Advantages of Solid State Vibrators


  • 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 for years!

  • Mechanical vibrators got their name from the metal armature that vibrates in proximity to an electro-magnet to open and close the points. The HUM you hear when your radio is operating is a direct result of this action. Solid State vibrators have no moving parts – they're absolutely silent in operation.

  • 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.


  • 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.

  • Do not operate your radio directly from a battery charger. Never install a 6-volt radio in a car with an 8-volt battery without a reducer. While the above practices probably will not damage the vibrator, either can destroy other parts of the radio in a very short time.

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ANTIQUE AUTOMOBILE RADIO, INC., 700 Tampa Road, Palm Harbor, Florida 34683
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