"If it needs more than 12 volts to work, it was designed wrong!"
This has been my philosophy for almost the last 30 years.
Then I bought an antique radio at a flea market, a Truetone D-911 (the
number is chilling), and I began to realign my paradigm.
I am an electronics teacher. I teach at a technical college in
Springfield, Missouri. It is the greatest job I've ever had. I get to play
with electronics every day and get paid for it. But I have had absolutely no
tube experience. When I learned electronics at Cal Poly, Pomona, mine was
the first class (1975) that had tube theory (as a core component) removed
from the curriculum. The microprocessor was just becoming accessible, the
digital revolution was in full swing, and the bright silicon future
beckoned. I have since held on to the mindset that 1970s Cal Poly gave me.
Tubes were an anachronism, and silicon would rule the future.
But today I am falling in love with tubes. I can't make an IC in a
workshop, but it is possible to create a tube amplifier from a simple
automotive light bulb, with equipment that is accessible to the average
person. My most inexperienced students can grasp tube concepts if they
simply understand the law of electric charges. Try to teach them BJTs and
you'll sure experience much frustration!
I bought the Truetone radio for the cool wooden cabinet, but began to be
intrigued by the tuning eye and the other circuitry. It is efficient and
resilient. I want to restore it, build a simple AM transmitter, hook the
transmitter up to my broadband computer, and pipe vintage music (via
Spinner) to it. I want to hear the old sounds on the old radio. I'm sure it'
ll be the same sounds it made when it was new, when my mom and dad were
young. I bet it'll feel great doing it! (is that weird?)
I found this newsgroup, and subscribed. I am amazed at the rich wealth of
experience, knowledge, and camaraderie that is in evidence here. I want to
learn what I have been missing these last three decades, and pass it on to
My boss, the Division Chair for electronics at Ozarks Technical Community
College, retired from the Zenith plant in Springfield shortly after they
moved their operation to Mexico 14 years ago. He had worked for Zenith for
many years, and has a wealth of knowledge about their radio and TV products
in his head. Until recently I looked at him as something of an anachronism,
a dinosaur, if you will, with lots of marginally relevant information to
impart to his students.
Your group has changed my opinion. I see now that the kind of knowledge
he has; the kind of knowledge the members of this group have, can give
electronics students a wealth of understanding of electronic concepts and
basic principles. And it can make me a better teacher. And it has given me a
new respect and curiosity for the knowledge that my boss has after years of
hard won experience on the line at Zenith.
I used to be Electronics Dept Head at Sumter Area
Technical College in Sumter, SC, for 7 years. It was a great job, but
in SC the state expects you to work for nothing because you probably
have a military retirement check coming in from Shaw AFB in the town.
I had to move on to a little greener pasture (Iranian Air Force
contract 1978-79 until the country fell). Teaching is the finest way
I ever found to learn electronics. Boy, those kids can ask some tough
questions, can't they? But, after 7 years, in 1978, I deduced $14,400
wasn't a living wage....see?
I'm obviously older. Navy taught tubes to me because that's what all
the equipment of the time used, except a few new solid state items.
That was in the mid to late 60's. I can imagine it was pretty tough
when they cut off tubes for a while, but, now, I'd suspect NOT
teaching them voltage operated devices (tubes) then UNtraining them so
you can teach them CURRENT operated devices (transistors) might have
some real benefits....which was always a problem when I was standing
at the blackboards.....
Well, welcome to the newsgroup. Tubes and analog electronics is quite
simple and that takes some getting used to. You're also MUCH closer
to the actual physics the circuit quirks drive you crazy with in tubes
over ICs. You'll learn true component level troubleshooting in a
hurry around here.......once you get past the capacitor
Didn't teach CET. My grads all had FCC 1st phone with Radar
endorsements before the GROL nonsense ruined FCC's license reputation.
Won't do them much good any more. You only need GROL if you're going
to work on Marine or Aeronautical transmitters, now! How awful.....no
wonder broadcasting sounds like crap!