IARCHS Meeting Minutes 1/13/18

A regular meeting of the Iowa Antique Radio Club convened at 10:15 at the home of Rob Tracy in Des Moines.   Those attending included Rob, Al Bailey, Bob Elbert, Dwight Baker Keith Lowe and, thanks to Keith, some new, younger members Joe Arling, Thomas Logan, Brodie Miron, Preston Peddicord and Stone Widder.

The minutes of the last meeting as posted on the website were briefly discussed and accepted as is.
There was no treasurer’s report available, however, as there had been no significant club activities since the last meeting the likelihood is that the current account balance is about the same as reported last time plus a little earned interest.

Under new business, the status of the upcoming auction was the major topic.  It is important for members to note that the web site is now up to date and ready to accept pictures of consigned items .   Please get all pictures of items you will be offering for sale to Craig Huseboe at cmhusebo@marshallnet.com.  You will also need to request a lot number for your items, so please also get that from Craig.

In a related note, Craig has said that this will be his last year acting as the auction coordinator as he & his wife plan to become snow birds beginning next winter.  (…. and given how THIS winter has been so far, who can blame him !).  I asked if anyone present would consider taking on the job, Dwight Baker said he was willing to continue assembling the item spread sheet but did not want to expand beyond that role and no one else stepped forward.  So please give it some thought and contact me if you’re willing to help your club out.  It would be a very good idea to get involved sooner rather than later so whoever takes over can benefit from what Craig has learned doing it for the last several years.

Craig has been in contact with Brent Wears and it’s been agreed that all of the fees will be the same again as last year.  The auction is set, again this year, for the last Saturday in April, as stated on the club calendar.  However due to some feedback from attendees we will probably be moving it back to the 1st Saturdayin May.

In other business we discussed the need for everyone to make better / more use of the club’s online resources, especially the website as a place to seek and ask for assistance and parts for a restoration project.

One of the most frequently requested services directed at the website is from someone seeking repair services.  While we do have some contacts for repairs in central and eastern Iowa, there is a need for someone closer to Nebraska, so if any member knows of a person or if YOU are willing to provide restoration services in western Iowa or in Nebraska, please contact me with the information.

I’ve also noticed that our Facebook page gets relatively little traffic – please keep in mind that, that’s also available as a place to share information and, perhaps, request help with a specific problem.

Finally, we need a volunteer to host our next meeting.  As this will be the last one before the auction earlier would be better than later.  Around March 24thwould be a good day, but a week either side would probably serve too.  As this meeting was in Des Moines, for the benefit of our members in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City , Dubuque, etc,  it would be good to meet somewhere east of Des Moines this time.

With that, the meeting was called to a close and we rolled into a repair / training session.  In relatively short order we were able to identify the source of noise in a set brought by one of the new members and point another to the cause of a dead spot in the tuning range of a radio he’d been working on.

As there is always a desire to learn & develop repair skills, Rob set up a good assortment of test equipment to demonstrate how to use a signal injector, a signal tracer and an oscilloscope. He also provided a carefully ‘broken’ radio to use as a teaching challenge for any and all that wanted to do some troubleshooting thereby demonstrating in a very practical way how to approach it for the newer, less experienced members.

It was a good, productive training/ repair session and we wrapped up around 3 PM.
Be on the lookout for a notice of the location, date and time of our next meeting and, again:

Please contact me to host it and take on the job of auction coordinator in 2019 – your club needs you !

Editor’s Note: I have posted Dave Perkin’s minutes, basically unedited, and added Bob Elbert’s photos without captions as I was unable to attend.  Doug Spyrison

IARCHS Club Meeting Jan 13 2018

Happy New Year everyone, I hope you’re all warm and comfortable in you winter workshops surrounded by projects (glowing tubes make nice little space heaters you know).

I want to remind you all of the club meeting / repair session we have coming up.

Here are the details:

When:  Saturday Jan 13th from 10 AM until whenever .

lunch will be provided   Please RSVP Rob at robsradioactive@gmail.com and copy me at spamhole1951@gmail.com so we know how many plan on attending.

NOTE: The snow date, if needed, will be the following Saturday

Where: At the home of Rob Tracy  5100 Welker Ave. Des Moines

What: A brief business meeting followed by a hands-on repair session for those wishing to work on / learn radio restoration skills or wanting another set of eyes to look at a tricky restoration project.

Bring your projects and plan to share some time with fellow antique radio enthusiasts.  I hope to see you all there .

