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Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants Antique Generators, Light Plants, Typically 24, 32 or 48 volt although some are 110 volt. DC Lamps, Motors and appliances.

Delco and other Low Voltage DC Light Plants

Delco Radio


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  #1  
Old 04-23-2016, 05:35:46 PM
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Default Delco Radio

this one was on ebay not long ago

was listed as untested have a feeling it may not work as the guy has lot of sales on tubes and radios with good feed back
it seems like a old style fuse that's been there awhile and is good

should I wait till I get a 32 volt power supply before trying it .I know it won't be as forgiving as a fan or iron if the voltage is off

is 36 volts to mush and 24 to low
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2016, 05:52:18 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Delco radio

I would say that the fellas on this site http://www.antiqueradios.com

Would recommend thoroughly checking it out Before applying any power. Good parts can be ruined by other parts that have failed, such as shorted caps.

That is a VERY cool find, BTW

Keith
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:52:58 PM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: Delco radio

Could maybe use a 36 V supply and add a bunch of diodes in series to drop the voltage. Diodes are good for about 0.7 volt drop each. So maybe 6 diodes in series.
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:15:10 PM
Radiomike Radiomike is offline
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Default Re: Delco radio

This is a nice radio, the wood work all looks good and the knobs look original.

Do not apply power until you know about restoring radios.

The set seems to have 6 tubes, some are in series the others have dropping resistors. There does not appear to be a vibrator of any sort so the HT voltage is 32, and this may account for the push-pull output tubes.

Get a schematic and do some research before embarking on restoration or applying power. Any electrolytic capacitors will need replacing.

http://www.radiomuseum.org/r/united_1_delco_3201.html for some details

http://www.nostalgiaair.org/Resources/381/M0022381.htm for schematics.

and for parts

http://www.radiodaze.com/

https://www.tubesandmore.com/

and for capacitors

http://www.justradios.com/capacitors.html

Hope this help.

Mike
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:23:34 PM
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Default Re: Delco radio

well
I guess it will before display with the power plant .i'm not going to get into restoring it
there is a older guy around here that had a shop many years ago maybe he can test it
thanks
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Old 04-23-2016, 10:40:02 PM
uglyblue66 uglyblue66 is offline
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Default Re: Delco radio

If a fellow goes in there and replaces each electrolytic capacitor and checks other stuff out as he goes,he probably would be ok to try it out afterwards.
But 1 shorted cap and alot of stuff can get ruined.
Once something gets hot and burns a bit,it is impossible to know the component value like 10 mmfd or you may not be able to look at the stripes on the resistors and determine a value.
Sometimes even with a schematic, you will be in for some deep detective work to find out what that 1 smoked component was .
Without a tube tester about all you can check on a tube would be the filament with a ohm meter to see if it is good.
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:04:32 AM
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Default Re: Delco radio

Hmmm.......

You can run the radio on 36 volts (lead-acid batteries at a nominal full charge). When pushing for a high charge, the 16 cell bank could produce as much as 39 volts.

I'd think that radio should have a vibrator for the plate voltage supply, usually for between 90 and 200 VDC.

I think I've seen some battery tube-type radios that had 45 volt plate "B" batteries but they used the later miniature tubes.

I agree that you must check or simply replace all of the electrolytic capacitors. Although they may form-up and check okay initially, after some time, they may fail to a short circuit, causing damage.

Once the initial power-off tests are done, and before turning the radio on, hook your voltmeter (set initially at over 300 volts) to the positive lead of the plate filter capacitor. When the radio is turned on, within a few seconds, you should see a stabilized DC voltage. At that point, if everything is okay, the radio should work.

If not, look to see if the tube filaments are all lit (if you can see them).

Tubes can be checked for emission by finding the plate load resistors and checking for voltage drop across them. Ideally, plate load resistor should drop about half of the B+ voltage if the tube is in good condition.

It's been a few years since I worked with tube-type equipment but the basics haven't changed. The hard part could be getting tubes and correct looking electrolytics. If nothing else and if there's space under the chassis, the old electrolytics can be simply disconnected and modern tubular ones installed underneath where they don't show.

