Question about GE Superadio III AM/FM

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Milwaukee job site radio

Radio only works with batteries.
the radio does not work when plugged in to an electric outlet

Posted by the roofer on

  • Anonymous Dec 16, 2008

    i have the same problem, just recently my radio quit working off of a regular 120v plug in. now it only will power up with a battery in the front.

  • David Ford
    David Ford May 11, 2010

    I have a Milwaukee Job Site Radio and I am only aware of one version in the US and that is 120 Volt.



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The transformer needs to be replaced. 120VAC to 15VAC. Take a look on amazon for it, here: Amazon com 15VAC transformers. Wish you best of luck.

Posted on Jan 12, 2015



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The transformer needs to be replaced. 120VAC to 15VAC.

Posted on Jan 15, 2010



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You probably need part number 23-81-0545. I just bought one from, but plugging that part number into a search engine will return plenty of other people who sell that part.

From the Milwaukee web site, the link below has the schematics on the 120v radio sold in the US. Note, this is for Milwaukee Job Site Radio, item 49-24-0280 where the serial number starts with A81A. There are other schematics on their site if this isn't exactly your radio.

At the bottom of that document, page 2, you see the following troubleshooting instructions (good luck!):


NOTE: Before opening the unit or soldering, disconnect ALL power sources. Turn
the power switch "on" momentarily to discharge stored energy.

***** Radio operates on DC but not on AC:
1. Plug in radio and using a voltmeter, check for DC voltage across items #14
and #15 shown on the wiring diagram. (Approx. 15-22 Vdc).
2. If there is no voltage, change the Transformer Assembly (23-81-0545).
3. If voltage is present, continue to "All other electrical issues" shown below.

***** All other electrical issues
1. Disconnect the LCD Assembly (22-09-1575) from the Speaker PCB
Assembly (22-09-1548) by disconnecting items #11, #13 and #20 on the
wiring diagram.
2. Plug a new LCD Assembly into the Speaker PCB Assembly and check for
proper operation.
3. If the radio works, the LCD Assembly is bad. If the radio still does not
function correctly, replace the Speaker PCB Assembly or Volume Control

Posted on Sep 19, 2009

Louie Role

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Depending on the model that you have (JSR 1218?), there could be several versions of a Milwaukee Job Site Radio. If it is a JSR1218, to my knowledge, it only comes in 2 AC power versions: 220-240 and 240. I am not aware of a 120 version, but of course it is really dependent on your local distributor. Pls verify what version and the mains power in your area/region and ensure that they are the same (or in some models, there is a selectable AC voltage setting). You can check the label for the specs/power requirement.

Since your profile indicates that you are in the United States, perhaps the reason it is not working using your electrical outlet and only with batteries is that your electrical outlet gives US standard 120 VAC whereas the radio requires 220/240. If it is so, then checking if it has a 120 voltage selector/setting might do the job. Otherwise, the internal power transformer needs to be replaced (in some models, there is a jumper inside that can be set for it to operate correctly to 120VAC). Alternately, the transformer can be replaced which is not really a critical job and any qualified electronic technician should be able to do the job. Pls consider that a Milwaukee JSR 1218 can be powered by either 12, 14.4, 18 or 28 VDC Lithium Ion batteries, hence the substitute/replacement transformer must matched whatever type of battery is used in your radio (The radio has also a 12VDC output for your accessories). Additionally, the current rating is relatively low at 250mAmps for 220-240 and something like 500mA for 120VAC.

Hope that this be of some help/idea. Pls post back how things turned up or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Posted on Dec 03, 2007

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if it work on battery and didnt work on 120 volt,the transformer is dead,i see a lot of radio with dead transformer.
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1. Does the AC cord look ok? Not damaged?
2. Have you tried another AC outlet?
3. Does the AC cord unplug from the radio?

When you operate the radio from the AC power cord, the radio uses an internal power supply consisting of a step-down transformer, rectifier, and filter that converts the AC to DC to operate the radio.

When you run the radio off of batteries, it powers the radio directly. In some radios, when you plug the AC cord into the radio, it activates a switch that disconnects the battery voltage to the radio so that the batteries wont be damaged from the voltage created by the internal supply.

The radio can be powered by either the batteries or the internal supply. You don't want either supply affecting the other, so that is why a switch is sometimes used.

Since the radio works fine off of batteries, that would indicate that there is a problem with the internal power supply. This could be a blown fuse, bad transformer or bad rectifier diode.

Good Luck,
- Jim

Jan 24, 2008 | GE Superadio III AM/FM

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