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Posted By: Trumpy The Good old Radio! - 07/24/04 12:43 PM
In these days of high speed computers and the like, some of us have forgotten just where it was that we came from.
Although Marconi invented and experimented with the thing, have we lost our roots?.
Out of 100 kids of 8 to 15 years old, only 3 of them could tell the interviewer who actually invented the radio, the rest said it was Bill Gates!.
But I may be a bit biased here being a Radio Ham, but is the radio a dying thing?
In the age now, where you download files of music and so forth off the Net, should the old radio become a relic of the past?
I still build radio's with Valve sections in them and I have trained a number of local Hams here too, with this technology,but I am also up with all the Transistor,CMOS,TTL and other IC technology, no need to be a dinosaur, you know.
I love the sound that comes out of a newly built radio BC-AM or VHF 2m, it gives you a sense of accomplishment.
Something I feel the kids are lacking these days with thier X-boxes and PS2 games machines.
Meanwhile, my old Dreco AM set plays on!.
It's only 80 years old, just a young pup.
Posted By: pauluk Re: The Good old Radio! - 07/24/04 02:32 PM
Bill Gates invented the radio....

The mind boggles! The radio would take 30 minutes to warm up, every so often it would just stop working or randomly retune to another station for no apparent reason, and you wouldn't be able to listen to half the stations unless you bought a "Broadcast band update" package every six months. [Linked Image]

Seriously though, I remember an engineering group (I forget which) here a couple of years ago complaining that they could get plenty of software developers, digital techs, and so forth, but were having a hard time finding any decent engineers who could work on analog and RF systems. As they said at the time, "All the tech students go into digital/computing sides these days," and I think that's true to a large degree.

Mike, I know exactly what you mean about getting radios to work. I grew up playing around with old sets and building new ones out salvaged parts.

If I give a string of numbers like 6V6, EF80, ECH80, 807, EZ80, 5V4, 12AX7, 6SN7 I'm sure I need say no more! [Linked Image]
Posted By: uksparky Re: The Good old Radio! - 07/24/04 11:21 PM
I don't know the first thing about radios - except that I couldn't live without it and I can operate them [Linked Image]

Do you think that 'radio being a dying art' has as much to do with the fact that they are now so damn small! Also they never seem to ail anything - unlike the old ones. I suppose that once something loses it's 'piece-of-furniture' appeal and never requires anything except turning on or the occasional battery, it's easy to lose interest... Not to mention the utter tripe that seems to find its way onto the air these days... Dunno - just a thought.

LOL @ Paul [Linked Image] Yep...and every now and again it would hang; holding the last clashing chord of a song, no killing it until you yanked the plug! Oh, and let's not forget the fact that you couldn't use the radio and the windscreen wipers at the same time...conflict [Linked Image] Uh-oh.
Posted By: chipmunk Re: The Good old Radio! - 07/25/04 06:36 AM
This is similar to the young person confronted with a rotary dial telephone and not knowing how to use it LOL, (in their opinion did Bill Gates also invent the telephone?

Seriously, a lot of this could be avoided if history lessons covered recent history (19th and 20th century).

Also, radio, telecommunications and several other areas have recently lost a lot of appeal because you physically cannot repair a lot of equipment these days, if an old radio goes wrong, you check the valves(tubes), and if an old phone goes wrong, you take the lid off and check stuff.. can't do that with a cellphone half the size of a pack of cigarettes [Linked Image]
Posted By: pauluk Re: The Good old Radio! - 07/25/04 10:38 AM
Yep, it's surprising how many kids have never seen a rotary dial phone these days.

It's this same CD-generation who have given me absolute blank looks when I talk about my collection of LPs, 45s, and 78s. I think I might as well have been talking about Martian technology for all they understood. [Linked Image] [Linked Image]

The lack of repairability (how's that for a word? [Linked Image]) of modern equipment these days must surely contribute to the decline in "learning by tinkering."

It's also a trend I find alarming that in an age when we're all being urged to conserve resources, recycle, etc., that so much equipment ends up as landfill for want of a 5-cent component in many cases. The economics of buying new vs. repair have just gone crazy.
Posted By: uksparky Re: The Good old Radio! - 07/25/04 12:24 PM

Not bad for a Sunday morning! LOL [Linked Image]

This is something that infuriates me about all things technical/mechanical nowadays. I am, actually, an electro-mechanical engineer by trade. But it tees me off no end to tell clients that something is irrepairable because the parts aren't sold separately - you have to replace the whole gizmo. Cars are a prime example of this [Linked Image]'s utter wastefulness, and one reason why I would NEVER get into the motor trade.

Remember the day when you would happily strip down a contactor to replace a broken spring... You'd be lucky to find the same pattern of device on sale now - let alone the ruddy parts for one!! [Linked Image] I know those who wouldn't even deign to clean contacts now; just change it out!

Such a throwaway's a great pity. Worse though; it teaches our kids no respect for engineering, quality or cost. "If it's bust, just chuck it and get another"! Oh...that one's broken too now, oh well we'll get another...
Posted By: pauluk Re: The Good old Radio! - 07/25/04 12:32 PM
Funny you should mention contactors.

