Why Can't I Use a Voltage Reducer on My Radio?

Because of the amount of current that original tube type radios require to function, it is best to have the original radio converted to 12 volts. Here is why…


The original tube type radio requires about 12 amps of current when the radio is first turned on. Once warmed up the radio continues to draw between 8 and 10 amps. In order for a voltage reducer to deliver enough power to the radio the voltage reducer would have to deliver 24 amps when the radio is first turned on, and 20 amps during the remainder of operation. (An additional consideration is the fact that the components inside of the radio are very voltage sensitive and are easily damaged by excessive voltage and variations in voltage. Radios work best and have the longest life when the voltage supply is constant.)


By contrast, if the radio were to be converted to 12 volts, it would require just five amps to function. By converting your radio to 12 volts, solid state tubes, and vibrators can also be installed which will eliminate the warm up time. The radio would come on and play immediately just like a modern radio does today. In addition, features like FM can be added. The ceramic type voltage reducers (about the only option) typically have a (40%) error rate. That spells death to the tubes inside of the radio which is designed for no more than a ten-percent voltage variation. Imagine what would happen inside of your house if the voltage varied forty percent?

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