Steam Powered Radio

A Collection of Non-Memorable Radio Memorabilia

Steam Powered Radio

Welcome to Steam Powered Radio


Vintage Radio Service Manuals?

A while back, I picked up a copy of the National Radio Institute Service Manual from 1946. It is chock full of service manuals for vintage radios. So, since this is a website about broadcast radio, I thought I would add some manuals from the other end of the broadcasting equation, EG, the end user equipment. This service manual book is big, almost 1600 pages, so I will add more manuals from time to time. I know there are tons of sites out there with this info too, but I thought it would compliment what I have here on the sending side of broadcasting.

And Television Too??

This site was originally just for radio broadcast items but, a while back, a nice person named Al sent me a ton o' stuff on vintage RCA television broadcast equipment. I realized then that I should not ignore historical items from that side of radio that has pictures attached to it. So I will start including TV related items from now on. So, if you are a former or current TV person and you have anything that would be cool for the site, please let me know and we can work out how to get loaned or donated items, to the Steam Powered Radio headquarters to be scanned and include on the site! Thanks in advance!


So just what is Steam Powered Radio? Well, it is a place where I and, hopefully others, can post pictures and other items from various radio stations where we have worked. Here you can find stories and pictures from these stations. There are also sections for equipment catalogs and schematics that have been collected over the years.


I have been updating all of the PDF files to include character recognition. Since there are over 2300 pdf files on the site, it will take a while to do this. I am also changing the Steam Powered Radio logo on each file to include a hyperlink to the main page because many of you come to the site through a web search that links directly to the PDF. This will allow users to get to the main page easily.


I have also started adding a note randomly in the PDF file that says 'If you didn't get this from my site, then it was stolen from'. This is response to sites like ManualWiki who feel it's OK to go and grab manuals from my site without any notice or acknowledging where they obtained it from and then add advertising that you have to look at when it was my intention to provide you with FREE manuals and catalogs for you to use and enjoy. I will never charge you for anything or make you sit through ads to get the information you need. I know theft from other sites is commonplace on the web but it annoys me because many of these manuals were purchased by me or in some cases represent many, many hours of looking at a piece of equipment and drawing the schematic out into CAD. If you want to put one of my files on your site, please ask me or go buy the manual or whatever yourself and then charge someone for it.  I will never use a file from another site without permission and then I will note where I got it and add a link to the original site. It's only fair, unless you are ManualWiki of course. All of my PDF's are free of charge for your use. I have started locking files for editing because I am finding my stuff on sites who should know better and they have removed my logo. Printing, of course, is allowed. 


One more thing, this site is for informational purposes only on old broadcast gear. I do not have anything for sale and cannot provide you with anything that you see on these pages, so don't ask for quotations on an item. No sales! Information only! Thank you.


Why Steam Powered Radio? Well, I will freely admit that I stole the title from an associate of mine, Andy Ellis. Andy was the Technical Supervisor for CBS radio in San Francisco and was always proud to point out that he had been in radio "Since it was steam powered". I figured that my first job in a real radio station was in 1974 and even though we had gone from steam to electrons as the power source, 1974 qualifies as being almost far enough in the past to have actually used steam to power the transmitters.


I built this not only because of my love for radio but also to share some of the items I have collected over my career. I used to enjoy visiting radio stations in my travels and I hope to start doing that again. Some of the pictures here are stations I have worked for and some are stations that I visited while traveling. Many of the pictures date back to the late 1970's and early 1980's. Some of these stations are still around but others are now merely memories. I also wanted a place where I could post schematics and manuals that I have collected. Many manufacturers now have their manuals on line but if you are looking for something from someone who is long out of business, it can be frustrating to track it down. I offer them for free in the hopes that someone out there can use it. I mean, really, how often are you gonna come across a manual for a Visual Electronics Laboratories SB6AR 6-Stact cart machine. How often would you need to? But if you do, you'll find one here. Please note that if you find a catalog or manual that you have the rights to and you don't want it posted here, please let me know and I will happily remove it. Also, some of these catalogs are really big, 200 pages or more and 100mb in size. Even with a good internet connection that would take a while. I mean, who wants to wait 15 seconds or so in this day and age, so please be patient.


There are nine sections of interest. The "Radio Stations", "Manuals", and "Catalogs" sections all pretty much deal with radio (sometimes TV) broadcasting items. "Collections" contains pages for individuals who have contributed large amounts of material. "Audio" contains some interesting audio clips collected over the years. "Components" is a collection of parts catalogs, data sheets and manuals of older items you might run across but can't find data on. Vintage Radio Manuals contains service manuals from the National Radio Institute 1946 Servaice Manual Book Volume 1. The "Other Stuff" section is a collection of items I find of interest. This includes old magazines, catalogs, ham radio stuff, railroading or anything else that strikes my fancy. The "People" section is about, well, some of the people who have contributed to the site.


So there you have it. I hope you enjoy looking at what I have here and hopefully you'll find something useful to help with a restoration project or two. If you wish to contribute an item, please contact me and we can discuss it!