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HOWTO make best use of Your personal Radio Collection File

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Martin Bösch
Martin Bösch
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27.Nov.08 11:32

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Within radiomuseum.org's website, which in fact is an enormous database system with informations about all kinds of radios, tubes and semiconductors, all radio collector members have the possibility to get a small "database" or file record for their own radio collection. This feature can only be accessed by the member itself, so no one else will see the informations You enter here.
I will try to show You some advantages and encourage You to make use of this feature.

1. Where to find Your Personal Register

You can access Your personal "Model file" or "Personal Register" either by using the link "My model file" found in the left upper corner of the entry page or by following the link "Personal Register, Models" found in the right lower corner of Your "Collector's Profile" page, accessed from the "My Profile" link.

The main page "Overview of all personal examples" gives You an overview about all sets in Your collection, but first, You will have to enter the data for the individual sets.

2. Entering data in Your Personal Register / Personal Model File

Do do this, You follow the link "personal index" found at the bottom of every model page, on the next page You will find a list of already existing entries for this model (in case You have several examples of the same set in Your collection, and You have already entered data earlier), or only the link "record my example of this model".

Following this link, You enter a page, where You should fill the fields with the informations You want to have stored in Your set's database entry.


In the section General informations about the set,  You have to enter either the serial number or a personal "collection number" (use of one of these fields is mandatory), You might state the place, where the set is stored (exhibition room, cellar, loft, extension building or whatever You have...) and some general informations about this set in a remarks field.
In the section Purchase, You should enter informations about the origin of a set, the price You paid (You may enter Your local currency) and the date, when it was purchased (when You start entering data here, the completion of all the fields is mandatory: when You enter only the year, You'll find Yourself confronted with a system error message), entering data in the field "Purchase details" is also mandatory, here You can state the eBay seller's name, the HAM callsign of the seller, the location and date of the flea market or radio fair, etc. You can document the technical interior and cosmetic appearence of the set, as it was, when You got it.
The section Collector Value and Restoration offers You excellent opportunities to document the estimated value of Your collection and to document all Your steps when restoring the set in a large remarks field.
It gives You the possibility to keep track of all Your repairs (e.g. recapping, changing mains transformer, replacing tuning indicator tube with a new one), which might also be useful, when You consider selling a set, You could even count the hours spent on repairing it (when You run a small radio repair business...). State the internal and cosmetic / exterior appearence of Your set after Your efforts.
In the last Section Sale, You might keep records of the sets, You sold to another collector, it's a good possbility to write down the adress of the recipient here.
It's good to keep in mind, that You are the only one having acess to the informations stored here, so not all the radiomuseum.org community will be informed about Your expected selling price... 

3. Using the list "Overview of Personal Examples"

When You have entered all the data, the set will appear in Your "overview of all personal examples" list, the form for an individual set can later be accessed again, using the "edit" link, so You can document Your progress in the restoration.

This list of the radios in Your collection is an extremely versatile tool, when You have entered all data (no, I have not done, already...), You can not only answer the recurring question "how many antique radios do You own...", You can also sort the list for Country, Manufacturer, Model Year by clicking on the headline of the table, it just works just like in the eBay site.
When You check the boxes for "Purchase Price" or "Estimated Value", these items will also be displayed and You can sort the list for prices.

4. What might that be good for

Why should You make such an effort to fill in all these database fields - You already know the sets in Your collection well...
4.1. the case of beeing victim of a theft
You can use the dist to keep track of all sets in Your collection for the case, You might be a victim of a burglar. Usually, You may have an insurance for a valuable collection, but Your insurance needs to have a proof, that You have actually owned a set, when You claim some money from them in case of a theft.
Your Personal register is an excellent way to do this: You can document all serial numbers, purchase dates and prices, so it might not be too difficult to count the amount in case of a loss. You might print out the list and hand them over to Your insurance broker, in Switzerland, the insurances for theft need to be informed about very valuable objects, You want to have insured.
The list is also useful, when place some of Your sets at the disposal of a museum for a special exhibition (arrange the list for location or even sublocation).

4.2 in case of a death
After the decease of a collector, a printed list might be extremely helpful to get an estimation of the prices of the radios for the bereaved.
Unfortunately, it happened not only once, that after a decease, a "collector friend" turned up, sold the collection for the relatives, kept the rarest pieces (the old ugly sets with the spiderwebs...) for a few bucks for himself, and later it turned out, these would have been the real treasures.
So having a list with expected sales prices printed out and stored at a safe place might prevent the relatives making such sad experiences.

You could even use this, when You are not expecting to die in the next future.
A printed list with sales prices (set the location to "flea market" and sort for "location") might be useful for Your wife, when she's keeping an eye on Your stall at the next radio collectors fair, while You are quitely walking around in the rest of the exhibition.

4.3 for Your small "After work radio repair business"
If You spend Your leisure time repairing antique radios and You have made a small business out of it, You might use the list for keeping records of all sets You have to repair, the adress of the owner, the repairs You have done (use the remarks field in the Restoration section for documenting the restoration progress, prices paid for components and hours spent on the set) and the day, You gave the radio back to the costumer.
I will leave it to your imagination, how You make use of all the different fields (you might use the location / sublocation fields e.g. for "repair shop" and sublocations for "recapping done", "realignment done", and so on).
The database of radiomuseum.org is very powerful and offers You all kind of possibilities.

4.4 Are there other known owners of a particular set?

After You have have entered the data in Your "personal index", a small number counting these entries will appear on the "search result" pages, next to the Picture and Coll.Pr. fields.

This number will indicate, that other members have already made an entry for this set and they will possede one, so You know, it might be worth asking for the owner in a Forum message, when You need a picture of a special detail from the chassis or an image from the back of the set for a replica, e.g.
But keep in mind: this number is absolutely anonymous, You cannot directly acess a list of the owners, but You might estimate the success rate when asking for owners in the Forum.

5. Tube File

The tube collection database accessed via the "My Tube File" is constructed in a very similar manner.
You can enter the numbers of tubes owned, their purchase and expected selling price, the condition fields give You the possibility to enter data about the emission measured on the tube tester.

There is a special possibility to offer tubes for sale to other collectors.

I hope, this helps to understand some more hidden features of our site, the radiomuseum.org database is an extremely versatile tool to keep records of Your own collection; it veen supports You in running a small museum with keeping records of Your exhibits or supports in running a small "after work" radio repair or tubes selling business.

In the german language section, we have made efforts to give support to widows or widowers of radio collectors to avoid them becoming victim of a fraud by providing contacts to independent teams helping doing an estimation of a radio collection for sale. Maybe, there will be similar efforts in the English language section later.
But a complete printed record of the sets in Your collection with estimated sales prices might be a very valuable help for the relatives.

Kind regards Martin Boesch
thanks to Michele Denber and Ernst Erb for giving me support for this text.

This article was edited 27.Nov.08 21:57 by Martin Bösch .

  
rmXorg