March 2024

The Superflex

A Publication of the Alabama Historical Radio Society     March 2024



Our next monthly business meeting at the Shop and via Zoom will be Monday evening, March 25th at 7:00 PM with VP Steven Westbrook presiding, again! Last month, I was on a trip to Vietnam and, as penance, will be taking my wife to the English countryside that week.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 863 3057 9924

Passcode: 631140

The Society’s Board of Directors held its first quarter 2024 meeting on Tuesday, March 12th. All 4 of the Officers and 6 of 9 Directors were in attendance. At the Board meeting, it was recommended we set up similar goal-specific events that will be publicized in advance and foster member engagement. Be on the lookout for upcoming opportunities. A copy of the minutes of the meeting is published below.

Let me make one more appeal to send your 2024 annual dues if you’ve not done so this year. They are still only $25.00 by check, cash (in-person or by mail), or PayPal via our website. This is how we keep the tubes glowing, so thanks.

Boyd Bailey’s electronics class on Saturday, March 3rd was devoted to tube testers. I was off the coast of Vietnam, but was able to stream it with no appreciable lag. Unfortunately, it began at 10:00 PM local and I had to watch on my iPhone. The April class and topic will be announced in late March or early April.

Our next auction will likely be held in late April or early May, as we restock and prepare for Legends of Broadcast.

This opening of the first weekend in March allowed us to display at the Alabama Record Collectors Association meeting in Gardendale. Members Steven Westbrook, Tom Killian & Mike Woodruff, attended to help introduce AHRS to attendees. AHRS Member, Skip Leslie serves as VP of the ARCA.

The BirmingHAMfest was held by the Birmingham Amateur Radio Club on Friday, March 15th(4:00-7:00 PM) and Saturday, the 16th (8:30AM-4:00 PM), 2024, at the Trussville Civic Center. We had 6 tables with 5 devoted to sales items and one devoted to a display of the Society’s Zenith TransOceanic radio (TOs) collection. Member Russ McGuire with help from Dave Cisco presented a forum on their love of, and accomplishments in, DX-ing. We hope to present the forum at other Ham-related venues soon.

Russ McGuire presenting his portion of the DXing Forum 

Trans-Oceanic Radio Display with Dave Cisco in the background
Willie Henderson and Ray Giles working the sales tables
Willie Henderson's St. Patty’s donut donation.
Robert Cain as Kilroy.
AHRS Member Robert Cain selling books
Tom Killian selling parts
AHRS Vice -President Steven Westbrook being presented the annual Citizenship Award by the Birmingham Amateur Radio Club at the BirmigHAMfest

Our project to catalog library and radio holdings & archives is progressing. We have purchased and placed into service a professional-grade book and document scanner. This will serve our archiving of documents unique to the AHRS, including rare books and periodicals.

It is not too early to mark your calendar for our annual Legends of Broadcast luncheon to be held Thursday, April 18th, 2024. Details will be available soon.

In keeping with our mission as a historical society, we were recently able to provide antique radios for inclusion in a documentary being produced by local filmmaker Greg Womble. He is producing a film on Nazi spies in New York City during World War II. Details next month.

In closing, my trip to Vietnam was interesting, both on a cultural and historical basis. I did see some radio and teletype equipment (likely from the late ‘60’s to mid-70’s) in the underground bunker at the former South Vietnam presidential office. Sadly, my photos were corrupted…. The only other radio of historical interest was owned by Ho Chi Minh and on display at the Hanoi museum dedicated to him. We were in Saigon and Hanoi for a few days each with a cruise stopping at ports along the way, eg, Da Nang, Na Trang, Hue, and Hoi An. One thing I brought back was coffee from the central highlands. One interesting type is weasel coffee. The real stuff is very expensive, and the beans are “processed” by a weasel (civet cat). There are concerns about how the animals are treated but what I purchased was not pricey and made from beans “a weasel would have chosen to eat”….

Each of us was given a hat by our tour guide in Saigon. No, it did not follow me home—too bulky. The locals typically call it Saigon, rather than the official name, Ho Chi Minh City. 
I did not expect to see a young man with an LSU shirt on the street in Hanoi…
I traveled with the University of Texas alumni group. Perhaps, doing 4 years of residency at the Medical Branch in Galveston “qualified” me. The guards outside the former presidential office (background) did not want any photos, so the guide erased all but this one. I am barely visible 3rd from the left in the rear.
“Hanoi Hilton” entrance, now largely gone but converted to a museum. It was originally built by the French.
This is my only surviving photo of an old radio; it was owned by Ho Chi Minh. I shot this one across the room its plastic case.

