Your First Radio

Go down

Your First Radio Empty Your First Radio

Post by Eliot Ness on Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:08 pm

Just as the title says, I thought it might be interesting to share memories of the first radio that got you started collecting.

I'm going to mention two, because the first one is a mystery. I first saw it at a flea market held at a drive-in movie lot. I'd like to say it was a 1938 Zenith, and it might have been, but all I remember is it was a grand looking console radio with a huge speaker and they wanted $25 for it. By the time I rode my bike home, borrowed the money and talked one of my brothers into picking it up in his car it was already sold.

So the first radio I actually got my hands on and made me decide I wanted more of was a Zenith 5-S-127 that a very close friend of the family gave me when they saw me admiring it in their basement. I was still a stupid kid preoccupied with cars, music, and girls so I never did a whole lot with it. While in high school I gave it to a couple of friends in the electricity class to repair. Seems like they were preoccupied with the same things because I got it back missing the Z knobs and the chassis wiring hacked up, so back into our basement it went.

Fast forward a few years and I'm in the USAF stationed at Rantoul, IL living in a tiny efficiency apt off base. I'm in electronics myself now and somehow I find Jim Fred's Antique Radio Column that is published in the (now long defunct) Elementary Electronics magazine. That column rekindled the spark when I saw that console radio years ago and prompted me to bring the Zenith 5-S-127 back with me after a trip home.

I ordered a schematic for my Zenith and proceeded to rewire and recap what my friends had screwed up years earlier. Man was I excited when I was finished and that radio played great. The collecting monster had been awakened! I spent many a night DXing on that old tombstone and the only thing I regretted were the ugly knobs I had to use until a few years later when I found the appropriate Z knobs for her.

I remember dragging old radio chassis into the back of the base library to identify with a schematic when I discovered they had a set of Rider Manuals! I made do like this finding a radio here and a radio there until I discovered and joined the IHRS (Indiana Historical Radio Society) in the late 70's. It was going to their meets, and then the AWA, and then the Radiofest's that my collection grew like wildfire.

I haven't been actively collecting for a little over 10 years because of various reasons, but I'm slowly getting the bug back and have just recently bought a couple more cathedrals.

So how about the rest of you, what radio prompted you to start this crazy hobby of radio collecting?

John
Eliot Ness
Eliot Ness
Member
Member

Number of posts : 45
Registration date : 2009-02-15

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by Resistance is Futile on Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:43 pm

Heres my first one at Christmas time in 1956.Your First Radio Remco-crystal-radio
Resistance is Futile
Resistance is Futile
Member
Member

Number of posts : 904
Age : 75
Registration date : 2008-03-12

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by Gordon on Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:17 pm

Your First Radio Viking11

Dragged this Viking around the country after I moved away from home. My parents bought it in 57 and gave it to me when I moved out. After years of abuse and finally it died. Couldn't get rid of it as it was an heir lome. One day years later I decided to repair the cabinet and had the radio repaired. The repair to the radio was not very good so I enrolled in a at home collage and took a electronics coarse. In two years I was ready to repair the radio and the rest is collecting history. Almost 10 years later and 200 radios later I am still hooked and repair cabinets and tinkering with the electronics.
Gordon
Gordon
Member
Member

Number of posts : 31
Age : 62
Registration date : 2008-11-05

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by Timaaay! on Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:23 am

The first radio that I owned as a boy was an RCA X-551, My Grandfather gave it to me (used) and I listened to lots of music on it. WABC in NY played top 40 pop music in those days. I can almost still hear Cousin Brucie's voice on it.
A few years later, for Christmas, I received a Unelco "OverSeas" radio (model 1914). It was a solid state short wave radio sold at Sears. There were plug-in coils to change bands. It was a very cheap, plastic radio but I spent countless hours listening to short wave broadcasts from all over the globe. The news and culture gained by short wave was amazing in the pre internet, cable news; cold-war days.
Living in an apartment in NYC was challenging to a short wave listener but I found that an abandoned roof-top TV antenna made a good short wave antenna. The twin-lead was run from the basement up 12 stories to the roof. I used this as a long wire type antenna with great success.
The basement was unfinished, unheated, dusty and had "storage spaces" used by tenants. I remember many evenings after dinner, putting on my coat, hat, gloves, two pair of socks and going down to the sub-freezing basement to listen to my radio. Life was good!
My first antique radio was a Philco 91-L console radio. I got it in 1980. I added a Stromberg Carlson 130-M the following year. I recapped them and didn't have much interest in antique radios until about five years ago. I've added more 50 more in the last five years.
I have some very nice sets, but doubt anything will match the excitement that I felt as a boy when I got my first radios.
Timaaay!
Timaaay!
Member
Member

Number of posts : 139
Age : 55
Registration date : 2009-01-20

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by DA on Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:30 pm

I bought this Zenith Royal 300 new in 1959. I wasn't collecting radios at the time but held on to it all these years. It sat in a closet for about 30 years. To get it working I had to recap it a few years ago and replace the diode.
Your First Radio Zenith11

