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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, 11:30 am   #81
stevehertz
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

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Originally Posted by Rejectostat View Post
Seeing motor tuned/bandswitching Ekco's lying unsold at £10 and more mundane 30's, 40's and 50's sets not achieving £5 is dispiriting, it simply won't be worth spending anything (be it time or money) restoring these receivers.

John
I totally agree with the first part of that statement, but 'worthiness of restoration' (in my opinion) is not based on value, but on whether or not it floats your boat and you would like to add to your collection. I have lots of sets where if I counted up what I paid for them, plus the many, many hours put in restoring them, it would be a ridiculous waste of time and money, but I don't see it that way.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 11:39 am   #82
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

An enjoyable day! I sold about 75% of my stuff and am always ready to do a deal. I always price label items, but am ready to be guided by the market and mark prices down after around 1.00pm. Sales of traditional radios were slow, showing a shift in interests and a need to adjust purchasing ahead of future events. I bought a Simpson 260 multimeter for £40 from a kindly fellow member who dropped the price down from £50 for me. This is a model that I had been looking for for some time, the quality is nothing short of superb.
The venue was perfectly adequate for the number of stalls, if needed I am sure that many more could be accommodated should the need arise. Not too bothered by the limited catering, I tend to bring my own food and drink anyway. The toilets however were far too small for the size of the arena. Trying to start when everyone is huddled into a small space with taps running, hand dryers blowing and everyone jostling for a urinal space led to me nipping out to the woodland to get some peaceful relief, it is just impossible to go with all that going on.
On the whole a great event, many thanks to the organisers who worked tirelessly to make the event a success, looking forward to next year.
Neil
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Old 22nd May 2023, 11:40 am   #83
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Seen from a distance, it seems like almost everyone had a good day out. The stormtroopers and aliens sounded like a hoot.

Regarding attracting the attention of younger people... they are principally used to the crappy sound capabilities of cellphones and 'smart' speakers so something producing decent full range sound can blow them away. Sound gets noticed by everyone in an area, they don't even need to be looking the right way. My neighbour had never imagined that a portable radio could sound like a Hacker Herald I was using. A shortwave listening setup producing the sounds of a numbers station or the buzzer with someone to explain the mystery of what they mean...

For comparison, my weekend was spent clearing a literal logjam and involved falling flat on my face in the river, but at least I'd put the chainsaw down beforehand. Getting your waders filled can be dangerous enough. Ten minute walks from car parks seem much less wet. I know where I'd prefer to have been, but the job would still have had to be done.

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Old 22nd May 2023, 11:50 am   #84
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

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Originally Posted by stevehertz View Post
At the top right, is that a Radio Rentals set? I think it's the 'sister set' to the Ekco ACT96 that I restored (at long length!) recently.
Hi Steve,

Yes it is! I thought it looked similar to one that I’d seen here recently, I got it from the guy who had the stall in the far left corner of the hall, he also had another Radio Rentals set and it was difficult to choose between them! It’s already had some work done in it, he said it had the fork bit over the speaker broken, and it’s been repaired, and looking at it you’d never know! I haven’t looked inside yet, but I was told it has been electrically restored and is working. It’s going to have to skip to the front of the queue for a check over today!

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Old 22nd May 2023, 12:00 pm   #85
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I end up with the dilemma of Retro Tech being not too far behind the Audiojumble and then RWB in July and deciding which events to go to. Alright I have the added facet of I’m limiting my ‘exposure’ to the potential for buying stuff as I find it quite hard to sit on my hands so to speak, so there is a level of avoidance techniques at play here – anyway, that’s as far as I’ll go with that.

I know how hard Greg and the guys work to get all the events underway, and I appreciate that, but sometimes it is simply circumstances that just stops me going.

Also, it’s now on the limit of a comfortable ‘all-in-one-day’ Sunday round trip foray. I hasten to add I stay nearby when I go to RWB – but that adds to the cost.

Terry
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Old 22nd May 2023, 12:15 pm   #86
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

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Prices struck me as very low, even so at the end of the day a lot of goods appeared to be taken home again. Seeing motor tuned/bandswitching Ekco's lying unsold at £10 and more mundane 30's, 40's and 50's sets not achieving £5 is dispiriting, it simply won't be worth spending anything (be it time or money) restoring these receivers.
Same as at Biggleswade then; in which case I might as well hang on to the motor-tuned Ekcos I have if there's no interest - they're too good to scrap. I'll get rid of other stuff, like tellies and test equipment.

Others? Well, mixed scrap at EMR it is then.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 12:19 pm   #87
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

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Felt unfair some stallholders had bigger and more secure tables than the ones we had!
I believe the tables belong to the regular antiques fair organisers, are stored at the hall, and the owners were happy for us to use them.

It was noted in the BVWS committee discussions on the day that some were not very solid, so that will be on the list for improving next year (probably using the stronger ones only and hiring some others).

Keep the feedback, good and bad, coming. I'm sure the committee will find it all useful.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 12:24 pm   #88
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

This was the opportunity for a bit of a clearance and all my stuff was destined for the bring and buy. The on-commission items were mainly priced to sell so all but one went; however, one had been a last minute shall-I-shan’t-I addition so I wasn’t disappointed to bring it home. I decided to make numerous donations from my I’ll-never-get-around-to-it-or-use-it pile. Given that some of my donations were clearly next-stop-the-tip material I’m amazed that most had gone before give away time – but, as we all know, one man’s junk is another man’s gem. Returning home with only two unsold items I was very grateful given that I had arrived with an estate car containing two crates and what else could be packed around them and found myself in the overflow car park.

At arrival I was rather dispirited and wondered if the many journeys back and forth would be worth the effort. My feet knew about it last night. When I arrived at about 10.45 the road outside the entrance was utter chaos with stewards shouting confusing instructions. I was surprised the car park was full but I twigged something was up when I saw people with not only hair but colour in it walking from the overflow.

I have to say that ignoring the parking issues I preferred the old venue with the extra displays such as the Brimar stand but having learned of the financial issues surrounding the event it’s clear there was no choice but to change. However, the hall was easy to get around. With a new location there’s the inevitable teething troubles and a learning curve. It seems neither Comicon or Retrotech knew there would be another event running but I guess you can’t blame the location owners if they can get income from the two hirings. A few A boards would be useful I was mightily confused where to go at first and my arms were full.

I can’t comment on the catering. I usually bring a picnic and the one advantage of the overflow was a nice view during my lunch.

I was determined to buy nothing but dropped on some near unobtainium long required for a set plus one ex-Paul Stenning item on the bring and buy – thanks for the steer, Paul! That is the beauty of these events: you never know what you might find in boxes of parts on a stand that otherwise might never appear elsewhere or simply go to the council tip. However, I must also say thank you to Jeremy (Pamphonica) for buying that Uher – it was a close run thing it might come back with me.

I must say thank you to the ladies and gents on the B&B stand who worked incredibly hard all day and I hope museum coffers are suitably reinforced.

However, pleased to get home and give my feet a rest, it was nice when to see the vacated space. I am now down to two junk boxes – though they are still quite big ones...

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Old 22nd May 2023, 1:05 pm   #89
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

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Well, I said I’d get a photo of everything when I got home, so here it is! Including the stuff that didn’t sell on the B&B

Regards
Lloyd
It's certainly the same layout, rotating base etc, although from research that I've done recently, Ekco and RR 'sister sets' do not share the same valve lineups.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 1:24 pm   #90
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Here’s some pics of the back and inside, it’s an R.R.378, and surprisingly it’s an AC/DC set! No frame aerials like your set, and no rotating base.

Regards
Lloyd
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Old 22nd May 2023, 1:54 pm   #91
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Let's not get distracted by individual items here.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 2:07 pm   #92
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

As part of the generation brought up with phones and smart speakers, I very much agree with David RW. A lot has been lost that's waiting be rediscovered. Most people I know would listen to a dab radio with a 2 inch speaker at work and think it sounds good. Hopefully the vinyl resurgence and the improving quality of digital streaming with relatively cheap annual subscriptions will make good audio systems less "niche" and more "mainstream" in the next few years. Strangely, my wife is into Korean dramas and every rich/cool bachelor seems to have a valve amp or record player and 6 foot high speakers in their high spec apartment. Maybe the Asians know something we don't. It's amusing to try to identify the kit, but I digress.

It's the AM radios that I'm worried about. I'm not sure I see a future for 1930s and 40s sets, except as decorative items. Sure, they can be Bluetooth'd or converted to FM, and I've done the former myself, but what's the point of listening to my music on a cossor 464 when I can fire up my stereo push pull el84 amp and have a blast.

I was unable to attend retrotech this year, regrettably, but it sounded like a good event. I don't think it's days are numbered. However, I think we may see a greater shift towards record players, turntables, amps, records and speakers in the next few years, instead of radios, which is perfectly ok in my view (and may already be happening).

