Radio Era Archives - Radiophile, Volume 1

CD-ROM Review: Radio Era Archives - Radiophile, Volume 1


From Antique Radio Classified
(Copyright 1997 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)

Radio collectors are always looking for new sources of information about their hobby. The latest one is packaged in a different form. Radio Era Archives (REA), a division of Electro Communication Systems, is now offering a series of CD-ROMs containing information about old radios. A.R.C. had an opportunity to examine one of these CDs, and our impressions are described in this article. (Editor)

Radiophile, Volume 1 contains a collection of 29 books dating from 1925 to 1962. This collection comes from such varied sources as ARRL, Atwater Kent, General Electric, Gernsback, National Radio Institute (NRI), Philco, Rider, and RCA. Material from NRI and Rider appears most frequently.

The 1955 edition of The Radio Amateur's Handbook from ARRL contains the most pages a total of 764. Ghirardi's Radio Troubleshooters Handbook weighs in at 702 pages., while the NRI material runs about 30 pages each. The CD contains approximately 3,800 pages.

The material from Rider Publishing is made up of indices for Rider's Troubleshooter's Manual (Volumes I through XXIII) and books dealing with servicing techniques.


Loading the program for the first time is a simple task. In our case, we loaded it using Windows 95 in fewer than 10 minutes. The CD will run under either Windows or Windows 95. A series of help screens are available to acquaint you with the program. There are a number of menus that provide manipulation of the page images, such as "image rotation," "zoom in/out," and "fit-to-width/fit-to-height."

Using the "Index Window," one or up to all four of the following search criteria can be used to locate a publication: Publisher, Name of Book, Author, and Year. For example, entering "John F. Rider" or simply "Rider*" will produce a list of all books that were written by John F. Rider.

Also, entering "1947" in the "Year" block, will produce a list of books written by Rider in 1947. It should be noted that the "Name of Book" is not always the exact title of the book. Some of the book titles are much too long, so REA has chosen to use shortened, simplified titles. The use of a wild card search (title*) can usually find the book you are looking for.

Once a book is found, you may step through and view the pages one at a time or use the "Go to" feature to jump to a particular page. The pages may be viewed half-screen size along with the index window, or changed to a full-screen with a single mouse click. Scroll bars permit you to view any area of the page when the image is magnified.

Because the pages are scanned, a text search cannot be performed. The search capability is limited to finding publications by using the four search criteria described above. REA literature indicates that other volumes offer an extended search capability.

Need a hard copy? One or more pages in a book may be printed with a simple command.


Some of the books contained in the CD include a table of contents which carry a page number for each subject. However, the page number in the table of contents will not necessarily be the same as the page number that is displayed on the computer screen's "page number bar." For example, in the Ghirardi book, the table of contents shows a subject beginning on page 481, but the page number bar indicates that the subject begins on page 487.

This discrepancy occurs because the book does not number the foreword and other introductory pages, while the CD starts its numbering system on the first scanned page. ERA recognizes this problem but also realizes that the cost to incorporate a page number tracking feature would be excessive. A few clicks of the mouse will quickly step you through to the correct page.

Three other Radiophile series CDs are available from ERA and contain additional books, repair information, tube data and much more. All 23 Rider manual volumes are available on six CDs. All ten CDs are available from Radio Era Archives, 2043 Empire Central, Dallas, TX 75235. The cost of Radiophile Volume 1 is $85, postpaid in the U. S. Be sure to check the publisher for ordering information.

(Ray Bintliff, 2 Powder Horn Ln., Acton, MA 01720)

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Copyright © 1996 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.
Last revised: July 28, 1997. Pages designed by Wayward Fluffy Publications