How I got started in all these interests and hobbies.
Hmmm, where to begin? I have a lot of brands in the fire at any one time. I guess it boils down to a life long interest in how things work. When I was 7 or 8 I took the back off my families brand new Black and White console TV. And took the all the tubes out. My mother saw this, and was not, let’s say “Happy”. I got one of those “Wait until YOUR father gets home!” speeches. So not wanting to incur further wrath, I put the TV back together and it worked! I was hooked. My mom and dad fed my interests as well. My dad who was an engineer at a high tech metallurgical company brought home all sorts of discarded items for me to experiment with. One was this huge timing system with all sorts of levers, solenoids, dials, and big high torque, low speed motor- I adapted it to open my window in my bedroom at 7 at night to let cool air in and close it at 6 in the morning before I made the trek to school with only one shoe, uphill in the snow, in a driving blizzard every day (I know, hard to believe right?!)
Militaria and Military Vehicles
This obsession started later in life, in my early thirties, As a law enforcement officer, I had a certain ‘military’ bearing and mindset. And I was interested in history. So I put them together and started collecting ‘of course’ WW2 tech. Mostly US Army Air Forces stuff, bombsights, sextants, aerial cameras, intervolometers, computing gunsights, etc. Then I decided to purchase, in 2004, right out of a farm field a 1953 Dodge M37 Military Truck. It was toast, engine seized, pieces missing, major rust. It took a couple of years of work to get it where I could enter it in military Vehicle Shows, Car Shows, etc. You can find out all about that truck here at Dodgem37.com I still have that truck, and trailer, and A LOT of accessories for it.
One item I wanted to learn about was old tube radios, so I partnered up with a guy near me who teaches beginners who to fix old tube radios. I started with an old Philco set. And in a couple of hours had replaced all the capacitors, tubes, etc, and had a working AM Radio. Because of my passion for military history, I took the next step and began searching for and acquiring WII radios. Field Radios, Aircraft Radios, Morale Radios, Telegraph Sets, Field Telephones and switchboards, and more. I have all that stuff on my site here: http://dodgem37.com/wwii-radio-restoration/