If you don't count the vibrator (if it's plug-in) as a tube, the only five tube sets I have schematics for are for the Delco (United Motors) Model 4037 (78, 6F7, 78, 75) and the Delco Model R675 (6SA7, 6SK7, 6SQ7, 6K6, OZ4).

I don't think either of these are yours. The first one is probably a car radio and the second uses more modern tubes than the ones in your radio.

This has been a lengthy post for little usable information!
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:40:10 AM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: Delco Radio

This is absolutely a vibratorless radio, using the 32vdc as the plate supply. My guess is that it will be a poor performing radio lacking sensitivity. But fixed up it should work fine taken to a show picking up some local stations.

Hitting it with a higher then nominal voltage is going to really shorten the tube life. They were probably counting on some wire losses, try to keep it less then 35-36 volts.

https://www.tubesandmore.com/schemat...lco/3201-delco
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Old 04-24-2016, 10:00:45 AM
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Default Re: Delco Radio

That's the first one I got too, when I got started into the 32V radios. I also have light plants and accessories, and have learned how to work on the tube radio sets.

Typically they get plugged into a 110V source, as the plugs look the same, and immediately the filaments on the tubes going in series blow. Sometimes it takes out the audio transformer too. Most cases the power electrolytic capacitors are bad after many years of service, and universally are the first to be replaced in a any tube radio restoration. The 3201 did not use a vibrator, nor did any other wooden model going from 1935 on. I have a model 4049 made in 1934 that does use a vibrator, and that radio was made for Delco by Crosley.

Believe it or not, the sensitivity is quite good, as the output tube is rated for low voltage. My other delco models also feature shortwave, and they pick up well too. The key will be your antenna length.

I've always been a bit fascinated with tube radios in general, and taught myself how to do basic troubleshooting and recapping/wiring. There are radio basic course learning series on the web from the 40's which I read to help understand the basics. I am no expert, but if you can teach yourself basic electric circuits, and learn to read a schematic, you can replace capacitors and fix these. The web sites mentioned are the ones I used to get into it. I still ask questions of the antique radio forums, and like this site, have had much help. You need patience and a careful documented approach to do these. Every 32 volt radio I bought had been fried in this manner, and I fixed each one. The 4049 took me almost two years for lack of transformer and vibrator for that one. Finally sourced a solid state setup and fixed it that way. Battery radio sets seems to fare better than the hi voltage ones. They usually are not in as bad of shape electrically as the plug in ones.

There is a guy who sells a AC to 32v solid state converter that I use in the house. It works great, and holds a steady voltage. http://www.radiolaguy.com/RadioPowerSupply.htm

As said above, the delco's and other plants rate at about 38V charging, so it's not critical to be perfect. My delcos will run from 24 to 38 volts, but obviously lower than 32 is a performance issue.

Do note that the plug is polarized, meaning that plugging it in backwards in that set will make it seem like its dead. Switch the pos and neg around to see if that is the case.

Good luck!

Mike
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:16:23 AM
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Default Re: Delco Radio

This should be a basic restoration. I just had a long look at the schematic and there are no electrolytic capacitors, one problem gone.

The sensitivity is enhanced by the the extra tube used as an RF amplifier, and the output is push-pull tubes to give a reasonable audio output at low plate volts.

Car radio tubes have to work between 6.0 and 7.5 volts so I expect the design is such that it will cope with the charging voltage of the Delco at 39 volts.

When I get a tube radio I spend lots of time inspecting it carefully, loose or frayed wires and other mechanical damage. There are lots of books on restoring tube radios, yours is simple and only has 32 volts, not the one or two hundred of AC sets.

But if you do not feel confident and competent to do it, polish the case and admire it; or find a friend who will do it for you.

Mike
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:55:08 PM
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Default Re: Delco Radio

thanks everyone for the input

I forgot I bought a Ruston Hornsby just over a year ago never went and got it
it's just a couple of miles away and the guys hobby is old tube radio's and other things

when I do go get the engine will show him the radio

I will pull the insides out and take a picture there may be missing parts
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:40:35 PM
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Default Re: Delco Radio

I'm intrigued by the 32 volt plate voltage used in that radio. I've heard of using low plate voltage with miniature tubes to get hyper gain but never in an octal tube set.

