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Changing Face of Vintage Electronics & Collecting/Repairing

 
crustytv
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I was pondering the above and wondered what other folks thoughts about it were. I guess like me, most of you collect or if you don't collect, at least have an interest in what either floats your boat technically or what appeals to your sense of nostalgia.

For me it started back in 97 with 1930's valve radios but the bug well and truly bit with television around 2009. I started as you do on 405 B&W and although enjoyable and a good knowledge grounding, I couldn't relate to it. I was a child of colour, (I don't even remember watching B&W let alone 405) the draw to it was strong so switched to early CTV. My collecting and repairing interests have since expanded to include newfangled technology such as VCR, Laserdisc and CED, I shan't be venturing into anything newer.

I don't think we can or even should go about forcing our interests on the younger generations, those interested in such items will naturally find their way to them. We should perhaps adapt to include and encourage folks to join in with other items which are often described by many as "Retro". After all anyone who wishes to repair, where possible, should be encouraged to do so no matter what the era.

Old valve and early transistor radios, plus old TV's etc might appeal to certain age groups, but not all. The NVCF (still can't believe I've never been to one) has obviously seen this and taken it on board, we all likely know rebranding itself "RetroTechUK". If I'm not incorrect, this in order to stem the loss of punters and appeal to a wider age group of collectors in an effort to save the event from dwindling footfall.

I'm sure we've all seen the resurgent (Retro Gaming) interest in popularity (including price hike) of 80s/90s portables. I note this is also now extending to much larger CRT TV's from the 90s, even some silver widescreen jobbies.  I've often said over the years that these sets are likely to become sought after but will be much rarer, due to the mass dumping that occurred with the advent of flat panels.

As we all shuffle up the age scale its inevitable new folk come along with differing interests in repairing "vintage electronics". What to us was defined as "vintage" will change. It got me thinking that we're lucky, why you might ask. The kit we dabble with for the most part, circuits and parts are readily accessible. However, for those that come after us with varied interest in later kit, will find it a struggle to obtain information, let alone parts. This spurred me on and is why I'm now uploading a lot of 90s and post 2K data on all manner of home entertainment kit that I have in my possession and even some computing circuits to the data library.

So to the purpose of this thread and its invited discussion. With the changing face of vintage electronics having an impact on our hobby, forums and meets, what do you foresee as things folks will be into repairing? Is that too much of a crystal ball exercise?

For example; do or will folk want to collect/repair DVD players, early Freeview or Satellite boxes. Perhaps retro consoles in as much as we help with power supplies etc. I'm sure the list is varied as it is endless, I'll leave you knowledgable folk to explore and discuss the possible electronic items people may wish to collect and repair.

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Topic starter Posted : 09/04/2020 10:51 am
gilmour94 and Alex728 liked
crustytv
(@crustytv)
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Posts: 10843

This thread seems to be immediately going off-topic, its purpose was not to discuss what happens to our collections when we die or dwell on our own navels, it was about the future course of collecting.

I've split two posts off to a separate topic, if its felt folk want to explore that subject that's fine by me, though we've done that to death (excuse the pun) many times before, there's no easy answer.

https://www.radios-tv.co.uk/community/general-tech-discussion/getting-older-and-the-age-old-question-what-to-do-with-your-collection/#post-100585

Back to the purpose of this thread, I really would appreciate folks input, help and opinions on the main core of what I touched on in post #1. Namely, the changing face of vintage collecting and repairing, not disposals and the associated dilemmas. I know its long-winded but might be worth rereading post #1.

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Topic starter Posted : 09/04/2020 1:40 pm
Nuvistor
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There is open source software available I believe for DAB radio, used on the new community DAB stations.

Perhaps the DAB receivers will have a signal source in years to come that may make them collectible. The SDR transmit software being used as a pantry transmitter like some MW AM ones available now for old AM radios.

 

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Posted : 09/04/2020 1:56 pm
crustytv
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Hi Frank, I did wonder about DAB, I believe some really early 1st gen receivers now command very high prices and are sought by avid collectors.

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Topic starter Posted : 09/04/2020 1:58 pm
Nuvistor
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I have an Evoke 1 in the garage, I use it when working in there, it’s covered up when not in use and looks like new, bought 2003. It DAB only not DAB+ but for collectors that may be a plus. 

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Posted : 09/04/2020 2:05 pm
Nuvistor
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Looking around my house for items that may be collectible, I have a couple of radio controlled wall clocks, receive the 60Khz time signal. Neither were expensive but it’s what we see in childhood that can determine what’s interesting.

