Tube Radio Australia

AWA C17020 Restoration Project


History of this Radio

This radio was recovered from a estate back yard and was in terrible external condition. Luckily the seal had held and the internals although suffering from some condensation had not rusted badly like the front and outer cabinet.

The radio was constructed by AWA as an Australian Army Amenities receiver in 1945. It is a dual wave super heterodyne receiver, using 5 valves.

It covers the Broadcast band and one Shortwave band. It operates from 6 volts DC using an internal synchronous vibrator power supply. It is housed in a pressed steel case with rounded corners, and a rubber seal that is supposed to make it waterproof. There are 2 carrying handles both were missing on my set, and a hinged speaker, Hence the pet name Gnome Dunny Seat Radio, as the cover looks like the old Dunny seat of days gone by.

The radio weighs in at a back breaking 51 pounds, but when installed in its wooden carrying case, it weighs 95 pounds, and with the battery, weighs 145 pounds.

The manual recommends a long wire aerial 50 to 100 feet in length, and an earth wire if necessary.

Front Panel

The front panel has a prominent flip cover speaker on the left hand side of the front panel. There is the standard AWA reduction Dial on the right hand side.

The power input cable comes into the radio through a grommet, and is located below the speaker. All the receiver lettering is screen printed onto a large plate behind the dial knob. My receiver was very badly corroded, and this had to be sorted including several layers of filler on this panel. The bottom 4 knobs are as follows, left hand knob is a VOLUME control, the next knob is the 2 position power switch labeled SWITCH OFF ON, the next knob is the 2 position band change switch and is labeled RANGE MW SW (Medium Wave and Short Wave), and the final right hand knob is the TONE control.

In the middle of the frequency scale is the main tuning dial and this is 2 speed vernier knob, the rear section is 1:1 and the front section is 23:1. It has a plastic pointer. Use on shortwave needs the reduction as the tuning is very close with the main 1:1 tuning almost impossible to tune in a station on the shortwave bands.

To the right of this are the Aerial and Earth terminals. There is supposed to be a handle on each side. (Will make them later)

The Candidate

Ray Robinson managed to load this one into my trailer on a radio rescue from an estate sale, when I first spotted it I though why are you putting scrap metal in my trailer. After some evaluation I decided that to have a Military radio collection you do need to save some of the less prominent radios and this is part of AWA history.

See Ray Robinsonís Restoration Here:

Note that this Radio has a Green Background to the dial scale, the scale was the only original paint left on this radio..!

Its AWA Army Green not Grey like many of the other radios of this type I have seen before. Sandblasting of the front

and cabinet confirmed that the original color was AWA Army Green.

The Front Speaker Rusted half open.

Top view of the Chassis

With the Speaker removed the Rubber protective boot to protect the chassis from moister

The Synchronous vibrator, this needed to be disassembled and rewired and the wire rubber coating had broken away

The Chassis Underside, note the growth on the Larger capacitors

A close up of the Electrolytic capacitors, these all needed to be replaced and refilled with modern caps.

The rubber on the Electroís had all stared to perish as well.

Inside the Vibrator Supply, I had to remove this from its housing and replace all of the capacitors on the underside of its little chassis.


Rusty Electroís


The Finished SET.


Chassis View


Front View.


     Final Finished Radio.