General Electric 7-4100JA
AM/FM Two-Band Table Radio

This page chronicles improvements made to a General Electric "7-4100JA" AM/FM table radio. Latest revisions are at the bottom of the page.

Another Achievement from Radio Headquarters



General Electric "7-4100JA"

 

Photo: September 19, 2021 / Inlet, NY / iPhone 8
As found in the antique store


General Electric (USA)
GE Consumer Electronics / 600 Sherman Drive / Indianapolis, IN 46201
Made in Malaysia circa 1987
Date Code: 6840E / Serial № 067559

Years manufactured: circa 1987 – ?

Tuning Range
Broadcast (AM): 540 - 1600 kHz
Frequency Modulated (FM): 88 - 108 MHz

Nostalgic Replica
This radio is a replica of the 1932 GE J100 AM radio.

Discovery and Condition
September 19, 2021 (Sunday): First saw this radio at Jack Greco Custom Furniture (161 Route 28 Inlet, NY). It was marked $99, but the clerk called the owner, and she said he would take $10 off. Good to know. I said I'd be willing to pay $45, but the clerk didn't think he would accept that offer. I was unaware of what these replica radios were actually selling for on eBay, which would also involve high shipping costs. It took multiple visits over several days, and some late-night internet searches to finally make the decision to buy it.

Examined it from various angles, took a few photos with the cell phone, and plugged it into an outlet near a large window facing the street. It picked up North Country Public Radio (NCPR) on the FM band, but nothing else.

Screen capture of NCPR coverage / September 24, 2021

Click screen capture to view annotated NCPR coverage map in the Inlet, NY area.
Click here to search online for the complete, interactive NCPR coverage map.

Note: Inlet, NY is between the NCPR translator in Old Forge (W204BJ / 88.7 FM), and the NCPR transmitter in Blue Mountain Lake (WXLH / 91.3 FM), so it could have been either of those signals. Also, no stations were heard on AM. This region of New York state is infamous for having poor radio reception (the notable exception being NCPR), so the quiet trek up and down the bands was expected.

Photo: September 22, 2021 / Inlet, NY / iPhone 8

This photo was taken in the antique store on the second of three visits.

Another Look
September 22, 2021 (Wednesday): Went back to look it over again. Took a closer look at the bottom, and compared it to ones found on eBay. There were no indications that anything had been modified on this example. Everything looked right. Also, was surprised to discover that the asking price was actually in line with completed online auctions, after shipping costs were factored in. This is a 1987 replica, not the original one from 1932. Having said that, recall this replica was released 34 years ago, so it is actually an antique replica of a much older radio.

Photo: September 23, 2021 / Great Pines Inn / Fourth Lake, NY / iPhone 8

This photo was taken at the Great Pines Inn after cleaning the knobs and cabinet.

Purchase and Edification
September 23, 2021 (Thursday): Returned to the store a third time, and got it for $89 plus $7.12 tax, for a total of $96.12. It seemed slightly excessive, but not when compared to similar examples on eBay. The young woman at the register asked, "Is that a music box or something?" I replied, "It's a radio – do you listen to the radio?" She hesitated, then said, "No, not really."

After a short hike up one of the local trails, got back to the Great Pines Inn, on the north shore of Fourth Lake, and gave the cabinet a healthy dose of Howard Feed-N-Wax, and rubbed out some dark, gooey marks on the top of the cabinet. It responded well to the product. Then, removed the knobs, and cleaned them under warm running water with a nail brush, and Palmolive dish washing liquid. The results were satisfying.

Photo: September 24, 2021 / Fourth Lake, NY / iPhone 8

September 24, 2021 (Friday): 12:15 a.m. During a night of heavy rain and wind in Fourth Lake, NY, we verified the AM band was working by tuning in numerous stations up and down the dial. For this photo, we landed on 1030 AM (WBZ / Boston / 50,000 Watts), which had one of the stronger signals. From the initial evaluations, the dial seemed to be 100% aligned across both bands, which was satisfying on a 34+ year old radio.


January 13, 2022 (Thursday): Noticed the dial lamp was out. Previously found a YouTube video ( https://youtu.be/BtQUrLVAJUc ), which included replacing the lamp, so watched it again to remember how to remove it.

January 14, 2022 (Friday): Did not need to remove the circuit board from the cabinet (as shown in the video). Once I saw where the dial lamp was located in the video, I just reached over the top of the board and plucked it from the rubber grommet (see photo). From there, snipped the wires, figure out which one was positive, and soldered the new lamp in place. Used shrink wrap to cover and insulate the new connections. The radio was 34 years old, and it was the first time the lamp had been replaced. The dial lamp wires measured 5.5 volts in the video, and also measured 5.5 volts on the bench (see photo). Replaced the lamp with a Radio Shack catalog № 2720057, 6 volt, 50 mA miniature lamp (see photos).

Used Radio Shack catalog № 2720057 6 volt, 50 mA miniature vacuum lamp.
After the repair, ordered two more for spares: subtotal $5.98 + shipping $4.99 + tax $0.82 = total $11.79

Fortunately, I had the new lamp in stock in the workshop, but ordered two more for spares. Unfortunately, Radio Shack stores are a thing of the past, but with the price of gasoline today, it actually makes more sense to pay the nominal shipping fees instead.

  

Photos: January 14, 2022 / iPhone 8

Replaced original dial lamp with Radio Shack 6 volt, 50 mA miniature vacuum lamp (catalog № 2720057).



c o n t a c t / r a d i o w o r l d
General Electric 7-4100JA
Established: September 23, 2021
Last Update: November 07, 2022
Black Sparrow Photography / Jeffrey P. Miller (N2AWA)