Frequently Asked Questions (part 4)

All the FAQ sections can be downloaded from the Web at this URL:

Part 4 - Sources of Spares and Services.

Original FAQ editor: Hank van Cleef, Gerard Tel (; now hosted on Trevor Gale's site (mail: can be sent using this link)
. Frequently Asked Questions (part 4) Revision Date Notes
2.0 11-1-94 Revised version from Aaron Field. (this version was previously posted to the newsgroup).
2.1 1-7-95 Added some material to Aaron's list.
2.2 7-8-95 Removed Aaron Field's address as he apparently no longer has an Internet account at the address listed. Our thanks to Aaron for having done the work to get this list started.
3.0 10-95 Did a whole bunch of work on the list. Added material on tubes and schematics.
3.1 Nov 19, 95 Move from part 4 to part 5
3.2 4-96 Add new sources, tube buyer notice
4.0 12-99 Formatted the section with HTML, moved as Part 4 of the FAQ.
4.1 03-00 Added/removed sources, according to input.
4.4 01-05 Updated info following from corrections and e-mails

Part 4 - Sources of materials, supplies, and bibliography for antique electronics

The most frequently asked question is "where can I get vacuum tubes?"

Antique Electronic Supply
6221 S. Maple Ave
Tempe, AZ 85283
Tel: 480-820-5411

Contact Daily Electronics
P.O. Box 5029
Compton, CA 90224
Tel: 800-346-6667 (Orders)
Tel: 213-774-1255 (Tech)

Don Diers
4276 North 50 Street #SC3
Milwaukee, WI 53216-1313

6690 7 Mile Road
South Lyon, MI 48178

Electron Tube Enterprises
Box 8311
Essex, VT 05451
Tel: 802-879-7764

Fair Radio Sales
Lima Ohio
Phone: 419-227-6573

298 West Carmel Drive
Carmel, IN 46032

Lippert N61W
15889 Edgemont
Meno Fls, WI 53051

New Tube Co.
P.O. Box 202
Middle Village, NY 11379
Tel: 718-894-2131

Quest Electronics, Inc.
5715 W. 11th Avenue
Denver, CO 80214
303-274-7545 Voice
303-274-2317 Fax

Steinmetz Electronics
7519 Maplewood Ave
Hammond, IN 46324
Tel: 219-931-9316

Michael C. Marx
SND Tube Sales
5389 Ville Rosa Lane
Hazelwood, MO 63042
314-770-0119 phone
314-770-9448 fax
(furnished by Dan Schoo)

(Note, this is not a supplier, but a buyer of old tubes. I'm copying the posting slightly trimmed down).

I am the Purchasing Agent for Antique Electronic Supply in Tempe, Arizona. We purchase tubes (or valves, as the English call them! [correctly, Ed... ;:)]) for resale. Anyone who is interested can contact me at, and I can send them via email the current bid list for tubes we have a need for and our current bid prices.
For further information, email me at the above address or call (602) 820-5411.
If you want to check out the web sites for a couple of tube manufacturers, try: for Svetlana Electronic Devices for Richardson Electronics. Edward C. Bender

Q: Where can I get tubes, electronic parts, knobs, dial lenses, grille cloth, schematics, literature, refinishing supplies, etc.?
A: The following suppliers carry a variety of merchandise for collectors and restorers of vintage radio/phono/TV/jukeboxes. Catalogs or inventory lists are available from all of them. Following this list is a directory of commonly needed items, with additional sources.
1. Antique Electronic Supply, 6221 S. Maple Ave., Tempe, AZ 85283, (602)820-5411: Great source for tubes, components, restoration supplies, books, etc. If you're new to the hobby, start with the AES catalog--it's indispensible!

2. Bill Turner. Bill Turner, 1117 Pike Street, Saint Charles, MO 63301, (636) 949-2210: dial covers (both moulded plastic and glass), dial cords, reproduction labels, literature, loop antennae, circuit diagrams, manuals, mounting materials, valve/tube substitutes.

3. Puett Electronics, P.O. Box 28572, Dallas, TX 75228, (214)321-0927: Incredible supply of literature and service data, also some parts. Good source for collectors of E.H. Scott and McMurdo silver radios.

4. Play Things of Past: Plenty of hard-to-find parts for the earliest radios, including rare tubes. (Probably the best source for original parts on 1920's sets.) Lots of literature as well. Excellent catalog, available from: Play Things Of Past, 9511 Sunrise Blvd., Suite J-23, Cleveland, Ohio 44133. 216-251-3714.

5. Old Tyme Radio Company, 2445 Lyttonsville Rd., Silver Spring, MD 20910, (301)585-8776. Tubes, vintage parts, radios, test equipment.

6. Great Northern, P.O. Box 17338, Minneapolis, MN 55417, (61) 727-2489: Lots of stuff for collectors of Zenith radios-- parts, literature, T-shirts, service data.

7. Vintage TV and Radio Supply, 3498 W. 105th St., Cleveland, OH 44111, (216)671-6712: Nice selection of books, tubes, knobs, components, refinishing supplies, etc. Much better knob selection than AES (#1 above). Good catalog.

8. Wade's World of Knobs (Wade and Joe-Ann Terrell), 7109 E. Arbor Ave., Mesa, AZ 85208, Reproduction plastic knobs and dial lenses, etc.

9. Antique Radio Labs, R1, Box 41, Cutler, IN 46920, (317)268-2214: Limited selection of various parts and literature.

10. Don Diers, 4276 North 50th St., Milwaukee, WI 53216-1313: Nice selection of tubes and vintage parts. Tons of caps! Fun to read catalog!

11 Triode Electronics, Box 578751, Chicago, IL 60657, (312)871-7459: Jukebox needles, cartridges, tubes, other parts.

12. A.G. Tannenbaum, P.O. Box 386, Ambler, Pa. 19002; Tel: 215-540-8055: Vintage parts and literature, test equipment. NOTE: Tannenbaum has moved. New address per their telephone recording is PO.

Additional sources are contained in the following directory of commonly needed items. The list is currently geared mainly towards radio, but phono/TV/jukebox collectors should find useful sources here as well. The sources listed above are referred to by number.

Best source for currently published books on collecting and restoring radio/TV/phono etc. is #1! For vintage literature, see "Literature" listing below.

#1, #7, #11 all have good selections. #11 may be the best. Custom rebuilds on single or multi-unit can caps are available from: Frontier Electronics, 403 S. McIntosh St. or Box 38, Lehr, ND 58460, (701)378-2341. Price list available.

#1,4,5,7,9,10 all have various coils, chokes, and transformers, both originals and replacements. (Try #4 first for original 1920's and 30's stuff).

Decal reproductions of the following logos are available from #1,2,5,7 (and probably others): Philco, Atwater Kent, Zenith, Stewart-Warner, RCA, Stromberg-Carlson, Admiral, Emerson, GE, FADA, Garod, DeWald, Belmont, Sonora, Magnavox Lion (for horn speakers).

Reproduction tuning dials available from: Antique Radio Restorations, 635 S. Lincoln Ave., O'Fallon, IL 62269, (618)632-7423. (AK, RCA, Zenith, Philco) Also try #1,2.
We specialize in plastic dial scales, and plastics as replacements for glass and metals: Rock-Sea Enterprises, 323 E. Matilija St. #110-241 Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 646-7362,

Dial covers--
Reproduction dial covers custom made from broken cover or tracing: a. #2, #8 b. Doyle Roberts, HC-63 Box 236-1, Clinton, Arkansas 72031, (501)745-6690. c. Old Time Replications, 5744 Tobias Ave., Van Nuys CA, 91411, (818)786-2500. Limited selections of original dial covers available from #1,3,5,7.

Dial pointers--
#7 has a few generic replacements if you can't find an original.

Grille cloth--
a. Good selections from #1 and #7. Sample cards available.
b. John Okolowicz, 624 Cedar Hill Rd., Ambler, PA 19002, (215)542-1597: "Deluxe Replica Grille Cloth" (Philco, Emerson, Scott, Zenith).

Best selection of reproduction knobs from #7 (check here first for clock radio knobs) and #8. #1 not bad for Zenith and Philco. Most suppliers say "many available, send us your request".

#1,4,7 and 10 all have good selections.

#2, #3 and #4 have impressive archives of vintage radio literature, with titles listed in their catalogs. #1 and #7 have reprints of popular service manuals and repair data (AK, Philco, Radiola, Zenith). Also see "Schematics and Repair Data".

a. "Antique Radio Classified" (monthly), PO Box 2-V32, Carlisle, MA 01741, (508)371-0512: Classified ads, radio supplier ads, articles, meet announcements.
b. "The Old Timer's Bulletin" (quarterly, with membership in Antique Wireless Association), dues $12.00. Contact AWA, Box E, Breesport, NY 14816. High quality publication chock full of articles on all areas of vintage radio, including broadcast, communications, telegraph, TV, etc.
c. "The Radio Collector" (monthly), PO Box 1306, Evanston, IL 60204-1306, (708)869-5016: published by Marc Ellis, antique radio columnist for "Popular Electronics" for many years. Regular features include repair and restoration advice, vintage book reviews, company chronicles, Q&A, classifieds. $20.00/yr. Highly recommended.
d. "Radio Age" (monthly, with membership in Mid-Atlantic Antique Radio Club), dues $20.00. Contact MAARC, Roy Morgan, PO Box 1362, Washington Grove, MD 20880. "Radio Age" was its own publication until its recent merger with the "MAARC Newsletter".
e. Electric Radio (monthly). Box 57, Hesperus, CO 81236. Published by Barry and Shirley Wiseman. This is an amateur radio magazine. Editorial policy is "Our primary interest is in "... vintage equipment/operating with an emphasis on AM, but articles on SSB and CW are also needed."
f. Transistor Radio Collector" (monthly), 1249 Solstice Lane, Fort Collins, CO 80525-1239. TOLL FREE: 888/ 4-READTRC (888/ 473-2387) or 970/ 221-4001. Email: WebSite: Published by Rick & Vicki Ammon. Monthly classified ads and/or bi-monthly transistor radio-oriented picture magazine with repair & restoration info, historical articles, radio identification, etc.
g. There are many radio clubs across the US, each with its own newsletter!

Refinishing supplies--
#1 and #7 supply all manner of chemicals (fillers, polishers, lacquers, etc.) for refinishing both wood and plastic cabinets.

Repair and restoration services--

There is probably a collector's club near you that can steer you towards an individual in your area who works on vintage equipment. Otherwise, if shipping your radio is an option for you, try the following:

a. For Your Listening Pleasure, 368 Clinton St., Binghamton, NY 13905, (607)797-0066. Four levels of restoration are available, from "working order only" to "museum quality"!
b. #4 and #5 do repairs--not sure about cabinet restorations.
c. Sunrise Services, 2343 Ballycastle, Dallas, TX 75228, (214)328-4249. Radio cabinet refinishing, wood or plastic.
d. Check "Antique Radio Classified" for countless ads for this type of service!

Repair of plastic and catalin cabinets:
Daniel Blake, Route 276 PO Box 63, Cedar Mountain, NC 28718, USA.
under this link.

Loudspeaker reconing:
There have been several postings identifying the following as rebuilders of old loudspeakers.

Mr. Richard Stamer
Sound Remedy
331 Virginia Ave.
Collingswood, N.J. 08108

Mr. Hank Brazeal
103 N. Lake Point Ct.
Crossville, Tenn. 38555

2000 Warm Springs Ct. #6
Fremont, Cal. 94539

Sound Remedy
331 Virginia Avenue
Collingswood, NY 08108
609 869 0238

Schematics/repair data--
Most schematics on vintage radios come from either the Rider's Perpetual Troubleshooter's Manuals (earlier sets) or the Howard Sam's Photofacts (post-war sets). These are available in many public libraries. Otherwise, the following suppliers offer schematics at reasonable rates (if you can provide them with a model number): #1,2,3,5,6. If you don't have a model number but can provide the tube #'s and layout, for an extra fee they can usually find the right schematic. See also "Literature". Howard W. Sams began publishing repair data in 1947. Don't look for schematics, etc. of prewar electronics in Sams. Rider reprinted manufacturers' repair information, and you should look for "family resemblances" between the radio you have and radios of the same make---Rider may have published repair data for only one or two of a large family of model numbers that are nearly identical. Also keep in mind that many smaller radios built after the mid-thirties were built to standard Hazeltine/RCA designs under license, and you may not need a specific schematic for your set).

