MacFadden battery eliminator

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MacFadden battery eliminator

Post by Rich K. on Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:26 pm

Has anybody heard the brand-name "Mac Fadden" (Philadelphia, PA) before? I just finished repairing a Mac Fadden "Model 5 B-Power Generator" (battery eliminator). Pretty neat item, actually. It uses a standard 201-A tube as a rectifier, if you can believe it, and rather than having binding posts to attach wires to from your radio, it has a cable coming out the back that has three conductors (B-/A+, B+ detector, and B+ amplifier). The controls are two carbon-pile rheostats, one for the rectifier filament control, and one for the detector. To operate, according to the instruction label inside the lid, you connect the output cable to the radio, turn the "detector" knob on the eliminator up to maximum, back the rectifier filament control off five full turns, turn the radio's tube filaments on, plug the battery eliminator in (there is no on/off switch), turn the rectifier filament control up until "a familiar rushing sound is heard in the radio loudspeaker", tune in a "signal of moderate volume", and adjust both knobs on the battery eliminator for "the most pleasing sound, not necessarily the greatest volume".

Repairs consisted of replacing the power cord and output cable, repairing and/or replacing wires with brittle and cracking insulation, and putting a globe-type '01A tube in the socket. Controls are a bit twitchy (I hooked it up to a volt-meter), but it DOES put out fairly steady voltages (I say "fairly", because it varies a few fractions of a volt once adjusted).

Rich K.
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