Before the transistor, microchip, internet or television, there was … the vacuum tube (1/100)

Before the transistor, microchip, internet or television, there was … the vacuum tube (1/100)

100 x (around the house photos) 1/100

The recent cold snap that’s hit eastern Canada drove me to pursue indoor projects. One of those is refurbishing an antique 1935 Crosley Buccanner radio. I’ll document it with the odd picture over the next few months.

First step was to check over the wiring, some of which I had to replace when I initially acquired the radio in 2005. Then it was time to remove, dust off and inspect all the vacuum tubes and shielding. Then using a variable transformer the voltage was slowly raised from 0 to 110volts, and after ~20 minutes of warming up the tubes I was able to pull in some local AM radio stations. Not bad from my desk in the basement with some stripped wire for an antenna. Thankfully I kept my original notes and research, from when I spent about 2-months on the project in 2005 and then had to drop it for more pressing matters.

The radio originally sold for $36 in 1935, That’s about $600 in today’s dollars. A major purchase for a family to make, but in those days the radio was central to most families as the sole source of real-time news and entertainment and probably had more of an impact than any single computer or TV would in today’s household.

The Crosley 635 brings in the AM radio band, MF and low HF radio bands. There was no FM radio bands in the 1930s. AM radio was for local/regional stations and MF/HF would bring in the national and international radio stations. MF/HF were also the frequency range where the police departments used to operate – with the big whip antennas on the tops of their cars.

I consider it a New Year’s resolution, after several years of procrastination, to have the radio fully restored and on a shelf in the house, this year.

Posted by Jamie McCaffrey on 2014-01-06 05:03:22

Tagged: , 100 x: The 2014 Edition , 100x:2014 , 635 , antique , Buccaneer , crosley , d600 , dial , frequency , Image 1/100 , nikon , radio , tube , vacuum tube , week1theme , 50mm , long duration