Thread Number: 70922  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Stromberg-Carlson Mod. 61-L
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Post# 939102   5/17/2017 at 21:32 (401 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Found this Stromberg-Carlson yesterday at my favorite thrift shop. I couldn't pass it up for just $9.99 (50% off). This model was introduced in 1935. It's AM, Shortwave and Police band. Never seen such a small floor radio. Cabinet does have a few scratches on it, but still quite presentable. The speaker cloth is so rotted it literally falls apart it you touch it. And of course, the power cord has been cut off. I am surprised how simple the chassis is. Tucked away inside, I found some sheets with some shortwave stations. Perhaps from when it was new. Anyway, yet another project added to the list. 

Post# 939103 , Reply# 1   5/17/2017 at 21:35 (401 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Post# 939105 , Reply# 2   5/17/2017 at 21:46 (401 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Post# 939106 , Reply# 3   5/17/2017 at 21:49 (401 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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Wow, that is in pretty decent shape for being 80 years old!

Of course you aren't likely to hear too many police calls down there anymore ;)

Will be a neat radio once you have it spiffed up! The circuit does appear to be pretty simple.

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Post# 939109 , Reply# 4   5/17/2017 at 22:09 (401 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Thanks Phil! Sure looks a lot less complicated than the 1929 Radiotrope! And thanks for the schismatics!

Post# 939115 , Reply# 5   5/17/2017 at 22:28 (401 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Stromberg Carlson

Built really fine products,My parents bought a Stromberg Carlson Hi Fi in 1952 at O.P.Lutz Furniture Company in Lenoir NC,they also sold Frigidaire and Monarch ,That unit had only a turntable, no radio, but it cost 200.00....a fortune in those days, I wish I had it now, I can remember the great sound it had, it had a 10 inch speaker facing forward and a 12 inch facing the floor, the bass would rattle the windows!If I remember correctly it had 2 6V6 output tubes,I still have all their records, mostly big band stuff.

Post# 939135 , Reply# 6   5/18/2017 at 00:39 (401 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
Calling All Cars!

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Great find, Louie!  Around here, half price for something like that would be $99.99 or probably more.


I like the look and lines of the SC much better than the Radiotrope, and it does seem like a re-cap would be a cinch.   It looks very clean.  If your #80 tube is bad, I think I have an untested one in my stash here that I know I'll never use.


That stubby little Philco tube (6H6) is a type I've never seen before.  A quick search found a couple different functions for it:  As a signal and/or audio detector, or a "discriminator," but neither of those terms is compatible with "DEM A.V.C."  I wonder if something like automatic volume control would have been too advanced for 1935, but the "DEM" part has me stumped.

Post# 939139 , Reply# 7   5/18/2017 at 00:54 (401 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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Nice radio--and amazing deal! I see radios in worse shape than this for a lot more in thrift shops around here.


It's also interesting seeing the really short tube in the middle. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that in something that old.

Post# 939154 , Reply# 8   5/18/2017 at 04:48 (400 days old) by arbilab (Ft Worth TX (Ridglea))        

DEM is going to be 'demod'.  6H6 was still in use up to early 50s.  There was one in my W'house AM-FM console, FM demod.  Just a dual diode; think 6AL5.

Post# 939161 , Reply# 9   5/18/2017 at 07:04 (400 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Wow, that's a beauty!  I love console radios but they limit the number of dishwasher one can cram into the garage....   LOL 


Congratulations on your latest find!!


Post# 939211 , Reply# 10   5/18/2017 at 13:49 (400 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
6H6 DEM-AVC is ...

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Demodulator-Automatic Volume Control, as Rick says functions like the more 'modern" 7 pin miniature 6AL5 tube.

Post# 939221 , Reply# 11   5/18/2017 at 15:12 (400 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Yes, I read that the 6AL5 is the later type used for the same purpose.  Now that's a tube I've seen quite a bit over the years.


So AVC is what I thought it was.  I guess by 1935 it wasn't a revolutionary new technology then.

Post# 939290 , Reply# 12   5/18/2017 at 20:28 (400 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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$9.99 for that beautiful deco radio is like having a license to steal. 

Post# 939296 , Reply# 13   5/18/2017 at 21:27 (400 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Hey thanks guys! Even at the original price of $19.99 it was a steal. For a split second when I saw it partially, at a distance, looking so small, I thought it was one of those phony "Emerson" radios. The same thrift shop had a 1937 Zenith wood table radio, the cabinet was all but destroyed, missing knobs, etc for $399.  Go figure.

Post# 939297 , Reply# 14   5/18/2017 at 21:45 (400 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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The same thrift shop had a 1937 Zenith wood table radio, the cabinet was all but destroyed, missing knobs, etc for $399.  Go figure.


I'm glad to know that other parts of the country have moments of both insane and variable pricing policies in thrift stores.


I now half wonder if the Stromberg-Carlson was accidentally priced at $19.99. Maybe the person setting the gadget that prints the stickers meant to set it to $1,999.99...but blew it...

Post# 939298 , Reply# 15   5/18/2017 at 21:59 (400 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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A lot of those thrift shops use ebay as a price point. And we all know how ludicrous some of those sellers are. 

Post# 939301 , Reply# 16   5/18/2017 at 22:22 (400 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Louie, I cant get any more stuff in my 2000 sq. ft. place and a stuffed full garage. How can you fit all these treasures in a place in NYC?

Post# 939304 , Reply# 17   5/18/2017 at 22:37 (400 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Not easily. The terrace is half packed. So are the closets. I have a whole wall in the dining area filled with appliances in the dining room. The Caloric stove and Lady K dryer are in the living room. The new SC is in our bedroom. Anything that isn't in a closet or will not fit in the new laundry closet will go. My husband eventually wants to buy a house somewhere rural but the appliances are NOT he says. Muahahahaha.

Post# 939307 , Reply# 18   5/18/2017 at 22:55 (400 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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All I care about is my 35 year old Maytags WILL come with me, and some or well most of my family's heirlooms that I saved. Doubtful I can downsize that much either.

Post# 939400 , Reply# 19   5/19/2017 at 16:11 (399 days old) by Blackstone (Springfield, Massachusetts)        
Greetings from W1XA2

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actually, I have never heard of this station.

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Post# 939432 , Reply# 20   5/20/2017 at 00:28 (399 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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I guess these were stations from the 30's. Notice the guide actually tells you what part of the day are best to listen to them.

Post# 939449 , Reply# 21   5/20/2017 at 01:00 (399 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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I'm starting to realize just how much from the 1930s the boomer generation can relate to. 


I remember "appointment radio" and listening to AM signals that could only be picked up after dark.   Like so many my age, I pulled in Wolfman Jack on XERB transmitting from Baja California, loud and clear. 


In January of 1982 when Northern California got hit by the huge, deadly, storm-that-spawned-the-term- "El Nino,"  I was in Puerto Vallarta, and had a late '60s pocket sized ten transistor AM radio with me.  After dark, I was able to pull in KCBS in San Franciso on that teeny tiny tuner and get the latest news from home. 

Post# 939459 , Reply# 22   5/20/2017 at 01:26 (399 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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Well many of the shortwave stations are gone today, Internet streaming has killed off a lot of them


There are still a lot of AM stations that run the full 50Kw at night that can be heard over a large portion of the US. I have these stations programmed into my car radio, Try them any night after dark and see how you do. 500-1000 miles is a normal reception distance after the D-Layer ionospheric absorption goes away after sunset.

650 WSM Nashville
700 WLW Cincinatti
710 WOR New York
830 WCCO Minneapolis (I can hear this one all the time lol)
1020 KDKA Pittsburg

Here is a full list of AM 'Clear Channel' stations on Wiki

Post# 939461 , Reply# 23   5/20/2017 at 01:27 (399 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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In 1957 when I was six yrs old I came down with Rheumatic Fever and was bedridden at home for six mo. My parents did everything they could to make my bedroom as pleasant as possible. My Dad bought me an RCA radio just like this one. It picked up radio programs from all over the world. When the Russian's launched Sputnik, the first satellite I could hear the beeps it made as it was orbiting the earth.

After I recovered we used to take it on family picnics because it had a large battery. This was the days before transistor radios.


Post# 939471 , Reply# 24   5/20/2017 at 01:52 (399 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Very nice and SIMPLE SC radio!The station guide found inside would be a collectors item itself.VOA ued to buy time on the Schenectady NY station when they were running network SW.Have a schematic for one of their GE 100Kw SW transmitters-pretty close to the ones in Greenvile-the Greenville ones are much newer of course and run higher power-the circuit topology of the two is very similar.The 100Kw transmitters were built in the 1930's.Now---the site is long abandoned-building crumbled and site covered in weeds.Don't know what happned to the Ge transmitters.That site was replaced by the Greenville,NC plants.The network radio stations in older days to the early fifties ran SW as well as standard AM.ABC,CBS,NBC.

Post# 939493 , Reply# 25   5/20/2017 at 08:48 (398 days old) by polkanut (Wausau, WI )        
During the 2016 World Series

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We were coming home from an evening meeting and it was great to be able to listen to the Cubs/Indians on WSCR-Chicago as clear as any of our local stations on our car radio.  It was almost as good as being there in person!  The distance between Wausau and Chicago is approx. 285 miles.

Post# 939519 , Reply# 26   5/20/2017 at 13:17 (398 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Eddie, my sister gave me a Motorola radio that was similar to your RCA, but it didn't have a short wave band.   She found it at a thrift store in the '80s and thought I'd like it.  It had a fake woven wood pattern printed on the case.


The only problem was that, even if I could have made it work, it required one of those "Velveeta" batteries that were tough to find.  I don't know if they even make them anymore.

Post# 939523 , Reply# 27   5/20/2017 at 14:00 (398 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Ralph, couldn't you plug the Motorola into a household outlet? Thats mostly how we used ours. Even back in the 50's and 60's these large batteries were expensive and I guess hard to come by because we only replaced ours once. The next time it went dead my parents never replaced it and that was the end of using it on picnics. The thing that I remember enjoying so much about this radio was the old world map inside the lid with the sea serpent, to a 6 year old this was cool.

Post# 939529 , Reply# 28   5/20/2017 at 14:41 (398 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Eddie, as I recall it was battery only (but don't quote me on that -- I'm conjuring up a fuzzy memory of a brown cord in a storage compartment).  It was a long time ago and the radio eventually was included in a purging event. 


I don't think I'd buy a vintage AM-only radio again.  It would need to also have either an FM or short wave band.

Post# 939533 , Reply# 29   5/20/2017 at 15:03 (398 days old) by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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A friend of mine bought a late 1940s AM/FM radio, but he said the FM band was almost useless because of station drift. This was before AFC, obviously. Whether it's really all that bad or if he just was easily annoyed, I dunno.

I used to listen to the BBC World Service on SW at night back in the Seventies. In many ways, it sounded like a throwback to the Thirties. All the announcers had very proper Oxford accents and you really could imagine them standing in front of a microphone in a tuxedo, as they reportedly used to do. Though maybe that was just a joke...

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