1934 Airline 62-135
This is the "before" photo from the guy who had it listed for sale.
All it needed was some TLC!
In February of 1998, I welcomed this stranger to the Sparkbench for a long-deserved recuperation from all that ailed it. You can see in the original photo that it got bounced around somewhere and lost a big chunk out of the bottom trim, not to mention other ailments. The radio has BC/SW coverage. The SW band goes from 5.5 to 16.0 Mcs taking in all of the "usable" shortwave spectrum in those days. The tube complement is a 80 rectifier, 57 1st Detector, 27 Oscillator, 58 IF, 2A5 2nd Detector-amp and 2A6 Audio output. That 2A6 will run you out of the room at quarter-volume on local stations! It uses an IF Frequency of 370 kcs (see comments below). The cabinet is a nice veneer that came back to a beautiful finish. I didn't gob it down with varnish because a thin couple of coats still nicely showed the texture on the front and I decided that I couldn't do better than that. You can't tell in the "before" photo but it has a nice two-tone front panel.
I replaced the damaged trim around the bottom with a nice, carved molding, that ain't original, but looks quite at home.
The radio came with 2 plastic "Airline" knobs (broken), and an odd wooden one, none of which originally belonged to the radio. I had to opt for a nice replacement set of matching wooden knobs. They too look right at home.
Now here's where the "purist" type collectors can quit reading....The radio had a bad case of rusty chassis which took some severe cleaning. Had to dismount IF cans, etc. to grind it off with a wire brush on the drill. It came out looking pretty battle-weary so I gave it a coat of good quality grey epoxy paint to protect it for the next 60 years. Actually it looks quite nice, although kinda Navy-ish, but the professionals would have done something like send it to another professional to re-plate (or dump it to me on eBay). On the bright side, however, the grill cloth is original and in good shape.
She's had all her capacitors replaced along with all the resistors and plays admirably well. Speaker wire needed some repair also. It wanted to squeal and howl at first, but I realized that the IF cans and tube sockets on the corroded/painted chassis weren't providing a decent ground, so I had to go back and put lockwashers on everything (and ground the ground lugs on the shielded tube sockets which was NOT done during original manufacture). Also found the tone switch on the back panel to have been mis-wired and non-functional. Now its as stable as any radio. It plays nicely but isn't as sensitive as some others. It prefers a good long antenna, no 6 foot indoor wire except for local stations.
Update 18 June 1998
I found out why this bugger didn't want to play as good as it should. After twiddling the IF and toying with the ant input coil, it became clear that I was getting "overloaded" by the local AM station on 1370. To make matters worse, there's a nearby station on 1000 and the combination of the two runs right thru the 370 kc IF. I realigned it for around 355 kc and now she sounds great. This (in these days) is a bad choice for IF freq because the combination could occur anywhere. I've also got fairly strong AM stations at 1030 and 970. Another problem is aircraft beacon interference. We've got a strong one here at 390 or 393 kc.
Return to Sparkbench Home Page