Old, ehr, vintage Radios

My very first experiences with electronics came when I was about 10 years old and I took apart an old radio. A few years later, I had advanced to rebuilding old radios, usually into guitar amplifiers, which I sold to school-mates, who were forming rock-bands. Those days (around  1963) any kid who could sing or play a couple of notes (and quite a few who couldn't), got together with two or three others and formed  a rock-band. Then their great Xmas whish would be an electric guitar. Many actually got them, as their parents thought that as long as they had no amplifier, the noise problem would be small, - and this was where I came in! Fortunately, I had the good luck not to electrocute any of my "customers" as they were practicing on moist basement floors with poorly isolated home-made amp's (really, the way most of them were playing, a few electric shocks might have done much to improve their music).

That was the background. But as you know, anything "old" will become "antique" or "vintage" if you wait long enough. Nowadays I do not tamper with old radios, I collect vintage radios;  - sounds better, doesn't it? Also, it is much less messy.

To avoid filling up the house, I try to adhere to the following rules for candidates for my collection:

My sources for these radios are, of course, flea markets, jumble sales, and so-called "antiques" shops, and also gifts from friends. Apparantly, there is a lot of stuff still sitting around in dark corners of attics and cellars.

View my collection

Tube data

Tube conversion tables Euro to US and Vice versa


I intend to write some articles on radio technology and restoration. This is what I have done so far:

A beginner's guide to Electrolytic Capacitors - What makes those "cans" tick, and how not to make them blow up.

A beginner's guide to Tuned Circuits - What are all those coils really there for?

A beginners's guide to the Superheterodyne Receiver Principle - Most receivers are built that way, but why?

Some More Superheterodyne Concepts - AGC, power supplies.

What's inside vacuum tubes? - Tubes are our game, but how do they really work?

Vacuum tube biasing methods - A somewhat biased account ;-)

Amplifiers - How do amplifiers work?

The radio restorer's workbench - Which equipment is essential for the radio restorer?