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Gary Breaux's Vintage Philco Radios
Thoughts and Guidance


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If you have accessed this tab you may be looking for guidance. I have been in the hobby for one year. The people I seek advice from were, in many cases, original radio repair guys. They are the experts! I will share some of the mistakes "newbies" make while they are fresh on my mind. Please see my RELATED LINKS tab for real help.

These tips and techniques are geared toward those entering the hobby. They contain equal parts opinion, experience, and facts. I have confirmed all technical aspects with the professionals.


1. Safety First. These old sets are high voltage appliances and the grounding is sometime questionable. With voltage in excess of 300 volts in certain parts of the radio safety is critical!

2. If you are new to the hobby buy working radios. It is easier, at first, and more satisfying to improve a working set than to bring to life a set that could have multiple issues. Mature into dealing with none working sets.

3. Ok, you ignored tip #2. Fight the urge to fire-up your new set. You may literally do just that!

4. A good visual inspection is in order. This will require disassembly and some good common sense. Clean the dust, look for disconnected wires, look for burned/charred components, and look for broken/blackened loosely seated tubes.

5. Clean the switches and moving components (tuning capacitor) with a TV tuner cleaner (Radio Shack).

6. Gradually bring the power up using a Variac (variable voltage regulator) or a homemade dim bulb series choke (see the RELATED LINKS tab and go to The Philco Repair Bench).

7. Working or not, you will want to take some voltage reading on the tube pins. Now you will need to access the RELATED LINKS page, "Radio Forums" offering, and we will guide you along. For goodness sake please be aware that some reading are in DC and some are in AC. (Stupid mistake that cost me weeks and, though they did not express it, the aggravation of the Forum members helping me.

8. OK! It works pretty well but needs improving or it makes some noise but no reception. You will now probably need an electrical schematic. The links on this site are an excellent source. If you cannot find your radio please e-mail me. I have a complete set of Rider's Perpetual Trouble Shooter's Manuals. I will be glad to share the information!

9. More to come. Check back.

List of Basic Tools

Soldering Iron
Long-nose pliers
Diagonal wire cutters
Wire strippers
Nut driver set
Phillips and standard screwdrivers
inch soft bristle paintbrush
Compressed air
Auto ranging multi-meter
Variable Voltage Regulator
GFI Outlet

Basic Tools and Supplies

List of Basic Supplies

Electrical solder
TV tuner cleaner
Electrical tape
Garbage bag ties (wire markers etc...)
Assorted high voltage capacitors
Assortment of resistors

Click on the Icon Below for an Excellent Vintage Radio Glossary of Terms.