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Vintage Radio

The Admiral 5BW mantel receiver

By RODNEY CHAMPNESS, VK3UG

Instead of using PC boards, dom-
estic transistor radios were initially built the same way as valve receivers were – ie, with point-to-point wiring. The transistors were also sometimes mounted in sockets, just like valves.

Of course, today we look on such techniques as archaic and totally unsuited to modern technology. Everything is now on PC boards and point-to-point wiring is minimised if not eliminated altogether.

Valve radio receivers were traditionally built using a metal chassis to which all the major components (eg, transformers, valve sockets, tuning gang, etc) were attached. The wiring was all point-to-point which made the assembly slow and expensive.

Click for larger image
This is the fully-restored Admiral 5BW in its case. Also shown is the barrel nut that secures the dual volume/tone control assembly.

However, some manufacturers did start using PC boards in valve radios in the late 1950s. We looked at one of these, the Healing 412E, back in February 2001. Admiral, an American firm, also built valve radios with PC boards in Australia but their technique was somewhat different to Healing’s.

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