Last edited by Gabe001; 22nd May 2023 at 2:14 pm.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 2:10 pm   #93
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

That inevitable shift was part of the decision to rebrand from National Vintage Communications Fair to RetroTechUK. Any retro technology of any age is welcomed.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 2:26 pm   #94
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I'd made up my mind not to go this year, the usual thing of having too many projects and not really wanting anything, but I had quite a few items to put on the bring & buy or else take to the tip, so I decided to go and thought the early entry would be best for getting the stuff on the stall.

I had no problem with parking (three rows back from the back of the hall) and had no idea that later arrivals were struggling to get in and having to park a distance away. I would probably have turned around and gone home if I'd had to walk too far with all the stuff I'd brought.

I thought the hall was very well set out and there was a good variety of things to purchase, some at very tempting prices and some not so much! I succumbed to a 1920s Decca 66 portable gramophone from the £25 gramophone stall (he only charged me £20), which is, quite possibly, one of the finest example of its kind, it is near mint. I also bought some records (78s and LPs), some gramophone needles and a couple of books from the B&B. The best part was when I went to leave, I couldn't see any of my donations left on the stall, which was great!

To join in with the feedback, if the event is held here again, visible signage is definitely needed - I drove past twice before finding the place, and I only guessed I was in the correct queue to go in by the age of most of the people standing there! The gents' lavatories were poor - two cubicles for an event that size isn't enough and it was very cramped in the 'standing area'!
Other than that, I enjoyed the day, thank you to the organisers and B&B volunteers!

Neil.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 2:27 pm   #95
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Just to add my bit - it was a thoroughly enjoyable day and I am glad we did it. We are looking forward to next year.

There are bound to be teething troubles as anybody who remembers the first time at the WEC will recall! It should be remembered that the BVWS people put a lot of their own time and effort into these gatherings, and I want to thank them all for making this and the other events happen.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 2:55 pm   #96
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I had lowered my prices this year as I wanted to clear everything, I accepted most offers and when I didn't accept an offer we managed to agree a price.
Around 3 PM a couple of my cheap radios and a camcorder I had saved from being binned were reduced from a tenner or a fiver to Free. That soon saw them away!
One chap was really nice, he was there with his partner and young kids and was looking at the camcorder that I had reduced from £10 to free. I chatted with him and apologised that I couldn't do it any cheaper. I said he was very welcome to it as I didn't want to dispose of it as Wee waste. He decided he would save it and then returned 5 minutes later and insisted I took a fiver for it!
Everyone was a pleasure to deal with and I had a good laugh and chat with most. There is always 'one' though, my mate had a lovely 1970's radio, immaculate and well worth the asking price. He was approached by a rather arrogant person who pulled a slider knob off and offered him a stupid insultingly low price. My friend remained polite, I think it annoyed me more than him!
Half an hour later the set was snapped up for asking price, the buyer saying it was so nice he wouldn't haggle...

Sharing the event I think was a bonus and potentially could have given us some new and younger customers. It also may reflect why the event owners can afford to offer the price they can. If you have two large buildings it makes sense to let them both surely? It must cost a few quid to have them standing there, it makes no sense to have one empty. Maybe if the two events coincide next year an arrangement can be made for attendees of one event having paid to get in can visit the other event at a reduced rate or dare I say free? It would be a good promotion! Providing of course it doesn't end up as a loophole on admission charges for one event, Just a thought? (He says preparing to be shot down...) Another thought if there is an antiques fair event held there at some point how about promoting Retrotech with the organisers and vice versa? New blood?
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Old 22nd May 2023, 3:30 pm   #97
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

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Here’s some pics of the back and inside, it’s an R.R.378, and surprisingly it’s an AC/DC set! No frame aerials like your set, and no rotating base.

Regards
Lloyd
Ah right. So apart from an exterior similarity ie physical layout, there's actually no commonality as such. Nice set anyway. I was tempted by the other one but it had no back, was quite rusty and I felt overpriced all considered.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 3:58 pm   #98
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

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
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Old 22nd May 2023, 4:15 pm   #99
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I did not attend this year I’m afraid the journey is a bit too much, If I may make a suggestion, it would be helpful if folk could display identification tag on their person or stand. On my last visit I didn’t know anyone so it would have been nice to know who I was talking with. If you now already do this please ignore this post.
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Old 22nd May 2023, 4:26 pm   #100
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

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Some Radio Amateurs who have attended in previous years may have chosen, this year, to go to the Dunstable Downs , Luton radio rally instead.
It is unfortunate that the dates clashed this year. The BVWS couldn't get the usual weekend due to booking fairly late, and this was the only Sunday available in May that wasn't a bank holiday weekend.

Hopefully back to the normal second Sunday in May next year, which will allow people to go to both events.
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