March 3, 2015 at 1:08 pm #6614dwhiteKeymaster
In our ongoing quest for member input, here’s a question: Should this site only cater to radio restorers or should it cover other interests as well?March 4, 2015 at 5:23 am #6615
Television restoration?…perhaps…March 4, 2015 at 8:01 am #6616
Interesting that you mention television. I fooled around with old tube tvs long before I played with radios. In the process, I acquired several good books on repairing them. When I recently went to downsize, I thought I’d sell them as I hadn’t had an old tv in years. But I couldn’t even give them away at swap meets. No one seemed interested in vintage television. Maybe because of the space most of them take up? Maybe because there are no longer any commercial analogue tv broadcasters in Canada? Still, I’m kind of drawn to them, but I wonder how many others are.March 4, 2015 at 8:41 am #6617
I too worked on many televisions when I was a teenager since it was so easy to go to the local drug store with tubes in hand and test them…plus they had the handout pamphlet showing which tube may be bad depending on the TV symptom. I once had 13 TVs in my parents basement…in various states of completeness…I had a Rogers I liked the best but the picture tube was dim…a brightener helped a bit but not much…
When I went to SAIT for electronics in the 1970’s of course there was a course on basic television ( I still have the textbook…it is very detailed and informative )…so I had an interest in TV as well as radio…but since radios are smaller I can have more and take up less storage space.
I also see an interest in TV restoration on You Tube and various other web sites/forums. However the argument today is why bother with TV restoration since the picture quality is inferior to what we have today and broadcasters don’t do analog anymore…some early models are interesting furniture and conversation pieces if nothing else…
I have a few spare TV parts but not much compared to radio parts…I am still looking for a TV ( if I ever come across one ) that looks nice and would be good for a display piece only…( small picture tube black and white for instance )
This web site may be a good place for some of the TV restorers in Canada to have a common place for information exchanged and parts etc…
PHMarch 4, 2015 at 9:11 am #6618
Yes, I also have an eye out for a “display” tv, but the real vintage ones seem rare. Audio amplifiers are a hot interest area, I think. I believe there is quite a demand for them among musicians, music buffs.March 4, 2015 at 10:07 am #6619
Oh yes I agree with the audio amps…I am making one myself…a Class A 5 watt stereo amp using the ubiquitous 6V6G tube…there could be many topics on that area for sure…March 7, 2015 at 8:06 am #6626kuzzyForum Participant
I would also agree with the audio focus. TV’s just don’t command the interest they once did. In fact, I don’t know of a single collector here in my area. I’d love to learn more about the audio side of things including the design and build of projects.
PaulMarch 7, 2015 at 10:44 am #6627Murray DickersonCVRS Member
I am enjoying the several comments made to this question and am glad to hear of other interests than simple radio restoration (as key as that topic is) being expressed. I also fully endorse other vintage electronics topics being discussed, to broaden the appeal of this website, as well as provide a forum for people who have interests in much more than restoring a radio. In addition to the themes of vintage TV ( we have 4 -5 people in Alberta who are positively interested) and tube amps (the most popular and widespread interest in vintage electronics) being promoted, here are some other ideas:
1. Technology history: How did key ideas, components and apparatus develop? It’s one thing to restore a beautiful old radio or other piece of vintage technology to full working order and appearance, but wouldn’t the comprehension of how it all came about deepen one’s appreciation for the article that is so subject to all that work and time in restoration? Then there is the story behind the personalities that brought these ideas into reality: these people were not one dimensional nerds, but complicated, forceful personalities that drove new technology into acceptance despite huge challenges and resistance from established interests.
2. Tesla technologies: I know that there is a lot of web based material on this topic, but I can’t think of another Canadian website that could provide a forum for this topic nationally as well as this one. If it belongs here, how could it become different than all the others? There is much that is controversial in Tesla technology, but most Tesla sites represent blatant devotees of Tesla. Make no mistake…I am a huge Tesla fan as well, but we need more open and balanced discussion about what Tesla did and if it is workable or not. We need a site that promotes all the pros and cons.
3. Nation wide projects. Many hands (and minds) make light work, as the old saying goes. What if the gauntlet was thrown down to all members, challenging them to contribute ideas and work on a cross Canada project? All sorts of projects are possible; such as an inexpensive, high powered and high performance tube audio HiFi amp, or something else that captures membership attention? A membership vote could decide what it might be and a project manager chosen to oversee the allocation of assignments and work on it, for the benefit of all volunteers. Then an economical supply of parts ordered in quantity could allow everyone who wanted the finished article to own one of their own. Then members could contribute experiences and upgrades for further improvement.
