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.
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
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.