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Clubs, Groups and Societies For discussions about various clubs, groups and societies relating to our hobbies, such as the BVWS (incl RetroTechUK), BATC, RSGB, APTS, CLPGS, THG, TCC, BECG, MCR21 etc. This is NOT an official forum for any of these organisations.

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Old 22nd May 2023, 6:34 pm   #101
monaro0162
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I'd just like to give a big thanks to the organizers of the event. I have been going for the last 4 years and always look forward to it and enjoy it. The adjacent 'star wars' event was quite funny and a little bonus, although I did feel sorry for the car park staff when the car park overfilled, they were very helpful to me for directions to the local co-op. It was nice to chat with some of the traders that I've met over the last few years, I came away with too much as usual, the best being a little 60's Japanese valve amp that will be my one and only foray into the valve world. As far as I could tell the event was no smaller than last year at the WEC, it got really busy after the 10:30 entry. I really must get a stall one day, when's the next one?

The car park staff had to deal with getting this unloaded!
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Old 22nd May 2023, 6:42 pm   #102
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

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Originally Posted by Aub View Post
Some Radio Amateurs who have attended in previous years may have chosen, this year, to go to the Dunstable Downs , Luton radio rally instead.

Cheers

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Old 22nd May 2023, 7:07 pm   #103
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I go to very few ham radio rallies but the last I’ve been to have been poor in attendance and quality and all over by lunch time. Thus I am really not inclined to travel any distance to one.

Dunstable Downs is well established for years so if it correct that they struggled it says a lot. Amateur radio is having its own trials but that is another thread.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 7:13 pm   #104
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I went.... (to Dunstable Downs). Going to both of Sunday's events would have meant twice as much temptation as usual, DD always seems to be good for test gear and military/professional miscellany, so that won the toss. A typical bag of useful and bargain-price bits left with me, plus the highlight was an excellent condition Philips A6X38AT tuner. OK, that's neither test gear or military/professional but it chimes with my interest in the fancier broadcast radios.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 7:35 pm   #105
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I forgot that RT was later than usual this weekend so I suppose it won't be on the same day as Comic Con next year.. I still think though that we should reach out to other groups like maybe the Antique fair if we need to attract a new and younger audience. Comic Con also attracts 'Gamers' apparently so some of the later colour sets from the '80s and '90s that were at RT may have sold?
Dunno. But it seems to we need to come up with some constructive ideas and as is said these days maybe 'think outside of the box'
I appreciate a lot of work goes into arranging these events by 'the few' for the many.

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Old 22nd May 2023, 7:44 pm   #106
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I looked at the 'prospectus' for RetroTech but decided not to go; my interests are much more focussed on the professional/military/ham-radio/CB scene [1960s through to the mid-2000s] which influences my judgement.

I suspect theat the whole 'radio rally' circuit is being stressed as users of old gear die-off. My only obvious go-to events this year are the Newbury rally, the "Westrally" down near Frome, and the Chippenham events. Andover car-boot-sale too, if it happens. In times-past the Harwell rally and FRARS rally down on the Dorset coast was a must-attend, but their current no-dogs policy excludes me [wouldn't want to leave my hound shut in the back of a car on a hot summer's day].

I lament the passing of the likes of Granby Halls, and the Lea Valley rallies of past-memory, which craftily combined a slew of smaller traders/junk-sale types with some of the bigger traders selling new stuff.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 7:50 pm   #107
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

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Originally Posted by slidertogrid View Post
IComic Con also attracts 'Gamers' apparently so some of the later colour sets from the '80s and '90s that were at RT may have sold?
I think you may have a point. I was one of the stalls that had wider 'retro tech' with some computing stuff. Some of the older stuff was snapped up within just a few minutes, with the buyers being quite excited about what they had. Newer versions of similar stuff failed to move, even when priced the same at just £2.

EDIT: I was asked what the spec of one was, and looked it up on my phone. Ebay listings were £250 ish. I was asking £2. Didn't sell. Tells you a little about ebay prices.

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Old 22nd May 2023, 8:00 pm   #108
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

It was Comic Con’s first event at that venue too (according to their Facebook page) so they won’t have a “usual weekend” yet. Looks like they will be there twice a year.

https://www.facebook.com/coventrycomiccon

I think it would be good if we shared the day with them again.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 8:17 pm   #109
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

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It was Comic Con’s first event at that venue too (according to their Facebook page) so they won’t have a “usual weekend” yet. Looks like they will be there twice a year.

https://www.facebook.com/coventrycomiccon

I think it would be good if we shared the day with them again.
Can't disagree with that. But I think the venue needs to be clearer about getting the right people in the right place if that happens. Where was the Wookie?

