Return to the Electronics Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Should a 30 year old radio still work?

Posted by albert_135 (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 6, 12 at 12:01

A 30 year old GE clock radio, never before removed from its original box, will not play any radio stations. Should it still work or has radio gone digital too?

The clock part works.

There are several stations that come in strong on the car radio.

Should the old GE still work?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Should a 30 year old radio still work?

Car radios are usually built to provide better reception than clock radios.
Does it make any noise at all when placed close to a TV?


 o
RE: Should a 30 year old radio still work?

Most likely the electrolytic capacitors have dried out, the transistors should be OK.
Probably not worth fixing.


 o
RE: Should a 30 year old radio still work?

It should, but Mikecowley is probably correct. It may also have been faulty out of the box.


 o
RE: Should a 30 year old radio still work?

Radio has not all gone digital, you should be able to pick up any local AM and FM stations.

If it has an antenna screw or jack, add a wire to that, or if it has a pull-up FM antenna, make sure that's pulled up.


 o
RE: Should a 30 year old radio still work?

Dried out caps.

The common commercial ones have around a 10 year lifetime, used or not.


 o
RE: Should a 30 year old radio still work?

"The common commercial ones have around a 10 year lifetime, used or not.

That misconception comes from the inexpensive Sanyo electrolytic capacitors used in the 80's. They were the light blue ones used for DC rectifier circuits, audio coupling, and servo sample/hold circuits in VCRs.

Better quality electrolytic capacitors, and even those used in the old tube-type AM table radios, will typically last 30-40 years and stay within their +/- 20% tolerance.

BTW - to explain the what is meant by "dried out electrolytic capacitors" - electrolytic capacitors use a wet paste within their rolled foil construction that eventually dries out over time.

Without any feedback from albert, there is no way to further address the exact cause of his particular problem. While it may be 30 year old caps, they don't usually fail in a go/no-go way but will typically degrade over time causing hum, buzz, or low volume levels.


 o
RE: Should a 30 year old radio still work?

"That misconception..."

Hardly a "misconception" since all of the less expensive aluminum electrolytic caps have the problem.

The rubber seals are not hermetic and the oil eventually leaks.

Solid tantalum capacitors are some of the few that last nearly forever, or hermetic wet slug tantalum.

They are also far more expensive than aluminum electrolytic.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Electronics Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here