Tuesday, 24 March 2015

International Radio Restoration Contest

I have recently been made aware of the Socété Québécoise des Collectionneurs de Radios Ancien's / (SQCRA or Quebec Antique Radio Collectors Society) 'Radio Restoration Contest' and have been enjoying some of the published documents describing various refurburations.

Although the group has been sponsoring the refurb contest for over 10 years, this is only the third year that it has been open to international competition. The rules are interesting and are quoted from the SQCRA website:

" ...  participants have one year to restore a basket case radio (the worst it is at start, the more points are awarded for the difficulty). Pictures must be taken before the restoration starts and at all steps of the process. One year later, the participants present their work to the international panel of judges. Pictures taken during the process will help judges better understand the challenges faced by the participants in order to finish their project.
The clubs that don't have a contest can nominate someone or make a group effort to represent their club at this contest.

A documented report containing photos and explanations and optionally a video of the working set from each contestant must be submitted to us. Then judgement and results are compiled to determine a winner and two runners up.
The criteria's for evaluation are available in this document .

Our goal of course is to promote the conservation of the technological / historical heritage, to motivate our common interest, increase the general knowledge of ancient radio technology, gain restoration tips, increase club exchanges, and see what is done in other clubs."
Each project is judged on three basic criteria: difficulty (condition when found), restoration (chassis, cabinet, components, overall) and functionality when complete.

The present contest has just ended (March 15) but the judge's comments and project writeups from the previous two contests (as well as this year's project writeups) are available for reading ... and they are both instructive and inspirational as I found several new constructive hints embedded in the descriptions. 

Particularly interesting to me was the sidebar in the writeup article presented by Gerry O'Hara of B.C.'s SPARC Museum. I have been struggling to develop a method of building this period-correct component for several years and the solution looks elegantly simple!

There really is enough reading here to keep one entertained for days but the more I read, the more I want to find another old clunker and bring it back to life ... great stuff!

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