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Northland Antique Radio Club
February 2009 Workshop Recap
What a beautiful day we had for the February 2009 workshop! It was a great morning for the outdoor trunk sales and some interesting merchandise showed up and traded hands.
At noon, the workshop promptly started. First up were Steve Raymer and Bill Schmitt, an RCA model 143 tombstone radio, lots of expensive equipment and a computer to monitor the vintage radio's amplifier performance. Steve originally planned to use freeware from the Internet that would turn a PC into various test instruments. Instead, he used an interface called a PicoScope model 3224 USB oscilloscope that was connected to a PC for the presentation. Bill Schmitt manned the computer and assisted Steve throughout the tests. Raymer put up overheads of radio schematics and manipulated the equipment that tested the RCA's performance. Bill interpreted the results as they were happening. The presentation went over my head, but everyone else appeared to be having a good time.
Next up, was Terry Schwartz. He demonstrated how to clean and polish a brown bakelite radio cabinet. Terry explained the differing results collectors get when attempting to restore a dirty dull finish on these cabinets. Depending on the makeup of the material, results ranged from getting shiny finish to a dull appearance. Terry suggested stocking up on red and brown shoe polish. He applied the brown to a cabinet and the results were quite good. The NARC membership saw the dramatic difference between the polished and untouched areas of the cabinet. Who would have thought there was actually a good use for shoe polish in radio repair?
Matt Hyman was the last presenter. He brought in several modern stereo table radios for us to compare, including a Bose Wave Clock Radio, a Tivoli, an Emerson knock-off of the Tivoli that was loaned by Jeff Hed, a Cambridge Sound radio, and a Boston Acoustics 'Solo' hi-fi radio.
With the assistance of Jeff Hed, he played one radio at a time and went back and forth between models, so the audience could get a fair comparison to decide which model sounded best. The Bose was the overwhelming favorite. Oddly enough, a lot of people also liked the Boston model with the single speaker.
Overall, this year's program was a complete success. There were presentations that appealed to the electronics experts, the restorers and the casual listeners. Great job everyone! We also want to thank Aimee for setting up the refreshment table.
Details on the equipment and the tests performed are provided on the Pavek website at: http://museumofbroadcasting.org/radiowkshp09.html.