Could anybody supply a schematic of the radio so I can see how they do that. If not, just list the tube compliment and I'll see if I can find something close.

I can't imagine the set having a power output of over a watt if that due to the plates only swinging a part of 32 volts. After stpdown to the speaker voice coil, the voltage would be pretty small.
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Old 04-25-2016, 07:19:30 PM
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Default Re: Delco Radio

Elden

I posted a link to the schematic in post 4

But here it is again http://www.nostalgiaair.org/Resources/381/M0022381.htm

There are lots of links out there to tubes operating at low voltage, Delco must have had a lot of these radios about with the 32 Volt system. Battery sets using 90 Volt were common but the batteries were very expensive.

Mike
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:19:42 AM
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Default Re: Delco Radio

Mike:

Thanks for reminding me of the link. I took a look and find that the 32 volt plate supply radios are new to me.

Back in my "tube" days (1950's-'60's), my experience was with AC-DC and AC only line powered radios and TV's. I still have to get used to the idea of being able to develop any meaningful plate current at that low voltage with the internal resistance of vacuum tubes but I guess it worked.

I'll have to find one of my tube manuals and look up the characteristics of the tubes used in those sets.

I spent an interesting couple of hours this morning going through some of my old schematic books. Some of those resistor cord AC-DC radios of the '30's were scary!

I've also been bit more than a few times by "hot chassis" radios and learned to use a neon tester between the chassis and ground to make sure they were plugged-in the right way before poking around in them.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:45:04 AM
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Default Re: Delco Radio

Elden

Low plate voltage for tubs radios was not common, but seemed to work well enough.

This is a link to a site describing a 12 Volt tube radio, so it is possible.
http://www.oldradiobuilder.com/12vsuperhet.html

When working on the AC/DC sets and those with no galvanic isolation from the mains I use a ground free isolation transformer. This has taps as well so I can reduce the voltage to 110 from the 120 we get. Live chassis sets can be hazardous to users as well as repair chaps. The resistor cord type were suspect as well, often called "curtain burners"

Mike
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:52:14 AM
Dennis Craft Dennis Craft is offline
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Default Re: Delco Radio

Brain, did you get your Delco radio running?

Dennis

---------- Post added at 08:52:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:48:41 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Craft View Post
Brain, did you get your Delco radio running?

Dennis
Oops again, sorry Brian for misspelling your name. But no doubt, you have a good brain.

Dennis
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Old 06-01-2017, 05:11:21 PM
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Default Re: Delco Radio

Dennis

never did any thing with it yet . it's sitting on a deck in the living room
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Old 06-01-2017, 06:41:57 PM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
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Default Re: Delco Radio

If I can make one suggestion.....

If you go through the radio and get it up and running, consider putting an "oddball" plug on the cord. Something like a 20 amp plug with one blade turned sideways so that it can't be plugged into 120 volts easily. Get a matching receptacle and decide which blade will be positive, then wire them accordingly.

A tag on the cord right behind the plug that says "Warning...32 volt DC. Do NOT plug into 120 volt AC".....might be a good idea too. Or perhaps a paper tag on the radio's back with the same warning.

The idea is simple. If the radio ever leaves your hands in the future, it stands a better chance of surviving some klutz just plugging it in "to see if it still works".
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:43:23 PM
Dennis Craft Dennis Craft is offline
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Default Re: Delco Radio

Hi,

I see that you are in Canada. I am willing to walk you through any restoration that is needed. It would be easier and faster over the phone, however. Does it cost much to call the states from Canada?

FYI, I have this set and others. My hobby and passion is the antique radios, my side interest is the gensets. If it didn't cost you much, I would suggest to send it to me and I can check it out, then send it back. Do you know anyone that comes to Arizona in the winter? We have a lot of winter visitors from Canada here.

Dennis
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