Frequently Asked Questions

WARNING: Never plug-in and turn on a radio that hasn’t been used for an unknown period. Have it checked first.



Q1. I have cleaned out my grandparents’ house and found an old valve radio with a wooden case, is it worth saving and what would be its value?
A1. The value of old radios can vary signifcantlty depending on the age, manufacturer, model and of course their condition. Old radios appeal to a limited group of people: knowledgeable collectors and electronic specialists and those who have no knowledge but would like an old radio to fit their house decor. Check on-line auction and sale sites for details. These usually provide an image to illustrate the item and possibly identify your radio. 

Having said that, all radios are worth saving, no matter the condition there are usually parts worth saving.

Q2. I have been given an old cream radio by a neighbour who said that it doesn’t work and made a “bang” when he last switched it on. What could be the problem?
A2. The problem could be one of many components that might have failed. I strongly recommend that you have the radio checked for safety before proceeding any further with making an assessment. Many old radios can be unearthed, or poorly earthed and many components may have defective insulation leading to a live chassis and knobs. The repair of an old radio to bring it back to satisfactory operating condition is unlikely to be be as simple as replacing a couple of valves as many other components can have failed or be out of tolerance. I can arrange a “fault finding” visit if you live in the Melbourne area.

Q3. I think one of the valves in my radio is defective. How can I test it? Where can I get valves?
A4. Access to a suitable valve testing equipment is desirable in the first instance to ascertain the condition of the valve. Note that a component in the radio circuit may have failed causing the valve to be overloaded and subsequently fail. Therefore it is desirable to confirm that the rest of the radio components are all OK before plugging in a new valve. The HRSA (Historical Radio Society) and AVRS (Australian Valve Radio Society) have a collection of new and used “old” valves plus other new components. These components are only available to members. Links page.




Last updated 18 April 2021.