FM Radio is going to around a long time so a possibility of any type becoming collectible for the budding enthusiast. Even if FM is switched off, generating a simple Low  FM transmitter will not be difficult. 

Radio gear from the armed forces, radio officers could well be interested in keeping some of the gear they used working.

 

 

 

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Posted : 09/04/2020 2:24 pm
helloekco
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I would add early smartphones, the iPhone in particular, to this topic. There is already an active interest (albeit fairly small) in preserving the software to keep them running. In fact prices for the first generation iPhone are already pretty silly, for anything cosmetically appealing.

The trouble with this era of hardware is that much of it involves microscopic surface mounted components. Repairs at the hardware level therefore require the sort of skills that most people cannot teach themselves (I know because I've tried ?).

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Posted : 09/04/2020 11:46 pm
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ntscuser
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There's already a strong following on YouTube for early premium grade laptops, the IBM Thinkpad and its successors in particular. They were made in large numbers, are now cheap to buy, easy to repair and spares are readily available. I have a not-so-old one myself which I am currently in the process of upgrading. What to do with the parts that are left over? Buy another one and upgrade that of course! It's infectious.

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Posted : 10/04/2020 12:56 am
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hamid_1
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Some old computers and video games are definitely collectable.

Around 20 years ago, I rescued a 1986 Apple Macintosh Plus computer from the skip at work, complete with an external 20 megabyte hard drive. However, I didn't really have a use for it, so 15 years ago I sold it for £8 at a car boot sale. Now it's worth over £200 on ebay. I didn't predict that it would ever become so valuable again. Likewise, years ago I gave away a Commodore Amiga 1000 computer which would now be worth a similar amount. I should have kept it, but as always the problem is lack of space - you can't keep everything. At least I did keep a few Sinclair computers as well as an Amiga 500 with A570 CD-ROM drive and an Amiga 1200 which are still worth something.

Old video game consoles are collectable too, although just like old home computers, you can play the games on a modern PC using emulator software, without needing the orginal equipment. Reproduction Atari / Sega / Nintendo game consoles have been made recently. Some even have HDMI output so you no longer need an analogue TV. I thought these developments would kill off the demand for original vintage / retro hardware, but surprisingly it hasn't.

Like computers and games, mobile phones are another area of technology that has changed very fast. I'm not too sure about the long-term collector value of old phones, since they will lose most of their functionality once there is no longer a network that supports them. This has already happened to analogue mobile phones, which are now just curiosities or props. Similarly, obsolete TV set top boxes are practically useless - I don't see them ever having much value.

From time to time, I bring vintage items from my collection into work for a bit of fun. There are some older people aged 60+ some of whom were ex- TV engineers. They appreciate the vintage radio and TV sets, whereas the youngsters were less interested in those but more fascinated by the old 'brick' mobile phones and a rotary dial landline phone. Surprisingly, record players appealed to the young - it seems they are trendy again. Of all my vintage gadgets, the wind-up gramophone is the one thing that appeals to all ages from children to those over 80. Amazing, since it is older than all of them.

It is surprisingly difficult to predict what will become valuable. I didn't expect early wooden-cased colour TVs to become valuable - I can remember piles of them dumped round the back of TV repair shops as worthless scrap. Now they've suddenly become valuable, but I'm not sure how long it will last. Prices can go down as well as up. The trick to making money is to buy and sell at the right time. Personally, I indulge in vintage tech for enjoyment rather than to make money.

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Posted : 10/04/2020 11:33 pm
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Alex728
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old computers are definitely still popular with young people as are CRT TVs, a lot of my friends in UK and Germany collect them and there's still a thriving scene to write demos and new software for them (lots of people use emulators to make use of the cross assemblers,  multiple screens and modern UI) then transfer the completed binary to the real hardware.

STBs aren't that popular as fewer young people watch linear TV these days (TBH I stopped doing so about 6 years ago myself and I'm not even that young..)

Band II (FM) radio is likely to have a resurgence; community radio stations are still found in most European countries and people are becoming less happy about the privacy implications of the streaming services, and (understandable) clampdowns on distracted driving are resulting in those using a mobile phone to listen in the car (connected to an aux port) getting in trouble when changing their playlists..

Vinyl records never went out of fashion amongst those who like electronic dance music (even though many DJ's now use digital controllers).

BTW hi fi and disco/DJ equipment always remains popular (and other than the arrival of digital controllers, much of it hasn't changed in 30-40 years)

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Posted : 11/04/2020 3:23 pm
ntscuser and crustytv liked