Vintage 1946 Sonora AM Radio Restoration – 11 – First Test!


Time to Power it up!:

Okay… I was now ready to give the radio a try to see if was working or see if I would need to replace the tubes or any other components for that matter. I placed the unit on top of my desk, placed the knobs back on the shafts, and the dial pointer onto its shaft as well. I plugged the radio into a power strip that had a switch on it (with it powered OFF!). Made sure my hands were clear of the chassis just in case it ended up getting charged, and then applied power to the power strip. So far so good! No sparks or loud bangs yet! I then carefully turned the On/Off/Volume switch to the on position and let it sit for a few seconds. Still so far so good. The dial light came on brightly and then dimmed a bit… and No loud bangs and no magical blue smoke escaping from the unit! 🙂 After about thirty seconds, the heaters in the tubes had warmed up sufficiently and I could hear radio static coming through the speaker. No loud buzzes or hums which was good sign!

I let it warm up a bit more, then I turned the tuning knob to see if I could find a radio station. It wasn’t long before several weaker stations could be heard and then I found a good strong one! The radio was working perfectly! No static, no buzzes, no bangs, no smoke… and as the Sonora Radio slogan said back in the 40’s, it was “Clear as a Bell!” Awesome!! I now had a working vintage radio that sounded fantastic! It is hard to beat the warm sound you get from those old tube amps!

Test # 1 – Initial Power up!

Test # 2

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