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Old 1st Sep 2017, 10:06 pm   #1
Farzooks
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Default The Lure of old radios

I knew it was simmering away at the back of my head, like a forgotten pot on the hob.
I acquired a Murphy 52B set about twenty years ago and that was fun, I must admit - hernia-inducing, but quite jolly. Just glad it didn't need moved too often.
That scratched the itch for a long time, until last year when I acquired a Clansman RT320 and when I looked for information relating to it I was glad to see some here amongst others and I revived my membership of this site.
Well, that started to niggle at me and I began to look more critically at the quality of the kitchen radio. I had replaced that fairly recently with a Panasonic GX500, and while it was an improvement on the anonymous plastic box that went before, the bass on it was like someone hitting a door with a wet newspaper.
I remembered the large-cased transistors of my youth and how they sounded. They had been lost in the mists of time, but I recalled they sounded better than that, I was fairly sure some of them must survive to this day.
I was thinking along the lines of Roberts, Ferguson, etc, but then I encountered a Hacker and realised that was one that really impressed me back then.
Idly cruising ebahgum (well known Yorkshire auction site) I started to see some Hackers that were a bit tatty, but worked and might be suitable for me. I don't mind digging into them and doing necessary repairs, but it's better for me if they at least make some sound to start with. Cosmetics I'm not too bothered with, but something that will be relatively simple to titivate is better.
I needed VHF, as my preferred stations here aren't on MW, so I leapt at the first one I saw, more or less, a Black Knight.
The following night, another perusal brought up a newly-listed Sovereign II, so that fell victim to my Bag It Now, as well.

I really must stop cruising auction sites in the hour before bedtime - I'm sure the sleeping pills reduce my inhibitions and make it easy to buy stuff that more sober hours resist
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Old 1st Sep 2017, 11:50 pm   #2
paulsherwin
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

Welcome.

It's very tempting to buy all sorts of stuff on eBay when you first develop an interest in vintage radio. A crucial indicator of maturity in this hobby is the ability to be discriminating and walk away if necessary. Good luck with that
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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 1:29 am   #3
G8UWM-MildMartin
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

I understand the predicament and have succumbed to too many temptations under similar circumstances. (And maybe bagged the odd bargain to go in my pension pot amongst the expensive wrecks that were damaged in transit from all corners of the globe, and loads of tatty, cheap, ordinary sets to have my wicked way with i.e. making them work again for the first time in several decades, costing slightly more in components than they are worth, but the difference is slight and gives a cheap couple of hours' enjoyment each doing them.)
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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 9:26 am   #4
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

Paul/Martin - sage words! We've all been guilty of this delicious malady!! The worse thing is ..... having acquired a set, and spilt good blood and grey matter over it, one forms an association - and thus, culling the collection becomes very painful!!!

Another issue is the 'bargains' that just can't be left lying there e.g. I recently acquired a relatively rare German transistor portable at a car boot for ..... 1.00. Did I need it (probably like a hole in the head)? Was I looking for one (not until I saw it and realised that I had to have it)? That said - it's now fully restored and other than time, has cost me .... nothing - sooooo ..... how much fun can you have for a pound eh?

My advice is to be discerning from day one - and think about how much space and time your addiction may ultimately demand.
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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 11:47 am   #5
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

It can get much worse. Ebay is just the start, car boots are another symptom; a little more infective but the real crisis comes when you start attending auctions.
From then on there is no stopping the addiction.
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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 1:01 pm   #6
electronicskip
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

Its the word "old" that does it for me when it comes to radios or indeed anything electrical or mechanical, have to look, I'm the same , ebay, private local paper ads, forums, relations saying oh yes ive got an "old" one of those you can have!!!!!
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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 1:05 pm   #7
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

Wait until you start buying televisions, then you're really in trouble.
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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 1:39 pm   #8
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

We should all be in the same asylum ..... we're certainly 'on the same page' ! Sam - I went to an auction recently ... principally to buy a wreck for its output valve ..... and came away with a basket case Philco 444 !!!
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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 2:12 pm   #9
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

