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Next project: Western Air Patrol
Hi Folks,

I will find pics of the nice little tabletop that will be the next project. A Western Air Patrol 388.

The web offers very little on this 3 band AM + 2 SW set. It also has presets. I found only 2 clues so far. Vintage info was helped by the valves carrying shop test labels dated 1941, and I suspect these are only a year or two post manufacture.

It is in good shape and seems complete. First thing will be to assess, recap and then tackle the rusty chassis if things are promising. Watch (should that be listen to?) this space.


Never even heard of them. A California company. They have some neat looking sets.
People who do not drink, do not smoke, do not eat red meat will one day feel really stupid lying there and dying from nothing.
They do seem rare, and the trail I found on the brand suggests sets commissioned from several manufacturers, rather than being a radio "house" in their own right. Parent company seems to have been based in Los Angeles, where we obtained the set. Google reveals some spectacular consoles.

This one has modern styling for the time (if I am correct about that). It also has a push pull output stage, magic eye indicator and good sized power transformer. On that basis, not a bargain basement design, but good quality. I will check the valve lineup later.
Valve.....Ed, for a CA man you're talking like a Brit Icon_smile
People who do not drink, do not smoke, do not eat red meat will one day feel really stupid lying there and dying from nothing.
Oh no, I've been found out!

Indeed. I grew up in Nottingham, England and have lived here in CA for about 11 years. Somewhere back at home, I have two radios, a Ferranti and a Marconi, both LW MW and SW sets with valves. But my first serious vintage radio work was with the 16X in the other thread. Oh the horror! A Limey let-loose on a good honest Philco Radio Icon_smile Well at least I'm now a US Citizen, and I hope I did a good job.

I will basically tinker with anything electronic, usually radio or HiFi, and end up obsessed with a project until it is right. I think that transcends international boundaries Icon_smile

Tube lineup of the Air Patrol's valves is:

6A8, 78, 75, 6J5, 42 (2 off), and 80

I'll try and get pictures together tomorrow
If it's Western Air Patrol, and it's pre war, it was probably manufactured by Gilfillan in Los Angeles.
OK Here is the next patient. Alas, somehow I lost the picture with a full view of the cabinet...



Judging by what I see of the cabinet, I'd say it was a candidate for a cleanup with GoJo and a rub down with Howard's and then a wax job..... Refinishing, for me should be avoided, unless absolutely necessary. The world has enough unnecessarily refinished radios already! (and yes, I have refinished radios)
I completely agree Steve. Originality is valuable to me, and I like to retain it if at all possible, especially unique details of the cabinet such as decals. I might touch up the toned/darkened areas.

Rust, on the other hand is of no value, and I'd like to stop it in its tracks. The whole top surface of the chassis is in similar condition to what can be seen above. If the set shows promise electrically, I shall want to deal with halting the rust, removing it and possibly painting over. The condition underneath is not yet known. And no - I haven't plugged it in ;)
Here is another
Times I have been electrocuted in 2018:
As of 1/21/2018
Last year: 13
Yes I saw that. It is the same model, thankfully ours is in much nicer shape. Cabinet is intact, grille cloth is in nice condition. Electrically unknown, but that is the fun part :-)
That chassis looks kind of like a Packard Bell one, do you know who made the speaker?
Let me get in there and take a look... I promised myself no tinkering until I'm suitably finished with the Philco Console, and there is still a little work to do there to get it back together in the cabinet, check to see if there is any more regluing needed, make a back for the speaker compartment etc. If I start pulling this set apart, next thing the soldering iron will be switched on and, well, you can guess the rest...
Ed if the set is pre WW2 when you get into overhaul check to be sure the short wave bands are still hooked up. Sets on the West coast during the war may have had these band made inoperable. David
Western Air Patrol (WAP) was the house brand of Western Auto Supply Co. of California (WASCoCA).  Their radios were manufactured mostly by Gilfillan in Los Angeles.  Some models are rebranded Pattersons, like the 11M3C and the 74AW, while many are rebranded Gilfillan models.  I can't say I've ever come across a WAP that was a rebranded Packard Bell, but at some point, the Packard Bell radios were also made by Gilfillan, so some similarity is not a surprise.  Many WAP radios have their model and serial numbers stamped in the metal chassis a la Gilfillan.

In 1939, George Pepperdine decided to sell WASCoCA to Gamble-Skogmo, in order to devote his attention to Pepperdine University.  The *least documented* WAP radio models I've encountered are the ones that went on the market in 1939.  They're identifiable by their linear dials and pushbuttons.  No schematics for them have ever been found.  It seems like, in the confusion of the Gambles merger, some details went missing.  They have several features that link them to Gilfillan products, suggesting they were still being made in L.A.

I've found a discussion of one WAP model released by Gambles in 1940; it was an untraceable battery radio.  After that, no info is available.  It seems Gambles eliminated the WAP brand of radios before the 1941 model year and continued only their own Coronado brand of radios (made largely by Wells-Gardner).

Don't trust the dates of WAP models in RadioMuseum.  Now that a few of them have been found, it seems the last digit of the model number is the best indicator of the year for the 4 years 1936-1939.  The 829, 929, and 1139 are all 1939 models, as far as I can tell.  Since WASCoCA was defunct thereafter, they can't be later than 1939.  A big bolus of WAP schematics was published in Riders in 1941 and 42, possibly released by Gilfillan after their deal with WASCoCA fell apart, but all of those radios are at least 5-6 years older than what's suggested by the publishing date of Riders.  So don't trust the dates in RadioMuseum.

I would guess the 388 model is an 8-tube model from 1938, like the 5-tube model 258 I have in my collection. Don't forget to count the eye tube. shows it's likely to be a rebadged Gilfillan 8-APR:

[Aside:  Truetone was the house brand of Western Auto Supply Co. (of Kansas City, KS).  Most of their radios came from midwest manufacturers, primarily Detrola.]

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