VOLUME 15 FEBRUARY 1998 NUMBER 2
RADIO MISCELLANEA -- February 1998From Antique Radio Classified for February 1998
(Copyright 1996-8 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
"Antique Radio Classified" invites its readers to contribute letters and information for inclusion in "Radio Miscellanea" and elsewhere in the magazine. "In The Marketplace" is based on information submitted by the businesses themselves. All topics should be of general interest and sent to A.R.C., P.O. Box 2, Carlisle, MA 01741. All material submitted should be verified for accuracy and may be edited for publication, which is not guaranteed. See the masthead for more details.
Tube Prices in 1933
After seeing your very nice picture of the RCA tube testing equipment on the cover of the [over-a-year-ago] September 1996 A.R.C., I thought your readers might like to know what tube prices were like in the early radio days. I checked my original Tung-Sol Radio Tube Price List, dated June 1933, and found the following: 201A 60¢; 171A 75¢; 112A $1.30; UX99 $1.50; 210 $5; 2A3 $4; 224 $1.20; 227 70¢; 247 $1.30; 250 $4; and 280 70¢. No WD-11 was listed, perhaps because, by this late date, it was considered obsolete or perhaps Tung-Sol did not manufacture this tube.
--Harry Cap, Bridgewater, MA
Extending Harry's research, a 1923 RCA Radiotron brochure shows the following prices: UV-200 $5.00, UV-201-A $6.50 and UV-199 $6.50. (Editor)
Dating Sets via Component Codes
Here's a bit of lore not found in the books: the numbers rubber-stamped on the back of a speaker and tuning capacitor are manufacturer and date codes. Other components, such as potentiometers and wirewound resistors, may have them too. The first three digits are the E.I.A. (Electronic Industries Association), while the last three are the date.
For instance, my Trans-Oceanic 8G005YT, which is dated 9/23/47 inside in pencil, has 273725 on the capacitor and 343716 on the speaker. 273 is the code for the Radio Condenser Company, Camden, N. J., and 725 is the 25th week of 1947 (mid-June). 343 is the code for Zenith Radio Corp. (no surprise), and 716 is the 16th week of 1947. Neat, eh?
Tubes always have codes too, sometimes decipherable, sometimes not. Ludwell Sibley's Tube Lore has the latest information on those. Can anyone help with the GE dot code, or some of the RCA letter codes?
The E.I.A. lists were distributed with some Sams folders: set 537 had the list from July 1961, for instance. A copy of that is available from Infotronix, P.O. Box 2045, Waterbury, CT 06722 for $1 postpaid.
--Alan Douglas, Pocasset, MA
Vacuum Tube Repair Questions
Just a couple of questions for A.R.C. readers: 1. Can anybody out there recommend a way to securely reattach a tube that has come loose in its base? How about reattaching a loose plate or gridcap? Some kind of epoxy or high-temperature silicone perhaps? 2. Most of us probably have at least a box or two of dud or otherwise useless tubes lying around. Is there any practical way to recycle these or are they destined only for the local landfill?
--C.J. Poulos, Columbia, CT
Christie's Marconi Catalog
The latest word from Christie's on the publication of the Marconi Catalog is that there have been problems with the printing, and it is not yet off the press.
Orders are being taken, preferably by credit card, and the price is $55, ppd. Orders may be sent to Christie's South Kensington, Mechanical Music Dept., 85 Old Brompton Rd., London, SW7 3LD, U.K. To those of you who have already put in your orders, Christie's reports that your checks and credit card charges will not be processed until the catalog is available.
The catalog contains just over 200 pages with photos in black and white and color. It includes the lots planned for the cancelled April 1997 auction, minus estimates and information about how to buy and sell.
A.R.C. readers will remember our coverage of this event throughout the spring of 1997 (see the March, April, May, and June issues). This catalog will be a handsome record of the Marconi archives saved from sale and dispersal throughout the world by public outcry and now in the care of the British Science Museum. (Editor)
Insuring Your Radio Collection
As a radio collector, I am trying to insure my collection. My homeowner's policy won't cover it. Is there any insurance carrier that you know of that would write a policy? Is this a common problem?
--Ed Koment, W. Milford, NJ
Information from our insurance agent indicates that you should be able to insure radios as fine arts/antiques at replacement cost, subject to a deductible, as part of your homeowner's policy. You must supply a list of items, including photos, identification (such as serial numbers) and appraised replacement values. If you need to purchase additional coverage, it is generally no more than 1 percent of the total appraised value. For example, a collection worth $10,000 would cost no more than $100 per year to insure. In the case of a loss, the company will strive to replace the items as opposed to paying for them. Only if they cannot be replaced will the company pay. For ham radio equipment, A.R.R.L has an official insurer. (Editor)
Web Site Kudos
I am impressed! I haven't fully toured the A.R.C. web site yet, but the first impression is tremendous. Very nice job in web-site design. I've been interested in antique radios and have been a ham operator for many years. I always try to seek out antique radios at the Dallas First Monday Sidewalk Sale. This is great! I'll read every page you folks have posted. Thanks a million!
--Larry Woods, email@example.com