Dave’s Antique Radio & TV Restorations


I electronically restore antique or vintage electronics. The years I prefer to specialize in are from 1920 to about 1975. Usually an antique is 100 years old or older. But when talking about antique radios 25 years or older are thought of as an antique radio by some. To me if it has tubes only and no transistors or PC boards, it’s an antique radio. In 2020 some radios finally became real antiques. Commercial radio broadcasts started in 1920.

The circuitry in early radios was hand wired and soldered. Much later radios had printed circuit boards. I think PC (printed circuit) boards started to be used in the 1950s.

Many of the problems with these old radios were with the waxy paper capacitors and the old electrolytic capacitors. Something happens to these capacitors over time that turns them into either low value resistors or nothing at all. That is kind of like the shelf life of a battery. So all the paper and electrolytic capacitors need to be replaced to get vintage electronic items working correctly. This is a part of the electronic restoration that I have started to call “step 1” recently. Most of the time step 1 is all that’s necessary. But not always.

There were a lot more waxy paper capacitors used in radios and TVs made from the 1920s until later in the 1950s when ceramic disc capacitors started to be used instead some of the problematic paper capacitors. But by the mid to late 1960s there were very few paper capacitors in radios and TVs. A few manufacturers continued to use some of them into the mid 1970s. But for the most part they were gone by then, leaving the electrolytic capacitors. Electrolytic capacitors in sets made in the 1960s and 1970s are so old now that they will need to be replaced. But amazingly some are still good. So they’re usually the capacitors than need to be replaced to get those sets working again.

Commercial TV broadcasting started in the late 1940s. TVs, from that time had very small tv screens but very large chassis. They were “loaded” with paper and electrolytic capacitors. A TV from that time has about 55 capacitors to replace. But, as with radios, the number of paper capacitors used was steadily reduced over time when they were replaced with ceramic disc capacitors. But old electrolytic capacitors still need to be replaced.

Anyway, I’ll add more to this page over time. So for now please use the menus located at the upper right and lower left on every page to navigate this site. Check my posts, the links are down below for the latest news about my site. If you wish to post, please do that on my FB page, use the FB chat feature or send me an eMail message. The links to all of these can be found on my About page.

And as always, I hope that you choose me to electronically restore your Antique radios, Antique Car Radios, Antique TVs, vintage electronic record players and vintage guitar amplifiers. Thanks.

Two Philco Predicta TVs
Radio “after” picture
Another radio chassis after capacitor replacement
A record player
A customer’s Motorola Portable stereo record player.