I did not have time to buy any of the skin cream for my wife at a local pharmacy, but it is available online and Mother’s Day is approaching.
Saigon’s skyline. The city is a mixture of small markets, shops, and homes and modern high-rises. It is teaming with people (estimated 9-10 million) and 6+ million scooters. Hanoi is smaller and less frenetic as well as the capital. Vietnam is an admixture of entrepreneurs, building, tourism, and Communist rule.

Respectfully submitted,


President, AHRS

Notes from Society Board of Directors Meeting

Quorum/members in attendance: All 4 officers [Wag, Westbrook, Woodruff, Shook]; 6/9 Directors [Cisco, Outland, Johnson, Henderson, Giles, Killian with Holladay excused]

Prior minutes: File “Agenda AHRS Board meeting 9/26/23-Final w notes” approved 10/15/23. No additions

Items for consideration

·       Board of Directors

o   Election of new Directors 2024-2026: Dave Cisco, Charles McCrary, John Outland

o   Selection of Chair Dave Cisco indicated he wished to retire as board chair and the members present discussed a potential successor. None was forthcoming. The motion passed was for him to remain temporarily in the position, and that the board would try to identify a current member who would assume the position. Consideration of the three members not present was given, but no recommendation made to approach as potential chair. Also discussed that strategically going forward, members of the board rotating off in 2024 should be considered for re nomination with consideration that one of these nominees might potentially assume the chair position.

·       Year-end board meeting and social summary All attendees are aware of the event and no further elaboration needed

o   Attendance; All officers and term-expired Board members reelected; Summary of prior year activities

·       CMTE-updates

o   Library

§  Donations:

·       Library books & Radios from Stanley/Sue Adams, TN A list has been circulated to be vetted and investigated. Maurice Lovelady has donated books from the Long collection.

·       Likely new books at Dayton from AWA? The board discussed and approved by motion potential expenditure for book purchases of up to $1000 in aggregate

·       Current library space was discussed and several shelves of material requires review for possible retention or removal from the collection. Recommended that the library committee [Dave Cisco, Dee Haynes, Tom Killian, and Steven Westbrook& Ray Giles] review this material.

§  Status of library/museum upgrade initiatives, incl proposed timeline and fiscal impact: ACTION:

·       Software options

o   Status of software for PC

o   PastPerfect the board reaffirmed our plan to begin populating PP based on the equipment database maintained by Steven Westbrook; it would be updated and appropriate fields in PP created to allow crosswalk of cells in the spreadsheet to their appropriate counterparts on PP. Thereafter, the library would be addressed, including creation of a consolidated database, and plans for conversion to PP.

·       Hardware:

o   Purchase of dedicated laptop PC, DVD drive, external HD backups at present, the equipment is in care of Robert Cain with the intent of obtaining needed software (EG, Office 365, antiviral, etc.). The equipment will then be securely stored at shop with a back-up off site. A book scanner was secured. CZUR 24 pro (purchased R Waguespack via Amazon and reimbursed) which has arrived at the shop and which will be unpacked and activated shortly to assure its functionality. Thereafter, oral material scanning will be performed as indicated, and the resulting data maintained on the dedicated laptop.

·       Grant receipts and potential applications SEE discussion under financials

o   Holle

o   McCrary Family FDN

o   RC&D

·       Strategic partners: AASLH, AWA, ADAH, possible intern recommendations from UAB medical librarian information item only

o   Museums & Exhibits

§  Museum improvements: Per Chair Dee H : new lights and placards have been installed in most of the cabinets with two pending, including one away from a power outlet for which battery power is being installed for lighting

§  Status of off-site exhibits: To verify status, including spinet radio at AL Power; other sites, Gadsden?  Heart Dixie RR?

