JF Antique Radio Repair -- Tube Equipment Repair (Radios, Amplifiers, and Car Radios)
Silvertone Car Radio
TUBE CAR RADIO REPAIR
I have been repairing Tube Type Car Radios for the past 30 years. I repair all makes and models.
REPAIR VS RESTORATION
I repair equipment and do not perform restoration.
Restoration involves placing new parts within the shells of the old parts, or placing new parts inside of moulds of old parts that are painted to look like the old parts.
Repair involves installing new parts under the chassis. All exposed parts on top of the chassis stay in place (are not removed).
SOLID STATE VIBRATORS, Please click on this Tab: Antique Automobile Radio - AAR)
Unlike mechanical vibrators, Solid State vibrators are polarity sensitive. All Solid State vibrators have a
suffix after the part number that designates the vibrator for use in a Positive or Negative ground
electrical system. The Antique Automobile Radio (AAR) Automobile Battery Grounding Chart shows the
proper ground polarity for all major US automakers from 1932-1957. If you are not sure of your vehicle
ground polarity, please check which terminal of your battery is connected directly to the engine block or
A Solid State vibrator will not fix an otherwise "broke" radio. Nothing can compensate for shorted buffer
condensers, deteriorated electrolytic capacitors, or other ailments common to 40 or 50 year old radios.
If you want to try a Solid State vibrator because mechanical vibrators keep burning up in your radio, it
would be a good idea to first have the radio checked out for shorts in the B+ circuits. Rule of Thumb: 6-volt
radios should draw approx. 1 amp per tube, not counting the rectifier. 12-volt radios that use a
vibrator should draw about .5 amp per tube excluding the rectifier.
Whether you use a Solid State or mechanical vibrator, both the radio manufacturer and the vibrator
manufacturer recommend that you replace the buffer condenser each time you replace the vibrator.
Note: In some synchronous vibrators, the buffer is built into the vibrator.
Solid State vibrators cannot be tested with an ohmmeter or with a conventional vibrator tester. All of
their parameters are tested during and after manufacture, and must meet exacting standards. Field
testing should be done by installing the vibrator in a radio known to be in good working order, and of
the proper polarity.
Do not operate your radio directly from a battery charger.
Never install a 6-volt radio in a car with an 8-volt battery without a reducer.
While the above practices probably will not damage the vibrator, either can destroy other parts of the
radio in a very short time.
Due to the possibility of vibrator damage due to reverse polarity mentioned above, I cannot guarantee
Solid State Vibrators.
Defective components shall be replaced.
All filter and paper capacitors shall be replaced.
All tubes will be tested for Emissions and Leakage (shorts). Bad tubes shall be replaced.
I will not replace tube circuits with a solid state circuit board.
LIMITS OF REPAIR FOR RADIOS MANUFACTURED AFTER 1950 (due to potential Silver Mica Disease)
For limits of repair for radios manufactured after 1950 due to potential Silver Mica Disease, please click on this Tab: Silver Mica Disease
If you would like to learn how to repair Tube Equipment, please contact me. I do not charge for my time, only for parts used.
REPAIR SERVICE TAB
For more information on Repair Service and Cost, please click on this Tab: Repair Service/Cost