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Old 03-12-2013, 03:58 PM   #1
34hardhead
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Default Advice on bench testing 34 ford radios

I have several 1934 ford radios that i want to sell on Ebay.
I want to see if they work first, can I connect the wire comming out of the radio to the positive lead of a 6 volt battery charger. and the black side of the charger to the frame or bracket of the radio. Take a look at the pictures to see if I am going to do harm to the radio.
Thanks for any advice
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:13 PM   #2
gearhead1952
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Default Re: Advice on bench testing 34 ford radios

I don't think I would use a battery charger as some don't really have a set output voltage. I use a 6v battery when I test them. The old cars with these radios have a positive ground not negative ground so you want positive to go to the case of the radio. Also the radio is going to pull a good 5-10 amps. fyi

Last edited by gearhead1952; 03-12-2013 at 04:14 PM. Reason: add info
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: Advice on bench testing 34 ford radios

Quote:
Originally Posted by 34hardhead View Post
I have several 1934 ford radios that i want to sell on Ebay.
I want to see if they work first, can I connect the wire comming out of the radio to the positive lead of a 6 volt battery charger. and the black side of the charger to the frame or bracket of the radio. Take a look at the pictures to see if I am going to do harm to the radio.
Thanks for any advice
Looks like a 35 radio to me. Be sure and use a fuse.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Advice on bench testing 34 ford radios

Don't think I would use a battery charger by its self.,could burn up a good radio,no very pure D C.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:03 AM   #5
34hardhead
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Default Re: Advice on bench testing 34 ford radios

Sounds like I should Replace the charger with a good 6 volt battery.

The positive ground is very different to me, sounds like the hot side of the battery goes to the case and the negative side goes to the wire with the fuse?
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: Advice on bench testing 34 ford radios

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Old 03-13-2013, 02:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Advice on bench testing 34 ford radios

If you hook them to a battery you will probably do harm to them, making a good rebuildable radio into an expensive rebuild for someone else. Find someone in your area that works on antique tube type radios and let them test them. The vibrators rarely work in them anymore and the filter capacitors are almost gauranteed to be shot.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Advice on bench testing 34 ford radios

Very rarely will you damage a radio hooking it up to a battery. In most cases it will either go or it won't, usually the latter.

The high voltage, wax encapsulated capacitors will usually be faulty and need replacing along with the main filter capacitor and often the vibrator will not function due to dirty or corroded points. All the above are repairable and just take time to do the work.

So in 99% of cases even if you hook a battery up in reverse polarity you will still not damage a valve radio. Many valve car radios will operate in both polarity configurations without modification.

The same cannot be said of Transistorised radios many of which will be rendered useless if connected to power in reverse polarity, mainly because they run on smoke, and if you reverse the polarity this will let the smoke out and I don't know anyone who can put the smoke back successfully
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Advice on bench testing 34 ford radios

The modern solid state vibrator replacements are polarity sensitive. The old genuine PDC vibrators not so much as long as the points & cap are working. I always loved the buzz those old vibrators made. You could tell it was working.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: Advice on bench testing 34 ford radios

no problem, you can use the 6v charger
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:51 PM   #11
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Default Testing Radios

Guys in the car radio business have a procedure to bring them up from 0 volts after checking the vibrators and caps. Just because you get away with sloppy procedures does not make it a good idea. Depends on how much you value the radios. If I were a buyer, I'd prefer an untested core.. I do understand the curiosity. Good Luck: Fred A
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