RCA 140
1933
RCA Victor,
Radio Corporation of America,
Camden, New Jersey USA

Tube Line Up:
58...1st. R.F. Amplifier
58...2nd. R.F. Amplifier
2A7...1st. Detector / Oscillator
58...I.F. Amplifier
2B7...2nd. Detector / AVC
56...1st Audio
53...Audio Output
80...Rectifier

Dimensions:
Height...21.75 inches
Width...15.5 inches

Frequency Range:
BC Band "A"...540 kHz - 1.5 MHz
P Band "B"...1.5 MHz - 3.9 MHz
SW1 Band "C"...3.9 MHz - 10 MHz
SW2 Band "D"...8 MHz - 18 MHz
I.F. Frequency...445 kHz

Power Source:
AC...110 Volts

    The schematic for this radio can be found at the Nostalgia Air web site by clicking on the link below.

Schematic & Information

Russian versions of the RCA 140

    At Red Star Radiosite, which is maintained by Vitaly Brousnikin, you can view a couple of Russian versions of the RCA 140.  Click on the links  to the right.

SVD-1 1937 ( Housed in a Russian version of the RCA T10-1

SVD-9 1938

SVD-9 Dial Close Up

    Below are photos of a SVD-9, which is a Russian version of the American RCA 140 radio.  George Ukrainski, an avid antique radio collector who resides in Moscow, Russia, but works in the United Arab Emirates, submitted these photos, along with the interesting history behind this chassis, to me.  In 1982 George acquired this chassis from the original owner, Savin Valentine, who was, at that time, in his 90s. Savin told George that he purchased the radio back in the mid 1930s. The Soviet Union entered WWII on June 22,1941 and on June 25,1941, the Soviet government ordered the entire population to temporarily give up their radios to the local Post & Telegraph offices for proper storage until the wars end. Non compliance with this order would subject any offender to "punishment according to the Laws of Military times...".  The NKVD (later called the KGB) was given only 3 days to carry out the task of rounding up and storing all personally owned radios in the entire country and one can only imagine to panic and chaos that took place when the population of every city, village and rural area through out the Soviet Union struggled to haul in heavy radios of various sizes and age to the local Storage sites.  At this time, Savin owned the SVD-9 but he didn't wish to completely give up such an expensive radio, and so, in risking defiance with the government's orders, he pulled out its chassis and speaker, sealed them up tightly in a metal box with solder, and buried them in his back yard.  He installed the chassis of a homebrew radio, which featured the same sized dial as the SVD-9, into the SVD-9's cabinet and handed the set over to the proper authorities for storage. This was just before he was drafted to serve in the army.  Thankfully the authorities didn't notice the radio's modification and accepted it for storage, giving Savin a receipt, which he would use to reclaim the radio after the wars end. Unfortunately, during the war, the storage facility was located in an area in where there was heavy embattlement in which the Nazis were twice defeated.  Soon after the end of the war, Savin was discharged from the Red Army and he immediately went to the storage facility to reclaim his radio.  He found that only the homebrew chassis survived while the SVD-9 cabinet was heavily damaged. Later Savin dug up the SVD-9 chassis, which was perfectly preserved, and that is the chassis that survives today.

    The earliest dials of the SVD-9 were made of photo paper sandwiched between two sheets of clear celluloid.  Later the dials were made of solid, light colored, celluloid with the bands printed in black and various colors.  Still later dials were oval in shape.  The bands on this dial translated into English are as follows, from top to bottom: A, B, G, and D according to the Cyrillic alphabet. Above the star is the abbreviation HKC-CCCP which stands for the  People's Commissariat of Communications of USSR.  Below the star is written: Alexandrov, Province of Ivanov.  On either side of the star in big bold letters is written: Radio Works N3.

Notification


Name, Family Name, Father's Name.....Savin Valentin Dmitrievich
Address..... Maxim Gorky St., Bldg. #1

    In accordance to decision of CHK CCCP from June 25, 1941, you are suggested immediately not later then June 30, 1941 to deposit your receiver for temporary storing in the Radio Node Office located 78, Lenin St.  Ignoring will be considered in accordance to Laws of Military Period.

Head of Kamensk's Telegraph Branch.....Seliverstov

Kamensk's Telegraph, Rostov Region
Receipt #61


Issued to tovarisch.....Savin Valentin Dmitrievich
Lived at.....Maxim Gorky St. #1
As evidence that he has deposited for storage.....receiver, 1-V-1 system, home brew, w/o tubes, non-working order.
Receiver type.....blank
Transmitter type.....blank

Date.....June 30, 1941
Head of Kamensk's Telegraph Branch.....Seliverstov

    The interesting thing about this receipt is that the radio is identified as a 1-V-1 (single tube radio) when it was clearly a multi tube superheterodyne.  One guess in the successfulness of this deception  was that during the time of  deposit, everything was done in a rush and it was handled by non technical people.  He may also have told the officials that the original chassis was damaged and the homebrew chassis in the cabinet represented the true radio that he owned.  Whatever the reason, he  took a grave risk in trying to pass off such an elaborate deception and he was lucky in succeeding.  It wasn't rare to have people shot in the back of the Post Office Building for as smell of an infraction as withhold a single tube.  These executions were conducted immanently with out trial.
    In the rush to process all of these radios, the NKVD's regional branches could not maintain the proper paperwork due to the chaos and short time limit that was implied.  In many instances, the Postal officials removed and kept the cardboard backs of many of the radios to be used to document the radio's deposit.  This is why many Russian radios of that time period are, today,  found without their cardboard backs.
    Another interesting note is that the notification slip was manually typed up while the Receipt was professionally printed.  This is a difference of only a couple of days which shows the rush and seriousness of the operation.

    Above is another Soviet radio receiver which was based on the RCA 140 design.  It's a TM-9 which was manufactured in 1941 by the Alexandrov Radio Works No. 3. It's a professional version of the SVD-9 and was designed to be used as a "translation receiver" for the Soviet cable radio system, a system which is still in use today.  The photograph below, submitted to me by George Ukrainski, is from a new Russian book titled "The Red Hears", which is published in Moscow.  The book has many photographs of Russian radios along with radios from other countries.  There's a section in the book discussing the corporation between RCA and the Soviet Union which started in 1936.

This web page was last updated: March 26, 2011