1957 Auto Radios: Ford
1957 Radio & TV News Article
was part of the hey day of the newfound radio-in-your-car craze,
and the public was voraciously consuming all the high tech equipment
it could afford. Rock and Roll music was on every teenager's mind
and many guys for the first time were able to have their own wheels
and were outfitting them with sound systems that could blast the
latest works of Buddy Holley, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and Fats
Domino. Those machines were the first babe magnets used for cruising
the strip on Saturday nights. Radio stations were popping up all
over the country, enabling cross-country travel with non-stop music,
news, and variety show entertainment. Ford and Chevrolet were not
going to miss an opportunity, so they delved into the high end mobile
radio manufacturing business. As the quality of broadcasts increased,
noise cause by automobile ignition systems bubbled to the top of
issues affecting listing pleasure, including the distance over which
a broadcast could be received. This article describes Ford's efforts
to please their customers' demands.
July 1957 Radio & TV News
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio &
Television News, published 1919 - 1959. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
Here is the equivalent
1957 Chevrolet radios.
1957 Auto Radios: Ford
A systematic check can pinpoint many faults without chassis removal.
Dismantling itself is no problem.
Fig. 1. Ford speakers feature a dust shield with four self-cleaning
If readers of our other
presentations on this year's car receivers have retained any doubts
as to the established position of transistors, low-voltage miniature
tubes, and printed circuits in this field, the three basic radios
used in the 1957 Fords do nothing to encourage such hesitation.
All three models follow the noted trends.
also appears in the speakers used. Continued reliable performance
from these components is assured by the use of a sealed magnetic
structure and incorporation of dirt-release holes. The four release
holes can be seen near the apex of the cone in Fig. 1. Vibration
of the speaker in ordinary use propels foreign particles out of
these openings, but the valve-like action provided by the small
size of the openings impedes the return of dirt and dust.
One of the receivers available for all Ford cars except the
"Thunderbird" is the 75MF. This push-button hybrid includes among
its five tubes a 12BL6 r.f. amplifier, a 12AD6 converter, a 12AF6
i.f. amplifier, a 12AJ6 detector - 1st audio stage, and a 12K5 audio
driver. A 2N176 audio output transistor is mounted on a heat sink
at one side of the chassis.
Another five-tube unit also
using low-voltage tubes in a hybrid design is the 75BF. It uses
a 12AF6 as the r.f. amplifier, but otherwise follows tube line-up
of the 75MF up to the 1st i.f. stage. This is followed by a 2nd
i.f, amplifier (12CN5), which feeds a 12J8 detector-1st audio tube.
The usual audio driver for the transistor is here omitted, with
the 12J8 directly feeding the 2N176.
For those who like
their auto radios with plus features, Model 78MF provides search
tuning and push-pull transistor output, supported with eight low-voltage
tubes. Two 12AD6's are used as the r.f. amplifier and converter.
The two-stage i.f. strip employs a pair of 12AF6's; and the detector-1st
audio portion is handled by a 12AJ6. The conventional 12K5 audio
driver feeds the push-pull 2N176 pair of transistors. The trigger
amplifier for the search tuner, a 12AE6, feeds the 12K5 control
tube, which operates the relay.
As with most auto radios, a defective receiver, once it has been
determined that the fault is in the circuit itself, can be handled
on the service bench with no more difficulty than is experienced
with any other radio. Two problems must be faced first, however.
The first of these involves prior determination of whether the symptom
under examination is actually traceable to the receiver. Then, if
it is indeed found to be in the circuit, the business of getting
the chassis out of its secure position behind the dash panel (and
subsequently that of returning it in satisfactory fashion) must
Fig. 2. Location of leads to receiver.
Fig. 3. The receiver and the dashboard.
Fig. 4. Details for installing or checking noise suppression
equipment. See text.
To attack the problem systematically, a kit of
parts for troubleshooting is recommended. These include spare 5-
and 7.5-ampere fuses, one each of every tube type used in the receivers,
a spare speaker, a spare antenna with lead, and a set of suppression
equipment. All parts except fuses should be pre-tested and marked
so that they will not be left in the radio inadvertently during
substitution tests. Thus armed, the technician is ready to localize
symptoms with the receiver still mounted.
The fuse is checked first. If it is blown, a new one is tried. If
this also blows, the next step is removal to the bench. If it does
not blow, check to. see whether the tubes are lit. If they are not,
the availability of voltage at the A lead (see Fig. 3) should be
checked with a meter. If tubes are lit, the substitute antenna should
be tried to see whether the trouble can be isolated to this section.
Similarly, the substitute speaker can be tried. To avoid damage
to the transistor, never operate the radio without a speaker.
