Present-day commercial Amateur Radio equipment has reached a level of complexity that often requires specialized test and troubleshooting equipment to repair or align. Modern component manufacturing technology such as surface-mount devices (SMDs) has come into such common use that a modular approach to equipment repair has now become customary. Rather than troubleshoot and replace a defective component, many manufacturers now prefer to swap out an entire module.
Many amateurs still prefer to repair and adjust their own equipment and covet the days when it was easier to do so. This is but one reason for the surge in attention to vintage radio operating and collecting. Some others have to do with equipment cost, availability, rarity and, of course, nostalgia. Many of these radios are affectionately called “boat anchors” by their vintage radio aficionados, since early radio gear tends to be relatively large and heavy. Some enthusiasts enjoy the challenge of collecting and restoring older radios, sometimes striving to bring the equipment back to its original factory condition.
Other vintage radio enthusiasts may have a parallel interest in conventional AM voice transmission. These activities take vintage radio fans back to an era when amateurs knew how their equipment worked and repaired it when it didn’t.