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ASTRAD ORION MICRO POCKET WIRELESS, 1968

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ASTRAD ORION MICRO POCKET WIRELESS, 1968

Made around 1968 and costing 2-10s-00d, this is really tiny and was announced as the world smallest Radio, it has two dials and a crystal earpeice in a plastic case.

Your comments:

  • Dad bought me one of these little fellas around 1970 or 1971 while I was at The Knoll Prep School in Woburn Sands, Beds. I do remember, like a previous anecdote, taking it with me during games one term - playing hockey - and deliberately took a back field position with it secreted about my body so that I could tune in to listen into the next instalment of 'The Thunder and Lightening Man' which was on what I now believe was 'Woman's Hour' on Light Wave in the afternoons. All the better if it rained as we crammed into the games shed, so I had a better chance of hearing it all. Needless to say I never heard it all anyway and in the end I was bought the novel and read that. I still have both radio in its box with a somewhat rotten foam padding and the novel, but alas not the charger, which apparently came with it (according to the blurb) but I don't remember having that.
    .......... Tim Snelling, Norfolk, 22nd of October 2014

  • I bought one as a teenager and used to thread the earpiece through my school jacket sleeve and lean my head against my hand to hide the earpiece. I would happily listen to pop music during those boring maths lessons.
    .......... Steve Smith, Swindon, UK, 5th of June 2013

  • My Father bought this tiny radio for me probably around 1968 on a visit to Tottenham Court Road. I had and still have today a love of all things miniature but this radio will always have special memories for me. Although I haven't tried it for years it's still in the original box, with the instructions. My late father worked on Radar just after the second world war and would often share his memories working at the Decca factory which I think was in Teddington.
    .......... Stephen Levey, London, 10th of July 2011

  • MY DAD BOUGHT ME ONE OF THESE FROM LASKY'S (ANYBODY REMEMBER LASKYS ?) THAT MUST HAVE BEEN ABOUT 1970 AND I STILL HAVE IT NOW, THE EARPIECE WIRE WAS SO DELECATE THAT IT KEPT BREAKING, I EVENTUALLY HAD TO SPLIT THE CASE TO REPAIR IT. IT USED TO LIVE UNDER MY PILLOW AND I MANAGED TO COVERTLY LISTEN TO RADIO 2 WHEN I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ASLEEP. MY CHILDREN WOULD NEVER DO THAT OF COURSE.
    .......... DAVE WHALLEY, COLCHESTER, 2nd of May 2011

  • The Astrad Orion did not predate Sinclair radios as the Sinclair Slimline (1962) and Micro-6 (1963) came first with the Micromatic (a silicon version of the Micro-6) following in 1967. However while the Orion had roughly the same footprint as the Sinclair radios it was about half the thickness thus beating Sinclair's claims for his models to be the smallest in the world. I have samples of all the above except for the Slimline.

    The Astrad was, as with most Soviet equipment of the time, imported by Technical Optical Equipment of London, held by some to be a KGB front organisation! Whether this was an urban myth remains a mystery.
    .......... Pete Roberts, Runcorn, UK, 11th of February 2011

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