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Collectability Page Two
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Collectability - Page two

There is alot of interest in the first transistor radios though and a good one will cost a fortune. Other people are now branching off into collecting television receivers and one of the first 21 inch sets with 10 channels is going to cost you more than a set with 13 channels (CH 0-11). Now everyone outside Australia will wonder what the heck I am talking about here. To satisfy your curiosity, Australia had it's own VHF Television channel allocations shortly after television was introduced and the numbering sequence started at 0 then went onto 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5A, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and finished at 11. Channels 3, 4 and 5 were situated inside the FM radio band that all countries adopted so any TV channels using these channels had to relocate elsewhere, usually to the UHF band (CH 21-69) once FM radio began here.

From what I have seen over the years, many people deem a collectable receiver to be one that is unique in some way and quite often age has little bearing on what the dollar value of a set is. I have seen people pay more than $600 for 1950's mantel radios. This is obviously a rare occurrence, but if the set is unusual, perhaps being a bright colour like red, green, yellow, orange or blue and rarer still, with some sort of mottling or marbling effect the set will always command big dollars. Another attraction is if the set is a 32 volt or 6 volt set that uses a vibrator wi generate the high tension instead of relying on mains power. Such sets were sold to farmers or people living in outer-urban areas where mains power was not always available. There are still pastoral stations in Australia that are not connected to electricity supplies. They either generate their own power or use extra-low voltages like 32 volts.

To the right there is a green Astor Mickey. Because of the colour and that the bakelite is mottled with white patches, this effect usually boosts the value of this model quite considerably, though I was lucky to be given the set for nothing. As it was painted with gloss enamel at the time, the previous owner may not have known the beauty that lied under the skin. Just above the green Astor is a white AWA Radiolette. I saw a 6 volt version of this set, in the normal brown colour, sell for over $400 once, yet I picked up the three mains-powered versions of this set I own at less than half that price. None of these sets are comparitivly rare. They just have special things about them that make people want to pay a little more for them.

All in all, collectability, once again, comes down to what the individual shows an interest in. There is no set guide on a universal value for all equipment. Nor is there a gospel dictating a firm price for a given receiver. The only thing that I believe is certain is that there is still plenty of radios out there to collect. Some of the pioneer collectors are starting to sell off parts of their collections now, due either to old age, an inability to properly care for the receivers or because their wives have had enough of them. There'd also be plenty of receivers still yet to be found after 40 years of transistorisation.

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