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BOOK REVIEW:

Radio Diagram Sourcebook

Radio Diagram Sourcebook
By Richard Gray

REVIEWED BY RICHARD C. FOSTER

From Antique Radio Classified
(Copyright 1998 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)

Way back when I first started collecting radios, I took a chance and bought a carload of Rider's manuals. In the end, I had two sets of I-XIV and some miscellaneous volumes. Volume I alone was worth hours. I pored over it, finding radios I'd never heard of, sure I'd never see them (but, did, in many cases years later).

Lists, tables, and data are really fun to poke through, and my first tube complement handbook was a rare prize. Now I have shelves of books, but it's never enough. It seems that every time I go looking for one thing, I find all kinds of other surprises.

One day, I discovered the Mallory Encyclopedia. Heaven! If it isn't there, it probably doesn't exist. I find Mallory's most useful feature to be the row of tube complements by number, so the busy serviceman or collector can cruise through looking for, say, a 4-tube chassis with a 1-V rectifier to try to identify an unmarked chassis. Almost everything you want to know is there the manufacturer, the model, the Mallory number for volume control, the number of tubes, the kinds used, the IF, and the Rider's reference, if there is one.

You do have to skip the volume control information, but who stocks all those Mallory parts anyway? You still have to have a list of those volume controls to get the values. The Rider's reference is a crosscheck, and the IF is something you often seem to want in a hurry. Other parts information, some useful, some not, is also included.

Is the supply of Mallory Encyclopedias dwindling? Has the price risen to a point that is discouraging? Are you trying to discover information about a company and the sets it made? Those who need references like this can take heart. The Radio Diagram Sourcebook is where to get the facts.

The Radio Diagram Sourcebook by Richard Gray is a reprint of the Sylvania Complement Handbook of 1944. It includes some neat tables in the front, such as trade names, manufacturers, and formulas, which we used to have to get from Ghirardi and other various sources. There is quite a nice overview of service literature included as well.

I always find something interesting in this book that I didn't know from the works of other writers, and I have learned things I didn't know about service literature. If you want to know all about the various editions of the big manuals and what companies put out separate manuals, you'll find the information here.

Gray's Sourcebook is similar to Mallory's in its clear, easy-to-read format. No volume controls here, but the IFs are listed. The introduction tells you how to accomplish an ID and some of the pitfalls involved.

The book helps you to determine the identity of a missing tube and an unknown IF, and to try to identify a chassis by number of tubes or tube complement. Two drawbacks are the lack of a Rider's reference and the publication date of 1944. In trying to locate diagrams for French collectors, I've found that a lot of the tough ones are between 1948 and 1955. Mallory goes to 1948, Sylvania to 1944.

For prewar radios, this book is a very fine reference and one which any serious collector should have, along with Rider's and Mallory's. In addition, you get all the dope of the publication dates of Rider's volumes and the Gernsback manuals. Gray's book is new to me and will be near my workbench from now on.

Gray's Sourcebook is a handy format (6" x 9") and a good value at $18.95. It may be ordered from A.R.C. and other A.R.C. advertisers. Be sure to check them for shipping arrangements.

(Richard C. Foster, 12 Shawmut Ave., Cochituate, MA 01778)


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Copyright © 1996 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.
Last revised: May 23, 1998. Pages designed by Wayward Fluffy Publications