Learn How Your 5 Tube Radio Works

One of the most common radio designs of the 40's and 50's was what they called the 5 tube, AC-DC set. The tube lineup was almost always the same in whatever brand of receiver you bought. Again in most cases the radio was built for broadcast band service only but some added a few more parts and a band switch and they were in business with a shortwave/broadcast radio. The Hallicrafters S-38 series of radios was just that. A five tube all american wonder. Hallicrafters took that basic design, added a few coils and capacitors, a couple of neat little tricks and the S-38 was born. The first model had a separate BFO tube that was dropped in the later models but otherwise it was nothing more than a glorified five tuber.

I grew up in the age of tubes but many others out there look at tube sets as something of a mystery. Actually they are quite simple even though at times you can pull your hair out when troubleshooting a stuborn problem.

The book pictured at the right may be just what you need. Chapter 11 of this book covers the 5 tube AC/DC set, explaining each tube and its function in the set. But wait, there's much more. Here are some of the covered topics.

Choosing an Antique Radio
How Does A Radio Work?
Finding The Problem
Cabinet Repair & Refinishing
Receiver Theory
Your Electronics Shop

There's all base diagrams of the common tubes complete with data. My book was copywrited in 1992 but that's just fine. The theory and troubleshooting is all that is required and is the same now as it was in 1992 or 1950. If you need a little extra help in understanding your S-38, then this book is for you. Look for it at any antique radio supplier who also sells books.