Philco 32B Farm Radio Restoration

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

This radio was purchased on eBay as not working, and obviously missing all tubes and tube shields. I was told that it is a relatively rare set, being a Philco and a 32 volt farm radio. Most 32 volt radios I have seen were made by Delco, Silvertone, Coronado (Wells-Gardner), Parmak, Crosley and Universal Battery Company. 32 volt radio sets were use

Philco 32B Farm Radio Restoration
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d in rural areas before electrification. Some farms had complete 32 volt DC power systems for lamps, fans, farm machinery, appliances such as toasters, and of course radios. 32 volt house wiring, lamp sockets, and receptacles were the same as those used for today`s 120 volt AC power. This was done because they knew that eventually they would get high-line AC power (Rural Electrification Act of 1936), and thus would not have to rewire the house! The 32 volt DC power originated from batteries, usually a bank of 16 2 volt wet cell storage batteries. These could be charged by a motor generator set, or even by wind power (Wincharger). Many of these types of radios are found destroyed because dealers or sellers will plug them into a 120 volt socket to "test" them prior to sale. There are several types of 32 volt radios. One type uses 32 volts for the set`s high voltage supply, as well as for the filament supply for the tubes. These types of radios typically use parallel or push-pull output tubes to overcome the low B+ supply. The RF, IF, and low level AF tubes seem quite happy with 32 volts on the plate. A commonly used output tube is the type 48, which has a 30 volt 0. 4 amp filament. These tubes are most often found burned out since they are directly across the line and someone usually has plugged the set into 120 volts in its lifetime. Another type of 32 volt set uses a vibrator power supply like used in early car radios and...

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