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Old 14th Jan 2020, 2:04 am   #1
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Default Practical Electronics - 1964-1983

Good morning

Forgive my first post being a for-sale.

I'm a recently retired electronics/IT guy - I started building circuits back in the early '70's.

I'm not really sure if there will be any interest in a full set of 'Practical Electronics' magazines from the first edition in November '64 through to December '83.

They have been boxed-up in the loft for the past 30 years, several house-moves and a family have limited the available time and space to lay them all out and curate the 230 or so copies.

We are down-sizing, and the boss says that they have to go.
Three boxes, each the size of a box of beers, and appx 15 kilo each.

I see individual copies listed at £3.50 or so, but the boss has spoken and they need to find a new home, asap.

I have no idea of the true value of a some of the earlier copies, so I will put an asking price of £80, which is about 30p per copy.

If I am miles under/over, I would appreciate your comments .


Chopper Harris (UMIST, Manchester - Electronic Eng 1981-1984)
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 2:26 pm   #2
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Practical Electronics - 1964-1983

There's nothing wrong at all with the price you are asking, but this is a road well travelled by many of us on here.

Unfortunately, though some people do like to have hard copies of magazines, few have space to store them, and in this digital age, almost all radio and electronics magazines have been scanned and placed on internet. For example on the outstanding 'American Radio History' archive, complete issues of almost all UK, American and other magazines are available FOC at the click of a mouse button to be read or printed off as desired. Hence, there are few takers for paper copies.

Over the years, I've tried to dispose of several complete lots of magazines going back decades - Practical Wireless from 1954, P.E, EPE, Radcom, SPRAT, Radio Bygones. Initially for token amounts, then free, but no takers. Thirty year of Radcoms went to the skip, along with several decades of Practical Wireless. People sometimes ask for odd copies to make up their collection of a few missing issues, but in the end, it just becomes too much hassle to bother with.

Every issue of Practical Electronics from issue 1 in Nov 1964 till it merged with Everyday Electronics is here:

Every issue of Everyday Electronics from Nov 1971 to Dec 1999 is here:

From then on it's on CD from the publishers.

I do hope that you have success in disposing of your magazines, and I don't wish to 'rain on your parade' but thought you might wish to be aware that if you have no takers, or a few who wish to just 'cherry pick' odd magazines, it isn't a reflection of your price or any lack of interest in vintage electronics. It's that in a digital age, it's much easier to access information digitally than to scramble about in the loft to find the desired issue.

Thumbing through a heap of magazines in front of a nice open fire on a winter's evening was - for me - an enjoyable pastime, but the practicalities of storage run counter to that, so common sense overcomes nostalgia.
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 3:07 pm   #3
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Default Re: Practical Electronics - 1964-1983

David is right I am afraid
apart from a few people may need as a hard copy of some particular magazine
the rest are happy with a pdf

I am looking for one from the Wireless constructor

that may or may not come up for auction
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Old 14th Jan 2020, 3:47 pm   #4
Dave Moll
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Default Re: Practical Electronics - 1964-1983

To back up what has been said above, perhaps I could share a personal story, as I am one of a small number of people who does like to have an archive of original magazines.

In achieving the total run of Practical Electronics magazines from its start in 1964 through to its merger with Everyday Electronics in 1992, I ended up with a large number of duplicates. Unfortunately, many of these I failed even to give away and they ended up, very sadly, going for recycling.

Whereas I am willing to pay the sort of prices quoted above as listed (or more) for individual copies that would fill the few gaps in my collections, I can't see many others wanting to start such collections, given the space required for them.
Mending is better than Ending (cf Brave New World by Aldous Huxley)
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Old 15th Jan 2020, 7:03 am   #5
Diabolical Artificer
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Default Re: Practical Electronics - 1964-1983

I collected Elektor and ETI once and paid £3 ish for a few copies but whilst searching I noticed 10 copies or more going for 99p or for peanuts whilst individual copies sold for as stated for more.

