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Elements of Practical Radio Mechanics - Manual for Beginners

Elements of Practical Radio Mechanics – A Shop Manual for Beginners by Samuel L. Marshall (1945, 248 pages). This is a fantastic book for the person just getting started in antique radio repair.

From the Foreword:
The purpose of this book is to present to the individual the essential manipulative skills and related theoretical information pertaining to construction, adjustment, repairs, and measurements of radio receivers and transmitters.

This knowledge is a prerequisite for employment in any of the allied fields of radio communications and electronics, such as: receivers, sound systems, commercial air, land, and sea communications, industrial electronics, television, frequency modulation, and facsimile.

Developed over a period of eight years, this material has been applied and tested during that time by thousands of students of all ages, enabling them to enter upon and find employment in the radio industry.

In developing the subject matter emphasis has been placed on the practical aspects of the trade with a view to enabling students to fit themselves quickly into jobs requiring practical knowledge. The phrase best describing this treatment would be, “from the simple manipulation to the complex operation.”

Public vocational and private trade schools will find the job sheets particularly adaptable for use in their courses of study. Those who are educating themselves in this field will also find the sequence of instruction most suitable for their purposes.
If, as a result of this book, those who have been engaged in wartime pursuits are enabled to switch with ease to peacetime jobs, the effort expended in its preparation will have been well worth while.


1 – Splices
Basic tools used by the radio mechanic

2 – Soldering
Exercise in soldering
Theory of soldering
Tinning an iron, and soldering

3 – Open and Short Circuits
Open and short circuits
Vacuum tube construction
Tube base types
“A” batteries

4 – Diode Receivers
Diode receiver
Theory of diode operation
Applications of the diode
Antenna construction
Radio frequency transformers
Grounds, earth, and chassis
Variable condensers
Fixed and adjustable small condensers
How to read a graph

5 – Simple Circuit Measurements
Simple circuit measurements
How to use an ammeter
How to use a voltmeter
Ohm’s Law

6 – One Tube Triode Receiver
One tube triode receiver
Construction of triode vacuum tubes
Theory of triode vacuum tubes
Rules for proper wiring
Diagram connections
Fixed resistors
“B” batteries
Continuity testing

7 – Parallel Circuits
Parallel circuit measurements
Procedures in parallel circuit measurements
How to use an ohmmeter

8 – Vacuum Tube Characteristics
Static tube characteristics
Mutual conductance
Plate resistance
Amplification factor

9 – Two Tube Triode Receiver
Two tube triode receiver
“C” bias and “C” batteries
Effect of “C” bias on tube
Effect of signal voltage on plate current
Resistor ratings
Color coding
Wiring accessories

10 – Series Circuits
Series circuits
Procedures in series circuits

11 – Three Tube Triode Receiver
Three tube triode receiver
Resistance coupled audio amplification
Cathode biasing
Stage gain for resistance coupled amplifiers
How to measure cathode bias

12 – Three Tube Receiver Eliminating “A” Battery
Three tube receiver eliminating “A” battery
Methods of eliminating “A” battery
Line ballast calculations
Coil windings
Radio frequency transformers
Coil connections
Impedance matching in R.F. transformers

13 – Series-Parallel Circuits
Series-parallel circuits
Procedures in series-parallel circuits
Problems in series-parallel circuits

14 – Four Tube Triode Receiver
Four tube triode receiver
Theory of half-wave rectification
Dry electrolytic condensers
Wet electrolytic condensers, fuses, line cords
The magnetic loud speaker

15 – Rectifier Measurements
Rectifier measurements
Plate current measurements
Tube testers, use of
Volt-ohm-milliameters, use of

16 – Two Tube Pentode Receiver, A.C.-D.C.
Two tube pentode A.C.-D.C. Receiver
Theory of tetrodes
Theory of pentodes
Plate detection
Grid leak and condenser detection
Pilot lights and sockets

17 – Three Tube Pentode Receiver
Three tube pentode receiver
Resistance analysis
Pentode R.F. amplification
Resce and R.F. gain
Methods of reducing R.F. oscillation
Theory of remote cut-off tubes
How to measure plate and screen voltages

18 – Four Tube Pentode, Beam Power Receiver
Four tube pentode, beam power receiver
Theory of filter chokes
Volume controls
Volume control applications
Theory of beam power tube
Theory of output transformer
Permanent magnet speakers
Voltage analysis
How to align a T.R.F. receiver
How to use a signal generator
Special tools for the radio mechanic

19 – Power Supply
Power supply
Theory of full-wave rectification
Power transformer lead identification
Voltage divider calculations

20 – Five Tube A.C. T.R.F. Receiver
Five tube A.C. T.R.F. receiver
Theory of tone control circuits
Connecting an output meter
Contact bias and audio volume controls
Electrodynamic speakers

21 – Six Tube Super-heterodyne
Six tube super-heterodyne
Block diagram of super-heterodyne
Mechanical oscillators
Theory of oscillators
Purpose of oscillator grid resistor and condenser
Oscillator circuits and methods of mixing
How to test oscillator circuits
I.F. transformers
Theory of duo-diode triode detection
Aligning the super-heterodyne
Aligning the I.F. stages
Aligning the R.F. stages and oscillator
Adjusting the padding condenser
Ideal tracking curve of a super-heterodyne
Actual tracking curve of a super-heterodyne
Cut-plate method of tracking
Padder method of tracking

22 – Adding A.V.C. to a Super-heterodyne
Adding A.V.C. to a super-heterodyne
A.V.C. theory
Polarity of A.V.C.

23 – Constructing a C.W. transmitter
Baseboard layout
Transmitter measurements
Transmitter coil design
Transmitter coil data
Crystal operation
Transmitter keys

24 – Constructing a Phone and C.W. transmitter
Theoretical discussion
Wiring diagram
Panel and chassis layout
Crystal oscillators
Tuned grid-tuned plate and electron coupled oscillators
Hartley and Colpitts oscillators
Dynatron and multivibrator oscillators
Push-pull amplifiers
Theory of neutralization
How to neutralize an R.F. stage of a transmitter


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