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Vintage Vibrator Type Inverter Power Supplies

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
06/10/2020
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

That's very interesting. Was fun reading about the radio he powers with it too.

I have what I'm fairly certain is a vibrator operated inverter. It's 24 volt input, and something like 250 VA output. It's output is a Very nice looking sine wave, so it's design must be more complex. It does have a lot of stuff inside. It's a pretty big and heavy rack mount beast.

Keith
 

Pat Barrett

Subscriber
Age
72
Last Subscription Date
01/02/2020
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

Not real up about all this, but, I do remember the old Johnson silver face tube type Citizen Band radios, had a vibrator that I think converted 12 volts to the current required to run the radio off 110.
 

Thaumaturge

In Memory Of
Age
69
Last Subscription Date
07/12/2019
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

I have vivid recolection of a vibrator based tube type automotive radio circuit... Having gotten bit by the resultant HV output when I was in my teens ( not quite pre-cambrian age). As I recall I was using it as a predriver to a much higher HV circuit (~10kv) to power a WWII surplus infrared rifle scope. The power supply didn't come with the scope, so we had to come up with one. First was just the HV circuit from a small TV set. The vibrator based circuit was prompted by a desire to create a battery powered truly portable unit. It worked...but -with Gates 2V cell lead acid battery pack- was so heavy the project got abandoned.
Doc
 

Railroads

Registered
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

That's very interesting. Was fun reading about the radio he powers with it too.

I have what I'm fairly certain is a vibrator operated inverter. It's 24 volt input, and something like 250 VA output. It's output is a Very nice looking sine wave, so it's design must be more complex. It does have a lot of stuff inside. It's a pretty big and heavy rack mount beast.

Keith
Keith, On The main page is atleast a dozen different inverters of different sizes. Some are early transistor types.

I did not link every one of them as they are easy to find on the main page.

Robert
 

Combustor

Registered
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

Outback Australian residents were familiar with equipment powered from vibrator supplies. Radio receivers with several short wave bands were often the only contact with the outside world, and power often came from a 6 volt battery charged via a series connected light bulb across the homestead's 32 volt lighting set. Emergency communication came to the outback via Alfred Traeger's pedal powered transceivers installed at remote station homesteads. However, the first real portable communication came (late 1940's I think) when Traeger built a 6 volt vibrator powered unit that could connect to a vehicle battery and transmit via a long wire antenna connected to nothing taller than a shovel handle if necessary. The set with lid closed could survive being dropped from a moving vehicle. I still have one of these which served us a a short wave receiver in our small outback community with no other radio or TV service.
The arrival of communications to the remote outback is something that our parents' generation never ceased to be thankful for. Further history will be found by searching "Flynn of the Inland" and "Alfred Traeger Radio Pioneer". Regards,
Combustor.
 

Vanman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
06/10/2020
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

Combustor- That is some really interesting history! I can only wonder at what it must have been like to get to experience times and places like those. Often I feel as if, in many ways, they were better times. Guess that grass is always greener on the other side.

Keith, On The main page is atleast a dozen different inverters of different sizes. Some are early transistor types.

I did not link every one of them as they are easy to find on the main page.

Robert
Robert, now that you mention it, I do seem to recall seeing some TO-220 transistor cases visible on the outside of the unit. I'm nearly 100% certain that there are no vacuum tubes in it. But I probably haven't laid eyes on it twenty years.

Keith
 

VE2TQX

Registered
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

on the Johnson messenger set they came in 3-4 different voltages

ac 110vac

dc
6-12-24 vdc

to chose dc volts they had different dc plugs

ac units went directly to a power transformer

for the dc units 6v-12-24 the vibrators where used to make the

250vdc for the tubes or what is called b+voltage the vibrators chopped the
12 vdc then fed it into the transformer pri side on the secondary windings
would produced chopped ac the rectifier tube would convert to dc

a tube radio requires both low voltage dc volts and high volts

Jake
va3tqx ham radio orperator:wave:
 

GeneratorGus

Registered
Age
72
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

I think both of these are vibrator type inverter battery chargers. They are a part of my "Antique Electrical Goodies" collection, almost all of which are flea market finds. If anyone is interested I'll get a few more pics of them.
 

Attachments

Harry

Administrator
Staff member
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

Vibrator power supplies were standard in car radios before the 1960's. You could hear the buzz, hum and whine when you first turned them on. Most of you don't remember that tubes came before the transistor.

God, I'm getting old. My first job was stocking shelves at an electronic supplier, distributing tubes, resistors, capacitors and yes, vibrators to the area TV and radio repairmen. The vibrators came in case lots contained in a huge cardboard box. They were metal cans with four pins out the bottom looking much like a vacuum tube.

