Antique Wireless Association (AWA) 2010 Conference

Rochester, New York; August 17 - 21, 2010

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The Auctions  

This year there were two auctions.  The first, the one pictured here, was the Larry Babcock estate auction.  Larry Babcock was a noted collector

and author.  Highlights, or more accurately, things that interested me, are shown below.

This LarcoFlex by the Larkin Company was by no means the rarest or most sophisticated receiver in the auction, but it caught my fancy. 

This photo shows why.  Check out the variocoupler and condenser

one the left, and in the picture below. 

The LarcoFlex uses an elegant variocoupler, a "Hi-Power" tuner made by Barnett-Lloyd Company of Chicago, that's coaxial with the variable capacitor.  That's sweet.   

What would an AWA auction be without a box full of Radio Boys novels.... ...and a table full of Atwater Kent receivers?

One of my special interests is crystal radio sets.  This is an Aduiola in a beautifully-finished natural wood cabinet.  The horn section....

This receiver to the left is the famous Adams-Morgan Paragon regenerative receiver, type RA-10.  It was designed by "Paragon Paul" Godley.  This model was used in the successful 1921 transatlantic tests where U. S. amateur signals were first heard in Europe, in this case by Godley, dispatched for the task by the ARRL and situated in cold, rainy, Ardrossan, Scotland.  Godley used both a superhet as well as the RA-10, and Adams-Morgan capitalized on the event in advertising for this radio.  The "Morgan" portion of Adams-Morgan is none other than Alfred Powell Morgan, more noted as a prolific author than as a radio manufacturer.  My story about Morgan is here
This rig to the right and below was intriguing.  I thought it was a crystal set but when it came up for auction, it was announced as a wave meter.  I'm not so sure and would like someone to correct me on this.  In any event, the item came from the USS Schenk destroyer and came  complete with calibration curves performed in the U. S. Navy Yard, New York, on December 7, 1920. 

The Antique Wireless Association Museum  
The AWA Conference is held at the Rochester Institute of Technology Inn & Conference Center but the AWA Museum is not far away, in Bloomfield.  In the photo to the right, curator Ron Roach, W2FUI, is demonstrating one of the two operational spark gap transmitters.  The museum is spectacular and is a must-see for anyone traveling in the Rochester area. 

Wow!  Here is the first known transistorized U. S. ham band transmitter, in this case, for two-meters.  This was made by George M. Rose, K2AH.  The issue of RCA Ham Tips in the background may be found here.  It's the January - March 1953 issue.  Below are more detailed shots. 

The Flea Market  

The Rippner Brothers Manufacturing Company of Cleveland, Ohio made this compact crystal radio set.  The logo is  "Monarch Automotive Accessories."  Joseph Long, WA2EJT, had this Ameco AC-1 for sale in the flea market with an asking price of $250.  This could well have been one of the most modern radios up for sale in the flea market!
The Competition  

Left and below: Gary Alley took home a third-place ribbon for this beautiful Faraway "Improved" model F 4-tube TRF receiver. 

I probably should have noted more detail on this 2-tube receiver to the right, and below, but I was captivated by the variable capacitor. 

Joe Knight won a third-place ribbon for this spectacular collection of R-C Amps including the Sonatron Amplifier "with Red, Silver, and Blue Matched Tubes." 

The first-place blue ribbon was won by John DeLoria for a most unusual collection of RADIO radios. 

The one-tube Loewe OE-333 receiver submitted by Robert Lozier was fascinating for several reasons.  First, it's just elegantly designed.  Next, the 3NF vacuum tube holds inside of it several resistors and capacitors.  According to Lozier's notes, this gave superior performance due to the reduced stray capacitance that would have occurred with external components.  Finally, I liked the simple coupling of the primary and secondary inductors: just a simple hinge. 

My hero: James Millen.  This collection of Millen memorabilia won a blue ribbon.  It includes Millen's page from his 1925 Stevens Institute of Technology yearbook, "The Link."

In the photographs above and below, Joe Long, WA2EJT, had this cool World War II crossed-loop direction-finding set, BC-973.  It appeared to be in mint condition and was operational.

Louis Vermond, VE3AWA / VE3BDV, built this (left and below) outstanding 80-meter receiver from plans in the 1933 edition of How to Become a Radio Amateur.  The workmanship is breath-taking.  It's a two-tube regenerative receiver using a type 30 detector and a type 33 audio amplifiier.  It won a second-place ribbon. 

The first-place blue ribbon for Electronic Television went to Geoffrey Bourne for this Pilot Radio TV-37 set with a 3-inch screen. 

This elegantly designed 1923 Telefunken crystal radio set garnered a blue ribbon for Benet Svensson. 

One of the themes of the convention and category of competition was Sylvania and its history.  This sophisticated broadcast receiver was manufactured by Cutting & Washington Radio Corporation, one of the firms that eventually evolved into Sylvania.  This radio won a first-place blue ribbon for John Terrey.  Ken Lowther's beautifully restored Atwater Kent receiver won a second-place ribbon.  Part of the attraction of these first-generation manufactured receivers was the technology itself.  So it was beautifully displayed in breadboard fashion. 

Above and below are photographs of a marvelously compact Officine Radio Marconi ship spark transmitter.  It won a first-place blue ribbon for Geoffrey Bourne. 

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