KFF Homebrew Tips


Restoring Boatanchor Radios - Replacing Components the Easy Way. DE KFF


Anyone who restores or repairs Vintage Radio gear knows that capacitors and sometimes resistors

often need replacing. It would be safe to say that in any old radio gear, capacitors DO need to be replaced.

These sets were built using point-to-point wiring  and terminal strips as well as tube sockets

with terminals on the back. Connections were ALWAYS made mechanically sound before soldering,

by wrapping the wire through the hole in the terminal and clamping down on it.  

If there were but one wire on the terminal, there is no real issue, you would just remove the whole wire and replace the component with a new one.

If you are like me, falling prey to Murphy's Law all the time, the wire you really want is under 5 or 6 other really heavy wires that don't need to come out.

In this situation we use a little spiral of wire, interwrapped with small gauge solder. These are prepared ahead of time using a pin or similar form with a diameter close to that of the wires being spliced.


Once the little cylinders of solder+wire are prepared, it is very simple to clip the old component out, leaving adequate lead length in the set, then splice in the new component.


Just like doctors the vintage radio restorer's first rule is "Do no harm!".


Following is a picture demo to show the steps.


Fig. 1- Typical point-to-point wiring technology:

Fig 2 - Clip out bad component. Also shows wire and solder material to make spiral:

Fig. 3 - Wind wire and solder on form, interleaved:

Fig. 4 - Cut spiral to correct length needed:


Fig. 5 - Right side soldered, left side ready to heat:



Heat shrink tubing could be used to dress up the joint but this would not be "period correct".

These spiral solder splices are absolutely period correct.



Happy Building, Geo>KFF