The first time someone seen a vintage tube radio

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The first time someone seen a vintage tube radio Empty The first time someone seen a vintage tube radio

Post by Doug Burskey on Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:44 pm

I'm always amused a someone who has seen a vintage tube radio or any tube electronics in operation.Some are inpressed, or can't understand how or why it can work with out some kind of software or it's not hooked up to a PC. When my nephew was 5 or 6 I was showing him how to operate my Revere T-1100 tape recorder. His reaction was "Wow Dad we ought to have one of these,there cool!!" He acted like it was the latest high tech gadget.

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Post by Bill Cahill on Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:22 am

I know how you feel. I seem to amaze people that I can get the old stuff playing again.
They ask questions like:
"Can you still get tubes for these?"
"Are they compatible with today's electronics?"
"How hard is it to find parts?"
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Post by Resistance is Futile on Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:22 am

Just show them a rotary dial telephone, or a hand cranked phonograph, or even a Model T. Most kids don't even know who the last five presidents were in order.
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Post by Bill Cahill on Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:43 am

For some reason, I see as many surprised older people.
"You're kidding! You mean you got this playing again?
Was it hard to find the new tubes to fix it?"
"Why do you want to fix this when you can buy a new radio with a built in cd player?"
"I didn't know they made radios like this."
"Oh, my! Is that an old tv! Is it color?"
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Post by Doug Burskey on Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:56 am

That remark about tubes I hear that one alot! A few others that I have people have said to me about tube radios:
"Oh anyone can fix those, all you need are a bunch of tubes from a old TV!"
"You don't want to play around with those young man there dirty and you will get electrocuted!"It is true I have worked on some dirty ones and I have got shocked thankfully not too often, and how old did she think I was?
"Why don't you just modernize the inside. It would be easy to do" OK.Why don't you do it if it's that easy!
"Philco made ALL those old radios and put different names on them" That like saying Ford made all vintage cars.
Refering to radio tubes as "plasma tubes" From the computer geek at work.

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Post by Brig on Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:11 am

One turnoff I encounter in closing a sale is the enjoinder that the buyer will require some kind of antenna for the unit to work at least as it good as it does on my bench demonstration. The drop in the potential buyer's face is noticeeable, so accustomed is he to using as modern set with built in loopsticks and loop antennas. I've even offered to supervise the construction of a decent, simple, and economical longwire antenna (at my age I no longer climb ladders or trees), but the offer isn't always greeted gratefully and the sale is lost. I live in the wilds of central Michigan and AM reception is less than desirable with only a built-in loop antenna. Just 30 miles south, a six- or eight-foot length of wire functions very sastisfactorily as an antenna.

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Post by Brig on Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:19 pm

In my above post I meant to offer two spelling and grammatical corrections: ". . .first time someone seen a vintage tube radio" should be ". . .someone SAW a. . ." and "we ought to have one of these, there cool!!" should be ". . .THEY'RE cool."

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Post by Wildcat445 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:09 pm

What I think is funny is people who call tubes "bulbs."

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Post by Guest on Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:15 pm

I've heard people call them bulbs too! I have a couple of young guys working for me and they looked at a tube and said; "What's that?" Since they wouldn't understand anything too technical I told them; This is what we had before transistors. They still looked puzzled and one of them said; "What's a transistor?"

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Post by Dr. Radio on Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:48 pm

MEZLAW wrote:I've heard people call them bulbs too!  I have a couple of young guys working for me and they looked at a tube and said; "What's that?"  Since they wouldn't understand anything too technical I told them; This is what we had before transistors.  They still looked puzzled and one of them said; "What's a transistor?"    

You then should have said, " its what we had before the integrated circuit." And the vicious cycle would have continued! lol! 

Yeah, I've heard bulbs too. Even seen transistor tubes (eBay listing). The most important thing is to educate so the "magic" lives on.
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Post by Bill Cahill on Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:24 am

My favorite personal whimsical description of a tube is as follows:
"Tubes are those things that light up orange, except when there is a short. Then they light up all pretty colors.."

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Post by hismastersvoice on Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:13 pm

I'm 38...born 1975, so I guess I was right at the end of the tube phenomena. As a youngster, I probably walked by a tester in the store, and had no idea what it was. I don't recall every seeing one. My dad was in the Air Force overseas, and we had a myriad of modern electronics. We had an Akai reel to reel, and I think we had a Sensei something or other because I distinctly remember the names on the speakers.

The first time I encountered a really old music machine, it was a hand crank RCA Victor phonograph in my grandmothers house. I don't know if it was working or not. Inside the cabinet there were still a number of RCA Victor records. I didn't explore further, because well...my grandmother wasn't the type who encouraged exploration.

The next time I would see something similar was when I was working at a local secondhand store. The fellow who ran the store didn't deal a lot in antiques, but he ended up with an old tube radio, record player in one. I think it was a Zenith. There was a door in the back that opened to reveal the tubes. One side of the front had the radio controls, and the other side opened and the record player sort of glided out. It was fascinating, but HUGE. I would have loved to have it. At the same time, he got a 60's era RCA TV. Again, it was large, but it was the coolest thing in the world to me.

Last week, I ran across a listing on ebay for a radio, and I immediately fell in love. I love history. I love old things, and I am an art deco fanatic...so I think I've found a new hobby. Thanks for letting me share. :-)
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Post by Guest on Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:06 pm

As a youngster, I probably walked by a tester in the store, and had no idea what it was

When I was a kid I got thrown out of a few drug stores for coming in with a bag of old tubes and using the tube tester for quite some time without making a purchase!

We had an Akai reel to reel,

I still have one!  Very Happy 

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Post by hismastersvoice on Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:44 am

That's so cool to know Mezlaw...thanks for your replies. I don't remember what happened to that old reel to reel, but it was in the house until I was probably 16. I only saw Dad use it a few times, but I remember it had a cover that fastened to the front, and a silver rectangular sort of switch that rewound and fast forwarded when you twisted it. I came across a letter that my dad had sent to my mom when he was overseas that had magazine ad cut-outs in it of that system we had when I was growing up.  Smile 
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