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Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Soul of the Old Machine

I continue to peruse the stack of Electric Radio magazines that Armand WA1UQO gave me last month.   Great stuff.  I'm really struck by how much of our ham radio history is captured in the pages of ER... and nowhere else.  This is a resource that should be protected.

In the last podcast I shared a few lines from the "Amateur Radio SSB -- The First Fifty Years" series or articles.  Today at lunch time I was reading the March 1994 issue, there was an article by Don Meadows N6DM entitled "A Homebrew CW Receiver."  From the last paragraph:

"This homebrew receiver as the main station receiver until 1975... In 1989 the homebrew receiver was finally mothballed... In its place I acquired an imported box that does everything.  This box is friendly and cooperative, but I have no rapport with its soul. When it ultimately falters, it will need to be cured in the manufacturers sanitarium for sick gear instead of on my own workbench.

I've always been proud of this homebrew receiver. It did its job exceedingly well. Retrieving recently this old friend from storage for photographs, cleaning out the dust and dead insects, inspecting its wiring up close --  all this evoked fond memories."


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  2. Bill, have you ever read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Pirsig? Motorcycles are not radios but they share some charactetistics. You might enjoy the main character's empathy and reflective narratives on the nature of owning, repair and making. 73 Paul vk3hn.

    1. I tried, but I couldn't get into it. The New York Times called the book "dense and discursive." Here's a review of a related book that discusses Pirsig's problems: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/28/books/review/Leland-t.html


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