The "Not So Ho-Hum" Crosley 9-106
BY DON WATSON
AC/DC sets are often overlooked because of their reputation for being all too common and also for being marginal performers. Don Watson tells about a Crosley that is a standout in the AC/DC radio class. (Editor)
The Sarasota Antique Radio Club features a biannual swap meet that is a must go-to. You never attend an event like this and leave empty-handed. The anxiety builds as you look for your next restoration project, and you are never disappointed. At the time of the purchase, you really don't know exactly what it is until it lands on the bench.
The Crosley 9-106, shown in Figure 1, is a set that I bought at this meet. When I make such a purchase, the first thing I do, and prior to disassembly, is to try to obtain the schematic diagram. This particular radio is worth writing about because it is far above the usual ho-hum AC/DC sets of this era.
Some of the features that make this set a cut above others are as follows: The volume control is tapped for loudness compensation; the band switch (center control) also has three tone selections; there is a 455Kc image trap between the RF amp and mixer; and it uses a 5-inch, oval-shaped speaker stamped "Crosley."
Figure 1. The 1949 Crosley 9-106.
This unique Crosley was manufactured in 1949 and covers the broadcast band plus shortwave 9.4 to 12 mHz. The tube complement is as follows: 35W4 rectifier, 50C5 audio output, 12AV6 detector, first audio, 12BE6 converter, 6BJ6 RF amp, and 6BJ6 IF amp.
When I found this radio, it was painted white -- the original factory paint, which was in fair to poor condition after all the years. The set had been offered in black or white -- the black of unpainted Bakelite or the Bakelite painted white. I had planned to repaint the cabinet and started to strip off the old paint with a slow acting, less aggressive paint stripper. The stripper I like to use is a water soluble orange citrus. After the paint was removed, a black Bakelite case in excellent condition was revealed. Since there was no damage from the paint stripper, I cleaned and polished the set using Novus plastic polish.
The radio actually worked when I first plugged it in, but I did replace all the paper capacitors to avoid future problems. I had learned this lesson the hard way. Once, in the past, I was selling a GE clock radio that had been working for a long time, but I decided to test it before I sent it off. Well, as soon as I plugged it in, it blew up! The line bypass capacitor had failed. Can you imagine if this happened to the new owner?
Where I live, the local AM broadcast stations are not that local, so it's a good thing to have a set that is both sensitive and selective. The shortwave band is fun also. Powel Crosley did a fine job on this one.
Don Watson, a retired communications repair technician, has been collecting radios since the 1950s. He received his Amateur license at age 16 and has been an Extra Class Ham radio operator, K9DDO, since 1961. His hobby is restoring electronics and cabinetry.