When I started collecting I bought this Philco 48-482
Your First Radio Philco11

DA
New Member
New Member

Number of posts : 13
Registration date : 2009-02-10

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by Bill Cahill on Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:06 pm

Resistance is Futile wrote:Heres my first one at Christmas time in 1956.Your First Radio Remco-crystal-radio

Hey, I had one of those in blue plastic!
Wish I had another.
Bill Cahill

_________________
Please also join us here; www.videokarma.org/index.php
Bill Cahill
Bill Cahill
Admin
Admin

Number of posts : 4398
Age : 68
Registration date : 2008-03-12

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by Timaaay! on Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:16 pm

I never had one, but that's a really cool looking radio!
Timaaay!
Timaaay!
Member
Member

Number of posts : 139
Age : 55
Registration date : 2009-01-20

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by MinnesotaHam on Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:33 pm

The first radio that got me starting collecting was:

A Zenith 808 tombstone. I found it while wandering a flea market for ham radio stuff. I bought it and several others, filled the trunk and took them home to start another hobby "some day". Fast forward almost 25 years, I finally got around to the new hobby and began restoring this radio.

MinnesotaHam
Member
Member

Number of posts : 28
Registration date : 2009-01-05

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by exray on Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:00 am

My first 'real' radio was a RCA console (9K3) that my 7th Grade shop teacher sold me for $5. 1967. I had already become addicted to BCB DXing (I can hear Chicago!!!) on a transistor radio.

The accurate dial scale hooked me. Then I learned about shortwave. I had a bag of .018 caps and recapped the whole thing with them and it worked!

I also bought a little Fairbanks-Morse radio from him. $1.25. Still have them both.

Got my ham ticket in 1970 after much procrastination. My Elmer threatened to GIVE me a transmitter if I learned the code. I finally did but the little xmtr was gone by then.

Speaking of Elmers. Mel Rich, W4OSJ was mine. He was the Dad of one of my buddies. We had a snow break from school once...I was 10 years old...and he let us kids carry his SX-42 to my house as a loaner. It took the two of us little kids to lug the thing several blocks away thru a foot of snow.

I think back now...that SX-42 wasn't some old POS at the time (1963). And he actually let us 10 y/o kids do that?!?
He continued on keeping his local skeds using an old cathedral radio while he had loaned out the SX-42 to a kid.

They don't make many guys like Mel anymore. WW2 (Burma) vet.
exray
exray
Member
Member

Number of posts : 140
Registration date : 2008-03-30

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by Eliot Ness on Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:43 pm

Your First Radio MinimanRocketRadio

OK, to keep this going I'm going to list another radio. I didn't own this one, but vaguely remember listening to it as my first radio experience.

The majority of radios in my collection are from the late 20's through the late 30's, with an emphasis on cathedral or mantel sets. About 20 years ago, however, I thought it would be fun to try and find the first radio I remember listening to; a radio that is definitely not from this same time period.

It was about 1958 when I was growing up in Columbus, Ohio. We lived in an old two story house that had a coal furnace, and at the time I was in first grade. I remember listening to a little crystal set shaped like a rocket, with a metal rod in the tip that moved up and down to tune in stations. Now, at this point I'd love to tell you about all the stations I used to tune in, but the only station I can remember was WCOL with the program: 'Dr. Bop on the scene with a stack of shellac and his record machine' (early rock 'n roll). I don't really remember where I got the radio, but since I only recall using it a few times I think it must have belonged to one of my two older brothers. Its' origin is puzzling because neither of my brothers remember the radio, and if it was indeed theirs, I think I'd remember the severe beating I would have received when they discovered I'd taken it. Anyway, I remember when I went to bed (or was supposed to!), I'd clip the antenna lead onto my bedsprings and listen to 'Dr. Bop' before falling asleep.

After reminiscing with some collector friends I decided to place an ad in ARC and try to find one of these radios. Luckily a gentleman from the New York area wrote and told me that he had one, and after a couple of calls we settled on a fair price. The Rocket Radio was just as I remembered it, a red and white Miniman made in Japan. Although it was not in perfect condition, it had the original box, instructions and accessories. When I tried the radio out I couldn't find 'Dr. Bop', but the first radio station I tuned was playing oldies.

Do you remember the first radio you ever listened to or your family owned?


Last edited by Eliot Ness on Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
Eliot Ness
Eliot Ness
Member
Member

Number of posts : 45
Registration date : 2009-02-15

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by Bill Cahill on Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:25 pm

Sadly, no pictures, but, the first one I remember was my father's beloved 1946 combination Magnavox radio, phono.
Had push pull parallel 6L6 tubes in lower amp chassis, and, deluxe am, fm, sw. radio in upper chassis. Old fm band. Not new.
Webster Chicago deluxe record changer on left hand side of top. If you were lazy, push a button on front panel of radio to reject the changer.
Had an eye tube.
Was in therir "''Regency" style cabinet. Two speakers in front, and, a horn tweeter.
Amp 101A.
CR-198 radio, if I remember correctly. Had mostly octal tubes, and, one miniaturet tube.
I really miss that set. Wish I had another like it.
Bill Cahill

_________________
Please also join us here; www.videokarma.org/index.php
Bill Cahill
Bill Cahill
Admin
Admin

Number of posts : 4398
Age : 68
Registration date : 2008-03-12

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by ve1arn on Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:51 pm

I remember listening to my mom's Emerson CQ269 all the time. That's when I learned about SWL'ing too.

