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A few questions about original radio wiring.
#1161926 Sat Apr 23 2016 09:42 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 986
Shop Shark
Installed my original 1949 Chevrolet AM radio in the '49 1/2 ton pickup. I don't want power to the radio from the ignition switch when the ignition is in the off or on position. Is there any problems created hooking the power source to the radio to the ignition on side of the switch? Does the radio need to be turned on for the dial light to work? Have no dial light with the switch turned off. In other words, does the switch have to have power to it for the dial lamp to illuminate? Checked the bulb and it is good. Have power through the line to the lamp fuse holder, but the dial does not light with the switch in the off or one position. Have not yet hooked up the radio power wire as I am trying to decide if I want power with the ignition on, or continuous power operated by the radio on off switch. Suggestions....advice??

Thanks,

Tim


"Pay attention to the details! It ALWAYS pays off."

1949 Chevrolet 3100 Series 1/2 ton Pickup
1964 Chevrolet C10 (Ol' Yella) (SOLD)
1958 Chevrolet Biscayne 2 door (SOLD)
1970 VW Beetle
Re: A few questions about original radio wiring.
fixit1958 #1161936 Sat Apr 23 2016 10:51 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,137
'Bolter
Yes, the off/on switch on the radio controls the dial light too so if you turn the radio off, the dial light goes off. The separate dial light feed is meant to allow you to vary the brightness along with the dash lighting.

For power, the original instructions called for power that was not switched by the ignition.

Re: A few questions about original radio wiring.
fixit1958 #1328155 Sun Sep 29 2019 09:36 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 108
S
Shop Shark
Truckernix, I found this thread searching for the right place to connect my old tube radio power lead. I think I have the Delco model 986067, and using an ohm meter, I have figured out which wire is the power lead, just need to know the proper place to attach the power lead. Is it ok to connect it to the ignition, or should I be connecting to something else?
Thanks!
mark

Re: A few questions about original radio wiring.
fixit1958 #1328160 Sun Sep 29 2019 10:01 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 641
2
'Bolter
attached photos
- a reproduction i made of figure 1 from installation bulletin for 986067 radio showing the A lead fuse holder and the dial light lead
- a photo from ebay of an original A lead fuse holder connector, both halves

the A lead is meant to connect directly at the amp-meter post,
the early radio draws over 6 amps with it's electro-dymanic speaker accounting for half that current, you don't want that on the ignition switch
later it shipped with a permanent magnet speaker, but that's still about 3 and change amps

the dial lead connects on the light switch where the dial lights are connected, the radio comes with both wires long enough to reach these locations
from inside the radio both wires are approximately 26 inches to their respective ends.
hope that helps
-s

Attached Files
Screen Shot 2019-09-29 at 2.51.27 PM.jpg (65.37 KB, 218 downloads)
Screen Shot 2019-09-29 at 2.53.07 PM.jpg (92.46 KB, 209 downloads)
Re: A few questions about original radio wiring.
fixit1958 #1328161 Sun Sep 29 2019 10:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 641
2
'Bolter
i almost forgot, the radio ground is "poorly to the dash"
it's silly to realize all the troubles the designers went through to reduce noise and interference with this delicate radio design
and then just let it have a random ground path through paint and rust

i recommend adding an explicit ground wire from inside the radio on the main chassis on the power transformer side, bring that out and screw it down on the fire wall
this will ensure the antenna ground plane (aka the cab) is reasonably well connected to the radio guts
you want to minimize any current flow on the antenna coax outer shell, connecting the guts to the firewall will help a lot with this goal

if you were to float the radio electrically while it's turned on, it would operate, and 100% of the ground current would flow down the antenna coax shield to where the antenna mounts on the cab
if your antenna coax shield is not tied to the cab at the antenna base you won't get as good a signal and your radio will be susceptible to RF noise
make sure that antenna shield ohms out low to ground before plugging it into the radio
-s

Re: A few questions about original radio wiring.
fixit1958 #1328163 Sun Sep 29 2019 10:42 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 108
S
Shop Shark
Thanks! This is very helpful. Does it matter what side of the ammeter that i connect to?
I wondered about the ground, and it makes sense to go ahead and make a direct ground as you suggest. Another dumb question, but if it becomes necessary to remove the radio, do the radio knobs just pull off?
Thanks for the quick reply!
Mark

Re: A few questions about original radio wiring.
fixit1958 #1328166 Sun Sep 29 2019 11:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,137
'Bolter
You want to connect the radio feed to the load side of the ammeter, not the battery side.

Re: A few questions about original radio wiring.
fixit1958 #1328170 Sun Sep 29 2019 11:26 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 641
2
'Bolter
hi Mark,
the radio connects to the discharge post of the amp-meter so that it indicates the radio current
example, with engine off, radio on, you should see the amp-meter needle showing discharge to let you know your battery is draining
photo attached from installation guide

the original radio knobs have a set screw, but as old as the radio is, the replacement knobs from even way back in the day were press fit
so by now, you might have either kind of knob
turn the knob and look for a set screw,
if no set screw, it pulls off
i took some photos of original knobs i have on hand, i am missing an original dummy spacer that goes behind the tuning knob
-stan

Attached Files
Screen Shot 2019-09-29 at 4.24.11 PM.jpg (26.03 KB, 194 downloads)
Screen Shot 2019-09-29 at 4.24.19 PM.jpg (15.18 KB, 193 downloads)
Screen Shot 2019-09-29 at 4.24.24 PM.jpg (22.11 KB, 200 downloads)
Screen Shot 2019-09-29 at 4.12.46 PM.jpg (61.87 KB, 209 downloads)
Re: A few questions about original radio wiring.
fixit1958 #1328187 Mon Sep 30 2019 01:17 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 108
S
Shop Shark
Awesome! Thanks Stan. I feel like I am on my way to finding out if this thing will make some noise or some music soon... Thanks so much.
mark

Re: A few questions about original radio wiring.
2ManyTrucks #1397263 Sun Feb 14 2021 04:37 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 286
C
Shop Shark
I think this thread just answered my most pressing question prior to bench testing the vintage Chevy radio I received in a box with my nicely restored 1948 one ton. There is only one wire coming from the inside of the radio,and I assumed that was power since it had half a fuse fixture attached to the end of it. Meanwhile I have been looking for and trying to understand why there was no ground wire.

So, the original intent, which I just saw in Stan's reply was; grounding via just bolting to the dash frame, am I reading that correctly? Ensuring a more reliable ground seems good advice, so anywhere on the radio frame next to the transformer should work? I have not had a lot of experience electrical bench testing something like this radio so any advice would be helpful, e.g. just hook it to the 6 volt battery in the truck (with an in-line fuse of course) or??

The exterior of the radio looks great! Inside, not so much, very dirty, appears some capacitors have been changed, lots of lumpy, cold looking soldering, and a Radio Shack speaker. Still worth a bench test first I think. I have no idea how long this radio has been setting in this box. The PO who had this truck restored and included in his collection of really nice restored vehicles passed away before having it installed, so it was just included when the family put the truck up for sale.
Dale

Last edited by cameo1956; Sun Feb 14 2021 04:39 PM. Reason: add signature
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