National Panasonic - R-357

This radio dates from around 1968 to 1970.

The set cost about $99 in 1970, which was quite expensive for the time, and was Matsushita’s, National Panasonic, second from top model, the top being the R-100 . It is a battery only set with no provision for external power.

It’s described in Mingay’s Price Service as a:

12 transistor, 4 diode, 3-band portable radio. Powered by three Type UM-1 (“D”) cells. Featuring: twin 3½” dynamic speakers; 700 mW output. Dial light; fine tuning: battery check and tuning meter; tone control. jacks for external speaker, antenna and earth.

Frequency range: MW, 525 – 1605 kHz; SW1, 2.3 – 7 MHz; SW2, 7 – 22 MHz.

Comes with a brown leather case. 

The example below didn’t have the carry strap and accessory pouch. However, it does have the brown “leather” case. The case is in fact a high gloss plastic coated onto a type of pressed cardboard. The plastic coating has shrunk and irreversably curled as it was stored in a hot place for many years. (This has damaged a number of other items as well.)

The radio needed little work with clean of the main radio and “leather” case. A quick squirt of DeOxit F5 in the volume control, tone switch, and band switch brought it back to full working condition. I didn’t bother with the capacitors as it was being sold.

Overall, it is very sensititive, but the realitivly flat speakers make it sound quite thin and tiny, which is typical for most transistor sets of this era.

R357 Front with case

The radio with it’s “leather” (plastic) case.

R357 Front

Radio without the case.

R357 Tuning band switch

Top control is the tuning, below that is the fine tuning taken from the T100/R100 series, and bottom is the band selector switch.

R357 Volume tone

Top is the On/Off Volume, a typical small transistor style control of the time, a slider switch for the tone and a pair of non-standard outputs for an ear-phone or speaker.

The back of the radio with the arial and earth plugs at right. Unfortunately the id plate is scratched.
Interestingly the rear vent, and the speakers, have a fine mesh covering. This meant the radio was very clean inside.

Last updated 18 April 2021.