Thursday, September 25, 2014

Radcom Archives

I first joined the RSGB 45 years ago when I was 15 years old in 1969 as an associate member - A6412
Every month I received a copy of 'Radio Communication' the RSGB's magazine, often waiting for the postman to arrive. I kept every copy up until about 1990 when I lost interest in the hobby and concentrated on my new teaching career. I kept all the magazines in the attic, but in a moment of madness I decided to throw them away, thinking that I would never use them again. I remember taking them all to the recycling centre and putting them one by one into the metal skip.

Years later, when I renewed my interest in amateur radio and re-joined the RSGB, I regretted throwing those magazines away. Many of the projects that I built were in those magazines and now as I think back to those constructing days I feel at a loss.

A couple of weeks ago I bought myself a CD Rom version of the first years of my RadCom magazines from the RSGB bookstore and am now enjoying browsing through five years (1970 -75) of mags. Brings back lots of memories looking at the circuits, articles and advertisements. I remember 'sending off' orders to places like Bambers, Birkitts, Garex and Amateur Radio Bulk Buying Group. Posting the orders and waiting sometimes weeks for the goods to return! How things have changed.

I may buy the next five years of RadCom, only problem is that each CD costs around £27 and I feel a bit niffed that I have to pay all over again for the magazines. The CD's are also as old as some of the magazines in them quoting Windows 95 and Windows 2000 to run. Includes a heavily outdated copy of  Adobe reader. I wonder if the RSGB would consider offering these CD archives at a discount (or free) to amateurs like myself and others who once had a complete set of magazines, but were foolish enough to throw them away!

I sent the above text as a letter to the RSGB and received a reply:


Thanks for getting in touch and expressing your views. I am responsible for the RSGB CDs and so thought I would get back to you to outline our current plans here. Essentially as of the 1st Oct (tomorrow) we are planning to open the 10 year archive of RadCom articles. This is an online resource for members (only) that will allow you to search RadCom articles from the last 10 years in a variety of ways. This builds on the work of recent years where we have been holding a rolling year of complete RadCom magazines on our website. We will continue to offer the CDs as a more convenient way to keep the archives. As you have already surmised these are not being updated and once the existing stock is exhausted there is no plan to continue them although we may do the annual CDs for a while yet. In time we may eventually reach the point of having the entire RadCom archive available online but that is a major task with a large number of difficulties. However it is the plan to offer it all in time – free to members.

Hopefully that clarifies the situation for you and again thanks for taking the time to write to us.

Best Regards
Mark Allgar, M1MPA
Commercial & Membership Manager
Radio Society of Great Britain

A section from 1975 Radio Communication showing the Club News. At the time I was secretary of the Bolton and District Amateur Radio Society (B&DARS)

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