1940 DeForest Radio

This 1940 DeForest 10da561, made for DeForest Radio by Rogers-Majestic.  The cabinet is original as found. 

I had the radio for many years and could not solve a severe distortion (garbled sound) problem,  I recently found the schematic on an RCC CD (see links). 

It turns out that someone had removed the power transformer and was running the thing hot - no it wasn't an AC DC set as I assumed (an ass of you and me).  At first I thought that I had the wrong schematic, after all my radio had no power transformer.  Closer inspection revealed several holes hiding under the dust where the transformer had been mounted.

This radio uses series wired heater filaments - so the original Mr. Fixit thought he could just run the rest of the circuit live.  Unfortunately he didn't get the audio grid biasing right, thus the garbled sound distortion.

After about a week of re-wiring (adding a transformer) and undoing the original re-wire job, I got it running - a very nice radio. I used a small 115v bathroom shaver isolation transformer.  The original used a 240v centertap transformer to get full wave rectification - but a slightly larger filter cap and half wave works just dandy.

 By the way the knobs are not the ones that were on the radio, they are however original.  I had bought a 50's Canadian Philips radio/phono unit - just for parts.  Turns out after talking to a collector in BC with the same radio it had the correct knobs for my DeForest.  Apparently Philips had bought Rogers and probably continued to use some of the old Rogers stock for a long time to come.


1925 Gilfillan Model 10

A good friend of my wife's found this radio for $35.00 at a yard sale in 1989. 

The case is solid walnut (no veneer).  The radio had stood up to time well, but the lid had become badly warped, the feet were broken & the front panel had been destroyed by someone trying to restore it.

I quickly set out to get a good set of 01A's for it and to build a power supply for it.  That got the radio running quickly enough, but what to do about the front panel?  I had no idea what the original looked like.  I decided to make a glass panel for the front.  This would allow you to see the neat insides and the tuning dial.  The only hard part here was drilling 2 holes for the tuning adjustments in the glass, but that turned out to be very easy with a drill press, lots of water and masonry bits.

My friend and fellow radio enthusiast Mark offered to help me make a new lid to replace the warped one.  Well after waiting 9 years for the nice piece of walnut he found for me to dry, we finally made the lid.

The radio itself is quite interesting, using the Neutrodyne patents to neutralize the feedback in the RF amplifiers.  Unlike a typical Neutrodyne, it only has 2 tuning adjustments as opposed to the typical 3 individual adjustments.  They managed to keep it neutralized with 2 of the tuning capacitors ganged. Sounds like a good idea, but that trick makes it very difficult to align, keeping it stable and sensitive.



Amplion AR19 Horn Speaker

My friend Mark and I found this speaker at Waddingtons auction hall in Toronto in 1989.  It was in good condition, only needing re-gluing at the wood petals where the original glue had let go. 

We were exploring junk shops down on Queen St,  hoping to find something interesting.  Well this was it; the only problem was I had to come to the auction to bid on it.  After considering things, I figured get it now or I will never find one again (or one I can afford).

The day of the auction I had to pick a customer up at the airport - just maybe the auctioneers would move it up to the start of the auction if I asked - leaving enough time to get to the airport.  Sure enough they did, it became item #11, I will never forget that.  

The auctioneer started "And now, here we have an Amplion Thing, do we have a dollar?".  Before I had a chance to get my finger up, there were at least five other fingers up.  The bidding went fast and furious - my heart raced.  I had given myself an arbitrary limit of $150 - which was a huge amount of money compared to what I had ever spent on a radio.  After all not too many years earlier I was still having people give them to me, before they became trendy.

Well as luck happened I was able to bluff the other people into believing that I had deep pockets by making a couple of large bids towards the end.   It was Mine for $150, just what I had hoped for. 

Afterwards I spoke with the auctioneer, he asked me in a most surprised manner what on earth it was.  He had no idea what it was.  It certainly wasn't his idea of an antique.

It has now proudly found its permanent home on the Gilfillan model 10.


1928 Splitdorf Abbey

This radio marks the beginning of my current radio collection.  While still living at home I had started a large collection of radios and other electronic stuff, most of which was tube operated.  The pile of stuff didn't sit well with my parents who got me to sell all of it at a the local flea market.

About 2 years after moving out of home I spotted this radio.  It was in sorry shape electrically, a previous Mr. Fixit had decided to repair it by re-wiring the whole circuit into an unbelievable mess.  I spent several weeks undoing the mess (with out a schematic handy) until I got it running.  I am sure the circuit is not original, but it has worked reliably for 18 years, and so it stays.

The construction is very elaborate; power supply on the bottom, featuring a huge torroidal power transformer beside the #80 rectifier; the rest of the circuitry is distributed between large copper plates, on top of which the tubes sit under a nickel plated & printed cover plate.

The radio was missing a tuner knob until I found a matching one at the 2002 AWA flea market in Rochester this fall. Until then I had given hope of ever finding a matching knob.

It is shown here with the Radiola 100 speaker that it was found with.