2020-10-24 Aligning AM Radios

Joe Leonard
I’m not a pro at aligning radios and there are different techniques that a manufacturer may recommend. Some radios have alignment instructions with the schematic and parts list. With that in mind, I’ll say..

The IF cans with the screwdriver slots on their tops are aligned at the factory and usually locked with wax or paint. The screwdriver slot is in a ferrite (glass) cup or rod that is very easily broken with a metal screwdriver, it should be adjusted only with a plastic alignment tool. I would recommend you do not adjust any of the IFs until you can do it to a radio you can afford to trash.

There are adjustments called trimmers on both of the sections of the tuning capacitor. The plastic “polyvaricon” has the two screw slots on it marked A and O on the plastic. The A is antenna, O the local oscillator. Sometimes the heavy ferrite bar antenna gets jostled or the coils move. It’s best to correct any changes to the ferrite bar antenna before adjusting the A screw. If you adjust A wrong, the stations may come in strong on one part of the band and weak or not at all on another part of the band. The correct adjustment is good on all parts of the band.

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