World War II Navy Radio
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NOTE - This is a re-creation of Rob Flory's original site which crashed some time ago - unfortunately some photos are still missing but most of the text is here - if you can help with any replacement photos, please send e-mail to Rob or to Nick K4NYW

Click here for Nick's 1950's-60's Navy Radio Pages -

Suggestions for Getting Your Navy Radio Working

As a living history enthusiast,  I enjoy using World War II Navy radios in their original condition as much as possible.  I prefer not to modify them, and if you sell your radio eventually, the market values unmodified gear.
On this page, I want to share some information on how to get the most out of your Navy radio without altering it. 

Original connectors can be a challenge to find.  Many receivers such as RAO, RBA, RBB, RBC, RBS use a concentric (coaxial) connector that is unfamiliar to the novice.  There is an easy adapter you can make that lets you use standard coax connectors with these radios.
In the picture below is the actual Navy connector, and an adapter I made to replace the original connector.  I made the adapter by taking a standard double female coax connector and turning the threads off of one end with a lathe.  The final diameter is .55 inches.  This end of the adapter fits into the receiver antenna input, and a PL-259 with transmission line is attached to the remaining threaded end.  I've now made a connection to my receiver without altering it.

Navy Concentric Line Plug and Homemade Adapter

Power Supplies
You'll get the best results with your Navy radio if you find the original power supply.  This can take some time, and naturally you want to see how your radio works, so homebrewing a supply can get you going.
When it comes to transmitters, many of the Navy rigs used motor-generators that are nearly impossible to find.  These motor-generators had extremely good voltage regulation.  If you replace them with an ordinary rectifier power supply, especially for the frequency-determining stages, you will be disappointed in the performance of your transmitter.  I think that most complaints of chirp in old Navy rigs are due to the use of inadequate power supplies.
I encourage you to use a well-regulated power supply for the master oscillator stage of your Navy transmitter.  Some folks have had good results with electronic regulation.  I am using a dynamotor for the MO and IPA of my TCK transmitter that makes 550V open circuit, and 525 under load.  It also makes a nice rotating machinery ambiance in my radio shack.

The toggle switches often used for power and function switches are of the type with a body made of laminated phenolic(or some similar insulating material) and are not able to be opened up for cleaning.  I have had a high success rate with putting the radio on its back so that the front panel and switches face upwards, and spraying contact cleaner into the switch where the toggle goes into the body.  With a little exercise, this seems to get enough cleaner down into the switch to do the job.