Jacksonville Vintage Radio Club
2020 Vintage Radio
The history of our Radio Club in Jacksonville, Florida. The radios that we deal with are vintage. We were on the cutting edge nearly 2 decades ago in 2001, well before the time of Alexa and before the impact of social media. So what did we have at that time? Our Radio Club had a presence on the web. The early gateway to the Internet was WebTV. While still in its infancy, the World Wide Web was made available using a WebTV computer system and a "picture tube" television set (flat screens were also still in their infancy).
Fast forward from the old Information Highway to the present day world of Mobile Devices. Today our club has a new name. Gone are the days of Jacksonville Antique Radio Society (JARS). We feel that 'vintage", better reflects the tone of having a tube radio. It's like owning a bit of history. Having a tube radio in its original polished wood cabinet is not unlike the feeling of owning a bottle of fine wine.
Now, on to the world of radios. We deal with vintage radios that are mostly of the AM type (Amplitude Modulation). In the early days, AM Radios worked on the radio wave frequency known as the Broadcast Band. Radios for the Broadcast Band operated in a low region of the frequency spectrum. The word, "frequency" in the early days, meant essentially, what the word "channel" means today (it was your choice of what station to listen to). AM Radio was subject to a great deal interference in the environment (electrical noise). Interference manifest itself as audio noise (static). Electrical interference made some distant and weak radio stations, difficult to hear. AM Radio advanced from the earliest days of Crystal Sets, to Tuned Radio Frequency (TRF) , to Superhetrodyne radios. The early radios, used vacuum tubes (electrical elements sealed inside of a glass container). Later, the radios advanced to having Bakelite and plastic cabinets. Along the way, "printed circuits" replaced "wired" radios. Then transistors replaced tube radios. Still further along the way, "solid state" (integrated circuits) replaced transistor radios. American made radios were manufactured in brand names ranging from A to Z; Admiral, Belmont, Crosley, Delco, Detrola, Emerson, Firestone, GE, Hallicrafters, Imperial, Jackson Bell, Kennedy, Lafayette, Olympia, Motorola, Philco, RCA, Searchlight, Silvertone, Sylvania, Universal, Viking, Westinghouse, Zenith, just to name a few (there were many more). [To learn more about any of these brand names, search on the keywords "Searchlight antique radio", for example] or "Motorola antique radio", etc.
In time, electronic engineers solved the issues of sensitivity and selectivity for distant transmitter stations. Jumping back to the "electrical noise" problem (while still in the days of tube radios), a "new" system was invented called FM (Frequency Modulation). FM was immune to interference and radio reception became free of audio noise. Along with FM came High Fidelity (Hi Fi). High Fidelity used improved circuits and provided superior sound. Of course the advances did not stop there, next was Stereo and surround sound. Improvements never stopped.
Constantly, along the way, "good" was never good enough. Around the time of the Space Race, miniaturization became all the rage. With the miniaturization came Novelty radios in shapes that were used to advertise soft drinks, cartoon characters, and various commercial products. The story and history is not finished here. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The story of wireless communication is as fascinating as it is long.
In the pioneer days, radio bands (meaning the range of channels) included: long-wave (LW), medium-wave (MW), and short-wave (SW). Tuning in a station was free of charge and listening was virtually commercial free (in the beginning). Compare that to the cost of listening to satellite radio. So far there has been only a passing interest, in the former XM radio and current Sirrus satellite radio, but to acknowledge its digital presence. Except for Crystal Radio Sets, all of the radios we deal with are powered by AC, DC, or battery.
We collectors of these precious treasures from the past, can't help but stand in awe and wonder, as technology brings us even greater marvels. Questions about Vintage Radio can be directed to Alexa, Siri, Cortana, or Okay Google. Radios Questions can alternately be directed to members at our monthly meetings.
Jacksonville Antique Radio Society - Old Name
Jacksonville Vintage Radio Club - New Name
The Jacksonville, Florida Vintage Radio Club is in its nineteenth year, serving the needs of all Radio Enthusiasts. Established in 2001, the club was formed for those people collecting, restoring, trading, and learning about radio receivers. Possibly the most important reason for our club's existence, is to promote the enjoyment of listening to radio.
