Show us your radios!

Discussion in 'Radio' started by The Reno Kid, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,107
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I appreciate the replies and the sentiments, guys, but I just couldn't see myself with an actual vintage radio. Maybe someday in the future when I have a job that pays money, and things are more settled. But not at the moment. If I can get a reproduction in decent condition for a good price, I'd rather go with that. I apologise to the purists if I offended anyone. Judging by some of the replies, I get the impression I've sullied consecrated ground by appearing here and mentioning a reproduction.

    The price of a vintage radio, especially around here...hell...the price of a vintage ANYTHING around here...is vastly...VAAAAAASTLY inflated, from what you would find in the 'States.

    Given that I may not use the radio *particularly* often, I want something that works and that has the style. I don't want to spend a great deal of money on something which I will only use occasionally. If everything were perfect, I'd love an actual vintage one, I'm sure. But I'd never be able to afford one in my current situation.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  2. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,107
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Please don't bite my head off. I need it for living. And breathing. And conversing. And eating. And drinking. And seeing, smelling, tasting and hearing.

    Also, it's where I keep my hats.

    I have found a really neat-looking vintage reproduction radio for sale. For those wondering what it is, it's a General Electric model 74100j...

    [​IMG]

    It's for sale for $25.00., and I'm going to pick it up from the seller tomorrow.

    The only issue is that the lightbulb behind the dial has gone kaput. I assume that since it's a modern-manufactured radio, it'd be pretty easy to find a replacement lightbulb, right? Just take off the back, unscrew the bulb, buy another one and stick it in, right?
     
  3. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,109
    Location:
    Gopher Prairie, MI
    That GE is the only model of replica radio that really is worth shaking a stick at. The cabinet is pretty well made, the chassis is reliable, sensitive, and sounds surprisingly good. the pilot light is a "Grain of wheat" bulb which is hard-wired into place, unfortunately, but the repair is not too difficult. It would be the simplest soldering job imaginable.
     
  4. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,107
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    How often do these bulbs blow? The seller said the radio was hardly used.

    I know how to solder stuff. I used to do it in highschool technology classes.

    If it's just a matter of melting the old solder, removing the old bulb, sticking on a new bulb and melting fresh solder on, I reckon I could do that easily. Does it have to be *that* specific type of light? Or could I use any sort of LED light?
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  5. Giftmacher

    Giftmacher One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,391
    Location:
    Hohenmauth CZ
    Have a vintage radio is nice, but if you want to listen more radio stations, you need better antenna. Show me (or us) what you are using.
    Nice vintage wooden loop antenna or just sixty feet of copper wire between wooden poles?
     
  6. Giftmacher

    Giftmacher One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,391
    Location:
    Hohenmauth CZ
    Very nice antennas really :p
     
  7. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    106
    Location:
    Long Island, N.Y.
    I mostly use a small home transmitter for my old radios. I attach a small reel of antenna wire and that is more than enough - even for normal broadcast/shortwave. Often I get a noticable buzz from interfering sources, so I will attach the radios antenna directly to the transmitters line. That over-powers everything!
     
  8. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,158
    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    decojoe67, What do you use as a home transmitter? I'm always plugging the SSTrans AMT 3000. Do you know any other good ones? Especially cheaper ones?
     
  9. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I have two SSTrans units, each tuned to a different frequency, and each attached to a cheap second-hand Mac computer running an application called "Daypart," which lets you set up a daily schedule in I-Tunes. So basically I've got decent two radio stations I can tune in, each with a complementary slate of programming. The whole set-up is out of the way and requires no attention except to add or rearrange program material from time to time. Until AM radio makes a comeback and all the screaming sports clowns and political troglodytes crawl back into whatever hole they emerged from, this provides all the listening I need.

    The trick to getting rid of the buzz is to make sure you have a good solid ground -- don't just leave the ground wire dangling, attach it to a pipe -- and don't plug the transmitter units into the same outlet strip as your computer or whatever source you're using for programming.
     
  10. AtomicEraTom

    AtomicEraTom

    Messages:
    10,885
    Location:
    Portage, Wis.
    On the sorry shape of AM radio. There's 5 AM stations I listen to and I just lost one to a sports station. When I contacted the station to complain, they told me that they hadn't gotten rid of 'The Wolf' but had moved it to an HD radio station. I exploded. I said "Your station plays 30-50 year old country songs, do you think those people are listening on HD radios? Nope, they're old farmers driving old trucks with AM radios in them!"
     
  11. Giftmacher

    Giftmacher One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,391
    Location:
    Hohenmauth CZ
    Well, in such case you don't need any special antenna, although tuning your own transmitter sounds good.
    I'm trying to improve reception of the mighty KBC radio which seems to be located in Lithuania and plays every weekend good oldies.
     
  12. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,109
    Location:
    Gopher Prairie, MI
    To receive KBC, which broadcasts in the 49 meter band at 6095 Kilocycles, a simple long wire of between fifteen and twenty meters length, well insulated form ground, should suffice.