Who were the 'Aliens' that came through our hall, at the same time as the stormtroopers? Green and black. Long 'hair' and a bit scaly looking. shoulder mounted weapons or cameras. Kind of recognised them but can't place 'them'. Fantastic costumes though.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 8:42 pm   #110
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I do think, also, that stallholders need to be a bit clearer on condition and regard to price. I sold my stuff mostly relatively for pennies as I couldn't say for sure it worked, and I was clear to buyesr that was the case. My Nephew found a camera on a stall. It wasn't 'not sure if it's working, but 'yes'. Wouldn't budge on the price. It's scrap. He's learned a lesson, and at a tenner it's not an expensive one. But don't think he will be buying anything at our events soon. OTOH some buyers expectations should be clearer. I had a 1980s cassette deck. Nothing special. I was asked if it was working and was honest, it was working fine when stored away but hadn't been able to test it. £5 asking price got a disgusted look.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 8:50 pm   #111
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Mrs General & I went to the Dustable Downs rally early, she had a good day as did I, she came home with a copy of Adobe Illustrator, a cotton reel display cabinet & some costume jewellery for an art project. I bought a very nice Philips A5X83A valve tuner which is going to be part of a valve hifi project. We fortunately got some LPG for her Nitro so we headed off to Retrotech to continue the fun. Both events I was pleased to see seemed to be well attended, I came home from Retrotech with a Philips Autosonic Disc Jockey & she found a Gothic style clock.
OK, now for the downside & any BVWS committee members here please take this as constructive criticism. The car parking needs to be sorted. I brought several items for Bring & Buy, but as we had to park about 400 yards away there was no way I could take any of my (heavy) items into the venue, so they stayed in the car. Anyone with mobility issues would have been unable to buy anything other than small items. I appreciate that neither Retrotech & Comicon were aware of the other's event, but the venue organisers would have known. The WEC is a better venue, it just is but I fully appreciate Paul Stenning's comments that the WEC charge 5x Sports Connexion's hire fees & the event has to make a profit so a venue change had to happen.
Having said that, Mrs. General & I had a good day & we will be back next year.

Last edited by The General; 22nd May 2023 at 8:54 pm. Reason: typo
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Old 22nd May 2023, 8:50 pm   #112
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

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Originally Posted by slidertogrid View Post
Eric and Earnie the friendly Stormtroopers ! I now have a copy of the plans for the new plug in Electric death star... (range is limited )
Evocative of the Suzy Eddie Izzard 'Death Star Canteen' Darth Vader sketch ('You'll need a tray').

I won't give the link - it's on Youtube for anyone so inclined to seek it out.

I attended the NVCF for what must be 25 years - NEC, Motorbike Museum, Warwick, but haven't attended since 2019 because I couldn't trust myself to come home empty-handed. More stuff than I know what to do with, so with my 'sensible head on', I've been decluttering for the last four years via the tip (sundry detritus gathered together for over six decades), the forum, and local auction house. Feel much happier about that now.

Pleased to hear that notwithstanding the teething troubles, Retrotech seems to have been a successful event.

As always, a tribute to the volunteer organisers.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 9:13 pm   #113
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Chatting to a friend who visited yesterday, I mentioned the unsold motor-tuned Ekco.

His rather pointed response was "...and would you want to walk for ten minutes carrying a PB289?"

Given that you used to see c. 200 cars parked at the WEC, if this is going to be a joint venture then maybe those dressed up in costume can walk the long distance to a remote car park. He was also surprised that Warwickshire Plod didn't take an interest in the huge queues building up around all four entrances to a roundabout and what sounded like completely ineffective traffic management.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 9:18 pm   #114
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OK, now for the downside & any BVWS committee members here please take this as constructive criticism. The car parking needs to be sorted. I brought several items for Bring & Buy, but as we had to park about 400 yards away there was no way I could take any of my (heavy) items into the venue, so they stayed in the car. Anyone with mobility issues would have been unable to buy anything other than small items. I appreciate that neither Retrotech & Comicon were aware of the other's event, but the venue organisers would have known
Precisely the point made by my friend. He said it was a good ten minute walk carrying a heavy box of magazines which was unpleasant and tiring. There was absolutely no reason for SC not to bring this double booking to the attention of both the event organisers: perhaps sensibly, the BVWS - if it wishes this event to be a success - should lobby SC for sole use on the day at the next one.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 9:46 pm   #115
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Stenning View Post
It was Comic Con’s first event at that venue too (according to their Facebook page) so they won’t have a “usual weekend” yet. Looks like they will be there twice a year.

