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Any value in old CQ, QST, 73, etc. magazines?

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by W7UUU, Dec 28, 2012.

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  1. W7UUU

    W7UUU Platinum Subscriber Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have zillions.... I'm thinking I'll just take them all to the recycle place. I've been
    hanging onto these magazines for DECADES. BOXES of them - QST, CQ, 73, and
    all the "electronics hobbyist" mags of the era as well - Popular Electronics, Electronics
    Experimenter, blah blah blah. The VAST MAJORITY of any technical info has been
    available on the 'net for a long time now... not exactly easy to reference old magazines.

    Do people still read these at all? Any point in offering them up for cheap locally?

    Or should I just take them to the recycle box and be done with it?

  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    QST archives going back to the beginning of time are all on line.

    73 archives are all on line, also.

    However, CQ archives are owned by Buckmaster and they charge for access. That might change tomorrow, but AFAIK it's true today. As such, those issues may be worth more than others because there is no (today) free web access to them.
  3. KB9LXP

    KB9LXP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Personally, if it were me, and I did have this problem years ago, nobody wanted them, sooooo, they went to recycling.
    If you have a paper scanner, and lots of time, you could scan and put everything on a hard drive or cd's.
    Just a thought...I don't save anything any more.
  4. W7UUU

    W7UUU Platinum Subscriber Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks Wik. I'll just take them to recycle. Not worth the trouble to deal with, and I'll freely
    admit I've not referenced a SINGLE ONE OF THEM in over 20 years, other than an occasional
    read here and there.

    Anyone near Seattle want them for free, PM me. SOON. Otherwise, I'll keep digging them out and
    get them loaded for the recycle station. First load goes bye-bye tomorrow. Many more boxes after that.

    I have absolutely ZERO interest in them, scanned or otherwise. Just massive "space taker-uppers"

  5. K6CPO

    K6CPO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't keep more than a year of any of the magazines I subscribe to, no matter what the subject matter. i just don't have the space to store them and I rarely look at the back issues. I just gave my last two years of QST to a fellow ham that's a medical services officer on a Military Sealift Command ship and is unable to reliably receive his copies.
  6. W8ZNX

    W8ZNX Subscriber QRZ Page

    post 1941 no

    pre war Radio, QST, Hugo Gernsback Short Wave Craft
    are worth a few bucks

    the back room was full of 60's to 90s CQ, 73 and QST
    tried to give some away
    in the end threw out a few hundred lbs of magazines

    there are still four or five hundred lbs in the back room
    along with tons of old playboys

    still in the stacks

  7. W7JZE

    W7JZE QRZ Lifetime Member #84 Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    How much $ for the Playboys [​IMG]?

    My long time friend, also named Bill, went through 7 or 8 serious hobbies & careers during his lifetime. Professional boat racer, Balloon pilot, competitive pistol shooting, "race gun" designer / manufacturer, glider pilot, gen av pilot, commercial airplane "driver", computer enthusiast / builder / inventor / business owner (many times over)... and a few more that I don't remember.

    He had walls and walls of books and different magazines in his home.

    His rule on magazines was; "One year back only. New one on top of the stack, old one off the bottom of the stack".

    I finally parted with many decades of "Sky & Telescope", "Astronomy", "Deep Sky", etc... and I am right now looking, with a raised eyebrow, at 4 years (hey, I just recently relicensed :) worth of QST, CQ, and some smaller stacks of; Antique Radio, World Radio, etc...

    I dunno, they still SEEM valuable to me. I keep thinking that I'll find a fun, single tube transmitter project within their pages if I just let them age a little bit more [​IMG].

    It's crazy to keep 'em and yet too hard to throw away.

    To the OP: I'm glad I don't live close to Seattle, I'd be tempted to call you... Then again, it's only a 16 hour drive... Please don't PM me your phone number [​IMG]!!!!!
  8. N0NB

    N0NB Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree with Mac that any issues from prior to WW2 would still be of value. I do hang onto old issues of radio magazines but I'll readily admit that their value doesn't match the cost of the space they take.

    If there is a local/regional amateur radio trading net/mailing list you might try listing them. If no takers then do as you will.
  9. KA9MOT

    KA9MOT Ham Member QRZ Page

    There is nothing more valuable than knowledge. What you have is a lifetime of knowledge in print. Can you donate them to the local club? The Library doesn't want them. Do you have a local new ham who is hungry for knowledge? Craigslist has a section to offer stuff for free. I wish I lived closer, I'd haul 'em all away and spend the rest of my life learning from them.

