Mechanical vibrators use points similar to
those used in ignition systems of older cars. These points are subject to wear, pitting,
and oxidization. Solid State vibrators switch electrical current with transistors similar
to modern automobile ignition systems. While mechanical points have a life of about 100
million operations, transistors can operate reliably at 1 million operations per second
With few exceptions, mechanical vibrators
have not been manufactured for more than 30 years. The New-Old-Stock that remains is
affected by aging. A large percentage of NOS vibrators will not operate properly due to
oxidization of the points, and/or deteriorating rubber that insulates the mechanism from
the can. The Solid State vibrators in our catalog are state-of-the-art technology,
packaged in metal cans with base styles to exactly duplicate in form, fit, and function
nearly every type of vibrator used in US "factory" automobile radios since their
invention in 1932. We also make vibrators to fit most Becker, Blaupunkt and other European
radios, and some Australian types.
THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT
SOLID STATE VIBRATORS
Unlike mechanical vibrators, Solid State
vibrators are polarity sensitive. All of our vibrators use a suffix after the part number
that designates the vibrator for use in a Positive or Negative ground electrical system.
The Antique Automobile Radio Automobile Battery
Grounding Chart shows the proper ground polarity for all major US automakers from
1932-1957. If you are not sure of your vehicle ground polarity, please check which
terminal of your battery is connected directly to the engine block or car body.
A Solid State vibrator will not fix an
otherwise "broke" radio. Nothing can compensate for shorted buffer condensers,
deteriorated electrolytic capacitors, or other ailments common to 40 or 50 year old
radios. If you want to try a Solid State vibrator because mechanical vibrators keep
burning up in your radio, it would be a good idea to first have the radio checked out for
shorts in the B+ circuits. Rule of Thumb: 6 volt radios should draw approx. 1 amp
per tube, not counting the rectifier. 12-volt radios that use a vibrator should draw about
.5 amp per tube excluding the rectifier.
Whether you use a Solid State or
mechanical vibrator, both the radio manufacturer and the vibrator manufacturer recommend
that you replace the buffer condenser each time you replace the vibrator. Note:
In some synchronous vibrators, the buffer is built into the vibrator.
Solid State vibrators cannot be tested
with an ohmmeter or with a conventional vibrator tester. All of their parameters are
tested during and after manufacture, and must meet exacting standards. Field testing
should be done by installing the vibrator in a radio known to be in good working order,
and of the proper polarity.