EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for February 2000
(Copyright 1996-2000 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
What could be special about the second month of a new year? Usually not much more than the hearts and flowers of Valentine's Day. But, each time that we make the effort to write "20--" instead of "19--", we realize that this period of transition to a new century and a new millennium is, indeed, special.
Of course, the purists remind us that 2001, not 2000, is the real beginning of the new millennium (see Radio Miscellanea), but we have chosen, along with most people, to celebrate it now. A millennium is, after all, any period of 1000 years. Almost in defiance of the purists and in defense against the Y2K bug, the whole world seemed to join in the party -- and the fight.
It appears that this fight has been won and that the potential Y2K problem has come and gone. Not without costs, however, as A.R.C. did have to make changes to its computer systems. Four years ago we found that some long-term renewals were not being reflected properly in our computerized subscription files. The cost was about 100 hours of reprogramming and data entry to correct the oversight made in 1986. All now seems to be functioning well, but any needed additional changes will be made as we proceed into the year 2000.
The challenges of the Internet remain and cannot be ignored, especially by print publications who see a migration of some of their readership to the Internet. While these publications now must maintain a Web site in order to compete, other changes are taking place.
For example, Gernsback Publications, publisher of Modern Electrics and Radio News, is combining its two 1999 magazines, Popular Electronics and Electronics Now, into the new Poptronics. The Ham Trader Yellow Sheets have been merged into the Amateur Radio Trader. Columns on antique radio are also evolving -- Mark Ellis has moved his "Antique Radio" column from Popular Electronics to Monitoring Times, and QST is adding an antique radio column penned by John Dilks.
A.R.C. too is adapting to the times with its expanded presence on the Internet. The number of paid subscribers, having grown to 8,222 in 1995, numbered 7,089 in 1999. In this same time period, however, the "hits" on our Web home page grew from about 500 per month to over 9,000 per month today. Over 47,000 A.R.C. Web pages are viewed monthly. It is possible that more people "read" some portion of A.R.C. via the Internet than in the printed form. Soon, A.R.C.'s display advertisers will be able to take advantage of this exposure.
As we have for the past fifteen years, A.R.C. will continue to service the antique radio community for years to come in whatever formats our readers prefer. Information about all aspects of our hobby is A.R.C.'s business, which brings us to the content of this issue.
Featured this month is more on that basic reference resource -- Rider's manuals. Charles Kirsten continues his review with an analysis of the various versions of Volume II of the Trouble Shooter's Manual series. Thousands of radio schematics were published by John F. Rider in these manuals which ultimately grew to over 20 volumes covering radios alone.
Inspired by the article on ship speakers in a past issue, Dave Gonshor has written about another ship, but this one functions as an antenna. What other ship-radio items can there be out there?
Complementing our cover illustration of the Apex vacuum tube, George A. Fathauer has helped us to develop a short article on this tube. A review of George's book -- Radio Tubes and Boxes of the 1920's -- by Dick Bergeron is paired with the Apex article. Early vacuum tube collecting continues to grow as indicated by other books on the subject and the interest at auctions.
George and Michael Potter report on the action at the Vintage Radio and Phonograph Society Convention in Texas on October 29-31, 1999. Although the auctions, which totaled over $55,000, are always extraordinary events, seminars, an old equipment contest, a flea market, and a banquet are featured as well. In fact, your editor was the banquet speaker this year. (The A.R.C. staff is delighted to have a photo proving that I was formally dressed for the occasion.)
For capacitor lovers everywhere, the third installment of Ray Bintliff's "Capacitors in Old Radios" appears in this issue. Ray details the what, how, and why of mica and electrolytic capacitors, including lots of useful information for your next restoration project.
And following up on Ray Bintliff's June 1999 article "Adventures in RCA TV Land," Alton DuBois relates his experiences as a field tech in the late 1940s.
Photo Review shows a Radialamp horn speaker, an unusual Philco television set, and a miniconsole -- somewhat reminiscent of the Pastime radio in the May 1995 article by Dick Desjarlais. Radio Miscellanea includes comments pro and con on A.R.C., the above referenced comment on the real start of the new millennium, and article feedback on Raytheon tubes from Raytheon itself.
Coming Radio Events. This month, 40 events are listed, including meets in Arizona, Michigan, Georgia, Indiana, and Kansas. Of note are the 3-day HVRA-AWA Convention in Houston, Texas; the SCARS Annual Auction in Van Nuys, California; the Estes Vintage Radio Auction in Seville, Ohio; and, of course, Radio XXXI in Westford, Massachusetts -- please make sure to stop by to say "hi" to the A.R.C. staff at this one.
John V. Terrey, EditorJohn V. Terrey, Editor
Our cover illustration is a "real find" for February from your editor's collection. The 4-page, 3 1/2" x 6" Apex brochure showing the Audiotron tube encased in a heart seems intended to touch the hearts of collectors. In fact, not shown on our cover is the additional invitation to buyers to "Have a Strong Heart -- Use Apex Audiotron tubes." The brochure is fact-packed, as seen in the related article, and we wonder how widely it would be read in this sound-bite age. Here is an even larger view of this month's cover.
ON THE COVER