Finished Restoration

As Found Condition

1934 General Electric Model K-80   Tubes:  58, 58, 2A7, 58, 2B7, 56, 53, 80
This 1934 General Electric Radio model K-80  is a large elaborate gothic tombstone radio. It was made in Canada. It is identical in the RCA model 140 that was made in the United States.  It had a four segment tuning gang and this one was manufactured with four bands:  A - 540-1500 kHz, B - 1500-3900 kHz, C - 3900-10000 kHz, and D - 8000-18000 kHz. It was also manufactured with a fifth, low frequency band, X - 150-410 kHz. The radio stands 22" high and is 15.5" wide and 11" deep.

From its serial number it looks like this radio was the 480th unit off of the assembly line. It was a relatively expensive radio in its day when you consider that you could buy a new car for a little over $500. In 1933 this radio sold for $92.50 in US dollars according to Morgan McMahon's book "A Flick of the Switch". With inflation that would be $1,861.26 usd today or $2,481.68 in Canadian dollars. When you consider that the average wage in 1933 was about $1600 per year the average family could not afford this luxury radio.

The circuit is shown at the right. The power transformer is also capable of operation at 240 volts for export. The radio is an 8-tube superheterodyne with push-pull Class B audio output. Unusual for the day the radio has two stages of tuned Radio Frequency amplification in its front end. This coupled with its internal antenna, makes the radio quite sensitive and unlike most radios manufactured in the early thirties it easily picks up stations without the need for an external antenna.  

This radio uses 2.5 volt vacuum tubes and is solidly constructed. It was one of the most challenging restorations that I've taken on.  Most parts are buried under the complex bandswitch and RF coil assembly or are mounted on terminal boards.  This complete RF assembly must be removed in order to gain access to the components that are buried underneath. Checkout the Restoration Photos.


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