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InventionsInteresting RadiosTo collect - but how!How does it work?
To collect - but how!

The urge to collect things is deeply ingrained in the human race and there is virtually nothing that hasn't been considered for a collection. A hobby such as collecting can help to expand one's horizon, create interesting contacts and may lead to friendships. Inherent in this need to accumulate things is also a certain propensity for acting in a destructive manner.

This chapter then deals with motives for collecting, various directions that can be taken in deciding on a theme for a collection and the possibilities for acquiring items for our chosen subject. We will also talk about an attractive display of our collection and the possible influence our collector activities may have on others.

One thing cannot be in doubt: It is up to the collector himself / herself whether the hobby enriches both the collector and those around, or if it is allowed to spoil a hitherto harmonious environment. Unfortunately, there is no statistical record of how many people have idolized their hobby to the point where nothing else around them seems to matter. Quite often it's in the collector's hand whether his or her contemporaries understand and become interested in reasons for collecting, related fields and individual pieces in the collection.

It should be taken as given, that the act of collecting must have a meaning for the collector as well as for those around him or her; impart some sense of satisfaction and achievement. Let's explore then the possible circumstances that explain our doings:

Motives for collecting
All of our actions have cause, reason and effect. If we call that to mind, we will be better able to understand ourselves and others. Even if not apparent on first glance, the basic motives for collecting are few. In most cases it's not one single basic motive that governs a collector; rather there are influences of varying strength that motivate. It must be said, however, that in extreme cases the reason for collecting and the attitude towards the subject make it possible to define a dominant influence. These include: Impulsive collecting, search for one's own identity, to collect as a form of investment or as income.

Ideally, preservation should be the overriding motive for collecting; interest in the origins and history of the respective piece. All things considered, keeping and maintaining of old objects and customs for contemplation by today's and future generations is really the only sensible reason for collecting.

This altruistic motive is rarely found in its purest form with private collectors. Museums are the appropriate institutions for that. Still, it is commendable that private individuals collect and do that for whatever reasons - quite often at a time well before the items thus hoarded seem to qualify as museum pieces.

"CV" of a collection item
Devices for regular use, such as radio sets, are designed by the manufacturer to sell of them as many as possible and at a price that yields a just return on investment. The aim is always to optimise net profit. At that, the entrepreneur has the choice of short or long term goals. It comes down to either produce mass merchandise with a low profit margin per unit or to specialize in high-tech equipment that allows for a higher mark-up. Value as a rarity is determined by this distinguishing difference.

Styling is to be factored in here as well. It can also be a combination of styling and being rare as it is found, for instance, in the Geographic (Lin Geographic). Here we encounter an expensive and quite unusual technical solution that unavoidably influences the appearance of the set. That, in turn, attracts the attention of collectors and thus leads to a higher value as collecting item. In this case of Geographic the listener sees on a map where the station sits by a light on the map.

Condition of a piece, in most cases the exterior appearance, will find expression in its price. The collector will have to pay special attention to the value as determined by differences in condition. Members have access to thousands of "value for collector" prices as posted by other members and based on actual transactions. This information can be found listed on the respective model pages. Wherever possible, condition is mentioned. Quite often, these "collector prices paid" have been recorded over several years and quite likely also indicate a trend.

Development of the "value for collector" of collected pieces largely depends on age and usually takes quite different courses. Factors coming into play are whether it's a true rarity, a rare collector item, an exotic piece or whether the item was mass produced. Not to be overlooked are also current popularity of the field in which one's interest resides and the general economic situation in the country.

Where to find Radios?
That's the often posed question from collectors. A radical change took place in the second half of the '80s. Radios worth collecting more and more disappeared from the side of the street where they were used to be put as useless rubbish. Same picture at second-hand markets. However, other sources opened up: Collector markets like „Garage Sales“ and „Radio meets“ and Flea Markets, Internet, as well as conventional auctions. Some valuable sets appeare in antique stores.

Members of Radiomuseum.org exchange information via the Forum. To buy from and/or exchange with fellow members is another possibility in Markt. Click on Membership to find out what the prerequisites, terms and conditions are.

So that you can see how the pages for members look and what additional tabs they can click on, we will show you here the model page for the Lindau Automatic 8. That's how it will present itself when clicked on by a member who has keyed in the term Lindau in his search and then picked the model 8 from the list of hits. All the information not visible to guests has here been highlighted in yellow. Of course, the links on this demonstration page will not respond. If, as a member, you were to click on the first picture, it would come up for you in a bigger size as Large Picture while under technical documentation this example of Schematics would come up first. In the bottom part of this demonstration model page you find the beginning of a Forum Thread as added information to this particular model. Members have the opportunity to bring in such Forum articles and/or technical documentation to any specific model via the link Add information to model.

On another example, here with model page Freiburg Automatic 6-3D from SABA, we show you how we arrive at collector prices . This information is uploaded by individual members and is based on actual transactions. Here again, the demonstration page will not allow you proceed via the available links.

The example Regulary AC-mains voltage... provides convincing evidence of how members assist each other quickly and effectively. This applies to all areas of our field of interest and works across any language barriers.

No "Collector Widows"!
You are surely familiar with the term "green widow", which generally defines a wife that for work related reasons or because of the distance to the husband's workplace feels somewhat neglected in their usually nice home in the green suburbs. Seems, that so far no one wrote about the "collector's widow". In fact, some collectors are so obsessed by their hobby, that wife and family have every right to feel not being sufficiently cared for. More than once did I hear of a wife who, upon the death of her collector husband, threw out his entire collection. Or, in extreme cases, had the collection deliberately destroyed lest any other woman would have to suffer her own dismal fate. It should, of course, never come to that. However, in this context it must be mentioned that recording the price one originally paid for an item and, where possible, what the piece would fetch today, are important aspects when it comes to disposing of an inheritance.

Display and Preservation
A good collection is more than just an accumulation of nice things. It should have a "face" and there must be some method to it. Lining up a series of very similar sets wears out the eyes of the spectator and quickly leads to boredom. The following paragraphs demonstrate on examples how a collection is to be displayed, how it can be documented and how the various items should be stored to prevent them from being harmed in the course of time.
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Documenting a Collection
Rarely does one find really good pictures taken by the collector himself. For that reason, you find here an article as it appeared in Forum under "Papers", which constitute our "Technical Journal". The article is titled "taking good pictures" and can also be called up at Google.
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But foremost in importance here are written notes for which we create an opportunity on the model page. Members will be able to record here any noteworthy detail and only the respective member will have later access to that information.

Another feature that goes under this heading is the possibility to narrow down the search if, for instance, the exact model designation is unknown because of a missing back panel or for any other reason. Members may key in up to five (5) of the valves / tubes of the set to be identified and will receive in turn a list of plausible models. The same feature can be used if schematics are not available. The system will suggest similar circuits that can be consulted if need arises.

InventionsInteresting RadiosTo collect - but how!How does it work?
rmXorg AllIntr
23.mar.2005 04.apr.2005 19.jan.2017