ACTION: these have been discussed and additional efforts should be made to identify items in Gadsden [individual TBD) and at the heart of Dixie Railroad Museum [John Outland to lead)

§  New off-site exhibits, eg, airports, McWane: only new one scheduled is at the Homewood library November 2024


·       Follow-up: Frank Roberts electroshock machine has gone to UAB medical museum and we have received accession papers; Dee telescope to Mobile museum with accession letter

·       Since the last board meeting display items, including posters and visuals, from the ADAH exhibit Alabama Radio Moments have been placed at the shop


o   Shop: T Killian, R Giles, J Outland:

§  sorting knobs, solid state devices complete and beginning bulbs and fuses; and tubes with inventory process

§  TV7 tube testers have been fitted with socket savers and are in good working order; Feb 2024 electronic class on tube tester background

§  Shop projects have been going well and equipment functioning as expected with adequate parts in our inventory. Upcoming project will be to continue sorting miscellaneous parts and to continue to refine the tube storage.

§  Recently 13 consoles that were felt on restorable were given away for disposable and the remaining doesn’t or so that remain have been solid and labeled

§  ACTION: It anticipated that additional “sorting parties” every month or two will be organized and planned specifically with advanced announcements to call for volunteers

o   Technology

§  Upgrades for Zoom: Improved video, audio with use of MacBook and webcam; functional “white PC”

Upgrades to website

o   PR/Outreach

§  CMTE: Need action for formal CMTE no volunteer to spearhead the effort voiced during the meeting.

§  Educational programs: contact TV station(s), eg ABC 33/30?


·       AHRS agreed in principle to speak to Gadsden club but no firm volunteers or topic; to respond to Gadsden club: consider forum to be given at 2024 hamfest by Russ McGuire/Dave Cisco on DX’ing

·       Need to create group to create/update talks for the public

·       Newsletters: announcement to the board for recommended improvements as well as article topics to include. None volunteered during the meeting. Include more photos in the newsletters.

§  Radio electronics classes monthly continue B Bailey

§  Networking/joint events: Displayed at AL record collectors [excellent response to display Mar 2024]; upcoming BHMFest [2024 BHMFest forum by Russ McGuire/D Cisco on DX’ing Joined MAARC; continued association with AWA]

ACTIONS: Consider working with the AL Record Collectors in future [typically 1stSat in March] as well as possibly Birmingham group [August]

§  ABA Detrola radio donation to ABA ACTION: Contact Sharon Tinsley re participation with Legends

§  Business meeting improvements: Business meetings on zoom now our standard and working well

§  Assistance given to documentary film maker Lex Gillespie for documentary of black radio, made for national distribution such as History Channel; member Shelly Stewart was interviewed here at the shop

§  Met with Bale Baptiste, head of communication department at Miles College who is also involved on the documentary film mentioned above (he will attend Legends of Broadcast this year)

§  Recently contacted by documentary film maker Greg Womble, who is producing film on Nazi spies in New York City during World War II. He needed a broadcast table radio and a transmitter that looked like something the spies would have built and used in New York.

·       Policy or planning CMTEs

o   Potential changes in Bylaws?

·       Fiscal issues

o   Auctions continue: Latest late Jan;


§  due to other activities and need to select items, the next auction will be likely in late April (27?) Or in May (12?)

§  Consideration should be given to allowing members to peruse our stored holdings to allow them to directly purchase items rather than wait for an auction. Such items should be identified ahead of time if at all possible.

§  The society should also inventory our holdings to look for potential duplicates that might be considered for sale at hamfest or auction (EG, TO’s)

o   New ventures, eg Facebook marketplace or groups

ACTIONS: Investigate need to collect sales taxes on Facebook marketplace or our auctions [eg our accountant] or to have a business license. Identify interested member(s) to trial 1-2 sales of items, eg, non-sellers at hamfests, to determine the feasibility of using this model?

o   Tracking of income/expenses differently?

§  RC&D dedicated to PastPerfect project

§  Holle Family Foundation donation 2023: Used for radio acquisition.

§  Chas McCrary gift $ 2023. Used for radio acquisition.

ACTIONS: Strong feeling amongst the board that we need to track future, and perhaps prior, purchases by amount spent, and if they were to be associated with specific grant monies. Recommend the finance committee [Tom Killian, Dave Cisco, and Julian Brook with Michael Woodruff] meet to determine if this can be done with our existing QuickBooks program or whether other accounting methods might be advised;  this decision-making would include speaking with the AHRS accountant after tax season is over

o   Current cash and holdings in capital fund, AL Power Credit Union:

§  M Woodruff treasurer UPDATE: $68K in 13 mo CD at just over 5% yield;

§  Monthly expenses, average approximately $3K

§  Checking account currently has $40,414. It was advised that $20K added to our CD or a new one purchased; this should guarantee sufficient operating funds for months to come

§  Signatories: at the time the CDs were purchased at the power company, credit union, Dee H and Tom Killian removed as authorized signatories; added new signatories to include the Treasurer and President, Vice President. Ray Giles volunteered to be a Board designee.