https://www.facebook.com/coventrycomiccon

I think it would be good if we shared the day with them again.
Can't disagree with that. But I think the venue needs to be clearer about getting the right people in the right place if that happens. Where was the Wookie?

Who were the 'Aliens' that came through our hall, at the same time as the stormtroopers? Green and black. Long 'hair' and a bit scaly looking. shoulder mounted weapons or cameras. Kind of recognised them but can't place 'them'. Fantastic costumes though.
They were dressed as The 'Predator' from the films, despite their looks they were very friendly.

Maybe buyers could put a trolly on their car next time (for use outside only of course) if they intend to buy big heavy things? My mate sold a few bulky items, he helped buyers carry them to their car on a couple of occasions. This of course was possible because he wasn't running the stall on his own and I appreciate some sellers couldn't do that.

Here is a picture of me with Mr and Mrs Predator... I manged to survive!
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Old 22nd May 2023, 10:20 pm   #116
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Shame it's a bit too far away from me as this is an event that would tick off even more boxes than I expected!
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Old 22nd May 2023, 11:16 pm   #117
Junk Box Nick
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

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I brought several items for Bring & Buy, but as we had to park about 400 yards away there was no way I could take any of my (heavy) items into the venue, so they stayed in the car. Anyone with mobility issues would have been unable to buy anything other than small items.
On one trip from the car I saw a wheelchair user being pushed by his friend to the overspill. On his lap he had two lidded record players.

I forget how many trips I made to and from the car. The unofficial short cut where the fence was missing took you down a grassy bank but you needed to be fit and sure footed as it was quite steep. I am (typing with one finger and other hand on the wooden table) a reasonably fit and strong guy. Going the long way round probably put on another 150m. On arrival I did consider not bothering but I was quite desperate to get my latest de-clutter done.

Another thing about the overspill: I think it would be interesting in the rain - especially if you were not on the first rank.
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Old 23rd May 2023, 5:21 am   #118
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

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the BVWS - if it wishes this event to be a success - should lobby SC for sole use on the day at the next one.
Wouldn't that mean shouldering the fee for the whole venue and put things back to where you were with the previous venue?

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Old 23rd May 2023, 7:51 am   #119
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Well you heard wrong

There were more stalls than last year and plenty of punters

Most interestingly there were a number (around 5) of stalls selling vintage wireless sets and things like old record players who didnt go to Coventry

Fred

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehertz View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aub View Post
Some Radio Amateurs who have attended in previous years may have chosen, this year, to go to the Dunstable Downs , Luton radio rally instead.

Cheers

Aub
I heard that there was no-one there; empty.
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Old 23rd May 2023, 8:47 am   #120
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

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Maybe buyers could put a trolly on their car next time (for use outside only of course) if they intend to buy big heavy things?
I was glad that I did just that - largely for the purpose of delivering a cooker later that I had picked up the previous evening from a colleague who lives about a ten-minute drive from the venue (and put me up overnight) - but it came in handy to ferry the boxes I had for the B&B from (and largely back to) the far end of the car park. I checked first with the security guy that he was happy for me to park the trolley in the foyer while I unloaded (for which my gratitude to Jeremy for taking a break from his stewarding duties to help).

I have to say that the parking was the only real gripe I had with the venue - though I do miss the canteen at the WEC. It would have been fine had there not been two events on at the same time, and I feel it was a bit cheeky of the venue not to inform the event organisers that this was the case. Unfortunately, I can't think of constructive ideas to address the fact that we tend to have heavy items to ferry while those at the other event largely don't. They certainly added an extra dimension to the day though!

The other thing I would have found helpful was clearer signage to the gate on the right, as I mistakenly followed the major route to the left until I realised it was a dead end (to the football ground when open) not connecting with the car parking area behind it.

Teething troubles aside, I had an enjoyable day and it was good to chat with folk I look upon as friends, even though I didn't end up buying much in the end.
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