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Can someone explain how to set radio stations in a 1948 Commander?

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  • Other: Can someone explain how to set radio stations in a 1948 Commander?

    I bought a 1948 Commander. The radio works, but I don't know how to tune in or set the radio stations with the buttons. The owners manual doesn't address it. Thanks.

  • #2
    I don't know about a 48 specifically but most of the radios you tune the station you want and press the button in and hold until you hear the station again it may take 2 or 3 seconds.

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    • #3
      Paging Radio Roy.

      Bob Miles

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      • #4
        I could be wrong as it has been 60 Years since I had a '47-'52 Stude. with a Philco Push Button Radio, but I seem to remember that the END of the Push buttons unscrew? to get it in the "Set" mode, unlike the Newer ones that the whole Button has to be wiggled and pulled OUT then pushed IN, to set.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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        • #5
          Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
          I could be wrong as it has been 60 Years since I had a '47-'52 Stude. with a Philco Push Button Radio, but I seem to remember that the END of the Push buttons unscrew? to get it in the "Set" mode, unlike the Newer ones that the whole Button has to be wiggled and pulled OUT then pushed IN, to set.
          Thanks for that possibility(?) Rich. When I bought my '48 Business Coupe (1987), it was equipped with a period correct aftermarket Motorola. A year or two after I had totally restored the car, I found a correct NOS '48 Philco radio in its original box at the Charlotte Auto Fair swap meet. I have never figured out how to do the pre-sets, and too proud to admit I hadn't figured it out. The manual for the radio was missing from the box. I'd still like to have RadioRoy input.
          John Clary
          Greer, SC

          SDC member since 1975

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          • #6
            47-49 radio:
            The big knob in the center is the manual tuning. Push it in to engage manual tuning, let it pop out and turn it to set the station.
            The small black buttons are the push button presets. Push one in and turn the tip of the knob to set a station.
            The small black buttons and the big manual tuning knob are essentially the same except that the push buttons have finer threads than the manual tuning knob.
            CAUTION: if any of these knobs or button tips begin to be hard to turn, then STOP turning them. The mechanism is fussy and easily broken.

            Early 50 with odd number of buttons:
            Push a button in, let it pop out and turn the tip to set the station.
            The right-most button engages the manual tuning knob. Push that button in and tune the radio with the manual tuning knob.
            CAUTION: if any of these knobs or button tips begin to be hard to turn, then STOP turning them. The mechanism is fussy and easily broken.

            Later 50 and all 51-52 with EVEN number of buttons:
            Tune the station manually
            loosen a button by turning it CCW a few turns
            push the button it
            let it out again
            tighten it by turning it CW until it is snug. Do not force it

            The 47-49 and the early 50 have very delicate/fussy tuning mechanisms that can easily be broken by being ham-fisted and forcing them when they get stuck.

            On the early 50 with the odd number of buttons, and on any manual tuning 50-52, do NOT pull the manual tuning knob off. It is not supposed to be pulled off from the front. Doing so will break the clips holding the knob on, and/or destroy the string on the manual tuning radios.
            Last edited by RadioRoy; 11-07-2020, 09:02 AM.
            RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

            17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
            10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
            10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
            4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
            5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
            56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
            60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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            • #7
              Originally posted by altair View Post
              I don't know about a 48 specifically but most of the radios you tune the station you want and press the button in and hold until you hear the station again it may take 2 or 3 seconds.
              That's for modern digital radios with electric push buttons. No factory Studebakers radios were ever that new or worked that way.
              Last edited by RadioRoy; 11-04-2020, 07:36 AM.
              RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

              17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
              10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
              10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
              4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
              5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
              56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
              60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

              Comment


              • #8
                I have a Studebaker Philco Model AC 2300*** out of a 1954 Studebaker and to set the push buttons you tune the desired station pull the button tab out then push it all the way in to lock it on the station.

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                • #9
                  Wow, thanks so much for all of your inputs. Radio Roy, it seems your input is probably how it needs to be done. Can't wait until I have the time to try it. I will let everyone know how it turns out.

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                  • #10
                    With this forums help I was able to tune in radio stations using the center knob by pushing it in and then turning. I'm still unable to set the other smaller knobs. I am afraid of trying to turn them and breaking something. I can live with that though. Thanks everyone for your help.

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                    • #11
                      Just the tips of the push buttons turn, not the whole button. Look at the buttons closely.
                      RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                      17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                      10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                      10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                      4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                      5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                      56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                      60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hope this may be helpful.....

                        Click image for larger version

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                        So.....if I'm 'pre-approved' why do you want me to fill out an application?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dwain G. View Post
                          Hope this may be helpful.....

                          Click image for larger version

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Views:	106
Size:	109.5 KB
ID:	1864179
                          Thanks, Dwain! In all these years I have been an SDC member I have never seen this instruction information. Not wanting to harm my radio, I have always used the center manual knob to find stations. Of course, with the radio being AM only, I'm not sure there are enough local AM stations within range to use up all the presets. None the less, having the instructions of exactly how this thing is adjusted is important to increase the likelihood of keeping the radio intact and working. I have printed a copy of your instruction sheet and will put it in the glove compartment.
                          John Clary
                          Greer, SC

                          SDC member since 1975

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                          • #14
                            That was taken from an original AC-1387 owner's manual/installation manual available from http://studebakerdriversclub.com/Stu...rtemplates.asp
                            Be sure to read Roy's cautions about those little knobs.
                            Last edited by Dwain G.; 11-07-2020, 07:28 PM.
                            So.....if I'm 'pre-approved' why do you want me to fill out an application?

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