1946 Setchell-Carlson 416 “Frog Eyes” Radio Repair

This little post-WW2 AM Broadcast receiver made a trip from the central Skagit Valley down to Seattle’s Rain City Audio for service. The owner had one of these decades ago and recently picked up another, and wanted it to be restored. These are little 5-tube AM receivers in a series-string configuration; they work well on local stations but were a very economical design best used in cities and near strong stations.


This radio had been serviced several times in the past. There was a new electrolytic capacitor, and replacement paper capacitors from the ’50s/’60s and into the ’70s, which had all long since failed. The resistors were badly drifted with age, as well.


Fortunately, the coils all tested good, so with only a handful of components it was quick and easy to replace 8 capacitors, 6 resistors, the dial lamp, and the 35Z5 with an open dial lamp section.


The dial pointer had been broken off at one point, then soldered back on, but it was actually a pretty decent repair and the pointer was straight. The dial scale was badly faded, but fortunately there’s a reproduction dial scale available.


The radio aligned successfully and gained considerable volume as the IF transformers were badly off-center. Finally, it was time to put it all back in the case.



All in all, this radio got a complete overhaul. Only three original resistors were left that tested within tolerance; the 6 resistors, 6 paper and 2 electrolytic capacitors, the 35Z5 tube, the dial lamp and the dial scale were all replaced. This radio sounds pretty good for it’s size, and should be a reliable performer for a long time to come.

This entry was posted in Audio, Electronics, Projects, Radio, Radios and Tubes, Vintage and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 1946 Setchell-Carlson 416 “Frog Eyes” Radio Repair

  1. David DeRosier says:

    Your welcome. I always enjoy your postings.

  2. David DeRosier says:

    Nice job. I see you also use the orange drop capacitors instead of the cheaper yellow caps. It is nice that there are companies that make reproduction dials. I replaced the dials on all 5 of the Philco radios that I restored and it made a big difference.

    • jwk says:

      Thanks! Components used vary depending on what’s in stock, and what’s a good value, when I re-order…right now it’s a lot of Panasonic and Nichicon dipped caps; I also use white and yellow CDE caps on occasion. Not too many of the generic-yellow ones, although they’re fine for most applications, they tend to be sold by the indie retailers and I order my parts in bulk from Mouser.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s