Paul wants to know: How do you store your radios?

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul, who writes:

This may be a good discussion question on your great blog.

Basically, I am curious to learn where and how do people store their various radios – I think it’s safe to say that many of us have more than 5 or 10. Do you use bookshelves? TV stands? Those storage cube organizers? Custom shelving on the walls? It will be interesting to know …

All the best

I think this is a great question, Paul.

Personally, I have a lot of portables, so storage is definitely an issue. Since I do radio reviews, many models aren’t ones I use daily but I keep them for comparison reviews and for using in rotation.

The first thing I do when I store a radio is remove its batteries if it takes traditional cells (like AA, AAA, C, or D batteries). I remove them to prevent them from leaking and corroding the battery terminals. Even though I’ve migrated the Eneloop batteries (for AA and AAA), I still remove them for storage.

I built custom shelves into my office to accommodate large standard size clear storage containers; I believe the ones I have originally came from IKEA. I store all of my portables in those containers with a little padding or their original box to keep them from getting scratched up.

This system has worked for me very well over the years, but I’ll admit that I wish my small office had more shelf area for radios on display!

Readers: How do you store your radios when not in use? Please comment!

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17 thoughts on “Paul wants to know: How do you store your radios?

  1. Joseph Schierer

    When not is use, I pack my radios (after removing the batteries) in the original boxes. This protects them, and allows easy stacking for the numerous radios I have.

    When In use, I keep any unused accessories in the original box – that way, I know where to find that little used accessory when I need it.

    Lastly, when I do unpack a radio, it’s like opening a new radio – all over again.

  2. TheZ

    I carry my Crane CCPocket in a small zippered Hermit Shell case. The case comes with a small carabiner that I use to hang it from my belt loop. Before I had the case, the CCpocket fell off of my belt, hit the floor & damaged the display a few weeks after I bought it. With the Hermit Shell case, the radio has been dropped over 100 times in the last 5 years and is still going strong. Dual zipper sliders allow you to close the case around a headphone cord.

  3. Francisco Pires de Camargo

    Tenho uns 15 rádios deixo eles sempre a vista no quintal. Na sala e outros lugares sempre a vista aquele que está mais perto mexo e escuto cada um tem uma lembrança de onde veio e uma história esse veio das lojas Sharp esse do Paraguai esse importei da china assim por diante

  4. Troy Riedel

    Hand gun [pistol] cases. Like this:

    Or this:

    10″ cases work well for your average Tecsun, Eton/Grundig, etc. There’s enough room for the AC Adapter, longwire antenna, ear buds, etc.

    A 14″ case is a better “kit” – with extra room for a small recorder and other accessories. I have a slim case that fits my SW7600GR, AC, noise cancelling headphones and the Sony AN-LP1 antenna.

    I even stored an Eton Field BT and accessories inside one this size (14″ deep case):

    The cases protect my radios from dust and bumps – and if I travel I have a radio ready-to-go with everything I need (each radio has it’s own longwire antenna, AC for charging, etc.). And if they are going into a travel bag (even airlines), the hard shell and foam interior protects it. I have a shelf in my closet and they stack very nice, very neatly, which saves space.

  5. Henry LaViers

    I try to protect my portable radios with cases.
    For the smaller radios camera lens cases work well.
    For the GE Super Radio I and II, cooking casserole dish transfer cases work well and their thermal insulation works well as shock/drop protection. These casserole cases can protect Selec-A-tennas and Tecsun AN-100 loops too.
    Harbor Freight is selling relatively inexpensive black imitation “Pelican Cases” and the smaller one just fits the RF2200, and larger one the Sony 5100. If I had to ship a radio these HF cases with their internal oam squares would be my choice.
    The original Pelican cases are expensive but hold up great. I have some 20 year old grey Pelican cases used in very rough underground mine conditions to protect Biddle Meggers, 3 Phase Power Monitors, Simpson VOMs, etc.
    There are custom molded plastic cases from Milwaukee/Dewalt/Bosch/Craftsman that show up in Thrift Stores. They sell pretty cheap because the insides are custom indentations to hold specific power tools, but it is easy to use a Fein-type oscillating blade saw to cut away the custom inside molding and be left with a tough box to enclose radios. A “hot knife” made from a soldering iron with the pencil tip replaced with an Exacto knife blade will also work, but slower.

