Vintage 1946 Sonora AM Radio Restoration – 01 – Introduction



This is log of the steps that I went through to restore an old 1946 Sonora RCU-208 AM Tube Radio, not only back to original working order, but beyond that to add some period correct broadcasts to it as well! I mainly wanted to document it all for others that might be interested in knowing what I went through to get this great old radio working again and also detail the some of the additional things added that are not part of a “normal” restoration like this. If you plan on doing something like this, it would be a good idea to learn some things about basic electricity and electronics first (See WARNING here!). This document is not a tutorial or really intended to teach anyone anything at all. It is simply here to help with some ideas maybe and show the route that I took with this specific radio. Enjoy!


While I was searching for boxes of old photos in my Mom’s house, I ran across this old AM radio in the top of closet that had been sitting there for long while collecting dust. I decided to dig into it a bit more to find out more about it and see if it might be something that was worth restoring. When I talked to my mom about it, it turned out that this radio was purchased by my grandparents (Dorothy and Ermond Kenyon) and had sat on top of the refrigerator in their kitchen for many many years prior to my mom getting it. So THAT alone pretty much settled me on the fact that I needed to try and restore it! Now it was just a matter of seeing if it was possible!

Here some photos of the radio in the condition that I found it in.

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