Back in the electromechanical days of telephone exchangess there were thousands of relays used in the switching systems. The cleaning and adjustment of relays (which in some cases could have a dozen or so contact sets) was a regular maintenance item. The old Post Office relays were also designed in such a way that one could easily add, change, or remove contacts to build up the required unit.

Just look at the cheap domestic VCR that can now be picked up in the likes of Asda for £34.99. Cheap and nasty doesn't even begin to describe them in my mind. The mechanisms are thrown together using the cheapest possible plastic gears and levers, then after a year or so of constant use they're starting to wear out. Getting the unit back to full specification would involve rebuilding most of the deck.

Not that that really matters, because nobody is going to pay even £20 for a repair when they can go buy a new one with a warranty for £35. [Linked Image]
Posted By: mvpmaintman Re: The Good old Radio! - 07/25/04 02:52 PM
repairability?? just how does that work? I remeber spending hour with one of my dad's friends who was a ham operator tinkering about with his radio sets. SWRs, loading, etc etc.
I also remeber learning how to change fuses after destroying one of granpaw's screwdrivers in his TV while it was plugged in, LOL

Here's a good one though, a week ago my wife hauled a very expensive floor lamp out of the dumpster at our apartment. Geuss what was wrong with it?!?!?! A burned out bulb!!
We really laughed when one of her kids started going on about where could he get one etc, and we told him to just look in the dumpsters whenever the college kids move in and out of the apartment complexes in town,
Posted By: Trumpy Re: The Good old Radio! - 07/26/04 08:06 AM
But, getting back to the subject of Radio, I've found heaps of OLD Radio's in various states of dis-repair.
Most of the time, they have been thrown out because, they don't start up instantly!.
Ahh, but the sound quality, poor, but nostalgic.
There is something in getting an old piece of kit going.
I have a 1947 2meter valve Transmitter here and I am looking for the Reciever to go with it.
It's an Icom 143T. [Linked Image]
Posted By: Texas_Ranger Re: The Good old Radio! - 07/27/04 05:43 PM
Seriously, a lot of this could be avoided if history lessons covered recent history (19th and 20th century).

Here in Austria they do, but nothing technical! If you know about Napoleon, Queen Victoria and Adolf Hitler you still won't have any clue about radios and rotary phones.

The burnt light bulb is great!
I live in a house with 8 apartments, most of wich are occupied by family. One day I emptied out the trash and found a top-quality 5-way power strip inside the dumpster. Took it out and had a look. Plug looked slightly cooked, so opened it. Cut off a few cm of cord, reattached it to the old plug and worked ever since!
Posted By: Gloria Re: The Good old Radio! - 08/10/04 09:51 PM
Oh I see what youmean, Mike. Listening to radio usually takes about 8-10 hours of my day, internet? Never this much!
I'm glad that some f my age says they have that feeling they always wanted to be a radio speaker, som are lucky and some radio stations are not as much income-orientated... So back to hardware: here some old-fashioned services use radios in their showroom or shop to show this feeling they have for the things they did themselves. Or repaired. The other thing that came to my mind was this "change-the-whole-car" thing, I couldn't get my pair of speakers repaired, and the only problem of them was the konus was falling to pieces, a change needed still haven't found a person to the job. Always want me to buy new ones, but Hey, you should hear them when I put on an LP record! That sound is amazing! Also I have this "new" type of RCA plugs on the back of the amp, that has is contact faliure, so now I can only listen to RADIO!!! :~)
Also I don't see why they cannot open dissassemble or dissmount companies, it is not a hard or dirty job for unemployed and as useful as never anything before! No junk, recycle and keep the world clean.
Posted By: pauluk Re: The Good old Radio! - 08/10/04 10:39 PM
I couldn't get my pair of speakers repaired, and the only problem of them was the konus was falling to pieces, a change needed still haven't found a person to the job.
Re-coning a speaker, or replacing the voice-coil is going to be considered a pretty specialist service these days. I think there might be an antique radio place somewhere here in England which would take on such work, but it wouldn't be cheap (and especially not if you needed to ship big speakers from eastern Europe!).

Also I have this "new" type of RCA plugs on the back of the amp, that has is contact faliure, so now I can only listen to RADIO!!! :~)
A new type of RCA plug? What's it like? [Linked Image]
Posted By: Trumpy Re: The Good old Radio! - 08/13/04 09:12 AM
I have repaired torn speaker cones before, with Nail Polish (not mine, of course! [Linked Image]), to bridge the gap between the tears in the cone.
That used to work with older paper cones, but I've never tried it with the newer multi-chemical cones.
BTW, my G/Friend used to get really annoyed to apply her Nail Polish and there would be small paper fragments in it, I can't think where they came from, there must have been a "paper storm" while she had the bottle open!. [Linked Image]
Posted By: Trumpy Re: The Good old Radio! - 08/31/04 06:58 AM
I've just managed to breathe life into an old green set that I've had here for a few years.
Like the radio's of the time, it was made with a Bakelite body and had 5 valves.
I nearly fell off my chair when I switched it on and it warmed up, giving the National Programme, instead of the usual explosion and blue sparks.
Having said that, the blue sparks would have been more interesting, they were talking philosophy(sp?) on the National Programme!.
The National Programme is more like the BBC, than the BBC is!. [Linked Image]
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