  6. Tha Dood

    Large plastic tubs are what I’d started doing back in the mid-90’s, and I still do. However, that was when they were $3.00 per tub. Still, when I see them on-sale, I usually buy them up.

  7. David L Cardillo

    When I was a young kidney in the 1940’s, I would sit Sunday mornings with my grandpa at his house in his sunroom, listening to opera from Italy on his shortwave console.
    Since the 60’s, I’ve been collecting radios, do the occasional review here and there, have many of them out for rotation.

    I seldom play any through the mains, but will leave batteries which are not duracells in them for working. Many of the “D’s” are rechargables. Long term, I put them back into their boxes, or otherwise, a plastic bag on bookcase shelves. I’ve been known to snark a great radio price wherein the batt compartment has had leakage. That corrosion clears with high quality alcohol. elbow grease, etc.

    Yes, seems the electrolytes decay regardless, and having them replaced, well expensive, and if one is so inclined, should learn to replace them. I’m not so inclined. Youze draws your cards, takes your chances….Enjoy the darn things!!!

  8. Sandip Nambiar

    I store my 4 portable radios in a DIY 29cm organiser box that I got from a local store. It is very handy and allows access to all my radios. I had never thought of the AA batteries in them until I started reading the comments.

  9. Ace

    Is it a good idea to turn radios on and run them periodically?

    I’m a ham but fairly new to broadcast SWL and radio collecting and am interested to know if others fire their radios up from time to time to keep the capacitors in good shape as far as possible.

    I know components will decay in time, especially electrolytic capacitors and hope that running a radio up periodically would help slow the inevitable decay process.

    Best 73s,

    1. Alexander, DL4NO

      It is a good idea to power up any unit that contains electrolytic capacitors!

      As the name implies, these components contain “wet chemistry”. The chemicals not only conduct the current, but are also responsible for the dielectric on the aluminium or tantal that separates the two electrodes. Without any voltage applied for a long time, the dielectric gets thinner.

      Especially for high-voltage capacitors in power supplies or tube equipment there is a danger of the capacitors to explode it you normally switch the equipment on. It is good practice to start with a low voltage and increase it over hours or even days so the electrolytic capacitors can be “re-formatted”.

      1. TheZ

        I can attest to that. I had an RCA Model 242 from 1934 that had electrolytics. I powered the radio up once every 6 months for 45 minutes. The radio ran on its original caps until it was sold in 2009!

  10. John Green

    I have custom two tier shelves that house my amateur and shortwave desktop Comms receivers on a large built-in L desk made from two doors.
    The portables are housed in wooden four tier 19 inch rack cabinets that used to house my Eddystone radio collection.
    Radios not in current use also have batteries removed and all the newer ones have their boxes for protection.

  11. Ronald. Zuccala

    Hello I am the sole owner of the North American short wave radio and toy robot museum here in Springdale pa. I use shelves to display my 78 radios and 86 toy robots and growing. I always love swl posts. And always look forward to new release radio reviews. Thank you Ron z.

  12. Alexander, DL4NO

    If you with to do some kind of exhibit you might want some form of glass case. That is not me, I more have some kind of “junk box” to store until I might have a use for the item.

    That does not mean that I neglect my stuff. The most important thing is to store it cool, dry and out of the sun. A box like the one shown at the top of the page is a good idea to keep dust away. For long-term storage you could add a bag of silica and make the box airtight to prevent moisture in the box.

    “Cool” rules out the attic. Many of you might not have enough space left in your living area. But a normal cellar is a bad idea, too: As it is mostly cooler than the surroundings, it will be wet.

    An air dehumidifier is a quite energy-hungry solution. You should only consider it it you can heavily restrict the air circulation in that room. I have gone that way for my complete cellar. In a hot and humid summer week I easily get 10 liters (2 gallons) of water from my dehumidifiers. After we bought the house, it was up to 20 liters a day until we got all that humidity out of the walls! But otherwise we could not have used the cellar for much.

    We have no washing machine in the cellar and dry our clothes outside the cellar.


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