“When I was a kid, all the neighbors used to bring their stuff to me — phonographs, radios, black-and-white TVs, irons, toasters,” said Willey, who runs Roger’s Audio and Video at 363 S. Main St. along with his wife Marilyn and son Adrian.
He said he would be the one to fix it all.
Wiley’s curiosity in electronics sparked after a childhood accident.
“I stepped on an extension cord in my mother’s closet one time,” he said. “It was one of those bare cloth-covered extension cords, and it burnt my foot. I think that might have started it.”
Wiley has been operating his audio and video store in Alpharetta since the 1980s. Before that, he ran a shop by the same name in Chicago. The business repairs and installs modern electronics but more than five years ago, Wiley expanded the business to include repairing antiques.
“We can repair jukeboxes, pinball machines, antique radios, antique clocks, TVs [and] stereo systems,” he said.
Wiley said he has always liked working with antique electronics.
“My brother started collecting them because he’s a picker, and he’d get them in here and I’d have to make them work again,” he said. “It’s kind of like a hobby. You don’t make a lot of money in it, but it’s fun to do, restoring them.”
One of the most unique antique items he has repaired is a 1938 pinball machine, Willey said.
“That thing had no documentation and hand-made parts, and it was one of the first pinball machines,” he said. “It was unbelievable. I spent day and night on that machine until I got it working.”
He said it took about two or three weeks to complete. Willey said antique electronics are more difficult to repair than modern ones, but he enjoys the challenge.
“I’ve had some radios here that I’ve spent two months on because I do the cabinets too,” he said. “I’m not into cabinetry that much except what I do to save the cabinets that are on the radios. I repair the cabinets as much as I can on the antique radios myself, because there’s not that much money in it.”
Even though they are very time-consuming to repair, Willey said some antique radios only sell for $50 or $60. The most profitable service of the business is installing modern electronics for home theaters or sports bars, he said.
Roger’s Audio and Video
363 S. Main St., Alpharetta