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Old 17th May 2018, 3:38 pm   #1
TonyDuell
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Default Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

I have about 8 feet of bookshelf taken up by old electronic component supplier catalogues, both from companies still around (e.g. RS and Farnell) and those non longer trading (Tandy, Verospeed, SEME, Maplin?, Home Radio, Henry's Radio etc).

What are other people's views on whether or not these are worth keeping? Of course you can no longer order from them, but are they or historical interest in what was around, characteristics, accessories (e.g. the Tandy catalogues list the peripherals, software, etc for the TRS-80 computers) and so on?
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Old 17th May 2018, 3:57 pm   #2
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

Some, like old Motorola RF devices databooks have some rather nice applications notes in them that are still educational even today.

I think you have to judge them individually.

Home Radio and Henry's are going back a bit, but illustrate a golden age in the UK. Tandy stuff always seemed a bit tatty and a lot too shouty, so maybe it has humour possibilities?

David
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Old 17th May 2018, 4:00 pm   #3
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

I'd say keep them if you have the room.
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Old 17th May 2018, 4:12 pm   #4
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

I have some Home Radio and Henry's Radio catalogues from the 60's, and find them fascinating to browse through.......
Andy
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Old 17th May 2018, 4:35 pm   #5
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

It could possibly be worth scanning them and keeping them on a PC, if you have a lot of time to spare! They could then also be made available to anyone interested. I saw a website that had a load of old Argos catalogs on it.

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Old 17th May 2018, 5:02 pm   #6
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

If you don't want them, there's a modest but ready market on eBay, and quite possibly here too.
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Old 17th May 2018, 6:20 pm   #7
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

I never throw catalogues out, and over the years they have proved their worth purely on data reference, particularly with old components. Keep them, or at least pass them onto someone else.
Alan.
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Old 17th May 2018, 7:05 pm   #8
TonyDuell
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

Firstly these are catalogues, not databooks. I have about 18 feet of databooks (mostly too modern for this forum -- ICs...) and I am certainly keeping those. Although of course some catalogues, like the older Maplin ones, did include outline data on the ICs they sold.

I also have a reasonable collection of TRS-80 home computers (M1, M3, M4, Coco2, Coco 3, M100) so I find Tandy catalogues very interesting to see what peripherals and software they sold for each model. I guess in general such catalogues form a historical record of companies that once supplied the likes of us, what was available and when, and so on.

I think you've all convinced me to keep them, at least while I sitll have space. If I do need to re-home them, I will certainly offer them here before they hit the recycling box!
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Old 17th May 2018, 10:28 pm   #9
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

I have found my old Maplin catalogue useful recently. I bought some cheap reels of cable from a closing branch which were marked with just the approx length and Maplin part number. The catalogue gave me the cable specs, which was particularly valuable as the web site has now disappeared.
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Old 18th May 2018, 12:20 am   #10
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

Seal them up in plastic bags and store them somewhere. If they are not valuable now they will be in the future.
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Old 18th May 2018, 6:34 am   #11
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

Radiospares catalogues from the early 60s are VERY sought after by vintage guitar amp enthusiasts as they contain interesting and valuable information and data on Radiospares transformers, chokes and other components that were used in Marshall, Vox, Orange and other iconic amps of the era. These catalogues are surprisingly valuable, keep or sell, don't discard!
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Old 18th May 2018, 6:41 am   #12
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

The Ambit ones are really worth keeping.
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Old 18th May 2018, 7:37 am   #13
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

Scan them PLEASE.and share them .wish I could find more old catalogue's
there are some on www.americanradiohistory.com
so you could share them via their
or on this forum
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Old 18th May 2018, 4:08 pm   #14
TonyDuell
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

I don't think I have any Ambit or Radiospares catalogues -- I do have one or two of the little almost A5-size catalogues from RS. But I will keep anything that turns up.

As for scanning them, they are not the easiest things to scan (the do not lay flat when open) and I already have a lifetime of service manuals to scan. But perhaps I will do some one day.
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Old 18th May 2018, 4:48 pm   #15
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

Tony is right-scanning anything is a pretty onerous task at the best of times Fix It! If I should come across anything in that line, for you I will let you know. It's quite ironic that, given Maplins long, slow demise, their old catalogues are now going to be a contemporary equivalent to the much prized Home Radio ones and will continue to be an invaluable information source for quite some time. The components and hard ware don't seem to go obsolete quite as quickly as IC devices etc and many may end up as collectors items in themselves-who knows! Also, staring at a screen has it's limitations-you can't enjoy thumbing through it in quite the same way as a hand held device made of paper.

Both of the "hard copies" I mentioned were invaluable for the actual information you could gain eg all the many different VHF/UHF connectors and just about nearly everything else, especially in the sixties! Aside from making a purchase, if you couldn't actually afford what you wanted, it was possible to research availability, find things you didn't know existed and build a knowledge base with an enjoyable read while you saved up to buy. Happy days!

Dave

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Old 18th May 2018, 9:08 pm   #16
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

I often scan stuff, and where appropriate, follow that with OCR to get just the text rather than multi-megabyte storage problems. When my wireless scanner refused to connect recently, I used the webcam. So far I have not attempted OCR off a photo. A properly mounted camera above a thick book would get around the problem encountered with flatbed scanners.
What I most need to conquer is reading my micro fiche, I have hundreds of Grundig and NordMende fiche plus quite a few Ducati spares boos.
Les.
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Old 18th May 2018, 9:46 pm   #17
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

For capturing the negatives of my subminiature camera that takes 10 x 15 mm negatives on 16mm film I used a camera lens as a relay lens for my digital camera. With the negative illuminated via a piece of flashed opal glass and the rear of the camera lens facing the negative you can position it to give an image at infinity that you can zoom in on to get a large image on your digital camera. I used an f/2 58mm lens from my old Zenith SLR, at full aperture. Negative scanners often do not have good enough resolution for such small negatives. The method should work for microfiche frames.
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Old 18th May 2018, 10:10 pm   #18
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

I've scanned the original Ambit catalogues (not the Cirkit ones) into PDF format so if anyone here has need ...
Cheers
Guy
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Old 19th May 2018, 1:14 am   #19
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

I have oodles of old catalogues. Many of them have some pretty nice data sections.
I have Dick Smith, Jaycar, Tandy, Radio Shack, cataloges going way back to the late 70's. Lots of circuits and data in them.
For scanning, the best way to do it (N.B. EXPENSIVELY), is to obtain an auto feed scanner.
Cut the spine off the book without damaging the pages ( big electric paper guillotine ) and run it through the scanner. It will still miss some pages that "stick together".

Joe
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Old 19th May 2018, 6:43 am   #20
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Default Re: Old catalogues -- worth keeping?

You can get mounting rings for lenses that join two lenses together by the filter mounting threads on their 'input' ends. SRB Griturn were a supplier I remember.

As Emeritus says, you couple a pair of, say, 50mm lenses together this way and get a superb macro setup. Only one lens has to fit your camera, the other can be for any system just so long as the filter thread diameter suits your adaptor ring.

Another macro approach is that extension tubes and bellows were made to move lenses away from camera bodies. Posh versions included bellows with guide rails and rack and pinion focusing. If you use Nikon F or Pentax K mount cameras there are all sorts of macro systems along with stands for copy work and macro work which can handle microfiche.

These things can be expensive from dealers who see them as collector's items, but they turn up in junk sales for next to nothing if you know what they are and keep your eyes open.

'Digital' cameras that aren't recent models go for a tiny fraction of their original prices, and can still be useful, and get you into a system which includes fancy macro accessories.

David
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