    Here is the Free section on your local craigslist:
  10. W5INC

    W5INC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree 100% with Steve here, knowledge is valuable. See if any local AR clubs would like the material. Try your local schools from Jr, High to your local community college. Just because the books are old that doesn't mean they aren't still usefull to somebody in gaining an education from them. :)
  11. W7UUU

    W7UUU Platinum Subscriber Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good idea on Craig's List - I'll pile 'em up in the garage and run a "free" ad for them. I did
    try the local club a few years ago - Ha! Not the slightest interest. Matter of fact, I do believe
    a box or two of the magazines I have actually CAME FROM that club many years ago when
    they cleaned up.

    But remember too - as has been pointed out - the vast majority of the knowledge contained
    in these old mags is in fact free online (or at least to ARRL members for QST) in one form or another.

  12. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    True - but the online stuff is not as easy to access. And you have to be a member.

    In my experience, QST is the most valuable. The values go like this:

    Pre-WW1: The sky's the limit. These are treasures.

    Post-WW1 to 1920s: Very valuable and easy to sell.

    1930s-1940s: Valuable, particularly 1930s. Easy to sell up to 1945 or so (wartime issues are relatively rare).

    1950s-1960s-1975: Some value but harder to find buyers. (1975 was last year in small format).

    1976-present: Practically giveaways.

    What do you have?


    Some years back, I built shelves to hold my QST collection. I was surprised at how little space it takes to hold a small-format collection - and how much to hold the 1976 and later issues.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
  13. W7UUU

    W7UUU Platinum Subscriber Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Mostly 50s - late 70s. A few older - 30s/40s - haven't got to that box
    yet. Nothing pre-1938 or so. The pile I'm sorting through right now is all 60s/70s
    I too had the thought I'd put up shelves and whatnot - been saying that for THIRTY YEARS!
    Ain't gonna happen in my lifetime LOL!

  14. KA9VQF

    KA9VQF Ham Member QRZ Page

    When my friend W0BCJ went silent key I got the bulk of his QST collection. Some had been in bundles in his garage and were water damaged. Those were the oldest from the 30's but they were to far gone even for me.

    I put them in boxes on shelves in my attic. The attic is not what I consider liveable, its not finished much and totally uninsulated so the space up there is really just wasted mostly. Good for keeping stuff in but that's about all.

    When I got my first IBM compatible computer I obtained a hand held scanner and proceeded to put the magazines on floppy disks thinking it would be nice to be able to bring a digital copy with me if I wanted to.

    The problem with that was not all computers were compatible with each other and many times I got a screen full of code instead of the scanned image.

    As time passed and I upgraded my computers and scanners I continued trying to get them all on disks of one kind or another.

    I have several years worth on CD rom disks now. The problem with my CD's is they are not particularly easy to search.

    What you should do is find one of these Preppers, they will want the hard copies of the magazines for when the SHTF and there is no internet or computers to access.
  15. W5INC

    W5INC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Place an add on the AR BBS boards such as the Zed here, Eham, QTH along with a Craig's list add for your QST give away. The AR BBS boards should find you a OP close to your QTH that would be more then willing to take those back issues off your hands for free. :)
  16. KE6KA

    KE6KA Ham Member QRZ Page

    People lost interest in collecting these magazines once they became available on CDROM. Probably because CDROMs take up less room.

    I have quite a few older ham magazines. I've tried giving them away and have experienced the same issue. I think some of the old advertisements are neat. I may go through some and frame a few old ads like the car enthusiasts and railfans do, and donate the rest to some organization that has spring fundraiser sales. If they can sell them they get a few $$. If not, I guess they are going to be recycled.
  17. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My dad collected radio magazines from 1927 until he died. He had boxes and trunks full of them - QST, Radio, CQ, Western Radio Amateur, 73, HR, and many more. I have to admit some of the stuff from the 1930's was pretty amazing and I wish we'd hung onto them, I think I'd enjoy them even more today.

    Now, I don't hang onto any of them, particularly QST. I have the old ones on CD and now you can access them all online. I do wish I had some of Mr. Gernsbach's stuff, and some from Philo T. Farnsworth.
  18. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had a complete set of QST from 1992 (the year I got my first license) through today. I talked to several local clubs and even the local community college that has license classes and got the same response from every one of them...

    1976 - present: Not even give-a-ways!

    They all went to recycling except for the issues where I had something in print. The problem with digital editions, you can't frame them and put them on the wall! (Yes, you can print out the PDF version, but its just not the same.)

    I keep the current edition and maybe the previous 1 or 2 previsous editions in the "throne room", but now that there is a QST app for AppleĀ® mobile devices, I may actually opt out of the paper edition altogether.
  19. AC4BB

    AC4BB Ham Member QRZ Page

    During a toilet paper shortage they can be like gold.
  20. N0NB

    N0NB Subscriber QRZ Page

    With that glossy paper you're going to spend a lot of time "working up" the pages!
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