Monday, June 24, 2013

Radio radio radio

Don't you know anything else beside's radio ?

 I sit here in my little home office, typing away on my Blog while listening to my Kenwood TS-850 Ham radio for exotic stations and spinning the dial on my various shortwave receivers spanning the years from the Hallicrafters SX-25 made in 1945 to my Kaito ka321 made in 2013. When I am not blogging or doing housework I am at the workbench repairing or diagnosing some piece of radio gear. I am aspiring to learn how to repair and diagnose post war radio gear and also enjoy listening to the same type of gear. Something about the sound of an old tube radio that cannot be replicated in a modern radio.
 At field day this year I was approached by an older gentleman that was fairly new to the ham radio hobby that had read one of my articles about shortwave radio. It was nice to hear him quote my article that seemed to light a fire in him about shortwave radio. Most days I feel like a troll under the bridge and nobody is even paying attention, so it was nice to see someone getting enthusiastic about shortwave radio.

 Something about the look and feel of these old tube radios that isn't present in today's radio gear. This was back in the day when radio gear still had a personality and little quirks that you worked around. The big tuning knobs and soft glow of the tubes made radio almost magical. The sound coming from the speaker had a soft warm feel to it, and when you saw one of these radios on the shelf or in a home, you could always tell them apart. Not like today's radios which are mostly black boxes with no personality, and you have to get a magnifying glass just to read the make and model. Don't get me wrong, I love the newer technology and the sensitivity when trying to hear a distant station, but something about that soft warm sound coming from an old tube radio just seems inviting to me, drawing me and my friends closer, welcoming us home after a long day and amazing us with some far off station from another world.
 That's what radio is to me, an open invitation to another world