Dave Perkins, Club President

IARCHS Meeting/Repair Session 9/23/2017

President Dave Perkins brought the meeting to order at 10AM at  Jerry Lange’s home in Dubuque, IA.

Attending: Jerry Lange, Dave Perkins, Jim Coohey, Jerry Rappel, John O’Briant, David Fitkin, Tom Waterman, Al Bailey, Dave Stewart, Doug Spyrison










Treasurer’s report: Total balance of $4137 in our checking and saving accounts

Old Business: The next annual radio auction is set for Saturday April 28th 2018 with radio check in on the 26th and 27th. Same location and format: Hawkeye Downs auction arena, Cedar Rapids, IA, Wears Auctioneering will conduct the auction again. as we approach the auction the usual planning and volunteer requests will be made.

New Business: Webmaster David Fitkin explained the need for an “https” secure website certification to make our website safe to use and encourage more “hits.” The charge is $50/year. Moved, seconded, adopted by consensus.

Newer member Dave Stewart asked about finding repair people. This is a continual challenge for the club. Anyone willing to repair old radios is asked to contact us and be listed on the Repair Service web page. Many repairs are arranged informally.

Having an announced repair topic coverage at the meetings was discussed but is challenging due to the many different levels of skill by attendees. Listing some “YouTube” links (to good instruction videos) on our website will be offered as a partial solution.

Next Meeting is tentatively January 13th or 20th, 2018. A host volunteer is sought. Please contact Dave Perkins to volunteer.

Adjournment to lunch and the repair session 11AM

John O’Briant had brought up a Zenith Walton chassis and speaker. He says it was a great auction buy but had been dropped at the auction. Candohm resistor failure was part of the diagnosis. Jerry Rappel had the Airline bakelight case radio which needed to begin with the basics of tube testing and electrolytic capacitor replacement.

Submitted by IARCHS Secretary Doug Spyrison text and photos.

IARCHS Meeting/ Repair Session June 10, 2017

On Saturday June  10, 2017 a club meeting  was held at the home of Rob Tracy in Des Moines.  Due to schedule conflicts, it was a small gathering.  In attendance were Rob, Al Bailey, Craig Huseboe, Dave Perkins and new member Ron Russel.

Business and Discussion: Craig reported on the April auction.  550 lots were sold with gross sales of $22K   The club netted $462 which is an improvement over previous years. (One expense was still pending as of this report.) The improvement was  primarily due to the reduced advertising expenses this year.   The feedback we got from the crowd and the auctioneer’s staff indicates that our switch to a combination of direct mailing to past participants and on-line promotion away from multiple print ads, worked well so we concluded that we will stick with that for the foreseeable future.   Also, both from the crowd and the auctioneer, it seemed that moving the auction up one week earlier than in the past worked quite well. Craig said that Wears Auctioneers will be available so we decided to set the tentative date for the next auction of April 28, 2018.

In other discussion, a couple of members have commented that the club should be better at keeping the event calendar up to date.  No one person is charged with that task so those that have access to it haven’t always thought to take care of that.  [Note to all, I’m one of those people and guilty as charged, I’ll try to be more diligent and if you see something that should be there but isn’t please ‘ping’ me].  Another very good suggestion is that we should add a prominent link on the web site’s front page to information on the time and place of the next club meeting.    At this point that meeting has not been set.  I will be asking, via a general email, for people to volunteer a location.  As the last two meetings have been in central Iowa, I’m hoping to have someone elsewhere in the state to offer a place.

Repair Session: Rob gave everyone a write up on a simple & handy coil tester which should be posted on the website as a separate post.  Photos: Rob Tracy in the ISU  shirt. Ron Russell in blue, Craig Huseboe in red, Dave Perkins in checks,  photos by Al Bailey (not pictured). 

New member Ron Russel, had acquired a couple radios (a Majestic and a Grunow) a week before our meeting. In the meantime he found and joined our club and  showed up at this meeting with the Majestic,  both to see what it would take to make it play, and to start on the process of learning some about restoration.   After testing the tubes, cleaning the controls and replacing the power supply caps with parts that Rob had on hand, it did play clearly but at a rather low volume.  With some signal injection and tracing and a few more measurements, we concluded that some of the old ‘dog bone’ resistors had drifted  out of spec to higher  values and, most importantly, the volume control resistance was out of spec.  We were able with some jumpers to try some different, resistors but Rob did not have a suitable volume control pot on hand.  So we concluded our troubleshooting session with some ideas on what to look for in the way of parts and hopeful that he could at least acquire the necessary parts.  It was a steep learning curve for someone who’d never looked at a schematic before, so Ron, if you get hung up on your project, keep in mind that you can always bring it & some parts, to the next meeting once I have it set up.

