VOLUME 13 FEBRUARY 1996 NUMBER 2
EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for February 1996
(Copyright 1996 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
We're often asked which comes first - the article or the cover photo? Answer: sometimes one, sometimes the other. Whether the choice is by accident, inspiration, deliberate plan, bolt of lightning - the result makes the editorial process more interesting.
This month's lead article by Wayne Childress on communications receivers came first; however, it didn't take long to connect it to A.R.C. staff member Ray Bintliff's review of Chuck Penson's book on Heathkit with its excellent photos - thus, a cover!
This combination of two articles and the cover accents three aspects of collecting under-represented in the pages of A.R.C. - amateur radio, communications receivers, and the collecting and building of kit equipment. Heathkit perpetuated all three of these until the company decided to drop out of the kit business only a few years ago. (See A.R.C., Dec. 1993.) That decision brought an end to an era - a time when America's dining room tables were often littered with Dad's latest kit-building project.
Communications receivers are championed in the Childress article, in which he describes the attraction of these metal boxes. He also offers tips to buyers on identifying the hidden problems that this equipment often acquires after modifications by previous owners.
Dave Crocker, another A.R.C. staff member, describes an unusual cone speaker made in the late 1920s by the Symphonic Sales Corporation. The details of how a cone speaker is incorporated into a world globe are fascinating.
We include a report on the Vintage Radio and Phonograph Society/Antique Wireless Association October convention near Dallas, Texas. More than 800 lots brought over $48,000 at the auction. Hats are off to George and Michael Potter for their tabulation of the results. I attended the auction and observed that the Potters examined each item as it came off the auction block and meticulously recorded the model numbers and conditions.
The Smith Auction Company in Pennsylvania, now holding regular radio auctions, reports on its November auction where over 300 radio items were sold. The high bid at the auction, which included high-fidelity and test equipment as well as radios, was a Bunnell galvanometer selling for $4,100.
Chester Gehman sent in a description of his efforts to determine the function of a Philco circuit, which includes a third winding on an IF transformer. Chester was unable to resolve the mystery and invites A.R.C. readers to help out.
We continue to receive numerous approaches to solid-state tube replacement, but the one presented this month is unique - a substitute that glows. Gary Strelow's replacement device uses a lamp in place of the tube filament, and the light from the lamp controls the gain of the transistor. In fact, the filament rheostat functions nearly the same as when real tubes are used in the radio.
A very useful update to a classic - Grinder's The Radio Collector's Directory and Price Guide - is reviewed in this issue by Ed Taylor. The first edition of this book, published nine years ago, was one of the first price guides for collectors.
Several unusual sets are featured in this month's Photo Review - a Scyrad crystal set from 1922, another early 1920s set by F.M. Doolittle of New Haven, Conn., and an Emerson 5-tube radio in a black lacquered case painted with an oriental scene. Radio Miscellanea includes feedback from readers on our recent advertising price increases.
A.R.C. on the Web. We continue to receive kudos on our World Wide Web site. Although we do not make ads available there, we do post highlights from each issue including the full radio event calendar. Visit our site at http://www.antiqueradio.com/.
Coming Radio Events. Forty radio events across the U.S. entice the collector during the month of February. A 4-day event of note is the Spring Extravaganza held by the Music City Vintage Radio and Phonograph Society, at Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn., from February 28 to March 2. On the previous Sunday, February 25, Radio XXVII will be held by the Greater Boston Antique Radio Collectors (GBARC) at the Westford Regency hotel, just off I-495. Last year's event drew over 600 attendees and 90 seller tables. A visit to the A.R.C. editor's collection is a feature of this event. A.R.C. manages Radio XXVII for GBARC, so we issue a special invitation to all of our readers to attend the show.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover photo, provided by Chuck Penson, is from his excellent book Heathkit, A Guide to the Amateur Radio Products, which is reviewed in this issue. On page 167, Chuck tells us that the RX-1 "Mohawk", one of the earliest kit-form communications receivers on the market, was Heath's first "ham band only" receiver. It was also one of the first sets produced in the green color that became a Heathkit trademark. Designed with 15 tubes, this 52-pound unit will receive upper and lower sideband as well as AM and CW. It covers 160 to 10 meters and has a separate band position and dial markings for 6- and 2-meter coverage (with optional converters).