Safety and Antique Radios

An antique radio is essentially a very old electrical device. You should be very wary of all unrestored old electrical devices such as kitchen appliances, fans, signs, and radios. Cords become frayed with age, insulation breaks down on various parts and switches wear out. When properly repaired and inspected, these old appliances are safe to operate, but if the condition is unknown, beware. Antique Radios may also contain hazardous substances, see Antique Radios and Asbestos.    Every antique radio I restore is made as safe as possible. I replace many parts to prevent anticipated problems and insure safe operation, but remember, not EVERY part is new, and safety codes were much less strict 60 years ago. Follow these simple hints and you can safely enjoy your antique radio.

Transformerless radios require a few additional precautions for safe operation. Some of the transformerless designs allowed the chassis to be at 110V! The safest way to operate this type of radio is with an isolation transformer (Available from Antique Electronic Supply). The isolation transformer keeps the line voltage off the chassis, eliminating the danger of electrical shock You can operate most of these sets without an isolation transformer if you follow the additional guidelines.

If a transformerless radio has a painted metal cabinet or metal knobs, operate it only with an isolation transformer!

Hey!!!! I'm getting too Hot!!!

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Copyright 1997 Stan Watkins