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September 24, 2008

Comments

Ed

All your points are valid. As they say, "All progress is made by the unreasonable radiophile."

jeffrey McMahon

I'm not sure I've heard that aphorism, but it makes sense.

Ed

Hmm. Looks like today's tour de force column by Jeff has left the rest of us temporarily intimidated!

Scooby214

Just ask my parents... I started tinkering with electronics before I was ten years old. My dad gave me a wood burning iron when I was nine, and I quickly figured out that it doubled as a soldering iron! I would hide in the walk-in attic with an extension cord running the soldering iron. I'm lucky I didn't burn down the house!

jeffrey McMahon

Did my tour de force of my high-falutin rhetoric silence the troops? Dang. I hope they're just resting and enjoying a good meal.

Ed

I'm thinking of proposing that we consider desktop communications receivers, vintage or modern. Get away from the Panny's and Sony's, and into good ol' US brands like Hallicrafters and Knight.

Paul

Ed's suggestion is a good one. I know next to nothing about Hallicrafters and Knights, but a fair amount on the more modern ones. Currently have an Icom IC-R75, a Yaesu FRG-7, and if you can call it a desktop RX, a TenTec RX320.

jeffrey McMahon

I've probably exhausted the Panny's and Sony's. I've got no knowledge of the desktop comm receivers. I may be out of my league but of course I'll post contributions.

Brian (Scooby214)

I have no knowledge of the desktop receivers, but am interested.

I think the reason I've been interested in the Sonys, Panasonics, etc. is that they fit into my budjet. I've considered setting aside a bit each month toward getting a serious desktop rig.

jeffrey McMahon

Budget directs my interests as well.

Stetsiwawa

Obsessive tinkering should be a mandatory personality trait for all chief radio designers – I mean the guy who oversees and coordinates all the various design departments (cabinet, button layout, firmware, electronics, antenna, speaker, tuner, etc). He should go home with every prototype and fiddle with it for weeks, then report back with the likes of “the volume suddenly leaps from near inaudible to way too loud for midnight, fix it… why the friggin’ hell is the on/off button bottom right instead of top left… The LCD lighting fades away top centre, make it perfectly uniform…. Make the tuning knob a little bigger, a little smoother, and increase the grip indents by 1/8 of a millimeter… There’s room enough in the cabinet for 57mm speaker, why is there a only 50mm one?... Broaden the bandwidth a notch on AM… The preset button is a little too clicky, dampen it a touch… None of this high/low tone nonsense; a proper tone wheel please!… Why AAAs? Make the cabinet 3mm deeper and triple the battery life with AAs…”
Ah yes, if only we had such an obsessive artist in control, we’d all have access to the radio equivalent of… the Homer car!

Brian (Scooby214)

The Homer car! I hadn't thought of that in years. The only problem I can think of is that most radio manufacturers are in the business to make money, not radios. The bean counters would never let the tinkering designer out of his cage.

jeffrey McMahon

It's sad that most radio buyers are content with the "Homer Car" version of a radio.

Stetsiwawa

Indeed, and if I mock the condition of compulsive tinkering, it’s only because I am entirely, eternally in the grip of it myself. What was it Nietzsche said? “If I am so well able to diagnose and analyze decadence and neurosis, it is only because I am myself a decadent neurotic!”

jeffrey McMahon

I suspect there's a fine line between neurosis and passion for excellence.

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