EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for October 2005
(Copyright 1996-2005 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Maybe you're a little surprised at our cover this month. It's not a photo of a set so rare or so expensive that many of us couldn't afford it, even if another showed up. Instead, it is a schematic of the Wheatstone Bridge circuit, which suggests simplicity and the test equipment that is the subject of Ray Bintliff's lead article.
Ray, Alan Douglas, and others use vintage test equipment to diagnose problems in old radios. In Ray's case, he suggests vintage capacitor testers to diagnose capacitor problems in old radios. Such problems are more difficult to analyze than loose connections, burnt-out tubes or transformers that can be detected with a common volt-ohmmeter. Furthermore, vintage capacitor testers are readily available at flea markets, so why not use them to find bad capacitors in vintage sets?
In this, his fifth article on the subject, Ray concentrates on instruments that are practical for use today. He names several manufacturers of testers and the advantages or disadvantages of their products. His advice is to add, according to your needs, a tester, or analyzer, or both to your workbench. The bottom line is that vintage testers do a job that many modern testers cannot do.
In the restoration of an Airline Model 62-402, Richard Arnold didn't have to worry about a capacitor problem. However, he did have to fill the empty cabinet with all the right parts and then refinish the cabinet. It's interesting that in tackling the restoration of the "old," he used the "new" -- the Internet -- to track parts and information.
And Ben Beekman also made the connection with our earlier Cortlandt Street articles on our website via the Internet. He shares a memory of himself as a young man, employed briefly by a radio company located on a street that still conjures up the past for collectors. Given the terrible fate of the site of Radio Row on 9/11, Cortlandt St. will always have even greater significance in our collective memories.
It's good to know that our website keeps browsers informed about selected contents of A.R.C. This month they will learn about one of Estes's larger auctions with its impressive range of items totalling over $250,000. The highlight, the 25-tube Zenith Stratosphere, sold for $40,000, even though the speakers were missing.
That's the kind of high-end item that might have appeared on our cover, but we opted for something for everyone. In general, that's what this auction offered -- a wide range of battery sets, consoles, wireless equipment, advertising, books, vacuum tubes and ephemera -- not to mention the ten Atwater Kent breadboards. This auction really did validate Ray Chase's description of many an Estes' auction -- "It's like a trip to a museum."
Speaking of trips, our auction report on the Northland Antique Radio Club's Radio Daze reminded me of a trip I made a few years back to that meet. I remember it as a very well run event and encourage you to put it on your list for next year.
In fact, we will also encourage Greg Farmer and Alan Jesperson to send us a complete report giving us the full flavor of Radio Daze next year. At this year's auction, at least one impressive item showed up, a rare Pittsburgh wireless detector/amplifier selling for $2,300. In addition, the figures for this meet show that in all areas it's growing -- more radios in the auction, more sellers and bidders than in 2004. The hobby lives on in Minnesota, which is good news for the hobby everywhere.
A.R.C. Benefits. Continue to take advantage of A.R.C. benefits: a toll-free number (866) 371-0512; Discover, MasterCard, American Express, Visa accepted; the Web, www.antiqueradio.com; books shipped free in the U. S. by USPS media mail; and for current subscribers, a 10 percent discount on all book orders.
Coming Radio Events. Fall brings out the urge in fellow collectors to get together before winter sets in and sometimes makes meets difficult. There are more meetings (26) and meets (6) than usual, and they are widespread -- from the UK across the states to California. Add four auctions and the grand total is 46. Hope you make it to at least one in your area.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover shows the schematic diagram of the Wheatstone Bridge, courtesy of Ray Bintliff. For an explanation of what it is and how it works, Ray's article will fill you in. Suffice it to say here, although it was invented by Samuel H. Christie, Charles Wheatstone was the first to put this now famous circuit to many practical uses. Today, it is still the basis for many precision measuring instruments.
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We continue to receive reports from advertisers of e-mail responses to their classified ads proposing to pay them with a check, sometimes via a third party, in excess of the purchase price. The seller is asked to refund the difference by wire. In more than one case reported to A.R.C., the check received was "bad."
To minimize problems, we suggest that you always know whom you are dealing with or ask for references.