Westinghouse model H-126 "Little Jewel"

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Dating the radio: These radios were manufactured between 1945 and 1949. Because of a scarcity of 35A5 vacuum tubes, the 35A5 tube socket on this radio has been changed so that it now accepts a 35L6. On the side of the chassis near the tube socket is the letter "C" to indicate a change in the design. This change went into effect either June 20, 1946 or July 11, 1946 (depending on where you get the information.)  Therefore, the radio was made between the second half of 1946 and 1949.

Under the chassis. I "repaired" this in 1987 by replacing capacitors till it started working.
The filter capacitor has a cardboard cover! That means we can operate on it and then put the cover back on. There are three capacitors in the metal can. The reason for the cover is that the can is stamped with the wrong values.

As if there weren't already enough parts in this radio, the cardboard sleeve had to be added to the metal can to show the correct values inside.
Connected to the three filter capacitors are four rubber coated wires that need to be replaced. The rubber insulation shattered when I cut the wires.

To re-stuff the can, you need to cut the wires, drill out the rivets, remove the socket with the can from the chassis, cut it open and pull out the antique capacitors. In this case, the paper electrolyte material was still sticky. I didn't know what the sticky stuff was, so I ate some of it to see if it was toxic in case I had to wash my hands after touching it.

Actually, the sticky electrolyte material is made of Borax and Ethylene Glycol (anti-freeze.)
Holes were drilled in the cleaned-out base for the new caps. It needs two 50uf @ 150 volts and one 20uf @ 25 volts. In the left hand photo I've marked where the positive lead of the 20uf capacitor goes. If I get this mixed up, 120 volts will go through the 25 volt cap.

The "clever" plan was to use all 160 volt caps as a fail-safe. If I got a 50uf cap mixed up with the 20uf cap it might not make much of a difference as long as they were all rated at 160 volts. It was a darn good plan if you ask me.

Unfortunately, the negative leads were too short to allow them to spread out the way I envisioned they would be, so they are all crammed into one side of the can. I had to use a smaller 50 volt 20uf cap to get all three of them to fit in there. So much for my clever plan. Next time I'll find capacitors with longer leads. *

A perfect example of a "brain freeze." I could have soldered wires to the leads to extend them.

Because the area in the chassis is so tight to work in, I added some of the components before putting the can back in place.

Before and After.

The bearings in the tuning capacitor are bone dry, as is to be expected. The chassis is turned on its side when it's in the case. In this position, the 12SJ7 vacuum tube is situated directly under the tuning capacitor and heats it up. The heat from the 35L6 also heats it up. The grease in these bearings probably melted an hour after the original owner fired this thing up in the 1940s.
I used 100% Teflon to lube the bearings. This dispenser is sold in bicycle shops to lube bicycle chains. I put some in the toaster oven at 250 ̊ F. It didn't melt.

If you are restoring one of these radios and the strain relief for the AC cord is missing, this is what it looks like. I believe it was one piece, with a paper hinge. The fact that it is no longer hinged makes no difference. You can make these out of poster board or some other heavy paper material. Notice how they are keyed and the way the cord is routed.

Mount the cord in the strain relief first, then solder the connections. Or if you like, you can slide the strain relief parts onto the cord, solder the cord in place and then attempt to mount the strain relief. After you realize you gave no thought to the order the pieces go together, you can cut the cord off and start over, like I did.

I let the knobs soak overnight in soapy water and all those flecks of paint came off. Once they were clean, the scratches in them became very apparent. Some 1000 grit sandpaper and plastic polish took care of them. They look new if you don't get too close.

For the sake of appearance, the old capacitor on the antenna was stuffed with a new one.
There are colored dots to show you where the wires are connected when you reattach it to the radio.

  Here's the little No. 47 pilot lamp, made by General Electric. It looked to be as old as the radio, so it was replaced.

General Electric was formed in 1892 when the Edison General Electric Company, founded by Thomas Edison, merged with the Thomson-Houston Company. A week after this bulb was replaced, November 13, 2017, General Electric CEO John Flannery announced that the company is getting out of the lighting business after 139 years.

Maybe I should put the bulb back in the radio since there seems to be some cosmic connection with current events. On the other hand, GE also made vacuum tubes. I don't think putting a GE vacuum tube in the radio would start them making vacuum tubes again.

Ironically, Thomas Edison invented the diode vacuum tube and never realized it.


There is only one route from the AC outlet to the chassis. A polarized plug was wired as above.

After checking the resistors, it was time to plug the radio in and hear how well it works!