If you are interested in Modern, Vintage, Rare, or Collectible Radios, please join us. Many radios in personal collections are now considered as vintage and important to the history of communication, entertainment, and radio technology. Please except our invitation to become involved, by joining us at each monthly meeting, as we explore this interesting hobby and pastime. If you are not on our email list, drop us a note with a request for your name to be added.
This is a labor of love. Finding tuning dials, knobs, grill cloth, resistors, capacitors, transformers, tubes, and so on, to replace missing or damaged parts, can be a challenge. Restoring laminations on a wood cabinet is more of a craft, art, and science. Restoring bakelite, catalin, and plastic cabinets comes with its own set of challenges. The successful restoration of a vintage radio falls into the category of craftsmanship. The completed restoration is art when the restored radio appears as it would have in its time of operation, gently used, like a valued piece, but not brand new. That particular look, reflects art and craftsmanship.
The reward of refurbishing a radio comes "after" finding replacement parts and schematic diagrams for troubleshooting. The successful restoration of the radio is its own reward. Upon finding a radio that is in a state of disaster, the first thing required is a "fix or toss" decision. Second, it must be authenticated. Fortunately, there is not a big problem with forgeries. Poorly restored radios however, could be a problem. The novice collector should be on the lookout for modern and legitimate, "retro" reproductions. A common giveaway for a "retro repo", is when it looks brand new and there is the addition of something like a Compact Disk (CD) player. a third and very important consideration, is condition. In regard to vintage radios with wooden cabinets, look for lamination damage, mold damage, or insect damage. The cabinet surface may appear okay, but the damage may lie beneath the surface.
Once a radio is deemed authentic and the cost of repair is acceptable, then the task of restoration can begin. If a radio is declared unsuitable for repair due to either poor cabinet condition or a damaged chassis inside, it may still be retained for parts. If the case is sound, or the parts inside are salvageable, such as a loop antenna, variable tuning condenser, light bulb, tube sockets, or speaker, then consider keeping it for parts.
To learn more, please see the information below about our club, the meeting place, time, and membership.
Jacksonville Vintage Radio Club
Phone: (904) 860-1645
e-mail the Jacksonville Vintage Radio Club: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let us know what facets of Radio Collecting you are interested in. (What brand, year, cabinet style, tube, transistor, AM, FM, portable, Broadcast band, Shortwave band, etc.) We look forward to hearing from you and greeting you at one of our monthly Radio Club meetings.
Regular meetings are held at the Colonial Point Condominiums
Community Clubhouse on the third Thursday of the month at 7:30 p.m.
5201 Atlantic Boulevard
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Club Calendar - Meeting Dates for 2020
Thursday, January 16, 2020 @ 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 20, 2020 @ 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 19, 2020 @ 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March __, 2020 (6:00 a.m. Setup) Radio Sale and Swap-Meet at Free Flea
Wednesday?, April __, 2020 Annual Club Picnic / Outing - outback location.
Thursday, May 21, 2020 @ 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 18, 2020 @ 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 16, 2020 @ 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 20, 2020 @ 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 17, 2020 @ 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, October 15, 2020 @ 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 19, 2020 @ 7:30 p.m.
December 2018 - No Radio Club Meeting
Please Note: This schedule is put together well in advance, the dates listed here are tentative and subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control. Out-of-towners are encouraged to e-mail or phone the Radio Club for confirmation. Additional Meetings or Events may be held throughout the year. These will be announced through e-mail or web postings.
A Radio Sale and Swap-Meet occurs annually. Bring your own power supply, extension cord(s), display tables, and chair. The club will set up in the early hours, often in darkness. In case of mildly inclement weather, we may still set up or cancel in hazardous weather. For additional information, please see the contact information above.
Please look at the PHOTOS tab. There are two photos of a homebrew radio built a half century ago along with a story about it, written by the builder. The pages are numbered 2 through 7. There is no page one. Page 2 starts out with the date: Jan 18, 1972, a mailing address sticker, the number page 2 in a circle, and then the words: "The clipping from the paper which you sent, where Joe Rice told you of his early experiences with radio..." The words: "Norwood Enterprise" are imbedded in the message at the top, but the significance is unknown. It is a rare vintage radio that comes along with the story behind it.
Jacksonville Vintage Radio Club
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