1945 Car Radio Conversion


Seventy years ago, the war was over, but radios were not yet available to consumers, since production had been shut down on April 22, 1942.  Gasoline rationing had already ended, but after years of tight restrictions on both tires and gasoline, it was likely that there were a lot of car radios that weren’t seeing much use.  Therefore, it’s quite likely that many owners of car radios took the lead of the gentleman shown here, and converted the car set for use inside.  The October 1945 issue of Popular Mechanics showed how to make the relatively simple conversion.

The conversion required only a few parts.  First of all, the car’s 6-volt battery was replaced with a 4-amp filament transformer.  Since the transformer put out AC, the vibrator in the car radio was no longer necessary.  Therefore, it was simply removed and jumpered.  The car radio would have a speaker with a 6-volt dynamic coil, which wouldn’t work well with AC.  Therefore, it was simply replaced with a permanent magnet speaker.  The rectifier tube, a 0Z4, was replaced with a 6X5.  Since the set’s existing power supply filter might not be up to the job of getting rid of all of the 60 cycle hum, the article showed where a choke could be added if hum was still a problem.

The set could be housed in a new cabinet or, as shown here, in a desk drawer.

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