HOWTO make best use of your model file / radio database

ID: 302699
HOWTO make best use of your model file / radio database 
13.Nov.12 18:02

Martin Bösch (CH)
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Martin Bösch

See also the article: "
HOWTO keep your radio collection page up to date".
You see in post 3 two examples of "sample pictures".


If your radio collection is growing year after year and you have to look around for a second or third extension in a friend's cellar, oft or a nearby farmer's barn - then it's time to think about a database for managing your personal radio collection.

There is some software for sale on the internet which will be helpful for this task, but remember that will provide you with a very powerful tool to organize your radio or valve collection: the "Model File".

At least after the sudden death of a radio collector friend, the family find themselves with the problem to sell the sets from a radio collection. Quite often, they have no idea of an expected price on the radio collectors market and from time to time, you can hear stories of "good radio collector friends" who did take care of selling a radio collection and who finally kept some sets for themselves for a ridiculous price.

If you have been working on the restoration of a radio, you should keep records about missing and replaced parts, whether the valves have been tested "good" or you have made a realignment, whether the receiver has been modified or if you have restored something to gibe back it's originality to the set - all these informations can be written down in the "Model File".

The let's dive into the depth's of "My Model File":

When you open your Model File the first time, don't be too disappointed - it will be empty (at least I think, this will be the case, I cannot try it out as mine is full). If you have already entered some radios from your personal collection to the file, you will find a list of your radios listed there.

To add a radio to your personal Model File, you have to look up the set in the database using the standard search features and follow the link My Model > Personal Index:

If it's the first sample of a radio model, you want to add to your collection, you will find only the link "Record my example of this model". In case, you own several samples of this radio, you will also find a list of the existing entries, the entries can be deleted or accessed to be edited.

I would start with giving a running number to each sample of the same model, I have in my collection. I did this using 00001, but under most circumstances a simple "1" will do the job as well ;-)
Then you add the serial number (very important in case of a theft) and some informations where this sample of the radio model is stored. You can create your own entries like collection, cellar 1, cellar 2, cellar 3, loft, museum and you can even add informations about a sub-location (display case number, shelve number).

Then you enter the data about the day of purchase of the set, the price you paid for it, the name and further informations of the former owner (e.g. name, ham call, eBay name, adress and phone number). I usually add some informations about this individual set like informations from the vendor ("all valves have been tested "good", "the volume pot is noisy", "sometimes the bandswitch makes no good contact", "the set is internally wired for 220 Volts" when it's a former U.S. set) and problems which occured when I powered up the set the first time (hopefully no smoke coming out, "poor reception on shortwave band", "dial light 2 not working, have to find replacement", and so on.

In the next fields, you can enter data about the restoration of a set, whether you have changed the caps, dial strings or the belt of a turntable, if a realignment has been made, if you have stripped the ugly green colour off and did lacquer the set, and so on. There are dropdown fields for the classification of electric and "cosmetic" state of the receiver in the purchase and restoration section.

After having finished this job for several sets, you can have a look at your Model File overview and find a nice automatically generated list with your radios there. There are checkboxes to display purchase price and estimated selling price.

The "My Model File" database of the radios in your collection is a very useful tool

  • to keep an overview over your collection (do I own this set already, where couls set xxx be...)
  • to keep records on the serial numbers of the radios in your collection (extremely useful in the case of a theft, your insurance might require a list of serial numbers of stolen goods)
  • to keep notes on estimated selling prices (in the case of theft for your insurance or to be used by the relatives in case of death)
  • to keep records on technical faults and repairs that already have been done by yourself or a repair shop
  • even if you start your own small radio repair business to keep records on the sets you have been given to repair and for informations on your customers

this tool ist still not popular and used by very few members of our site. I want to encourage you to try it (and not to waste money to buy a radio collection database tool or to program an MS Access database during your holidays - I have been through the second of the ideas a few years ago...).

There is one last thing to tell you: all the data you enter in your Model File can only be accessed by yourself. If you want to keep the informations for your relatives (to be accessible in case of an unexpected death), you have to tell your user name and your password to your wife, even with the risk, that she will have access to the purchase price data and find out, that the radio collecting hobby was not the cheapest hobby on earth...

Hope this helps Martin Boesch

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