s in excellent mechanical shape.

Sony-ICF550W-Left

I started cleaning the radio last night using Q-tip cotton swabs and a vinegar/water solution.

I’d like to restore the hard plastic chassis’ original shine, though.

I was tempted to reach for some Armor All, but stopped myself short. I know it would give the ICF-5500W a nice shine, but would it cause any long-term damage to the black plastic or clear dial cover?

I know there are vintage radio restorers among the SWLing Post readership. Can someone offer advice on what’s the best product to use (or not use!) on my ICF-5500W?

If you have experience, please comment!

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