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  • Re: Deleted

    I suspect black paint was involved.
  • It was on this day in 1954 that the first transistor radio appeared on the market.

    18 October
    Transistors were a big breakthrough in electronics — a new way to amplify signals. They replaced vacuum tubes, which were fragile, slow to warm up, and unreliable. During World War II, there was a big funding push to try to update vacuum tubes, since they were used in radio-controlled bombs but didn't work very well. A team of scientists at Bell Laboratories invented the first transistor technology in 1947. But the announcement didn't make much of an impact because transistors had limited use for everyday consumers — they were used mainly in military technology, telephone switching equipment, and hearing aids.

    Several companies bought licenses from Bell, including Texas Instruments, who was bent on being the first to market with a transistor radio. Radios were mostly big, bulky devices that stayed in one place — usually in the living room — while the whole family gathered around to listen to programming. There were some portable radios made with vacuum tubes, but they were about the size of lunch boxes, they used heavy nonrechargeable batteries, they took a long time to start working while the tubes warmed up, and they were fragile. Texas Instruments was determined to create a radio that was small and portable, and to get it out for the Christmas shopping season. They produced the transistors, and they partnered with the Regency Division of Industrial Development Engineering Associates, who manufactured the actual radios. Their new radio, the Regency TR-1, turned on immediately, weighed half a pound, and could fit in your pocket. It cost $49.95, and more than 100,000 were sold.

    Texas Instruments went on to pursue other projects, but a Japanese company called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo decided to make transistor radios their main enterprise. They were concerned that their name was too difficult for an American audience to pronounce, so they decided to rebrand themselves with something simpler. They looked up the Latin word for sound, which was sonus. And they liked the term sonny boys — English slang that was used in Japan for exceptionally bright, promising boys. And so the company Sony was born. Soon transistor radios were cheap and prevalent.

    With transistor radios, teenagers were able to listen to music out of their parents' earshot. This made possible the explosion of a new genre of American music: rock and roll.

    "...[Transistors] replaced vacuum tubes, which were fragile, slow to warm up, and unreliable...

    et tu, Garrison?


    I shook my finger at the SE 2A3 amplifiers that were reproducing the above-mentioned from
    VPR (via a Mac MR-67 vacuum tube tuner) and said "Don't you listen to him!"


  • Re: Smallest Dimb Bulb Tester on Earth....

    Employing a DBT is a gentle way to wake up a piece of vintage electronic equipment, and/or a safe way to probe for severe faults (e.g., shorted power transformer primary or secondary winding, HV rectifier or filter capacitors) in delicate equipment. These are extremely handy for vacuum tube components (amplifiers, etc.), be they hifi, musical instrument/PA, or (heh) even televisions.

    I think the link I posted should explain the proper use of one. One needs a smattering of incandescent light bulbs. Since they're in series, if the component under test is drawing too much current, it'll light the bulb (which serves to limit juice getting to the component). If the components' in good working order, the bulb will glow faintly or not at all. The wattage of the bulb (i.e., the series resistance of the filament) can serve to limit the voltage to the component under test (even if all is well), thus allowing a controlled "fire up" of a long-dormant component.

    Many folks would use a Variac (variable autoformer) for this, but the DBT is a simple, inexpensive (and quantized) way to accomplish more or less the same thing.

    PS I 'borrowed' the diagram :)
  • Re: Dollar store

    ...ever see an Italian do a double face palm in the Dollar store ?
    Signature line material right there, folks.

    Oh, and a free fashion tip -- a tuxedo at WalMart is only appropriate and acceptable after 6PM. ... and, please, please -- don't wear white after Labor Day.
  • Re: Soooooo......I did a thing

    As a nearly pointless aside, up here in New England (most states up here, at least) define a pond as up to 10 acres. Larger bodies of water are legally great ponds. The legal issue is fairly profound; great ponds must by law (unless they are reserviors) be open for public access (boating and fishing). This causes some thorny issues in our old town (Harvard, MA). Harvard has, in its center, a 330 acre great pond (Bare Hill Pond). By state law, public access was permitted -- and, technically, it was -- but there was essentially no place to park or launch a boat that wasn't private property or town property. The latter required an annual beach permit (or a daily fee) to access. There was ongoing tension between town & state about that :/ (probably still is)

    The "Great Pond" laws apparently date back to fairly ancient British law.

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