Preface to Book 3

Many Historic Radio Society of Australia (HRSA) members collect and own radio sets from the early days of radio and often rely on their society for technical information to assist them in restoring their sets.

Over the 35 years the club has been operating, much technical information has been gathered as it became available, and thus saved from an otherwise ignominious end!

The early days of radio saw a great deal of technical information, circuits, schematics and technical information published in a plethora of journals, newspapers and books of the day.

Radio was a fascinating concept and the general public were encouraged by such information to get involved by making their own sets.

Catalogues of the necessary parts were published, and over the early years much experimentation by amateurs was achieved by making and then improving the radios of the day.

Surely we all had the intense fun of building our first crystal set, putting up the requisite high aerial, finding a suitable earth connection, then the excitement of twiddling with the cat’s whisker and tuning capacitor until the magic of radio was our own joy - marvellous!

Today, some sixty to ninety years later we still get the same joy from restoring our radios, many of which are older than we are.

The catalogues, technical information, manuals and circuit information for those sets are always in great demand and the need is mostly met by the famous AORSM books which were published annually from 1937 to 1955 (with the exception of some second world war years), and they still serve us well; however they were not exhaustive in the selection of circuits published, and consequently there are a great deal of radio sets produced, technical information for which was not published in AORSM books.

The founder of HRSA, Ray Kelly was not only an incredible resource in his personal knowledge but had collected a very comprehensive library of radio technical information much of which was no longer available in the public realm.

He was instrumental in compiling no less than two volumes of radio circuits which were known to be missing from the AORSM books.

Later he also compiled several volumes of circuits for radios manufactured after the AORSM ceased publishing in 1955, for radios manufactured from 1956 to 1960.

The HRSA commenced in 1982.

Total membership over the years has exceeded 2960.

The current 2017 membership is 1216 and is increasing each year.

The Society’s resources include a library of early information, much of which has been photocopied from journals and other publications of the past, and as such are sometimes crooked, some have weak often faded text, some have suffered damage from careless binding where punchings have unfortunately deleted text and image margins to their detriment; however most have been well preserved, and in regard to the ones that have suffered the ravages of collection, some information is better than none especially when such information is very scarce and valuable.

I intend to digitise, collate, straighten, compile and index much of the vital technical information collected by the society, and publish a collection of HRSA Books in 2017.

There will possibly be some omissions in continuity of some of the Journals, but we have what we have, and with a second edition hopefully any such matters can be corrected.

HRSA Book One will consist of technical information as follows:

  • Radio Trade Annual 1938 - 1939
  • Tasma and Healing early Service Data HRSA Book Two - mainly from trade journals from 1937 to 1944, as follows:
  • Radio Review of Australia 1937 - 1938
  • Radio Retailer of Australia 1937 - 1938
  • Radio and Electrical Retailer 1941 - 1944
  • Radio and Electrical Merchant 1934 - 1936
  • Radio Technician 1939 - 1941 Book Three will be of Circuits Missing From AORSM together with Prices and Illustrations of Receivers from 1947 to 1949.

    This book will be a re-mastered, edited and fully indexed publication of “Those Missing Radio Service Manuals 1939 - 1942” put together for the HRSA by Ray Kelly in the late 1990’s.

    HRSA Book Four to Six will be fully indexed versions of service information for radio receivers manufactured from 1956 to 1960.

    The information in the latter books was originally compiled by founding member Ray Kelly and first published from 1997 to 2001.

    I also intend to publish a Master Index to all HRSA Books which will indicate with clarity if a circuit is available for a certain brand and model, and exactly where to find it.

    This Master Index would be very useful if it could be included on the HRSA web page, but that may be for a later day.

    Philip Leahy
    Melbourne March 2017.
    Member 296.