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About Vintage Radio

Updated at 16:13 on the 19th April, 2009.

General site information

Vintage Radio was first developed in late 2003 as part of a campaign to boost the amount of Australian web content related to the hobby of collecting and restoring old valve radios. I have some long term goals for this site, many of which will take years to gather the information for. One is a comprehensive circuit diagram database, storing hundreds and perhaps thousands of images containing the circuit diagrams for as many Australian valve radios as possible.

One of the big achievements, I believe, has been the introduction of site membership and the discussion forums. This has created a small network of enthusiasts who have come together to share knowledge and experience with those who are new to the hobby. The forums were opened for the first time on the 15th November, 2005. It is a goal of mine to make sure that as much information is available to all interested people, on-line and free of charge.

What did the old sites look like?

Curiosity is a good thing and part of the reason why sites like Vintage Radio exist. In keeping with the historical nature of this website I have decided that placing a visual timestamp of its past here so that you can see the way things were. Please click here to view screenshots of the front pages of old site designs.

Call it how you see it, though I believe the site has vastly improved in design over the time. I hope you think so too.

A little about the site owner

Four of the site owner`s collection of AWA Radiolettes from the late 1940`s

My name is Brad and I am in my mid thirties. I live in Sydney which is the capital city of New South Wales, Australia and also Australia's largest city. Whether it is the best city or not depends on one's point of view. I have been collecting and restoring old radios for about twenty years and have never grown tired of wanting to have one more set on the shelves. Every collector has a favourite brand and I am no exception. I have a soft spot for AWA and in particular their Radiolettes of the late 1940's (model 516 and variants) and I would like to end up having the largest collection of them, and their 1930's bretheren (Empire States), in the world - basically one good working example of each and every model made and each and every colour of that model. I currently own six of the seven colours known to me in the 1940's models, they being: walnut, white, cream, jade, turquoise, burgundy. A white set with black and orange marbling was also available and this will be acquired as the chance arrives. The picture below shows four of them in splendid condition with three of them in working order.

Why do I like these sets in particular? Probably because they retain their art-deco charm without their styling being too fussy. The other thing is that over time their specifications changed slightly and this adds to the ability to have a discussion about these receivers. At some stage I do plan on writing an article about the humble 516.

Technical information

I carry out all website development work myself and have chosen the Microsoft environment for hosting and to drive the site's database. It's never let me down and web hosting is one of the things that Microsoft do very well. I hand coded each page in Notepad, a basic Windows-based text editor and all images were taken on a Sony F707 five megapixel digital camera up until August, 2008 where the photographic duties shifted to a Canon Powershot A590 - a smal but very powerful camera that is just right for this sort of work. All photos are tweaked (where necessary) and cropped in Adobe Photoshop which is, more or less, the industry standard for photograph and image manipulation work. Development work includes coding everything myself, including the forum software. No facet of web development on this site or the hosting of it is outsourced and I've never seen the need to hire development consultants either. I do have a small collection of books which have helped a lot and I think reading books and using trial and error is the best way to learn how things work.

This website is designed to work in any recently released web browser, including but not limited to: Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Mozilla, Opera, Safari, Camino, Konqueror, Firefox and others. Surf Vintage Radio with confidence using the browser software you want to use.

The owner's rack of servers - located in his laundry of all places!

Vintage Radio is hosted on a server that I own, manage and connect to the internet. This allows me to have more control over the site and saves me around $300.00 in hosting fees per year. This is one of the beauties of broadband internet connections and if done properly, hosting your own site can be quite enjoyable. Above is a photo of my rack of servers that purr away 24/7 so you can access the site at will.

These Hewlett Packard rack servers, located in the top half of a 47-unit rack cabinet, handle all the necessary protocols that allow this site to function and I am sure will continue to do so for a long time to come. The servers are the flat things at the top and underneath are two domestic computer boxes for miscellaneous functions and in the lower half of the cabinet are the uninterruptible power supplies - which keep everything going in the event of a blackout. Two generators are in the back yard to provide power in the event of a longer-than-normal blackout. All this equipment, along with a switchboard, two 400mm cooling fans, power boards and about 300 metres of wiring add up to a data centre weighing over a tonne.

Hopefully this investment will mean little or no downtime for the site. This, of course, doesn't include site upgrades though this is usually handled elsewhere then upgraded on the fly to ensure that bugs don't appear. That's the theory anyway!

The beefcake - 12.6kVA of backup power


Time and Date

Official time: 03:38 (GMT + 10)
Monday, 25th September, 2017.

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