The Knight D-106 Superhet
BY DON WATSON
Don Watson tells us about his Knight Model D-106 and raises questions regarding its components and the time of its manufacture. Perhaps some A.R.C. readers can provide him with answers to his questions. (Editor)
The Knight D-106, shown in Figure 1, is a 6-tube superhet that covers broadcast and shortwave bands from 6 to 18 megacycles. The circuitry is very typical for its time. It features an un-tuned RF stage and the tube lineup for the all-American Five (six in this case). The speaker is an electrodynamic type, and the resistors used are of the older type -- i.e. the three-color code system of body-end-dot.
This set was advertised in the 1942 Allied Radio Catalog (see Figure 2) and went for a whopping $18.95, perhaps a tidy sum back then. The cabinet is covered in a walnut veneer and the secondary wood appears to be poplar.
Perhaps what really adds to the appeal of these old radios is their performance and appearance. Their sensitivity, selectivity, and tonal quality are lacking in today's receivers. Manufacturers don't seem to pay particular attention to these details. I still enjoy BCB DXing and SWLing after all these years.
Figure 1. With its "fresh-from-the-factory" look, the restored Knight D-106 also performs well.
Questioning the Period
As previously mentioned, the radio appeared in the 1942 catalog; however, I just wonder if it was really available during that period. This radio seems to be from a much earlier era. The knobs are wood and not plastic, and the resistors are from the 1930s. I would think that these consumer products were no longer available due to gears shifting towards the war effort. The cover of the Allied Catalog depicts the war era and what appears to be a Naval fleet.
Perhaps somebody out there in radioland has more information as to what company actually manufactured this radio for Allied. At that time, there were many large and small radio manufacturers in Chicago.
As far back as I can remember, our first radio was a Knight from the 1930s. In the 1940s, we had
a Majestic radio/record player combination. Every morning it was tuned into the Arthur Godfrey show. I was perhaps four or five at the time. I could not understand how they could get a man in that box to talk. To satisfy my curiosity, I poked pins into the speaker to see if it would go "ouch." Well, it never did, and I still couldn't understand. Imagine my surprise when I disassembled this radio and found pin holes in the speaker cone. I know I didn't do it.
Figure 2. This listing for the Knight D-106 is reproduced from the Allied Radio Catalog for 1942.
I found this radio and purchased it for $15 at a flea market. The electronics have been restored and the cabinet refinished in the original color, minus sixty years of aging. Having worked for Allied Radio in the early 1960s, I am always looking for old Knight radios.
I hope that some of you out there will be able to fill in some of the blanks in this article.
Don Watson, 538 Yarmouth Rd., Elk Grove , IL 60007-3455
Don Watson has been working on or collecting radios since the mid-1950s. It was a treat to go to Chicago's Maxwell St. to rummage through piles of junk in search of a radio. At age 16, he received his Amateur radio license and he is still very active after 45 years as K9DDO. He holds an Extra Class license and has made contact with every country in the world. He retired in July 2005 as a repair technician of printed circuit boards for computer numeric controls and motor servo's CNC machinery. His hobby is restoration of the electronics and cabinetry of vintage sets.