A 444, that's serious. Old, yes. Odd? not really apart from the valve biasing and the output valve type. Not easy to get right and I suspect that they were never a good set either.
I started just collecting anything that became available at a fair price. Had a few radiograms, even good ones nobody wants, learnt that lesson early. But still have a few consoles.
Decided pre WWII were the thing. Then early FM sets took my fancy.
The allure of the unusual British sets got to me, Seymour, Barker, Pennine etc.
Now its a sensible downsizing so portables are in the frame, even a few unusual transistors.
Of course running concurrent with this eclectic mix is the one make collections of Bush & Cossor and then there is the few auto tuning monsters.
Oh dear, seems I am totally out of control. Except I did the tele thing as a teenager so that is out of my system........I think.
Sam.
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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 2:33 pm   #10
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

Quote:
I'm sure the sleeping pills reduce my inhibitions
After dinner and wine it is worse especially past 10pm, news on the radio (a Hacker Hunter), ebay on the computer. I have far too many battery portable valve sets (my main weakness), making batteries for them isn't the cheapest part of the hobby either.
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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 6:48 pm   #11
Restoration73
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

If you have a wood burning stove the old radio cabinets can be used in an emergency.
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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 9:07 pm   #12
Farzooks
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

I forgot about the Pye Hamble marine T/Rx that I didn't seek out in any way - it was just given to me about a decade ago. I shoved it to the back of the 'someday' pile but was reminded of it last night and found more information on it than existed back then.
It's a bit lumpy for a kitchen radio, though.
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Old 5th Sep 2017, 3:33 pm   #13
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

I've always had quite a severe policy of not accumulating a mass of radios but just have 'one or two', fully restored, dotted around the house.

I was annoyed therefore when I found this early 'fifties GEC dumped outside my front door, incognito...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farzooks View Post
It's a bit lumpy for a kitchen radio, though.
After a few days I took pity on the old thing, gave it a cabinet-and-insides restoration, and that's exactly what it became!

Steve
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Old 5th Sep 2017, 5:55 pm   #14
Viewmaster
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

I make a strict rule when collecting old wireless.

They must have been made before I was !!!!

So I don't buy many these days as I'm 84
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Old 5th Sep 2017, 6:03 pm   #15
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

I've had a principle of not 'collecting' [or keeping] radios that I can't get to work - and then be able to use on a regular basis.

Just because it's old doesn't mean I need to have it.
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Old 5th Sep 2017, 6:07 pm   #16
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panrock View Post
After a few days I took pity on the old thing, gave it a cabinet-and-insides restoration, and that's exactly what it became!
Another 'Ostler'ised' cracker!! Nice ........
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Old 5th Sep 2017, 6:48 pm   #17
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

Quote:
They must have been made before I was !!!!

So I don't buy many these days as I'm 84
Bugg*r I am only 57
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Old 5th Sep 2017, 6:57 pm   #18
Boater Sam
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

The babies on the forum have a lot of collecting to do. Suppose if you were born in the mid 50s it will all be pre FM and no transistors?
I'm always amused by the sellers claiming "antique" radios, er sorry, wireless. Not yet me thinks.
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Old 5th Sep 2017, 10:53 pm   #19
Argus25
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farzooks View Post
I remembered the large-cased transistors of my youth and how they sounded. They had been lost in the mists of time, but I recalled they sounded better than that, I was fairly sure some of them must survive to this day.
This is quite true. A Hacker Sovereign sounds fantastic, but so do a lot of early large cased transistor radios, especially ones made of wood. I have a 1956 vintage Sony that has a good sized speaker and they ventilated the rear of the cabinet, like the Hacker, to help the acoustics. I still can't believe how good this set sounds subjectively. Every now and again I turn it on to hear it just for that reason and to convince myself I'm not just imagining things. An article on this one is here:

http://www.worldphaco.com/uploads/TH...STOR_RADIO.pdf
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 5:22 pm   #20
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: The Lure of old radios

Quote:
claiming "antique" radios, er sorry, wireless. Not yet me thinks.
Not radios per se but wireless communication has been around for more than 100 years (only just but...).
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