4. Opinion page. We need a separate designated special page for Opinions on this website that allows questions and controversial ideas to be discussed, like this topic. Burying this in the Forum page is inadequate. The Forum is more a bulletin board for members to trade ideas and ask questions about restoration projects, which is very good for that purpose. This material is too important to slide under another venue, it needs to stand on its own.
After all is said and done, going forward will be difficult because we will need members to respond with ideas like those already mentioned in my comments and others above. More importantly, we will have to try some or all of these directions out and that means that members will have to support and contribute to what parts command their interest. Time will tell.
Murray DickersonMarch 8, 2015 at 9:15 am #6647dwhiteKeymaster
Point #4 raised by Murray Dickerson raises important questions that are outside this particular topic, so we’ve created a new topic in Feedback and Opinions to consider these questions: CVRS Forum vs Opinion Page.March 9, 2015 at 6:14 am #6650
I am interested in the topic relating to item 1 since that is one area I have always been interested in…PBS did a great documentary back in the 1990’s called “Empire of the Air” which highlights the contributions of Marconi, DeForest, Armstrong and Sarnoff. The DVD is still available on Amazon…So perhaps a section on the contributors to radio would be great to have on this site ( there are many other contributors as well such as the Canadian inventor Fessenden for example …)March 10, 2015 at 9:14 pm #6668
Peter: I agree. It would be great to have a section about the history of electronics, especially with a Canadian perspective. Ted Roger’s contributions would be another addition.March 13, 2015 at 12:43 pm #6670philForum Participant
I think we should close categories which are not delivering a certain number of posts especially since this forum is a bit difficult to navigate, they turn into dead ends.
I think we should incorporate vntage TV, telephones, Telegraph. vintage ham radios. Personally I think we could have a topic for anything old with a cord hanging out of it, that would include things like vintage toasters, vacuum cleaners,theater equipment, guitar amps, PA equipment, intercoms, etc. It could all be kept under one topic to avoid having a bunch of unused topics. We want to keep the post count up and we don’t want people going into sections of the site where there has been no activity as it steers people away.
I don’t think we should include tube amps. While I find them interesting, they are the demise of many radios. The audio tubes in the average TRF (for example 45’s) exceed the average price of the radio itself in many cases. We don’t need to encourage hacking up radios for this sort of purpose even though many radio lovers find the idea of using their audio tubes for this purpose interesting. myself included. The problem is that many of the tubes we need to keep old radios working are becoming bought up for the audio amp hobby. ( from what I have seen this is often means they get sent to Japan where there seems to be a huge interest with some people who have deep pockets.)
The purpose of the society was meant to be centered around the preservation of antique radio. There are other forums centered around audio amps, including building new ones.
Perhaps hashing this out would bring some awareness to the subject and I would not expect everyone to agree with my viewpoint. It is a double edged sword for sure. do we also support things like pulling the chassis to put a modern radio in the cabinet?, or to make the cabinet into a storage cabinet and ditch the chassis, or making a TV into a fish bowl or replacing the guts of the TV with computer parts? Painting radios funky new colors to make them sell? there are also sites for steampunking and this often destroys antiques. It is not restoration.
PhilMarch 19, 2015 at 2:47 pm #6716Gary AlbachCVRS Member
I personally am not into the restoration of vintage TVs or the construction of tube audio equipment, but have no objection to these topics being voiced on this site, and do enjoy reading about what others are doing. One danger I see is that we get too caught up in defining the narrow areas of interest. We don’t have a whole lot of posts every month, and it’s not hard to read them all in the current “All Topics” catch-all list. After all, isn’t the purpose of this site to exchange information as easily as possible? For simplicity, I would prefer a minimum number of Forums with relatively broad ranges for discussion, and slice the forum lists finer when the demand for specialty topics grows.
I do like Murray’s suggestions for Forum discussions in addition to the traditional repair and restoration threads. For example, I personally find the social impact of early wireless communication to be a fascinating study, and so can buy in to Murray’s first point “Technology History”. Being a Tesla fan, his second point about “Tesla technologies” resonated with me as well, and perhaps Canadian Tesla buffs would buy a CVRS membership to have a soapbox.
My experience with nation-wide projects in other tech fields makes me apprehensive of the third point.
And as for a separate Opinion Page, I don’t see how “social” opinions differ from “technical” opinions, i.e. why should an opinion about the role of radio in shaping consumer tastes in the 1930’s have any more or less volume than an opinion of the best spray lacquer on the market? Seems to me a few well-titled Forums would catch most of the discussions.
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