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Thursday, July 4, 2024

Electronic Toys and Their Influence on Us

Mike WU2D recently put out this interesting video.  I vaguely remember the springs on the Radio Shack kits -- I also remember (bitterly) not being able to get their shortwave receiver to work.   I really wanted to tune in HCJB and Radio Moscow.  This probably led me to ask Santa for a Lafayette HA-600A receiver in 1973 or so. 

An earlier influence was the little intercom kits.  I think they worked over the AC lines?   We took some of them to the beach bungalows we had in Lavallette NJ.  With them we were able to speak clearly to similar units in nearby bunalows.  Wow, that was cool. That got me interested in radio. 

Cassette tape recorders were another early influence. I still have a recording I made with a tape recorder I got for Christmas, probably in 1972.  I used this recorder to practice CW for the ham exam. 

I managed to escape the CB madness.   But I came close to falling into the groovy psycho stuff of the early 1970s.  I remember the Transcendental Meditation gizmos.  I never built one, but if I had I may have been better off with CB. 

I kind of wish I had followed the example of the Woz and Jobs by making telephone blue boxes.  This could have led me to riches.  But as Jean Shepherd used to say, young men often come to a fork in the road: one path leads to wealth, the other to ham radio flea markets.  I got on the second path.  

Thanks Mike! 


1 comment:

  1. Mike: Great Post! I started at 7 watching my Dad building a Regen receiver. Then I got a Philmore crystal set with a cat's whicker. Then a Meissner 2BK 2 tube Regen. with plug in coils. By about 9, I was hooked, eventually with a long career at Bell Labs. I even worked for Phil Smith (Smith Chart) on a rotation for a while. Steve - K2PBO


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