The hobby area is small, about 4 m2 as mentioned, but organized very efficiently. On the left of the Radio Corner you see the high cupboard with many radios, and behind it (barely visible) the Siemens Debeg ready for DX-listening. Behind the blue curtain there are some radios waiting for repairs, and a few parts sets and boxes of parts. To the right is my workbench, with two shelves of spare parts above it, some meters and test wires, and sockets for mains power (230V grounded and ungrounded) and a VHF/UHF antenna terminal.
Many photos of the smaller radios are made simply on the workbench, the
white support and back make it quite well on pictures.
By far my most important and most used measuring instrument is the
Velleman digital multimeter depicted here.
Actually, a simple one measuring only DC and AC volts suffices to
diagnose most radio faults, say a 90% or so.
But to cure the next 5%, the current, resistance, capacity,
frequency measurement, and continuity testing come very handy, and to
satisfy my curiosity at some times it also measures temperatures.
By the way, I have several multimeters so as to be able to measure
various sources simultaneously.
I am usually quite satisfied with the meters, except that I don't like
the meter pins that come with them.
I always replace the pins by banana plugs, on which I can stick clips
The standard pins are unhandy and even dangerous because you have to
hold the pins agains the contacts while measuring.
So what do we use for the last 5% of defective radios?
Since I bought it in 1998, the tube tester
enjoyed increasing popularity in my repairs.
I realise that testing a tube is far from the final word on its
usability, because often a tube tests bad but behaves good and vice
An often heard advice is to replace the suspected tube with a good one.
But how often I simply don't have a good one, but only can hunt for one
when the tube is proven to be bad!
My tester is just an emission tester, of the simplest type, but it gives
me very useful information about the condition of a tube.
I very much appreciate this oscilloscope, both for playing with signals and see what happens, but also for cases where a radio does play, but the sound is distorted or weak. I trace the signals with it and see if all the expected stuff (modulated RF, oscillator signal, audio) is there and looks right.
Inside is a black unit (with orange label) containing a gas flame heating water, which circulates to all places in the house through flat panels. The panels, called radiators, become hot and heat the area. The water cools down because heat is transferred to the room, and fed back through other pipes to the stove. Observe that this is a closed system: the water circulates all the time. (There is provision for refilling the circuit if the pressure becomes too low.) A heat exchanger also warms water for an open system, namely for showering; a tank of hot water is kept as a buffer in styrofoam (yellow).
The machine operates entirely automatic, including changing temperatures in the house between day and night (different times on Sunday), it just blinks a few lights when it is unhappy and then I caress it a bit from time to time. Nice machine, I can recommend it to everybody living in cold places.