Car Radio Services
Original Radio Repair
I repair/restore all tube-type car radios from the 1930's onward and AM and AM/FM mono transistor sets up to ~1970.
Due to the high failure rate of original electrolytic and paper capacitors, these must be replaced to get a radio working and keep it working!
The following is the work I perform as part of my basic restoration package:
- Clean chassis as necessary.
- Replace all electrolytic capacitors.
- Replace all paper capacitors including buffer capacitor.
- Test vibrator, replace with solid state unit if not working.
- Replace up to 2 dial lamps.
- Clean/lubricate volume and tone controls.
- Lubricate tuning/push button mechanisms.
- Tube set basic restorations: $120.
- Transistor set basic restorations: AM only - $100, AM/FM mono - $120.
Services that may be needed above a basic restoration to get your radio working:
- Any burned out resistors or resistors that have changed in value so much that the set won't work properly: $5 per resistor (very few sets need any resistor replacement).
- Vibrators: I no longer attempt to repair original vibrators. If your vibrator is not working, I will install a solid state board in your original vibrator for $35.
- Output transformer: cost plus 10% (fairly easy to obtain).
- Power transformer: $25 (taken from a parts set).
- IF transformers suffering from "silver migration disease": $25 to rebuild (remove old silver/mica wafers and install new ceramic caps).
Note: silver migration causes static bursts across the dial as well as other sound effects similar to the static lightning tends to generate with AM radios.
- Tubes (Note: tubes are rarely bad!):
- NOS: cost plus 10% (I use tubesandmore.com as a reference).
- Used (from my inventory): 1/2 NOS cost.
- 0Z4 rectifier solid state replacement: $15.
- Transistors (Note: sometimes germanium ouput transistors are bad):
- NOS: if one can be found - cost plus 10%.
- Used (from my inventory): Output transistors - ~$20, others ~$10.
- Repair with parts on hand: $25.
- Replace with NOS (if it can be found): cost plus 10%.
Services that are completely optional (i.e. not needed to get the radio operating):
- Metal case sandblasting/etch priming/painting: $25.
- Cosmetic cleaning (knobs, push buttons, bezels, dials, etc): $20.
- Cosmetic repairs (plastic dial inlay painting, etc.): $20.
- Dial re-stringing: $10.
- Mechanical repairs to push button mechanisms: determined based on magnitude of problem.
- Knobs/push buttons:
- I have the capability of making molds to duplicate certain knobs and push buttons (see the "Advanced restoration techniques" page).
- These knobs will be unfinished...you can paint them as required or until you procure an original.
- If I have to make a knob/push button from scratch (I need a pattern first): $25.
- If I already have a mold: $10.
Audio input jack installation:
- I offer the installation of an audio input cable in your original radio.
- You simply connect your portable audio player's headphone or line-out jack to the 12" audio input cable (you will need to buy a male-male cable.) You even use your radio's volume and tone controls!
- My input cables now come with a pre-amplifier! This overcomes the limited volume issue that was present with some non-amplified installations.
- When you want to listen to local programming, simply unplug the extension cable from the input cable and tuck the input cable out of the way.
- The cost of this installation is $50.
FM module add-on:
- I now offer an FM module that can be installed in your original radio.
- The current version works with push button pre-set type radios from the 1940's and 1950's.
- The left side push button is used to select the AM band and the right side push button is used to select the FM band.
- I'm currently working on a version that uses the on-off switch to change bands.
- This installation (with audio input capability) costs $175. Note: your radio will also need to be rebuilt as well.
12-to-6 volt regulators:
- This for those who wish to run their original 6 volt radio on a 12 volt negative ground system.
- The regulator can also be used to power those original dash gauges!
- The regulator generates heat and must be mounted on a metal surface away from plastic, rubber, etc.
- The cost of a regulator is $50.
I offer the installation of quality conversion boards by Antique Automobile Radios, Inc. to upgrade your original radio with modern-day electronics and features:
- I perform conversions on ANY radio up to ~1970.
- Use your original radio and controls!
- A conversion board provides for AM, FM, audio input, stereo sound, and front/rear speaker capability (45 watts per speaker).
- Original electronics are removed. Case cleaning/painting is extra.
- Conversions start at $375. Signal seeking radios start at $400.
- I can also interface built-in 8-track players to work with the stereo board!
- For those who have a radio with a built-in speaker (i.e. many of the Delcos and Mopars) and do not want to install external speakers, I can replace the old speaker with an upgraded speaker unit. Original speakers cannot handle the power of the stereo board so this is highly recommended. Upgraded speaker installation (single) is $75.
- Voltage boosters and inverters are also available to run your conversion radio with 6 volt systems (positive and negative ground).
I also restore all tube-type antique home electronics...consoles, tombstones, cathedrals, clock radios, and televisions
Did you inherit a nice old radio from your parents or grandparents? Or found a really neat looking radio at a garage sale, antique store or flea market?
Well that fine piece of electronics history can be brought back to life!
- Radio restoration includes replacement of all electrolytic and paper capacitors
- The restoration cost is a function of the tube count...provide the model number and call for an estimate.
- I now service "Silver Age" jukeboxes (jukes of the 1950's).
- This includes Seeburg B/BL/J/HF100G etc, Rockola 1446 (see my "Examples" page), Wurlitzer 2300, etc.
- I rebuild amps as well as other components/modules.
- Call or email for an estimate.
- Late 1940's and 1950's tv's require all electrolytic and paper capacitors to be replaced and there tends to be a lot of them!
- The actual cost will be a function of the specific model but generally the restoration cost will start at $200.
- I also restore the iconic and cool Philco Predictas!
- These are difficult sets to work on but I modify the sets the way Philco should have done in the first place: the circuit board is made removable, and failure- prone tube sockets are replaced with new ceramic sockets.
- Restorations start at $300...not cheap but you will get significantly enhanced reliability.
- But what to watch on your "analogue" relic? Any dvd/vcr player with RF output will work. Procure an "agile modulator" and you can broadcast any channel in your house feeding a DVD player/satellite receiver/cable box etc!
- I can perform restoration work on your cabinet...veneer repairs, complete refinishing with toner and overcoat lacquers, decal replacement, dial replacement, grille cloth replacement, speaker repairs, etc.
- Restoration costs will be determined by the work that needs to be performed.
If you have any questions regarding my restoration services, please do not hesitate to contact me! Also, if you have a special restoration need, let me know and maybe I'll be able to work something out.