VOLUME 13 AUGUST 1996 NUMBER 8
EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for August 1996
(Copyright 1996 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
The times they are a-changin' -- so fast that yesterday's technology becomes obsolete overnight. Today in a matter of minutes, we can reach out to people in most corners of the earth via telephone and the Internet. Vast stores of information are available to us as quickly as we can access the nearest computer terminal.
Perhaps this technological avalanche is one of the reasons old radios have so much appeal. Unlike those seemingly cold, complex cyber-machines, old radios seem to us to be warm, often beautiful, and technically within reach of our home workshop.
Still, in our lead article on Paul Godley and his Paragon receiver, Henry Rogers reminds us that 75 years ago radios were technological marvels too, and their creators worked hard at taking them into their next phase of development. Because Godley and others like him struggled to make intercontinental communication easy, we now live in this amazing "Informational Age." Nevertheless, it's interesting to note that radio waves via satellites and microwave relays remain the medium for many of these worldwide connections.
Also in his article, Henry Rogers covers Godley's days at Adams Morgan where he designed the pre-World War I Paragon RA-6, as well as the postwar RA-10 receiver and DA-2 detector/amplifier. Henry's description of his own operating tests using the RA-10 and DA-2 makes very good reading.
If you collect automobile radios, or perhaps have a vintage 1930s car, you will enjoy Ed Paski's article on the Atwater Kent Model 91 car radio. Ed found one in the late 1960s and only recently decided to get it working. It is interesting to observe that the problems in adapting tube radios to the automobile environment of hot and cold temperature, vibration, and electrical noise (spark plugs and ignition circuitry act as broad-band spark transmitters) had to be solved again when solid-state automobile radios were introduced in the mid-1950s.
In another report on one of his favorite topics, tombstone radios, Richard Arnold describes the Philco Model 116B. This large tombstone was built in 1936 and tunes five bands.
Since we are without an auction report this month, we have space for Daniel Schoo's detailed and comprehensive article on soldering. This seemingly mundane task actually is an involved subject. Improper soldering technique can result in an inoperative radio, or, in the case of a repair, permanent damage to a valuable historical artifact.
Daniel covers the selection of soldering irons and equipment, the soldering process, the choice of solder flux, and the inevitable task of unsoldering. Some of you may not be aware that there are aids to unsoldering, such as solder wicking material and a device known as a solder sucker.
Our Photo Review pages include an interesting Fada, 2-band, AC/DC set and a crystal set manufactured by Carter Mfg. Co. with an unusual, and matching, 2-tube amplifier. Radio Miscellanea includes letters from a very happy new subscriber and a "radio dreamer," as well as information about Shaw Television. Also this month, we have short follow-up articles on testing capacitors by Everett Hoard and more on Chet Gehman's circuit oddity.
Coming Radio Events. Radio collectors -- prepare yourself for the upcoming, back-to-back, radio meets in Elgin, Illinois, on August 28-31, and in Rochester, New York, on September 4-7. Of course, the best way to make preparations would be to attend one (or more) of the other over three dozen events in the month of August.
The Antique Radio Club of Illinois' Radiofest '96 begins on Wednesday with the first of a 31Ž2-day flea market. Thursday adds an old equipment contest and visits to the Muchow Museum where thousands of radios are on display. Thursday night is the awards banquet and Friday features the main auction. In addition, several presentations on radio topics are scheduled.
The Antique Wireless Association's 35th Historical Radio Conference begins on the following Wednesday with a theme of "100 Years of Atwater Kent." This event also features a 31Ž2-day flea market, as well as 4 auctions, and programs on Atwater Kent, RCA, the Fleming valve, among others. Trips to the A.W.A. Museum, an old equipment contest, and a banquet round out the event. An indoor book fair, including A.R.C., will run throughout all days.
If you are a flea-market hound, plan to be ready to browse at daybreak on Wednesday at either of these events. Although Thursday and Friday are still good buying days, the activity is less than on the first day. And during the auction and on Saturday morning, only a few sellers are still set up.
A.R.C. intends to be at both of these largest-in-the-U.S. activities, so stop by our tables, either outdoor or indoor, and say, "hi."
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover, which relates to this month's lead article, is an illustration of a "Paragon Regenerative Receiver Outfit," taken from the Rudolph Schmidt & Co., Rochester, N. Y., Wireless Manual and Catalogue of Radio Telegraph and Telephone Apparatus, Number One. This outfit consists of a Paragon RA-10 amplifier, selling at $75; a DA-2 detector-amplifier, at $65; and an R-3 Magnavox, at $45. The catalogue, from your editor's collection, is a 6" x 9", 208-page book, complete with information for the beginner about wireless telegraphy and telephony. The company's stated goal was "to enable anyone to select easily and intelligently the material required."