    This website does a good job of providing the instructions for a simple and effective aerial:

    http://www.iw5edi.com/ham-radio/?instructions-for-putting-up-a-long-wire-antenna,116

    Many have reported excellent results on this band with an antenna made out of the popular toy "the Slinky":

    [video=youtube_share;Jo0QB83tdkQ]http://youtu.be/Jo0QB83tdkQ[/video]



    Now, a decent receiver, preferably one with a tuned RF stage (six or seven tube, no FM, Eight or more tube with FM) and a simple antenna consisting of a wire ten to fifteen meters long, raised as high as you can get it should bring in this station reliably in the evening anywhere in the Empire.
     
  13. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

    Messages:
    7,489
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    It brings me no pleasure whatsoever to say this, but I suspect that the good ol' AM radio will soon be almost exclusively sports (and talk about sports) and failed comedians posing as serious political commentators. The Seattle market now has three (of which I'm aware; hell, it wouldn't surprise to hear there's even more than that) AM stations that do sports only. And there's more all-rabble-rousing-all-the-time stations than you'd think the market could ever support.

    If I spent as much time in the car as I used to, this sad state of affairs would annoy me even more than it does. For now, I get by on streaming "radio" over the 'net, which works fine when I'm here at home. But that's just another reason why I'm left with little choice but to shell out something in excess of a C note per month for the #@!*ing cable.
     
  14. AtomicEraTom

    AtomicEraTom

    Messages:
    10,885
    Location:
    Portage, Wis.
    It's a sad thing. You'd think there'd be lots of Classic Country and Oldies stations on the AM dial. That was their home when the tunes were new. I'm so sick of sports radio, I'm not even that big of a sports fan, so it's even more annoying. Thank goodness for my iPod. I play that in the car more than anything, these days.

     
  15. Giftmacher

    Giftmacher One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,391
    Location:
    Hohenmauth CZ
    Saturday's broadcast of the KBC starts DJ Rosko with country songs and then there's Rock n' Roll Saturday. I'm not sure if you can receive it though.

    Antenna looks fine, but I'm living in a panel house flat without balcony and acces to the rooftop, horrible combination, I know :(
    Fortunatelly I found this: current transformer antenna. Medium wave seems to working fine, need to wait until weekend to test shortwave bands.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. AtomicEraTom

    AtomicEraTom

    Messages:
    10,885
    Location:
    Portage, Wis.
    On the subject of AM radio antennas. I can pull in stations all the way from Nashville in my Dodge, but can't even get my favorite local Country station in my Cadillac car. Any suggestions? (Aside from Driving the Dodge (aka Exxon Valdez) more)
     
  17. Giftmacher

    Giftmacher One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,391
    Location:
    Hohenmauth CZ
    Better antenna, or use a preamp?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  18. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Our local AM dial is full of these pickled sports talk shows -- but there isn't a single local or regional AM station I can get that carries the Red Sox. If I want to hear the game I have to tune in WEEI in Boston (which has a lousy signal) or WTIC in Hartford. This is a far, far cry from the days when there were a dozen points on the dial where you could pick up the game.

    These programmers couldn't care less about what local people want to hear. Yes, we like sports, but no, we don't give a damn about NASCAR or Big Ten football or Lance Armstrong. Give us the Sox and shut the rest of that crap up.
     
  19. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

    Messages:
    7,489
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    Kinda makes one ponder how our preferences are formed.

    I've heard it said that a person who didn't grow up with baseball will likely never develop a genuine interest in it. (If so, it bodes ill for the future of the game, at least across much of the urban U.S., where kids haven't played Little League ball in large proportions for a couple of generations.) I suspect there's more than a sliver of truth to that, seeing how soccer (futbol) is wasted on middle-aged (to state it euphemistically) American me. I'd rather watch my dog sleep, but those who really know the game (we got more than a few such people out here in Latte Land) can drone on for hours on end about every aspect of that thrilling 1-0 match of the day before.

    It's in the interest of media companies to make fans of whatever they can sell. To state the obvious, more fans means larger audience means more advertising revenue. What surprises me is that you don't have a local Red Sox network affiliate. The Sox have passionate followers all across the country, and they aren't all transplanted New Englanders. The cynic (realist?) in me suspects that the media mavens take us old people for granted, figuring we're set in our ways and will be dead and gone soon enough anyway, and they're building an audience for those other diversions.

    Just curious ... Are Sox games broadcast in Spanish around there? What gives me hope for the game is the level of interest in it among Latinos.

    There's little doubt the ascendance of football (the kind with the pointy-ended ball) is largely attributable to how well the game works on television, just as baseball and radio seem made for each other. Baseball on TV is lots better than it was in the early years of the boob tube, but it still doesn't lend itself to the medium the way football does. But on the radio, well ...
     
  20. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    The Sox have a pretty healthy Spanish network in southern New England, but it doesn't reach up here -- the Latino population of Maine is negligible. We do have a lot of French-Canadian folks, though -- and hockey has a good following in the Northern and Western parts of the state.

    What gets me is that our local AM station was a Sox affiliate going back to the early fifties -- until it was bought out by a corporate ownership group which immediately turned it into a Fox Sports outlet. No local programming at all -- no high school basketball, which is the only rival to baseball in the hearts of local listeners -- no nothing. They *just don't care.*
     

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