Note from President Dave
Greetings to all !!!
December is here, and the AHRS is about to complete our thirtieth year!!! I remember well the night in 1989 when about four or five of us met in a small office on the Southside of Birmingham and discussed our interest in antique radio. We wondered how many others in this area shared our interest. Don Kresge, our founder, set out to find others interest in antique radio. Being the great promoter that he was, he did not take long finding a lot of interest in this area He planned regular meetings and promotional events to lay the foundation of the AHRS we have today. The rest is history. I do not think anyone present that night, possibly with the exception of Don, imagined AHRS could be what it is today.
This has been a good year for the Society.
We presented a very well received display at the Birmingham Amateur Radio Club Hamfest and another display at the Shelby County Amateur Radio Club Hamfest, later in the spring.
The AHRS Legends of Broadcast event was another success with good attendance. Also, we not only displayed at the Alabama Broadcasters Association Annual Conference, here in Birmingham, but also took part in the induction of new members into the ABA Hall of Fame.
The shop was a main focus this year. Through the efforts and leadership of Ray Giles, Willie Henderson and Tom Killam, reorganization and refined operation procedures in the shop were implemented. Another work station was added and the coil department was relocated to a larger space in the basement, under the direction of Dee Haynes. Throughout the year the shop committee held several successful equipment auctions that raised funds for the operation of the Society.
During 2019, work continued on the new AHRS website and the library computer search project. The results of the efforts will hopefully be apparent in early 2020.
Mark your calendar for the Christmas party on Monday 30, 2019, starting at 6:30 PM. We will have our short required brief business meeting with the election of officers and board members for next year. Be sure to sign the sheet at the shop to indicate the number coming and what food you will bring. As usual the AHRS will provide the meat, drinks & set-ups for the event.
As we look forward to another good year for AHRS, I want to express my appreciation to all members for your confidence in me as your president. Thanks for your support in helping me do my job. I could not do it without you.
May God bless you all as we bring this year to a close.
See you at the shop,
What's Happening at the Society
AHRS Members & Local Modern Radio DJ
Submitted by Josh White
What started as a young man changing cart tapes at WVOK in 1974 turned into a long-term love affair with broadcasting. After interning, Charles “Skip” Leslie had an itch that needed to be scratched. After 35 years of waiting Skip began piecing together what would become “The Dr. Dax Davis Solid Gold Oldies Show. Over the past couple of years Skip has bought, horse traded, labored, restored, rewired and reworked every piece of equipment he uses. For years Skip has worked on and restored vintage AM/FM/SW tube radios which gave him the knowledge and experience to take broken and forgotten broadcast equipment and make it usable again. This also fell on the experience and expertise of an engineer, Robert Williams. Skip and Robert tackled the project and as a team. They now continue to gather and maintain the broadcast equipment used for the show. During this time I (Skip’s son-law) joined the team to assist with media relations. With the world of social media, we knew it was important to utilize it to get the word out. The setup is pays homage to the classic sound of mono coming through your speakers. The broadcast desk holds a 1956 Gates Stay Level, ITC, 1960s cart machines, 1960s Russo and Gates turntables, Shure S-55 microphones and is rounded out with everything running through a 1958 Gates Gateway Board.
At first, the set-up was simply being used as a hobby, using a low wattage AM transmitter that could only be heard for a couple of blocks away from his home. After some time Skip, soon to become Dax Davis, befriended a local radio station owner of WZAL-LP located in Alabaster, Alabama which led to what is now a weekly show that airs on Saturdays from 4PM to 7PM. Skip has acquired a large collection of 45 and 33 rpm records from the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s, as well as period correct liners and commercials that are stored on carts that are used for breaks. Watching Skip and Robert run the board brings back a love and respect for the Disc Jockeys that have come and gone over the years. With the new age of radio being just a simple click and play button of a playlist, it is amazing to watch a well-oiled machine, stacking wax and changing carts during songs.
Skip isn’t done. Recently he and Robert began the tear down and rework of what will be Skip’s first true stereo broadcast board. I do not want to give away too much at this point, but the broadcast room is about to be remodeled in a big way. Going from a big box store desk to a purpose built desk is only one of many changes coming. Skip has gained quite a following in the local area and has even been receiving more records from listeners which help to grow what Skip is able to play. That’s right! If you didn’t catch that earlier, The Dr. Dax Davis Show uses only vintage wax to play songs. You can find the show for live remotes at Siluria Brewing Company of Alabaster, Alabama on the second Saturday of the month during show times. So if you get by this way be sure to come meet The Dr. himself, Engineer Robert and Media Maniac Josh for some good tunes, prizes and food.
Alabama Stations Schedules:
WZAL 99.9 FM Wednesday 6:00PM-9:00PM
WSMX 100.1 FM Saturday 6:00PM-9:00 PM
WPLX 93.3 FM Sunday 6:00 PM-9:00PM
WLXY 96.9 FM Sunday 3:00PM-6:00PM
You can also find the stations on-line or at Tunein.com
More stations to be added in the future-Stay Tuned
Dr. Dax Davis Studio - Where the Magic Happens!
Submitted by: Jim Rogers
Some of you may remember a song that I remember from, I believe, WWII. It seems a chaplain discovered a young soldier fully engaged in a deck of cards. The chaplain admonished the young man for not being engaged in more spiritual things. The young man began a discourse assigning Biblical values to the deck of cards and what each card meant to him spiritually.
When I look at a radio, I have somewhat of the same experience. I assign spiritual events in my life to the various elements of the radio from the antenna to the audio output stages.
Have you ever considered what the antenna experiences? Signal are coming in from all directions and varied greatly in signal strength and content. Some good, some bad. I suppose we could say the antenna is the eyes and ears of the radio, the eyes and the ears being where we get much of what influences our life.
Fortunately, our “radio” has an oscillator converter stage, which allows us to select the signal we desire to listen to, but the signal must be processed a bit more before we can fully enjoy the reception. My personal conversion occurred when a fellow serviceman shared the life he shared with Jesus the Christ. I being somewhat dis-enchanted with the Pacific Island (7 miles wide and 30 miles long) where we were stationed for a year and a half, agreed I needed something more.
Behind the oscillator/converter stage is the IF amplifier which provides additional selectivity and as a result the signal is not only strengthened, but it is cleaned up as well, making it ready to be reproduced with clarity. My personal IF stage became the Holy Spirit of God which strengthened me and enabled me to remain true to my decision. When interfering influences showed up, I was able to filter them out.
Finally, we come to the detector/audio amplifier stage where the residual rf is bypassed, and a clear signal is amplified, reproduced for our edification, whether that be pleasure or application to our life.
Oh, I almost forgot the power supply. Without a power supply, the radio does not function. Without my personal power supply, I do not function. God is my personal power supply as He promises to never forsake me or leave me. I often fail in my new life, but His grace extends to cover all of my failures and His forgiveness is immediate and sure..
My heart felt wish for all of you is that you have a very Merry Christmas and for my Jewish friend Happy Hanukkah! And for all I pray for a very fruitful and Happy New Year!
A Walk Through the Shop
Frank Parker heat shrinking a connection
Frank Roberts checking voltages on a radio
Doc Holliday installing a radio in a console cabinet
Dee Haynes rewinding a speaker coil
Joe Minor teaching a radio class in November