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Ge AM tube radio-Only hums won't tune? Answered

I have a GE tube radio that I got at a yard sale, but it only hums when turned on, it won't tune to a station



6 years ago

All good suggestions.

The filter caps probably need replacing, but always replace the tubes first. Even with bad caps and hum, you should be able to hear some radio output if the tubes are good.

The two filter caps are 30uF and 50uF on the schematic. The white tubular cap is likely a multi-section cap.  If you decide to replace, just use two individual caps, a 33uF and a 47uF, that's close enough.

Change ALL electrolytic and paper/wax capacitors. Pay attention to polarity and voltage marked on the existing caps. 99% of the time that fixes it. Look for any burned resistors. Sometimes they burn out when an old radio is plugged in that has defunct capacitors. Goodluck.

An old radio that hums and does nothing else usually means the filter capacitors have gone bad. Look at the capacitor you mentioned in your last photo and it should show you the number and rating of the capacitors inside of it. Most of these have either 2 or 3 capacitors, and they can be replaced with modern versions. Just stay as close as you can to their mfd rating, and if you have can't find capacitors with the same voltage rating, go high on the volts. Also, be careful of polarity.

Also, if you can't read the values on the capacitor, do a search on the model of this radio -- there are a lot of schematics on the internet.

My problem with that as you can see in the photo, is that the tag with the model number is faded and unreadable

Start out by checking if all the tubes glow.


Yes, They all glow, I think it might be a capacitor problem with the one you can see in the last pic, its the white large one on an angle, mine was orange, with a silver tape over it, but I don't know the values of it. Any ideas?

Change The 35W4 and the Electrolytic Capacitors..Hope It Works

Check The 35W4 Power Supply Tube...Output Should Be +170 VDC( 120 VACx1.414) If This Tube is Gassy You will get Hum out of The Speakers.Please Use an Isolation Transformer when Servicing Radios,,,Good Luck

Maybe its just me, but i dont see an antenna in there anywhere... I agree with the others on definately replacing the capacitors first and removing the hum from the audio so it will give you a chance to see if it possibly picks up faint stations. You also have a board all the components are mounted on instead of a chassis so that should make it easier to diagnos issues.

Yes, you're correct, I pulled these pics from Google, as I didn't have access to the radio at the time. Mine has an antenna, but I wonder if it is correctly connected? I will start with capacitors, and it may seem strange, but this radio has an IC in it. and also, i removed the board from the case and have it on my workbench so it's easier

Start with the capacitor can first, then the rest. I changed that on mine and the humming went away even before i changed the others.

Alright, I'll try that first, I'm curious, do you have this radio also?

No, I dont have one like yours. I have an Arvin radio i posted the restoration on here, and I just bought a zenith radio thats complete but wont turn on for some reason.

Ok its a T 129 B

I added a schematic


6 years ago

As a first step I would remove the tubes, one at a time, and use a small wire brush to clean the pins. Then replace them and wiggle them around or rock them in the socket to make sure all the pins are making contact. With something this old corrosion can be a problem. Buy the way, also clean all the dust off the glass envelope. (wipe it with a damp cloth) Layers of dust can raise the internal temps of the tubes.