Antique Electronic Radio Restorations page.
Originally I had a separate page for each type of Antique Radio and there ended up being a lot of repetition. All antique electronics has the same sorts of components.
However, some electronic radio restorations have become rather routine that I can restore in quantity. These are what I call “specials” because they can be priced less than my regular flat-rate prices.
There are indoor radios that operate on house current, or batteries, car radios, and sometimes radios that were called “Farm” radios, which were used in a barn and operated by large storage batteries, at 30 volts DC, as I recall. The farm had a generator. I don’t see these very much.
There are table radios like these “cathedral” shaped radios, tombstone shaped, and rectangular. There were very large and very small radios. Then there are floor models and consoles. Car radios, and some table radios, had a power converter that turns 6 volts DC in to a pulsating DC that can be stepped up through a special power transformer, then converted back to DC at a much much higher voltage, typically around 265VDC that the tubes operate on, besides the filament voltage. Back then a device with reeds like a relay switched back and forth rapidly like a buzzer to create the pulsating DC. Today we have solid state replacements with no moving parts, that do exactly the same thing with transistors. Transistors last many time longer than the mechanical moving parts. Today we would call this power supply circuit a DC-to-DC converter.
Very early on, in the early 1920s and before, radios were operated entirely on batteries, making it an expensive hobby. Later on the batteries were “eliminated” by using a power supply as more and more people had electricity. Radios got very elaborate with amazing sounding amplifiers with a lot of tubes and huge power transformers. The power transformers allow these radios to work on higher voltages, some even higher than those found in car radios.
But some people wanted a tiny radio that would fit on a small table. So a type of radio circuit that operated right from the AC or DC line without a power transformer was invented. There were only a few small transformers used for the tuner and amplifier. But none for the power supply, these radios were somewhat compact at the beginning in the 1930s but gradually got very very small as specialized tubes were invented. So the very earliest examples of these radios have a lot more capacitors and other in them than the later ones. They fall into 3 categories. The latter being my 5 and 6 tube Antique table radio Restorations, which I used to mention on another page. There are early 1930s versions, that I can fit into another category of special. It costs a bit more but not as much as my regular prices. The earlier versions had tubes who’s filaments didn’t add up to the line voltage so a resistor line cord had to be used to take up the slack. These can usually be replaced with a regular line cord and a power resistor mounted under the chassis if the chassis is large enough to fit the resistor. Otherwise the resistor has to added externally. Some of these radios were very tiny. The third category, the very earliest of these AC-DC radios have so many parts to replace that the regular flat rate prices apply. These all operate from the line so there are no voltages higher than 150 volts inside these radios.
Regular maintenance for radios of this age, if it is intended to put them back in to use, is to first replace all the paper and electrolytic capacitors. Then there might be other problems. Other parts don’t usually need to be replaced unless they exhibit problems. There may be off value resistors that drifted over 60+ years. Other types of capacitors sometimes fail. Radios also have coils, capacitors, tuning capacitors, speakers, controls, tubes. There are a lot of other components in a radio that could be faulty. So I will have to see the radio in person to determine if anything else needs to be replaced.
The high voltage radios have the higher voltage flat rate price. The low voltage radios have the low voltage flat rate price. The 5 and 6 tube table radios have their “special” prices. The very early AC-DC radios have that qualify, have their own “special price”.
Another type of radio is the shirt pocket transistor radio. There are two prices for those. I’ll put all the prices on the About Page.