Figuring out the types of tubes needed for radio in 1954 chevy pickup

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Figuring out the types of tubes needed for radio in 1954 chevy pickup

Post by captain reid on Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:28 pm

Hi all: I am new to this forum and enter with zilch knowledge about tube radios. I have a stock tube radio in my 1954 chevy pick up. The truck radio operates off of a 6-volt system. Over the years the radio has become weaker. I finally pulled it our recently and took it apart to clean it and to see what the inside looks like. Bear with me as I describe the glass tubes inside.

Total tubes: 5

1 Large Tube - Delco 188-20 3-56. This tube has 8 prongs. Actually one prong has apprently fallen out so I have 7 are 7 prongs and a hole for the 8th

4 smaller tubes that are the same size with 7 prongs. They each come from different companies. One is a GE and the number on the tube appears to be ?-22 188-5. Not sure whar the first character is. One is a sylvania GK, 6AV6. One is a Tung and the name of the forth is not readable.

I have not been able to find anyone who can help me figure out what the specs for these tubes are and where I can order them. The only identifyer on the radio itself is the number 3458 stamped on the metal box that houses the on/off knob, the tuning knob and piece with the radio station numberx. The connections inside the radio appear in good shape although some of the capacitors (?) are "yellowed".

It is obvious that I am far below a novice in the tube radio world and need any assistance anyone can give me.

Thanks so much

Reid

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Re: Figuring out the types of tubes needed for radio in 1954 chevy pickup

Post by Bill Cahill on Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:22 pm

Hi. Those are not the tube numbers. They are part numbers. More likely numbers would include 6BE6, 6AV6, 6BA6, 6V6, 0Z4, etc.
Tube pins not in don't mean they are bad. Alot of tubes don't use eight pins, so, mannufactured with less.
Sounds like an 0Z4 to me. Is it metal?
Weakness might simply mean the radio is over due for a rebuild. Capacitors, and, electrolytics need replacing in this set. Paper caps get electrically leaky, and, electrolytics dry out.
Likely the hv paper caps used in virbarator circuit are also on their last legs. Hey, you are lucky the vibrator even still works.
Good luck on rebuilding. When finnished, it should work well.
Bill Cahill

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1954 Chevy tube radio

Post by captain reid on Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:56 am

Bill - Thanks so much for your prompt reply. It is very helpful. Yes, the radio is metal

Since I am not a radio guy, do you have any idea where I can find replacement tubes. What numbers hould I use when ordering them. You mentioned 6BE6, 6AV6, 6BA6, 6V6, 0Z4. Unfortunately the tubes are too worn to see any of these.

You are righht, the internal electronics appear well worn, but I have no idea where replacement capacitors, and electrolytics can be found nor do I know how they should be installed.

Is there anyone with expertise whom I can send the radio to for overhaul - I would be glad to pay the market price for this work and would be glad to send the radio via fedex or some such delivery method.

Thanks again for the time you took to answer my post.

I am going to send you a picture of the radio shortly.

Reid

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Tried to send pics but no luck

Post by captain reid on Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:11 pm

Bill: tried to paste pics into the reply box, but no luck - tried tlo send to you via email but no luck. Any ideas?

Reid

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Re: Figuring out the types of tubes needed for radio in 1954 chevy pickup

Post by Bill Cahill on Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:30 pm

How are you trying to send them? You need a free internet photo album such as Photo Bucket. Download that, install pictures. You use the last link to put into your post.

Is there a tube chart?
Are there numbers etched in metal chassis by each socket?
Not sure who to reccommend. I have the ability, but, after the last one, I got burned out. Took alot of work, and, he kept breathing down my neck. I got so nervous I nearly quit.
He sure gave alot of trouble. He had to have it right away, then it ended up he wasn't going to install it for another year. Arghhh!!!!
Generally places like Atique Electronics Supply, or, Just Radios, Or, Allied Electronics.
Bill Cahill

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Re: Figuring out the types of tubes needed for radio in 1954 chevy pickup

Post by captain reid on Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:10 pm

Thanks so much for your help Bill

Reid

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Re: Figuring out the types of tubes needed for radio in 1954 chevy pickup

Post by willy3486 on Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:55 am

You can ship it out but someone close to you might be willing to help. You may want to post your location. Do you have a model number on the radio? I think I have the original Deco manuals on this radio. One of the shops I bought out was a auto radio repair shop and had some. My guess you may need more than tubes. The ones I have fixed usually needed some capacitors. I like auto radios once they are restored as they have a good sound.

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Re: Figuring out the types of tubes needed for radio in 1954 chevy pickup

Post by GaryRabbitt on Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:14 pm

Chances are your tubes are fine. Capacitors should be replaced. Your old mechanical vibrator should be replaced with a solid state one. Back in the day, I heard that a vibrator was given about an 18 month lifetime, due to the extremes it goes through.

The solid state ones run about $35 and plug right in.
Find someone that knows what they are doing and have it recapped. If you start messing around without a little knowlege, you can burn something our beyond repair.

I have recapped a few auto radios, and the diagram should be easy to find. Riders probably lists your set.
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