A complete list of tube suppliers would be an incredible headache to compile. Just about all of the suppliers listed at the beginning of this directory have tubes, and it is unlikely that you would be unable to get what you need from at least one of them. The ones that have their inventory conveniently listed in their catalog are: #1,2,3,4,7,10. Prices vary. Some other suppliers for various things:

Local sources. Take a look in the Yellow Pages, and check out any place that advertises under "radio repair." You may find that your area has an old-time shop or two that does repair work on old electronics. Don't ignore possible local sources---a few phone calls will generally lead you to one, even if you don't identify it from the Yellow Page listings immediately.

2401 Highway 287 North
Mansfield, Tex. 76063
Mouser is a "modern components" distributor with a big catalog. They have distribution centers in California and New Jersey as well. While they do not stock antique-specific items, they are a good source for resistors, capacitors, wire (modern only) and a host of other useful items.

MCM Electronics
650 Congress Park Dr.
Centerville, Ohio 45459
Most of MCM's inventory is oriented toward modern devices, but some of their items can be used in old radio restoration. They also stock a large inventory of Japanese and Motorola transistors.

The following advertise regularly in Electric Radio (a magazine for old amateur radio equipment):
Fair Radio Sales
PO Box 1105/1016 E. Eureka St.
Lima, Ohio 45802
Primarily military surplus, plus some test equipment and vacuum tubes.

Purchase Radio Supply
327 East Hoover Avenue
Ann Arbor, Mich. 48104
(Not specific as to what they carry, but worth investigating---they state they've been there 60 years and specialize in old items).

On magnetic components (coils, RF-IF transformers, power transformers, chokes), you are faced with several choices, depending on what you need. Antique Electronic Supply carries a selection of iron core magnetics and a few other items, primarily for smaller radios. Several suppliers offer interstage transformers for 1920's sets. If you need a power transformer you may need to adapt mechanically and/or electrically. You will need to know the exact dimensions of mounting holes, chassis cutouts, space available for mounting, etc. You will also need to know the voltages and current requirements of secondary circuits. If you have some idea what substitutions you can make, calling around may produce a very good substitute. For a price, there are several transformer shops that will build you a new transformer to your specifications.

Universal-wound coils (i.e., wound zigzag on forms) are difficult to replace. Fortunately, they don't often give trouble---main problem is antenna coils zapped by lightning. There are very few shops today who are equipped to wind universal-wound coils. Some electrical adaptation of NOS (new old-stock) items is possible in some cases.
If you are dealing with a radio that needs magnetic components or has a physically-unrepairable tuning capacitor, you may have a parts radio.

Test equipment:
Most test equipment comes from sellers at hamfests. Fair Radio Sales has several items of test equipment for sale. One source that specializes in an interesting variety of test equipment, as well as some old radios and parts furnished the following self-description:

W.J. Ford Surplus Enterprises
We have a wide assortment of surplus electronics for sale. Check out our electronic listings at:
Our lists are regularily updated as new stock comes in.

W.J. Ford Surplus Enterprises
P.O. Box 606, Smith's Falls, Ont. K7A 4T6
phone: (613)283-5195
fax: (613)283-0637

The following books are relevant to old radio design, repair, and history:-

1. Loomis, Mary Texanna. "Radio Operating and Theory." Several editions, 1925-30. Washington D.C., Loomis Publishing Co.
2. Ghirardi, Alfred A. "Radio Physics Course" At least two editions, 1931-33. New York, Murray Hill Book Co.
3. Terman, Frederick E. "Radio Engineering." Three editions, 1932, 1937, 1947. "Electronic and Radio Engineering" was published as a "4th edition" in 1956, but covers different topics. New York: McGraw-Hill.
4. Terman, Frederick E. "Radio Engineer's Handbook." 1st ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1943.
5. Langford-Smith, F. "Radiotron Designer's Handbook." Four editions, 1934, 1935, 1940, 1952. Sydney, Amalgamated Wireless Valve Company Pty. Ltd.
6. Hund, August. "Frequency Modulation." New York, McGraw-Hill, 1942.
7. Rider, John F., ed. "Perpetual Troubleshooter's Manual." 23 volumes, 1928-53. New York: John F. Rider Publishing.
8. Howard Sams "Fotofacts." Issued as folders, beginning in 1947. Indianapolis: Howard Sams Publishing.
9. There are several works available through Antique Electronic Supply, either recent items or reprints of old material.

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