If none of the measures noted localizes the trouble, step-by-step
substitution for each tube is the final test before removal to the
bench becomes mandatory. Check of the output transistor(s) should
not be attempted with the radio in the vehicle. This component is
not considered a likely source of trouble in any case.
or erratic reception: To isolate, it is important to know when
the noise occurs. If it is present when the engine is not running,
the defect is probably in the receiver. However, all leads to and
from the chassis (Figs. 2 and 3) should be checked first for secure
connections. If noise is present only when the engine is running,
and even when the vehicle is not in motion, check the suppression
equipment. More detailed reference will be made to this equipment
later in connection with Fig. 4. Also make sure that the receiver
is properly grounded both to its support bracket and to the contact
with the instrument panel. Noise that occurs only when the auto
is in motion may be due to intermittent contact to automobile ground,
through either the support bracket or the instrument panel. However,
also keep in mind the fact that, if there is intermittent contact
with the antenna or another part of the antenna system, similar
indications will result. These other possibilities should also be
checked when the noted symptoms are present.
garbled sound: Before dismantling the radio, it is a good idea to
check the speaker and individual tubes by substitution. Sometimes,
if the speaker is improperly mounted, bending or twisting may throw
the voice coil out of alignment. Mounting nuts should be tightened
by hand only. If wrench or pliers are used for this operation, there
may be a tendency to over-tighten, with poor sound resulting.
cases of weak reception can also be corrected without chassis removal.
The antenna trimmer, which is accessible externally (Fig. 3), may
be misaligned. It should be adjusted with the antenna fully extended.
When the search tuner tends to run continuously without stopping
on certain stations, it is well to remember, the actual trouble
may also be poor sensitivity. In this connection, note that poor
sensitivity and the other symptoms that may result from it can be
evident when the auto's battery voltage is low. A check of battery
voltage may often save the job of dismounting the radio for a bench
Suppression equipment: When it becomes necessary
to check or install suppression equipment, make certain that all
paint and dirt are removed from between capacitors and the vehicle
and that all nuts and bolts are tight. The lead shown as Item A
in Fig. 4 is the high-voltage distributor-to-coil wire. The generator
suppressor capacitor is shown as Item B. To remove or install it,
it is not necessary to remove the bolt. The latter need only be
loosened enough to slide the mounting bracket under the lock washer.
The capacitor for the voltage regulator is shown at G, and the bonding
clip is located as shown in Item D.
To get at the static
collectors, the front hub grease caps, as shown, must be removed.
Make sure that the cotter key is bent away from the spindle center
hole so that it will not interfere with the static collector. The
bonding cable - this applies to 8-cylinder models only - is shown
in heavy outline in Item E.
Physical considerations: When
tube substitution is necessary, access is obtained simply by removing
the bottom cover of the receiver. This should present no problem.
The tubes may then be found, protruding downward from the chassis
plate and within convenient reach. When the receiver itself has
to be taken out, the most advantageous position to assume for this
chore is in the center of the front seat, directly in front of the
receiver dial. Be sure that the ignition switch is off. As a preliminary
step, the air-duct assembly on the right hand should be removed
to get it out of the way.
The three leads connecting to
the radio - the antenna lead, the A lead, and the pilot-light lead
- should now be disconnected, and the fuse withdrawn from its holder.
Next remove the control knobs, bezel-mounting nuts, bezel, and the
panel-mounting nuts. The leads are shown in Figs. 2 and 3. The hardware
should present no problems.
The lockwasher on the stud at
the right side of the chassis is then removed, and the mounting
bracket is pushed away from the stud. Now the bolt from the other
bracket, at the lower left of the chassis, is also removed.
Now the receiver is free of its mounting, but must still be
maneuvered out of the space in which it is located and into the
clear. To complete removal, grasp the chassis with both hands, push
it forward, and tilt it toward the toe-board until it clears the
instrument panel. This completes the job.
To get the receiver
back into position, the dismantling procedure is reversed with very
little change. The entire unit is guided into position with both
hands but, once it is oriented, it is steadied in place with one
hand while the other is used to install the panel-mounting nuts
While it is thus held, slide the right-hand
mounting bracket over the stud at the right side of the chassis,
and install the nut and lock washer here. Be sure that all cables
and wires are clear of the chassis, else you may have to perform
partial dismantling again when you find that leads cannot be connected
properly because they have to become caught. Now you can install
bolt and lock washer to the stud on the left side. Getting the bezel
and the hardware in place is a relatively simple matter. Next the
speaker plug, A lead, antenna lead, and fuse are returned to place.
Be sure that they are securely connected. Last, don't commit the
common oversight of forgetting to put the air-duct in place.
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BSEE - KB3UON
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