Frequently Asked Questions
This question is probably the most common that I see. Radio values vary with the market demands and it is never a constant. Collector price guides contain general values at a snapshot in time and often need revising to reflect the current value. There are other factors that come in play in determining a value. Here are some simple pointers:
- A buyer may have sentimental value in a particular item and be willing to pay more than the average.
- There may be a scenario where two buyers really want the item and get into a bidding war and drive the value way above average.
- Older radios from the 1920s/30s generally have higher values compared to newer ones from the 1940s/50s because they are older and fewer are likely to have survived the test of time.
- Console radios are generally not worth more than $100 because of their size. Not many collectors can spare the room for many consoles compared to tabletop radios. And not to mention the transportation or shipping challenges. There are few exceptions to the norm like brands or models that are very scarce or highly collectible like Scott and Zenith to name a few. Many consoles were mass produced items and generally not very rare.
- The cabinet and design style of a radio often commands higher values than bland looking radios regardless of age.
- For very early radios from the teens and twenties, some collectors highly value radios that are completely untouched and in excellent shape over those that have been restored or repaired.
- Radios in their original wood finish or have pristine bakelite/plastic cabinets free of imperfections are highly valued over those with visual issues.
- If the original shipping container or box is available with the radio, it adds more value.
- Here is an excellent page that explains the answer to the question in-depth: http://antiqueradio.org/howmuch.htm.
2. Where can I find a radio, TV, parts, or other (fill in the blank)?
I hardly have the time to provide references for finding things that you may be looking for and no longer maintain a list of links to other related websites, repair services, or part sources because it is a pain to maintain a list of good links over time. Search engines are your best friend for finding the resources you need.
3. Where can I find a schematic or technical information for my radio?
The best place to get FREE Riders schematics for radios from the 1920s to 1950s would be at www.nostalgiaair.org in the Resources section. Note that you will need to do a little more research to find out the manufacturer of the brand if it is not explicitly listed at Nostaliga Air. Also radiomuseum.org has some good summarized information for all kinds of devices under the sun.
4. What can you tell me about my radio?
If you're looking for a manufacturer or model number to identify your radio, the best place to go is at www.radioatticarchives.com. This is probably one of the best resources available on the internet for identifying an unknown radio. Most radios in the archives are categorized under the brand name and usually not the company's name, ie. Airline (not Montgomery Ward or Wells-Gardener). The brand is found usually by looking at the dial or logo somewhere on the front of the radio.
5. For an electronics project, could you program a PIC for me?
PIC or any microcontroller programming is not a service I routinely provide so please do not ask. There is more self-satisfaction and reward from buying your own programmer and figuring it out yourself. There are many inexpensive programmers out there.
6. Do you have a PCB for your electronics projects?
I have seen this request many times. Most of my projects were hand-wired and originally I never had the intention of duplicating an unique project more than once, obviously. However, I have designed PCBs for a few of my projects but do not sell them for liability reasons. I have long planned to set up shop and start selling PCBs formally, but that day will come eventually.
7. How do you create those crisp and clean schematics for your projects?
Almost all the schematics are created in Microsoft Paint and symbols are created from scratch. I often copy the symbols from various schematics I have made in the past to create new ones. It is generally more time consuming to put together the schematics compared to using a computer-aided schematic software, but the visual differences speak for themselves.
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