Do you remember printed books? Back in the middle of the 20th century people learned their technical skills from pages that have since browned. Other knowledge has been mold damaged; or lost thanks to broken bindings. I've been collecting and scanning some of what I think are the most helpful vintage transistor radio restoration books, and making them available for download.
I try to keep the download prices low enough to just cover my server and other costs. Here are the current offerings. Check back as I will continue to add to the collection.
Transistor Theory & Circuits Made Simple
The print version of this book is rare, and clean copies often sell for more than $55.00 each. This scanned PDF is searchable, making a valuable resource. Topics include solid state theory, a nice description of transistor characteristics, and why they matter, explanations of amplifier and oscillator circuits and twenty construction projects along with theory of operation for each. This is a very good hands-on learning tool and reference book. The download cost is $4.95.
AM RADIO ALIGNMENT Using the FY9600 - The Missing Manual
This 19-page, full color how-to manual will get you aligning vintage AM radios moments after you plug in your FY6900 signal generator. Download cost is $14.95.
- A quick look at superheterodyne radio theory and circuitry
- How to connect your 6900 to a computer to simplify setup and operation
- How to use the 6900 without your computer, if you like
- A detailed description of the specific test frequencies and settings needed for alignment and tracking work
- How to setup and save groups of FY6900 settings to speed up alignment and tracking work
- Descriptions of the FY6900's quirks, and their work-arounds
- A step-by-step, illustrated example of a radio alignment
- Dozens of tips and tricks
- Suggested DIY accessories that you can make at home
- And much more
Using Your GSM328 - The Missing Manual
Chances are that you are not getting all of the potential benefit from your GM328 transistor tester. This16-page, illustrated, full color user manual is filled with tips and shortcuts you have not read elsewhere. Learn about the GM328's many features, advantages and shortfalls. See examples of simple accessories that will expand your tester's potential.
I have written this document with vintage transistor radio collectors in mind, but it will be useful to any electronics hobbyist. It will help you get your collectibles playing again. It can also speed prototyping and save you money. Turn those junk parts drawers into valuable assets. See how the ESR tests work and why they are useful. Explore the differences between in-circuit and out-of-circuit testing. Read about reference websites you can use to further understand and leverage GM328 test results.
Learn which transistor, capacitor, diode, resistor and inductor characteristics are tested and how. See what works and what doesn't. Learn to spot incorrect test results and how to avoid them. Download cost is $7.95.
Vintage Transistor Radio Dial String Repair Book
The idea for this book came when I was struggling to get a friend’s radio dial pointer to work right. The cord had broken. I didn’t have a diagram, I didn’t have the right replacement string, and I didn’t have a clue about how to get the radio to tune stations again. There are an astonishing number of ways to move a tuning capacitor and a pointer. Some designs are straight-forward, others will remind you of Rube Goldberg. A few are downright elegant.
You might find yourself spending hours just thumbing through it, and marveling at the many ways there are to get the job done.
The reproductions in this book are from a variety of old, out-of-print sources, and their original quality ranged from “camera-ready” to downright raggedy. I have done my best to digitally enhance their readability. In some cases, the results are actually better, and bigger than the originals. The download price is $14.95. Printed versions are available for slightly more in my eBay store.
Here are the transistor radio manufacturers covered in the dial string book:
• Channel Master
• Fuji Denki
• General Electric
• Lafayette Radio
• RCA Victor
• Tokyo Transistor
• And others