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  #1  
Old 01-05-2019, 04:20 PM
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Kingfisher Kingfisher is offline
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Tube radios with PC boards. Questions....

When did manufacturers first start using PC boards in their table radios?

What companies were known for using PC boards with tubes and are they a sign of lower quality compared to P-to-P wiring?
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:04 PM
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RCA was an early adapter to PCB. Lower quality? Can't say that after seeing many radios with rats nest wiring instead of neat point to point....
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:09 PM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Originally Posted by Celt View Post
RCA was an early adapter to PCB. Lower quality? Can't say that after seeing many radios with rats nest wiring instead of neat point to point....
Late 1952 or so, Admiral and Motorola started building AA5 radios. Following them Philco, GE, Emerson started that trend.
In my collection, I have a few Westinghouse radios that use a moulded bakelite chassis similar to the early 40's Zenith radios that were a flop!
I have a 1956 Zenith clock radio that uses a PC board. Zenith only made two years of tube radios that used PC boards. It seems they had too much trouble with the boards, because of the heat.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:11 PM
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RCA was an early adapter to PCB. Lower quality? Can't say that after seeing many radios with rats nest wiring instead of neat point to point....
It just seems to me that Zenith radios (among others) with P-to-P wiring were some of the best quality American radios made in the 1960's compared to Philco, GE, Emerson, Arvin, etc. They seem to be in a class by themselves (which is why many on this forum like them so much.). I own 3 Zeniths, and I have to say, they have better build quality than those mentioned above that I have come across. RCA isn't bad, but I have only come across a wooden-cased SS one. Never found a tube model.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:13 PM
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Kingfisher Kingfisher is offline
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Originally Posted by dieseljeep View Post
Zenith only made two years of tube radios that used PC boards. It seems they had too much trouble with the boards, because of the heat.
Exactly! Why did Zenith give up on PCBs but not everyone else?
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Old 01-05-2019, 11:50 PM
Titan1a Titan1a is offline
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It's easier, cheaper and faster to use printed circuits. Tubes complicate matters by being hot!
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Old 01-06-2019, 03:09 AM
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It's easier, cheaper and faster to use printed circuits. Tubes complicate matters by being hot!
And that's why they invented transistors.
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Old 01-06-2019, 05:54 AM
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I once had a Zenith portable radio that was a) solid state....and b) point to point wiring!All of the transistors were in little sockets. It was a) an excellent performer and b) stolen.
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:54 AM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Exactly! Why did Zenith give up on PCBs but not everyone else?
The PC boards in the Zenith tube radios had a problem with the foil lifting from the heat. The first Royal 500 transistor radio had a hand wired chassis.
The other radio firms never had much problem with their PC board radios.
Naturally, they were the lowest priced radios in their line.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:48 PM
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Exactly! Why did Zenith give up on PCBs but not everyone else?
Another example, a fairly conservative instrument manufacturer, Tektronix, ventured into PC boards for the tube operated type 310 oscilloscope in 1955. For the later 310A, the company resumed use of the traditional hand wiring on Tek-made ceramic terminal strips:

http://w140.com/tekwiki/wiki/310

Perhaps less conservative manufactures were less sensitive to field reliability issues that were related to early PC boards.

jr
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