ABC call signs and batteries

Roger Kirk
Tue Nov 24 16:10:43 EST 2009

Dan.Strassberg wrote:
> Except for crystal sets, which were powered by the
> signals they received, early 1920's radio receivers needed batteries
> (several different types in each receiver--filament, plate,
> screen--anyone else remember screen grids?) and I don't think
> rechargeable batteries, which probably would have had to be lead-acid
> batteries, were popular for use in radios. I guess that radio
> batteries were typically zinc-carbon
The "A" battery was for filaments.  Typically big and supplied a lot of 
current.  (Predecessor to today's "AA" & "AAA")  Frequently 
re-chargeable and referred to as a "wet" battery.

The "B" battery was for Plate Power.  Hence "B+" - Big, with multiple 
cells for higher voltage & lower current.  90 Volts each and frequently  
two batteries in series.  Generally not re-chargeable & referred to as a 
"dry battery"

The "C" Battery was for Grid Bias.  Modest in size, 10 vots or under and 
tapped between cells.  Minimal current draw from the radio gave this a 
longer life.

Most (if not all) of these batteries had fahnestock clips 

For pictures:

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