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6volt positive ground radio

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  • 6volt positive ground radio

    Just picked up a very nice 55 radio. I know I need a converter that will reduce voltage from 12v to 6v if I use it in a 12v system, but do I need to do anything about the positive to negative ground change?
    64 Champ long bed V8
    55/53 Studebaker President S/R
    53 Hudson Super Wasp Coupe

  • #2
    The radio doesn't care what polarity is sees if it still has the point type vibrator in it. If the vibrator has been replaced with a solid state unit, the polarity is critical. Bud

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    • #3
      Not if it has a mechanical vibrator tube. If its been replaced with a solid state one, you need to check if its positive or negative polarity. The ones I have seen are marked. You can swap it out for a negative ground one if need be. The rest of the radio won't care. The tube filaments are heated from the 6v and not polarity sensitive. The B+ supply in the radio is created by the vibrator tube and a transformer. The rectifier tube is set up to produce positive voltage so the radio is using negative ground internally no matter what polarity the 6v supply is. The mechanical vibrator tube is not polarity sensitive but the solid state ones are. They will be damaged if hooked up wrong.

      Has the radio been restored or otherwise serviced? From personal experience with the '53-'55 radios, it may not be in working order if its been dormant for decades. The mechanical vibrator tubes can get corrosion on the points and not "buzz". Dried out electrolytic capacitors and leaky paper foil ones may mean the radio has a bad hum or other ills too. The one I have in my '53 looked mint when I got it and must have been pulled out of a car and stored somewhere clean and dry for a long time. The vibrator tube was dead and so were many capacitors. I ended up replacing most of the capacitors and using a solid state vibrator tube. Had to replace the speaker too. It worked but was a little scratchy.

      I am running that 8 tube radio with 6v negative ground off a home-made power converter. The 6 tube radios will draw about 5-6A on 6.5v and the 8 tube radio from 7-8A.

      Jeff in ND

      '53 Champion Hardtop

      Jeff in ND

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      • #4
        Jeff H is correct, the radio needs to be rebuilt for it to operate correctly. It will need new capacitors, all out of tolerance resistors replaced, the tubes checked and the bad ones replaced and the circuit will have to be realigned. I've rebuilt a bunch of the tube type Stude radios and they have all needed those parts and service. Your radio may work, but it won't be for long and not as well as it should, and there is a good possibility that it won't work at all without service. Bud

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        • #5
          quote:Originally posted by Bud

          Jeff H is correct, the radio needs to be rebuilt for it to operate correctly. It will need new capacitors, all out of tolerance resistors replaced, the tubes checked and the bad ones replaced and the circuit will have to be realigned. I've rebuilt a bunch of the tube type Stude radios and they have all needed those parts and service. Your radio may work, but it won't be for long and not as well as it should, and there is a good possibility that it won't work at all without service. Bud
          Maybe go the route below-- 12volt conversion board
          I charge $375 to install the conversion board. The conversion board provides for AM, FM, audio input, and up to 4 speaker output at 45 watts each. If you go with the built-in speaker, the conversion board would be programmed for mono operation. Modern 3-way 50 watt speakers usually fit nicely into radios of this vintage and sound a lot better than the originals. A decent pair of Sony speakers can usually be bought at Walmart for ~$50 (I could buy them and use one in your radio and charge $25 for the speaker).
          Rene,
          South Texas Antique Electronics
          64 Champ long bed V8
          55/53 Studebaker President S/R
          53 Hudson Super Wasp Coupe

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