This was followed in the mid 60's with my first kit. An Archer Globe Patrol 3 tube regen receiver. I still have both. The Emerson needs recapping, but the Globe Patrol, still works great.

Cheers, Bob
ve1arn
ve1arn
Member
Member

Number of posts : 134
Age : 69
Registration date : 2008-03-12

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by Bill Cahill on Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:22 pm

I'll have to fire up my RCA 110K one of these days. It gets great reception on SW.
Bill Cahill

_________________
Please also join us here; www.videokarma.org/index.php
Bill Cahill
Bill Cahill
Admin
Admin

Number of posts : 4398
Age : 68
Registration date : 2008-03-12

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by Resistance is Futile on Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:21 am

I remember getting those from our Local Army surplus store for $.99
Your First Radio MinimanRocketRadio
Resistance is Futile
Resistance is Futile
Member
Member

Number of posts : 904
Age : 75
Registration date : 2008-03-12

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by VANT on Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:42 pm

Your First Radio Dscf0010

MY FIRST VINTAGE RADIO (WITH AN EYE-TUBE) WAS THIS UNKNOWN MODEL CORONADO. ONE OF THE KNOBS IS INCORRECT AND TWO OF THE PUSH BUTTONS ARE ALSO WRONG BUT THIS SET STARTED ME COLLECTING EYE-TUBE RADIOS. SINCE THIS ONE I NOW HAVE APPROX 70 OR SO EYE-TUBE SETS. I WILL NEVER FORGET THE FIRST TIME I STARTED HER UP AND SAW THAT LITTLE MAGIC EYE WINKING AT ME. I NOW ONLY COLLECT MAGIC EYE RADIOS. ONE OF THESE DAYS I WANT TO START MY OWN WEB SITE SO I CAN SHARE THEM WITH EVERYONE ELSE BUT THAT WILL HAVE TO WAIT TILL I HAVE THE TIME AND HELP IN SETTING IT UP. BY THE WAY, MY VERY FIRST VINTAGE SET WAS A PHILCO AA5 MODEL PT-12. ABOUT THE ONLY THING IT WAS GOOD FOR IS STARTING MY CURIOSITY WITH TUBE RADIOS AND TEACHING WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN WORKING ON ONE!
---VANT
VANT
VANT
Member
Member

Number of posts : 54
Age : 59
Registration date : 2009-02-06

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty first radio

Post by bill alexander on Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:05 pm

Well as near as I can remember it was a old pre-war Philco console..down in the basement..It played somewhat
could get local stations and some short wave..however I let the glow of the tubes grow my facination and just had to see how it worked...so one rainy saturday..I started surgery..needless to say the patient died...years later I was given
a old Philco Battery portable..this had the flip up front that was actually the antenna..and it was BC only..as a pre-teen
I collected anything with a plug on it..had a closet full of Junk..and my brothers gave me the nick-name as RATMAN
cause they thought I was a Pack-Rat..I remenber the little Rocket-Radio I gave away all my prized possessions at
the age of 8yrs old to get one...spent hours hooked to the fingerstop on the old dial phone..listening to two stations
I could get....now 52 yrs later I have 30 plus radios...always looking for that smell of dust as you fire up the radio
and crackle to your first station....Dream on...
bill alexander
bill alexander
Member
Member

Number of posts : 17
Age : 70
Registration date : 2008-03-15

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by Bill Cahill on Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:40 pm

I was called "trash picker, junk collector, nut, garbage picker", and, whatever else they could think of.
I'm proud of all those names, now!
Bill Cahill

_________________
Please also join us here; www.videokarma.org/index.php
Bill Cahill
Bill Cahill
Admin
Admin

Number of posts : 4398
Age : 68
Registration date : 2008-03-12

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by Timaaay on Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:53 pm

I like that Coronado! I've noticed that eye-tube sets get a lot of attention on ebay too. Your idea of a website dedicated to magic eye radios sounds like a real winner to me! I'd love to see your collection.
Timaaay
Timaaay
Member
Member

Number of posts : 25
Age : 55
Registration date : 2008-07-08

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by VANT on Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:20 pm

Yea, eye-tube radios are getting more expensive or should I say thier value is increasing. Some models have priced themselves way out of proportion to what they should be at just because of the eye-tube but in most models their production numbers were very high such as in Silvertones;Airlines... etc. I posted a couple of photos in the GALLERY section but I hope to create some sort of web page using some already exsisting web programs or start something from scratch. I don't have or know anyone who lives near me to share my love of these old sets with so I guess the only thing to do is post them out in cyber space. One of the things that is holding me back right now is just the time to do it!
---Vant
VANT
VANT
Member
Member

Number of posts : 54
Age : 59
Registration date : 2009-02-06

Back to top Go down

Your First Radio Empty Re: Your First Radio

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum