I paid $5 at a garage sale for this vintage Sears Silvertone Model 8020 AM/FM Tube Radio. I don't think any other "garage sale enthusiast" wanted to touch it because:
1. There was physical damage to the volume control shaft and the volume control knob was missing. Most collectors know how hard it is to find matching knobs.
2. The cord was cut off so there was no way to test it.
3. It had some sort of brown syrupy substance on it that dried rock hard. I assume this substance to be dried varnish or wood stain.
4. The radio case is very unattractive. It first appeared to be just a painted metal case but after further investigation if turned out to be painted Bakelite.
I have a feeling that at one time this radio graced a table in the living room but toward the end of its life it was disposed to "garage duty" where things like paint, varnish, and other home repair substances were splattered on it. Finally, it failed to play music anymore and was placed in a dark corner of a garage or attic for many years. Then it made it to a garage sale as the owner was doing a through cleaning before "downsizing" for life in a condo community.
Sears Model 8020 History
The Sears Silvertone Model 8020 (Chassis Number 132.841) was offered in the 1948 and 1949 Sears Catalog for a modest price of $47.50. As mentioned, it covers the AM/FM broadcast bands. The Model 8020 was sold as a mid market AM/FM radio as Sears offered other high and low models to compliment the Silvertone product line.
The Model 8020 employs a "transformerless" design and employs a Selium rectifier to convert the incoming line current from AC to DC. The tube filaments are connected in series and are powered directly from the AC line as in most "All American Five" style radios of the time.
To reduce cost, the 12BE6 Converter Tube, 12BA6 IF Amplifier Tube, and the 50L6GT Audio Output Tube are used for both AM and FM reception. A multi-deck switch is used to switch the many components into the AM or FM mode circuits.
The power switch is on the Neutral leg of the power connection which makes this radio dangerous to work on when removed from the insulated cabinet. Turning the radio off still leaves the chassis energized!
Back of the Sears Silvertone 8020
Notice the missing power cord?
Top of the Sears Silvertone 8020
Notice the white paint flecks. I am not sure what the black substance is, could be motor oil. I am fairly certain that the substance dripped on the lower right hand corner is varnish.
Stay tuned boys and girls as I will be writing further blogs on bringing this Sears Silvertone Model 8020 back to life!
Who Writes This Blog?
John is an IT professional from Cleveland, OH who enjoys amateur radio, ham radio, metal detecting,
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