Restoration Resources

Tom's Top Picks

I've got some of my favorite radio restoration links here. Check them out!
Tom's Top Picks

Phil's Old Radios

Possibly the oldest antique radio web site on the internet. Phil has tons of great articles on how he restored vintage sets.There's lots of good info there, especially for newcomers to the hobby.

It is no coincidence that my restoration articles have a similar look and feel as Phil's. I love his site. If you do some exploring there, you'll be lost for days! Phil's Old Radios

Parts Resources

Usually, all an old tube radio needs to come back to life is a replacement of the old electrolytic and paper capacitors. A great source for these at good prices is WJOE Radio

Old Radio Restorations

Don't miss my other radio restorations - I have several listed on my "Projects" page. More…

RCA Model 67 QM77 M

My wife and I were visiting with neighbors Jon and Jane when I mentioned my interest in restoring old tube radios. Jon's eyes lit up and he told me about the collection of old radios he had. Jon is a video photographer and does camera work for commercials and documentaries. He had one job that required a bunch of old radios. So Jon went to an antique store and bought 5 or 6 for $5 each! (I wish I could find deals like that.)

Jon had a nice collection of radios - nothing really special though. But then he told me about the "huge" RCA he had got from his dad. Unfortunately, the radio had stopped working when he brought it back from Arkansas. I volunteered to look at it and see if I could fix it. After a few weeks to get a some projects out of the way, I brought this beast home to take a look.

What a neat radio. Although it said "RCA" on it, the radio had a definite European look. A label on the bottom told me that it had been "Made in Western Germany for Radio Fernseh Elektro G.m.b.H. An associated company of Radio Corporation of America." The radio is quite large -- at least 2 feet across and 14 inches tall.

Jon had pointed out what he thought might be the problem. The 6BE6 converter tube wasn't lighting up, although all the other tubes were. I checked the tube on my Heath TC-3 tube checker and it checked fine! I posted a request for information on the Antique Radio Forum and was told that the connections for the tube's heater must be broken. It was suggested that, even without a schematic, tracing the 6.3 volt connection to the tube should be fairly easy.

I sure didn't want to have to pull the chassis out of the cabinet. There were multiple controls protruding through the front and there were 5 (!) speakers, etc. Luckily, there was a removable access panel on the bottom of the cabinet.

The problem was quickly found. Sure enough, the wires had broken away from the socket of the "dead" tube where they attach to the heater connection on pins 3 and 4. I got brave, soldered them back where I thought they had to go, and success! The radio played nicely. The radio provides lots of audio and the 5 speakers sound super.

I did some research on the Internet and I found, as was suggested by a forum member, that this radio was actually manufactured for RFE, with RCA labeling, by Graetz of Germany.

The radio has nearly all American numbered tubes. Only the eye tube is a European type: 6BA6, 6BE6, 6X4, 6BA6, 6AV6, 6AQ5, and EM34. It covers the AM broadcast band and several shortwave bands up to 22 MHz.

I wasn't brave enough to try recapping this radio. It played quite well as it was and I didn't want to push my luck with someone else's radio. If Jon has any troubles with this radio in the future, I'm just across the street!

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