That’s it for now.  Everyone enjoy your summer bargain hunting at flea markets and yard sales, keep cool and watch for an announcement of  our next meeting time & place.

Submitted by Dave Perkins, IARCHS President

WordPress editing, Doug Spyrison



2/11/17 IARCHS Meeting/ Repair Session

A club meeting was held at Dave Perkins’ home south of Marshalltown on Saturday 2/11/17. Dave herded the cats into a line and got the meeting started at 10:15.

Keith Lowe and John Thomas working on the Admiral

Those in attendance included Al Bailey, Keith Lowe, Rob Tracy, David Fitkin, Craig Huseboe and new member John Thomas of Coralville. There was no financial report available for review. Under old business we discussed that the date and other arrangements for this years’ auction is substantially set and, in keeping with our earlier discussion and decision, promotion this year will be almost exclusively on line via social media because of the poor performance of printed ads the last few years relative to their expense. That said, because the informal survey at last years’ auction indicated it was effective, we will be reaching out to past attendees via a direct mailing to remind them of the auction and emphasize the change in date to a week earlier than in past years. Also, because it costs us only reciprocating in our newsletter for their events, Craig will ask the Illinois club to publish a notice of our auction in their newsletter. Craig will be sending Dave the mailing list from last year’s auction and Dave will take care of sending out the notices via mail.

Under new business we discussed how the general effectiveness of social media, especially Facebook, for gathering people with a common interest like collecting, restoring & selling antique radios, continues to increase. Dave reported that there had been quite a number of responses to his post about our auction on 3 radio related Facebook pages, including some that, upon seeing what had sold in the past on our web page, declared their intent to attend the auction. Dave and Keith have posted notices on various pages already and will post reminders as the time for the auction draws closer. On a related point, Dave said that Doug Spyrison (who could not attend due to illness) had suggested that the club create an Iowa based antique radios for sale page on Facebook. These have become rapidly popular as the fees for services like Ebay have increased. We could also use this to draw people to our general club page and website. There was general agreement that this was worth considering. Dave said he will continue to discuss who and how this may be done with Doug.
Finally, David Fitkin floated an idea of how we could use the auction as a basis for extending the reach of our club into the general population, potentially including younger people, something every club like ours desires. The essence of the idea is to approach various organizations in a community such as churches, fraternal organizations, 4-H clubs, the boy scouts etc. and suggest that they could collect radios donated to them and sell them at our auction. Each organization would serve as a single consignor to the auction. In doing this it would provide a unique fund raiser for the group selling the radios beyond the typical bake sales and spaghetti dinner sorts of events AND give us an opportunity to interact with them, making them aware of our existence & purpose and, perhaps, inspiring some people to join. The consensus was that it’s too late to try and do something like this for this year’s auction but it is worthy of discussion for subsequent auctions.

As it happened there were only two sets brought for the groups’ collective efforts to analyze and, hopefully restore them. One of them was a 1956 Harmon- Kardon AM-FM set in which the AM and mono phono amplifier worked fine but with an FM section that remained stubbornly mute thereby addng to Dave’s chronic baldness.

A vigorous team effort ensued and at one point Craig Huseboe and David Fitkin conspiring to suggest that a grounded jumper be place such that a bit of the ‘magic smoke’ was allowed to escape from a power supply resistor. A rapid lesson in smoking cessation relieved that condition with no harm done (the component in question was deemed old enough to legally smoke in any event) then Craig and Rob Tracy teamed up to reach the conclusion that the problem was at least one unreliable, flaky tube socket. So that set was put aside for more detailed attention.

On a happier note, new member John Thomas brought with him his first ever  collected radio, a 50’s era Admiral table set, seeking to learn a bit about

John Thomas, Dave Perkins and Keith Lowe work on the Admiral
Keith Lowe and John Thomas in the shop







restoration. He had no schematic and we were unsuccessful at quickly finding one on line, but undeterred, Keith Lowe helped him dissemble it and visually identified the power supply filter cap. Dave had some suitable caps on hand and while Keith and John replaced them and cleaned the volume control, the tubes were tested and found to be usable. Upon powering the rebuilt set up on a Variac, it came to life and played …… those of us in this hobby know the satisfaction of that moment when your first ever restoration ‘talks’ to you again. It was nice to share in that moment with John and a nice way to bring the meeting to a close.

Dave Perkins