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Delco 32 Volt Radio

78Loadstar

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
03/11/2020

Dennis Craft

Registered
Last Subscription Date
07/11/2018
Hey, I just noticed that there are 2 Montgomery-Wards Airline radios on eBay for 32 volt systems. I don't see and Delco radios, however. My feelings is that they both seem over-priced, but who knows, maybe you can negotiate a better deal. As always, I'm here to provide any restoration assistance.

Here are the links:

this one uses a vibrator/transformer to achieve high voltage

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Wards-Airl...927552?hash=item1eda25c640:g:WCgAAOSwVnlaiJUP

this one uses 32 volts DC applied directly to the plates of the tubes

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1930s-AIRL...463803?hash=item23a2d1097b:g:weAAAOSwYeNbEdIC
 

Mike Schweikert

Subscriber
Age
54
Last Subscription Date
07/09/2019
Ya, I think they are too spendy. One has been listed for a looooong time.

I have been working on a Delco 3203. It uses a Vibrator to achieve B+. Turns out the one I got had the entire B+ circuit bypassed with a direct 150VDC source and no vibrator. I spent months taking out the hacks, replacing all caps and electrolytics, and then had to figure out how to get a synchronous vibrator to work on it as it does not use a rectifier tube. It is special and only made for this radio and no other brand or model. I went through Radiart and Mallory catalogs to verify it. I then realized I had bought a OAK 32V vibrator new a few years ago. Amazingly the pinout was very close and I got it to work with a slight modification and another socket. The pinout 46 is the original vibrator and the one above is the OAK that I used. The radio actually played well, but after a few minutes had a very hot transformer. After a long time of chasing causes, it turned out the secondary of the transformer must have a short, it had a nice sizzle going on. I will be getting it rewound, as there is no used one to be had anywhere. It is probably one of the reasons why it had been hacked in the first place. It draws to much current with no tubes or vibrator plugged in,
Yes, it was playing in the Frankenstein picture. So cautionary tale about these 32v vibrator sets...….I got 2 more crosley model 159 that have them too, but at least they are there, as they are wired from a rectangular box, not a cylinder plug in....
 

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Dennis Craft

Registered
Last Subscription Date
07/11/2018
I've been fortunate that I haven't had tranny problems. What will it cost to rewind the tranny? I've done a few by hand and it's very tedious and time consuming. It's great that you are saving and preserving one destined for who knows what.

I only have one new 32 volt vibrator on hand, just hope I don't have to use it. I still have about three of the 32 volt sets to go over. I have a couple of them done.

Anyway, thanks for your input.
 

DKamp

Registered
Y'know, there's a very unique and specialized market out there... buying 32v vibrators on the Internet... :O

But really... somewhere in my vast boxes of antique and obsolete, I think I actually have a plug-in replacement that's early solid-state switching, rather than a mechanical vib oscillator.

Rewinding transformers... well, 'ya gotta be patient. I had a fellow HAM op two decades ago that had a neat bobbin-winding gadget with a turns counter and little DC motor... he'd spin it up fast 'till he was close to his count, then do the last dozen by hand, so it wasn't difficult, but it's always harder to reverse-engineer a burned up winding, than to find the original build info.

Keep in mind that that the primary winding's inductance is by no means unworthy of respect when considering insulation options- the switching contacts are NOT analog, so you'll NEED to have adequate snubbing to keep the transformer from developing very high internal voltages (between winding turns!) and also burning up the vibrator's contacts. Vibrators AND transformers die really fast when the snubbing capacitors and resistors fail, AND the vibe-supply becomes a formidable HF spark-gap transmitter. Radio input goes deaf really fast when that happens. :bonk:
 

Mike Schweikert

Subscriber
Age
54
Last Subscription Date
07/09/2019
There is a fellow who will rewind it. It wont be cheap, at nearly $200....it would keep it as original as possible. I don't think there are many like it left.

There is another alternative that I used on another 32v vibrator set. I sent the trans and vibrator out for a possible solid state conversion and the guy died and it never came back. So then after researching I found a solid state DC to DC converter that I had bought. About the size of a zippo lighter, capable of 9-36v in and 100V out at 100ma. I Put it the place of the transformer, and ran the B+ out through the electroltyics and existing chokes, to kill the ripple, which I do not hear...It plays very well. It is a Delco model 4049 made by Crosley.

If I buy another, Id opt for the 150V version instead.

http://apowerdesign.com/

Last one cost me about $120 I think, its been a few years now. I like the vibrator sets and also have a few 6V DC table top radios too (Pic is my Wards Airline 62-345 teledial). Need a Wincharger to go with them...
 

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John Newman Jr.

Subscriber
Age
64
Last Subscription Date
12/23/2019
Hey Mike
Is that a 'Tuning Eye' on your radio?
I have an old (1955-ish) Magnavox console that was my grandfather's. It has a Tuning Eye. Still works. It was (still is...) a great unit. 25 Watts (monophonic) into (2) 12" co-ax speakers.
 

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Mike Schweikert

Subscriber
Age
54
Last Subscription Date
07/09/2019
Yep, sure is. Its a NOS sub for the 6N5 Eye Tube. Its funny as they are gimmicks on the AVC that "help" you dial in to a station and really are for eye candy. The original one lost its luminescence over time and was very dim.. They are good for about 100 hours, so I don't play this as much.

I collect the farm tube sets, both 32 and 6 volt. Mostly vibrator sets, but do have 2 Philco consoles, a 42-385 and a 41-608 beam of light phonograph combo.

I always liked tube radios, but didn't know how to work on them. I started reading and doing research, and finally dove in and tried to get a Delco set up and running. Once I was successful and learned more, and understood radio diagrams better, I got braver and dug into to harder projects. The Antique Radio Forum is an excellent place to learn from (much like here). The investment in tools isn't much, like used soldering stand, and a signal generator, plus volt ohm meter..I typically work on them in the winter as I can sit at a clean bench in the basement nice and warm. I have a small Bluetooth am transmitter that I can beam old radio programs to any AM set. Kinda neat hearing the war time news on the radio like it was the first time it was broadcast....


Love that Set John:D
 
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