§  AHRS cards are Debit, not Credit, cards and have no PIN requirement for use; this is concerning such that exposure of the debit card number could result in losses in the societies checking account

ACTION: ideally, the finance committee should address the following: AHRS cards will be required to have a PIN for all transactions or be converted to credit cards with appropriate signatories and authorized representatives. Define need for credit and/or debit cards; optimal to deal with expenses purchased by members other than the treasurer

·       Officers’ updates: Pres, VP, Secretary, Treasurer: No additional

·       Events of significance:

o   Hamfests:

§  Birmingham: 3/15-16/2024 discussed above;

ACTION: discuss if we should plan to have a display for each hand fest, possibly themed (EG Heathkit, transoceanic, radio, specific, such as for the code talker.)

§  Huntsville August

§  Montgomery Nov 2023

o   Legends of Broadcast: Thurs morning Apr 18

ACTION: Confirm items with Skip Leslie &Letter to Sharon Tinsley ABA

·       Strategic plan action items

o   Future formal strategic planning session, incl facilitators:

o   Website upgrades:

§  AASLH involvement: Information item: Consideration for attendance at annual meeting fall 2024 in Mobile

§  Meet with AL Power President Jeffrey Peoples, leadership ACTION: Leadership and Board members feel we need to reach out to Charles McCrary for guidance on best way to achieve this goal.

·       Next quarter goals: No additional voiced

·       New/Other business: Steven Westbrook: noted that other organizations, such as the record collectors, donate to schools, e.g., bands or other endeavors; should we consider similar donations or grants in our scope of interest. If so, how should these be financed?

Next meeting: Scheduled for Q3, July 2024 on a Tuesday at the Shop


Ratified by Board and entered into AHRS records - PENDING

Submitted by

Richard W Waguespack, President AHRS

Restoration at the AHRS Shop

Several months ago, we were contacted by a local lady inquiring about repairing a console radio that belonged to her father, now deceased. She had fond memories of this radio and her father. She brought the radio to the shop and member Maurice Hill took a first look. His first comment was “I think the radio may sound better if it had a speaker?” A second glance showed the radio was missing, not only the speaker, but also the speaker mounting board and grill cloth. Maurice supplied the correct speaker from his home “stash” and after he replaced a few parts the console sounded fabulous. Member Grady Shook took the radio to his home shop. He fabricated and installed a new custom speaker mounted board and installed the new grill cloth and the speaker. After he brought the unit back to the shop, member Ray Giles worked miracles, cleaning and polishing the case. Wonderful job guys!

Ray Giles and Grady Shook with the restored radio (Maurice Hill not pictured)

Alabama Records Collectors Show

The Society had a booth at the 43th annual Alabama Record Collectors Association show at the Gardendale Civic Center. We displayed information about the Society and several antique phonographs. We also give away four door prizes to four lucky winners.

Could this be John Lennon examining the selection of Beatles vinyl records offered at the show?
One of the door prize winners at the ARCA show

You can not make this stuff up….. The Rest of the Story!

Last month we posted a letter from the Federal Communications Commision (FCC) to radio station WALA in Mobile, Alabama, dated October 13, 1949, referencing the broadcasting of a “joke” which contained a reportedly objectionable double entendre. As promised, here is the station’s and broadcaster’s response.

Response letter from H. K. Martin of WALA to the FCC
Response Letter from broadcaster Ross Smitherman to WALA station owner.

Quote of the Month

“Chance favors the prepared mind”

-Louis Pasteur

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 members meetings are on the fourth Monday night starting at 7:00 PM with the Executive Meeting starting 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, then we agree on an alternative 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.

Currently the class is studying advance topics relating to troubleshooting and project radio repair. We are retooling our website in hopes of archiving prior classes for those who may have missed a prior class. Email will provide timely details on date, topics & links.

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, Alabama 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. Within the next few months we hope to update our website and add additional content and new capabilities

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 Editor/Webmaster – Steven Westbrook

(205) 305-0679

Web Address:

E-mail Address:

Youtube Channel:Alabama Historical Radio Society - YouTube