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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Radio Ace Vintage Radio Kit Help

Reviews Summary for Radio Ace Vintage Radio Kit
Radio Ace Vintage Radio Kit Reviews: 4 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $109.00
Description: General description posted on various web sites: Build a nostalgic radio with a real vacuum tube and explore the airwaves as they did in the 1930?s! Historic technology comes to life again with 30 engaging experiments. Assembling this radio is a fun project for radiomen, tinkers and gadget-buffs of all ages. Once your radio is up and running, hunting for radio transmissions becomes a fun challenge. While learning how the radio works, you will discover the fundamental parts of electrical circuits. The radio is pre-wired for easy assembly. Users need only to plug in the various components, attach an antenna and a ground wire, and make tuning adjustments to get the radio working. The wooden base is beautifully finished with a polished cherry stain and golden labels for an authentic look. The vacuum tube glows with a soft orange glow when you are using it!
Product is in production.
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KC5NWS Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2008 08:57 Send this review to a friend
nice  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Very simple to set up, works fine .Makes a nice conversation piece.
WB0ATB Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2007 12:34 Send this review to a friend
"A ONE-TUBE RADIO WITH CLASS"  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just purchased a " Radio Ace Vintage Radio Kit" for my grandson. It all arrived as advertised. The description of the unit as a "kit" is not exactly accurate. The unit is all assembled except for placing the coil, batteries, and tube into their proper places. Plug in the earphone jack and your all set to go. Right out of the box with the broadcast band coil plugged in we could receive 4 (four) local AM stations. The stations were received without any add on or external antennas. Tuning is not very difficult once you get the knack of tuning a regenerative type receiver. Listen for the whistle or hiss and adjust the feedback control as required. Using the SW (shortwave) coil is alot more tricky and requires alot more care and patience. The included directions point this out very well. The SW receiving will require an efficent outside long wire antenna for satisfactory results. Night time receiving enhances the short wave listening results (at least it did in my case).

All in all the radio brought back alot of pleasant memories when I was a teenager building and using crystal and tube receivers. The included instruction and experiment booklet was very well written with basic electronics and an overview of how the radio works. Various radio and electronic terms are described and explained, so young and old alike can understand it without any problems. An amble supply of photographs of the radio and its parts are also included in the "Experiment Manual". I highly recommend the radio unit for the young persons first radio and then move on to various kits that they assemble themselves.

If nothing else, the general appearance of the radio unit in its cherry wood case with gold lettering is very eye catching and would make an excellant conversation piece for any "Ham Shack"

I would suggest that Thames & Kosmos (manufacture or company selling the unit) offer for purchase different coils for the non-experienced radio purchaser (young people) to enhance the receiving capability and value of the radio. Most Amateur Radio operators would not have any problems making their own coils.

" A JOURNEY BACK IN TIME" The Radio Ace Vintage Radio Kit
CAPNROB97 Rating: 5/5 Jan 29, 2007 18:22 Send this review to a friend
Nice overall package  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received this over the weekend, and really am enjoying it so far.

I was interested in this as I never owned a vacuum tube radio before, the wood base is a nice touch.

For me, the 'Experiment Manual' is the perfect finishing touch to this radio. It really explains the theory in an easy to digest format.

I hooked up a amplified computer speaker set and listened to an AM talk radio channel all afternoon. Once I was tuned in, no 'touch-up' tuning was required. I will tackle SW this weekend.

I will wire in a 12 V 'wall-wart' next, to save on bateries.

This will never be a 'main' radio for anyone, but it is fun to do 'old-school' once and a while.
K2ROK Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2006 09:22 Send this review to a friend
Educational, fun and nostalgic  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have to applaud Thames and Kosmos for putting together not only a great product, but including top-notch documentation that explains radio theory in such a simple, yet informative manner. This is truly an educational product that even for the veteran ham radio operator or shortwave enthusiast brings fun to the forefront.

First, the packaging is excellent. The beautiful wood case is soundly protected, and all the parts are carefully secured in plastic bags. The receiver is mostly pre-assembled, so it is a matter of putting in the eight AA batteries, picking your coil (you have two), attaching the antenna to one of three posts and of course placing the ECC82 tube in its socket (it took some force to get it secured, so be careful). I have found the ground wire enhances reception too. The manual has several suggestions for improving reception.

While it is called a kit, note that this is not an Elecraft-like kit. It is truly meant for someone with no electronics background. There no need to break out a soldering iron or know resistor codes. That does not diminish the fun factor though. What is great is the fact it does include a circuit description, diagrams and overview of circuit symbols. There's a beginners explanation of how a tube works, resonant circuits, coils, capacitors, the audion, selectivity, feedback, Morse code, single side band and ideas for constructing your own coils. The ARRL education department should be promoting this product if they aren't. This documentation (called the "experiment manual") really enhances the product presentation. If you have a family member or friend who is interested in how radio transmission and reception works, at its most-basic level, this manual explains it with simple terms and illustrations. It seems obvious to me that someone with a strong writing background authored the manual. It is a nice departure from typical manuals in that it is written with some personality. It combines the "how to" with "why" in a way that captures the fun of radio. It would be nice to see a typical ham radio manual of this day and age take some cues from Thames and Kosmos.

So, let's get to the main point. How does it perform? Like a radio of that day and age. It's no Ten Tec in terms of reception of course, so you'll have to be patient as you hunt and peck for stations and experiment with different antennas. There's plenty of tweaking the tuning and feedback dials. Here's what I have found:

AM broadcast reception is only useful in my situation at night. It was sort of thrilling to land on my first station, which was CHML 900, which happened to be playing old time radio shows on Christmas night. I guess it sort of fit the entire vintage theme!

Shortwave reception is fun. Reception is decent day and night. There's a lot of tweaking involved to get the right sound. Part of the fun of this radio is the challenge and the search for the right settings. Add to that the glow of the tube and the vintage look, it's a great product that can best be described as fun.


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