I was at the crossover. My first year of college, they were teaching us tube type amplifiers and circuit design complete with load curves. The second year, were doing the same with transistors. I was also involved in an extra credit project designing silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) circuits.

That was back when factories were looking for and hiring people like me. GE, RCA, IBM, Sandia Labs, Bell Labs, General Dynamics and Railway Signal and pay was $120 per week. Stupid me, I went into Radio and Television Broadcast Engineering for more money. Now, the factories are all busted up and gone to China where pay is likely still $120 per week and TV broadcast has gone digital.

Retired and keeping busy in the south. -- Harry
 

Radiomike

Registered
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

Vibrator type inverters were used in car radios from the 1930's up to the late 1950's. These were usually in sealed canisters about 40mm in diameter and 100mm or so long. They operated at about 100Hz and switched the primary of a transformer. This then stepped the voltage up from 6 or 12 to 100+ Volts.

They fell out of use when 12 volt tubes and then transistors came along.

http://radioremembered.org/vpwrsup.htm

There is a small business producing solid state versions of the original mechanical contacts.

Mike
 

John Kendrick

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
11/26/2019
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

Communications are so ubiquitous now, it is hard to imagine having to get along without them. My grandfather wanted it so much that in 1907 he built about 125 miles of phone line from Sheridan, Wyoming, to the ranch headquarters. It was one wire, ground return, magneto ring, and was used until operator service was terminated about 1970. I had my own experiences with lack of communications when an ice storm or an oil rig took the line down. Now, with a cell phone---
Old Cowman
 

Power

Registered
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

I repaired many a tube & vibrator car radio- both 6 and 12 volt. Still have a couple of NOS 12 volt vibrators, 6j6, 6sn7.....
.

---------- Post added at 12:03:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:59:36 AM ----------

Jake said:
va3tqx ham radio orperator:wave:
Why do you have 2 call signs - va3tqx and VE2TQX
 

Railroads

Registered
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

I have never seen a tube type inverter? I usually find the vibrator types and the transistor types on the web.

I found two old vacuum tubes in the yard not long ago. One is a 6sn7 and the other has no markings on it. Don't know if they are any good or not? I just keep them as vintage artifacts.

Robert
 

Power

Registered
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

6SN7 was a very common tube. It is a dual triode consisting of 2- 6j5's in one envelope. Used in 6 volt car radios as pre- amp and mid amp, TV's as sound amps and as vertical deflection amps. Also in some high end amplifiers. Probably unobtainium today. The Russians produced it for a while after we stopped making them under their military part number.
 
I really missed out a number of years ago. The telephone company I worked for covered a national park here locally and I was sent along with another man to restring some wire that had been knocked down during the winter.

As we walked along through the trees lugging coils of wire, we approached a small shed type building where the lines were to terminate. Inside on the wall was a Western Electric "pole changer".......basically a vibrating inverter to provide signalling voltage for the long abandoned park phone system. It was a beautiful old thing with a glass cover and nice, shiny machined brass and nickeled parts inside. It was completely disconnected and unloved so I gave thought to filching it, but the wire job took too much time.

It's probably still there.................:rolleyes:
 

VE2TQX

Registered
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

I repaired many a tube & vibrator car radio- both 6 and 12 volt. Still have a couple of NOS 12 volt vibrators, 6j6, 6sn7.....
.

---------- Post added at 12:03:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:59:36 AM ----------



Why do you have 2 call signs - va3tqx and VE2TQX
ve2tqx was my Quebec call va3tqx is Ontario call sign
ve2 va2 is Quebec and ve3 va3 is the province of Ontario :wave:
 

Charley K

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
10/09/2019
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

Radiomike, Thank You for the link. Been wondering about old car radios and the vibrators that made them work. Good explanation and I almost get it. I will be spending some time at the site, Thanks again. CK
 

Frank DeWitt

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/17/2019
Re: vintage vibrator type inverters

My first car (a 56 Pontiac) had a vibrator equipped tube radio. A couple of benefits. Turn the key and hear the vibrator, OK the battery is good, the radio is on and all is well. Start the car. No sound from the radio yet, so I can listen to the engine, make sure it is running smooth. Check the oil pressure gauge, then let out the clutch and drive away. Once I have gone through all the gears and am cursing down the road the tubes are warmed up and the radio comes on.

I still like a time delay to listen to the engine, but now it isn't automatic. I need to turn the radio off.
 

Troll

Registered
Last Subscription Date
08/10/2017
I still have an old 120VAC generator from a 12VDC supply which works. I'm thinking it was marketed by Coleman but I'll have to look. Sounds like a very fast timer when it's running too. Haven't used it for anything myself but to light a lamp to ensure it worked.

My 55 Bel-Air had a vibrator tube radio. Took about two minutes before it would allow the radio to work, but it did work well.
 
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