...The radios we'll always remember

An Afternoon with Jack Mullin (sound recording historian)

Ham Radio History 0 Comments 05/127/2023 

Posted By: Robert Nickels (W9RAN)
Posted on 05/127/2023

The time period after WWII could well be described as "the age of recording".   From crude wire recorders and transcription disc cutters that were limited to professional users, the ability to record sound and play it back at will has evolved to the point where it is taken for granted in modern life.   It took about 50 years for technology to get to the point where mass production of recording equipment was possible - and affordable for the average person, and while the methods changed, the basic desire to record the human voice and other sounds for posterity has remained the same.

In this video, audio recording expert and historian Jack Mullin takes us on a journey from the very earliest days of Edison to the development of magnetic recording technology, including the contributions of his former boss, Bing Crosby and the formation of the Ampex Corporation.   And he plays the very first Crosby radio program ever recorded - on the very machine it was recorded on that still works!

   Anyone who caught one of the Emergency Action Notifications (EAN) transmitted by the US Air Force on the HF bands remembers this phrase.But not many know how the EAN is actually used by our military.   This re-creation of a Minuteman III Launch Control Facilitliy (LCF) in Utah provides a realistic view of what happens when an EAN is received by a missile control crew,  60 feet under...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (W9RAN)  Posted: 04/93/2024 
   If you're a long-time ham you might know what the smeary figure-8 pattern is....Back in the Novice era,  many used crystals purchased from suppliers like JAN Crystals who purchased large quantities of military surplus crystals and reground them for the ham bands.   That's why they were cheap, but also why you couldn't get a specific frequency as they'd grind by a formula and is long...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (W9RAN)  Posted: 01/22/2024 
   Ron K5HZ has been building equipment since he first got his ham license in the early 60s, and while he has other transmitters, all it took to build a new one was finding a "free to good home" power transformer at a hamfest.    It also gave him a chance to try using a couple of Compactron tubes that had caught his eye - the 6T10 dual pentode and the 6GE5 beam power pentode that was d...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (W9RAN)  Posted: 12/364/2023 
   If you build almost anything electronic, chances are good you've purchased parts from DigiKey Electronics.  But did you know that DigiKey - now one of the world's largest electronics distributors - started out as a ham radio company?"More than 50 years ago, a digital electronic device designed to generate uniform Morse characters and spaces was made available for sale by amateur radio enthusi...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (W9RAN)  Posted: 12/341/2023 
   Electronic Design magazine published an excellent interview in 2020 with Chas Gilmore W8IAI, former Heath engineer, manager, and executive.   Anyone with an interest in Heathkits will find this interview to be well worth the time to read. You can read it for free without registration here at the ELECTRONIC DESIGN WEBSITEThe photo below was borrowed from W8IAI's QRZ page, and shows h...  READ MORE
- Robert Nickels (W9RAN)  Posted: 11/332/2023