Hope you find a home for em, Andy.
Curiosity hasn't killed this far.
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Old 15th Jan 2020, 3:25 pm   #6
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Default Re: Practical Electronics - 1964-1983

I agree with the comments, sadly it seems a question of space, in my case, I found it very hard to bin many of my magazines over the years, but thatís life, I am still hanging on to all my books.
I do hope you find someone to take them off your hands.
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Old 15th Jan 2020, 4:28 pm   #7
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Default Re: Practical Electronics - 1964-1983

It looks as if they are destined to become next years Christmas wrapping paper

Agree about the books - I still have all on my first degree books

Horowitz and Hill The art of electronics - I have a 1981 edition and I am astounded to see that it's still in print !
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 9:30 am   #8
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Default Re: Practical Electronics - 1964-1983

I would love to read them, then pass them on again, but I'm afraid that's not something I would pay money for. They can be read online after all:
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 10:12 am   #9
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Default Re: Practical Electronics - 1964-1983

Over the years I've collected all sorts of magazines. Not just collected them. I have bought binders and lovingly bound them. Arranged them nicely on bookcases. Eventually I realised that they all took up vast amounts of space which could be put to better use. I didn't really want the magazines themselves, just the information in them. When I realised I could get copies on DVD or download them from the Internet it made the job of disposing of them much easier. Even so, I couldn't bring myself to throw them in the skip and I carefully lowered them in so as not to damage them. Stupid I know. Most of the digital copies I've never looked at since, the exceptions being things like the circuit diagram Vade Mecum.

As well as taking up much less space, electronic copies have the advantage that you can OCR them and search for things. Have a look at one of the copies of Practical Electronics mentioned above and use the browser search function to search for something like "transistor". Isn't that useful? You can't do that with a paper copy. I just wish that the person doing the scanning would line the pages up with the edge of the scanner properly.

The golden age is always yesterday - Asa Briggs
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 12:01 pm   #10
dave walsh
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Default Re: Practical Electronics - 1964-1983

Everything pointed out here is absolutely correct, Chopper, re "hard copy" info tending to be a major problem [for anyone who cares]. London Universities and the Central Library in Manchester skipped rare books/magazine and play/music etc without a second thought! Overall it's a bit like "Boat Anchor" [Juvenile American term] Radios. Nobody really complained about their weight in the past [we were younger and glad to get one at all and often it was only the more "elderly" who could afford them!] Also there wasn't, perhaps, the available time or spare money to accumulate a massive amount of "stuff" within a shorter life span I use a computer but I get a bit dazed staring at a screen and don't get bored easily so I will never be a slave to a mobile phone or on-line gambling etc. I've looked at the Radio Museum site today but reading books and mags on a computer isn't very appealing to me, although being able to find some info immediately, is an obvious advantage.

I used to help someone do book sales once. It's hard work lugging the product about for little reward and there is definitely some diminishing of interest over time. It's clearly a generational thing as I heard a story recently about a mid forties radio presenter getting assistance with his phone-which he did. He then asked the [otherwise helpful] young blokes in the shop what the joke was [as they chortled amongst themselves]. They said it was because he had a Newspaper. Why would anyone do that when you could access the bit of news you wanted [tailored to your perhaps limited needs] via the phone?

However in this, probably transitional, period there are still some outlets and people who trade/sort/re-cycle the physical items eg "We Buy Books" [not so far away from me in Lancashire]. Tilley's in Chesterfield. I went there years ago, two brothers in a small shop with a huge Warehouse at the back selling obscure magazine runs to Japanese Universities and the like! Kelly's [originally Bramptons] in Somerset seems to be still going specialising in Radio/Electronics/Radio Times etc.
I've bought from the latter two in the past but not recently. When you look at the vinyl/retro market I suppose hard copy material may perhaps remain in demand as a niche interest. From my experience old pianos are like old copies of the Radio Times etc. Not worth very much until you need to buy one

It's interesting that these hopelessly "out of date" printed newspapers have reported recently e-books falling away, in terms of a return to the printed page! I always used to say that I didn't think half the owners, sat on the beach with their latest Kindle or whatever were that interested in books or reading them [especially if they were internet enabled]

"Fashion" as David Bowie sang."The Times They Are A Changing" as Bob said.

Dave W

Last edited by dave walsh; 16th Jan 2020 at 12:11 pm.
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