August 2023



Our next monthly business meeting will be Monday, August 28th at 7:00 PM, with officers and board members having their pre-meet at 6:30 PM. This meeting will be available both in person at the Shop and via Zoom at the link we will send out ahead of the function. My thanks to Steven Westbrook for taking care of things in July whilst I was in England eating pub food; he will be in Northern Ireland visiting family for the second half of the month, a well-deserved vacation.

The Navajo code talker radio mentioned last month was on display at the AHRS exhibit, August 11th during the annual Alabama Broadcasters Association Convention at Ross Bridge near Birmingham. We thank Sharon Tinsley and the ABA for the opportunity to attend and AHRS members Skip Leslie, Janice Young and Steven Westbrook for manning the booth.

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan declared Aug. 14 as National Code Talkers Day. In 2000, the Honoring the Navajo Code Talkers Act was signed into law, and by 2001, the Navajo Code Talkers were honored with Congressional Gold and Silver Medals.
AHRS Display at the 2023 Alabama Broadcasters Association Convention
Steven Westbrook, Janice Young & Skip Leslie at the 2023 Alabama Broadcasters Association Convention

Member Frank Roberts came upon the medical device shown below. After a bit of online detective work, it was identified as a battery-powered ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) unit! Historically, this type of treatment was used for patients with major depression and other mental illnesses, especially before current medications became available. There is a battery compartment beneath the console and the paddles are missing. I did a brief literature search and found a case report from 2006 regarding a couple of patients who attempted to self-administer ECT with a homemade device [J ECT. 2006 Sep;22(3):226-7]. Unsurprisingly, both sustained serious burns of their temples. Suffice it to say, we will not attempt to activate this one…

Do not forget the upcoming Huntsville Hamfest at the Von Braun Center South Hall Saturday, August 19th from 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM ( We can certainly use volunteers on the day we exhibit. We plan to preload Friday afternoon at about 4:00 PM and leave the Shop at 6:00 AM Saturday. We hope to be back to the shop by early evening. Contact me by email if you can assist, either in Birmingham or Huntsville.

On Wednesday August 16th from 6:00 -7:00 PM at the Homewood Public Library, Dave Cisco and I are giving a talk on radio history, to include the role of “Pop” Ansley, with an emphasis on radio history linked to the Homewood, Alabama area. Save the date and plan to attend, ideally wearing your AHRS shirt.

A large shout-out is due AHRS member Ken Smith. Recently he revamped the Alabama Historical Radio Society’s Channel on Youtube and moved many of our videos into one spot. We have many raw videos from previous AHRS events and lectures that need to the edited and prepared for posting to our Channel. If you are willing to assist with this endeavor, please let us know.

The last electronics class at the Shop was on Saturday, August 12th with Boyd Bailey nearly finishing his FM radio series. The next class will be Saturday, September 9th, since we will skip the Labor Day weekend. The Shop is generally open on September 2nd, but an email will be sent out to confirm the planned opening.

Our next members’ auction date will likely be September 19th. We plan to have some great items available. As usual, we will send an email with details and a catalog listing the offerings, when we get closer to the event date.

Dave Cisco found the radio above, a 1939 Zenith multiband console, and bought it for a few dollars. Member Doc Holladay has volunteered to restore it. A buyer has been identified and a sizeable portion of the sale price will be donated back to the Society. Thanks to you for this most generous effort!

Lest we forget, the museum committee is getting close to completing its refurbishing of the display cabinets at the Don Kresge Memorial Radio Museum in the Alabama Power Company atrium. Once the final lighting is installed, any faded or damaged display placards will be reprinted, and the update completed. We have rotated some items and plan to do so periodically in the future.

For the upcoming newsletter, I will ask John Outland to update us on the tube inventory and storage system.

Respectfully submitted and hoping for some cooler weather,


President, AHRS,

AHRS Member Spotlight

AHRS Member Skip Leslie filling in for the Master of the Airwaves, the ilustrious DJ, Dr. Dax Davis at the control board of WZAL in beautiful Alabaster, Alabama

AHRS Member Skip Leslie filling in for the Master of the Airwaves, the illustrious DJ, Dr. Dax Davis at the control board of WZAL in beautiful Alabaster, Alabama

Antenna Control System for WZAL Notice Joe Rumore’s red phone on the right with a photo of his family in the middle of the dial
Back office of WZAL

Quote of the Month

“History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake” - James Joyce, Irish Novelist & Poet

We meet every Saturday (unless a Holiday weekend) at 8:30 A.M. until around 11:30 A.M., at the one-story AHRS Shop at the corner of 8th Avenue North and 18th Street, (1801 8th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203). Please use the rear (Southeast) entrance.

The Shop is open on Tuesdays at 8:30 A.M. until around 11:30 A.M. Note that parking can be a problem on Tuesdays, so you may have to find street parking occasionally.

Regular monthly meetings will resume on the fourth Monday night at 6:30 PM

Please come join us!

The electronics classes are generally on “Zoom” and “in-person” at the AHRS Shop, typically the first Saturday of each month (except when something special is taking place and then we agree on a different Saturday.

Check your emails for the schedule and how to participate.

We start from the beginning Ohms Law, inductors, resistor and Capacitors color codes, as well as what each component does within the radio circuits. We also teach how to use test equipment used in the repairing of radios. We teach troubleshooting radio troubles, as well as how to read a radio diagram. There are coil winding classes, and one-on-one repair help. Come join these classes!

Membership dues are $25.00 a year, payable beginning in January. If you have questions about your dues, you can contact Treasurer Mike Woodruff at 205-823-7204. Dues can be mailed to AHRS at P.O. Box 131418, Birmingham AL 35213 or paid on-line at

Be sure and check out our website at, which has copies of all newsletters from 2006 to the present (click on News), videos, photo galleries, museum, Old Time Radio columns, Projects, Reading Rooms, Archives, and Contact Information

President – Richard “Wag” Waguespack

(205) 531-9528

Vice President – Steven Westbrook

(205) 305-0679

Recording Secretary – Grady Shook

(205) 281-3007

Treasurer – Mike Woodruff

(205) 823-7204

Boyd Bailey, Member and Instructor

(334) 412-6996

Newsletter – Steven Westbrook

Web Address:

E-mail Address: