HOW TO RIDE ANOTHER HOBBY, BESIDES HAM RADIO!
Emmett Holt Goodman, WD4GOL
Several, well at least two, check-ins on Grumman Amateur Radio Club WAG Nets have asked me to update this story, published first in February 1987. So here goes!
In the summer of 1941 I obtained a FCC Third Class Radiotelephone License which enabled me take a transmitter engineering position with radio station WAYS in my home town of Charlotte NC.
My third class license at the transmitter let me turn the one kw Collins broadcast XMTR on and off and to make simple adjustments, like switching the frequency control crystal # 1 to crystal # 2 when #1 drifted too far from the assigned FCC frequency. Big deal!
While sitting out at the WAYS remote xmtr listening to the records coming from the studio control room uptown, as we didn't join the Blue network of NBC until 12:30 PM for The National Farm and Home Hour. Remember? I think not. Anyway all we had on the air was records and news until 12:30 PM. Having the early morning shift at the xmtr, I was subjected to lots of different music: pop, hillbilly, (now called by the high class sounding title of country) big band swing and a little dixieland jazz music. I liked it!
I brought myself a record turntable, connected it to the detector stage of my home radio, and ran out and brought a few 78 rpm records. Little did I know how those records would someday end up? Paid full price for them too, until a friend told me about jukebox operators. My friend said: "You're crazy for paying list price for records. Go to a jukebox operator and buy his overages for ten cents each." seemed that the operators brought 200 to 300 copies of each new release. Some went good in the boxes and some did not. So he sold his surplus at 10 cents each. So how could I go broke at that price? That's when I started building my collection in earnest.
Well, comes Pearl Harbor Day and a lot of engineers were being drafted. I, having the draft classification of a married man with dependents, was suddenly transferred to the uptown studios to become a control room engineer. This meant that I got to put the records on the turntables. In those days, before disk jockeys, the engineers played the records and rode gain on the program while the announcers sat in their little booth and read his commercials and gave the correct time. That's all they were good for! Hi! The FCC, in the 40's, required that all sound sent to the xmtr be controlled by a licensed engineer.
While working at the control room I found another source of records to add to my fast growing collection. This time they were free. The station had an exchange deal with the largest music store in Charlotte. After each record show in the morning, the announcer would say, "Records played on this_morning program were by courtesy of Parker Gardner Music Co." In return for that plug they furnished, at no cost, the radio station with new releases. So about every two weeks when the new releases arrived the morning announcer and I would trek down to Parker Gardner Co. and get three copies of each new release. Mr. Parker thought that we were getting all three records for the station. Little did he know? The breakdown was: one for the station, one for the announcer and one for the engineer (that's me). So MY collection grew and grew and grew! Of course I didn't add records that did not fall into my category of interest. Free or not.
December 1944 comes along and I was offered a position in Jamestown NY at the Duramold Division of Fairchild Engine and Aircraft Corp. A wartime division that I bet you never heard of? Did you? The engineer that offered me the job was the same man that had hired me at radio station WAYS.
This was a defense plant making radar antenna housing out of a new material called fibreglas. I had the grand title of a Junior Electronics Engineer (whatever that was) working in an electronics lab supervising 5 lab technicians building strip heaters and control boxes to cure that new fiberglas. While there we also modified a brand new 15 kw G.E. FM broadcast transmitter to cure heat setting glue lines with rf heat. We had it operating right in the middle of the 40 meter ham CW band. The hams were not using it, remember? An early micro-wave, no less. But that's another story.
Comes Spring 1945. I had finally found housing in the suburbs of Jamestown for the XYL and small son left in North Carolina. I was ready to send for them. When I called her and told her the good news the first thing she said, after asking me what took you so long was: "What do I do with the pile of 1000 78 rpm records sitting here?" Offhand I said, "Pack them in a big box and express them with the rest of our belongings, the company was paying for it anyway. So what the heck."
She took me literally and asked her father to look for a box, large enough to hold those records. At the Southern Railroad machine shop, where he worked, he found one. It must have been used to ship a locomotive drive wheel in. She packed all those 1000+ records in that one BIG box! She told me later that when the railway express truck came to pick up the shipment that the driver had to go back to the office and bring two helpers back to help him put it on the truck. I was told by the express man that delivered it to my front porch in Jamestown that it was still in the same express car that it left Charlotte in. He said that rather than move that big box to another car, in Newark NJ, they just shifted that same express car to the Erie Railroad train bound for Jamestown. That's what he said! Believe it or not, only one record was broken!
So my collection found a new home in Jamestown NY. While there I kept adding to it from flea markets, yard and estate sales. I even paid full price for new ones too. I didn't have time to find any jukebox operator. At that wartime plant we worked 49 days in a row before we got one Sunday off! Then 49 more!
Comes the end of WWII. My cushy position ended in Feb. 1947. So back to North Carolina we go. This time I got real smart and rented a U-Haul trailer, hooked it on to the car and moved the personal possessions, including the 600 pounds of records back to Charlotte. I broke a few. I did not pack as well as the XYL.
I soon found that engineering openings for me were not so good back in the old home town.
So in February 1948 when I was offered an engineering lab job back on Long Island by one of the same engineers that I worked with in Jamestown, it was packing time again. So it was off to work for the Pilot- less Plane/Guided Missile Division of Fairchild Engine in Farmingdale NY. Another U-Haul rental and here we go with that traveling record collection again! This time I stayed put on Long Island for the next 28 years. I left Fairchild in November 1965 and was employed at Grumman Aerospace as a reliability engineer until I retired to Casselberry FL in November 1976.
This time I had to rent a 28 foot U-Haul truck to bring all those well traveled records and personal possessions to Florida. Now due to, state-of-the-art, my record collection now consisted of, in addition to the 78's, about 1200 LP's, about 400 45's and about 450 reels of reel-to-reel tapes. I had recorded a daily 2-hour jazz music show on weekdays and 8 hours on Saturday, from a non-commercial FM radio station in New York City. (WRVR). This over a period of six years. All this on recorded reel-to-reel tapes. Whew! I had my Scott tuner-amplifier and reel-to-reel tape recorder on a timer that recorded this show while I was at work, or away from home, just like VCR's of today do.
My collection now occupies my double car garage. Safely filed in built-in record cabinets. With carpet on the floor, pictures on the wall, and nice comfortable easy chairs.
I built my own music console, with two turntables, two cassette recorders, two reel-to-reel recorders, with a stereo receiver feeding speakers in the garage studio and the family room too! I still have room for the car too, shared with my ham shack too!
Of course I am still collecting. During the twenty four years of my retirement I have added about 800 78's. I was able to purchase a jukebox operator's entire stock that had been sitting in a garage twenty-five years after his death in the 60's. I purchased about 5000 records for $50. The attrition rate of them was terrific. Between the warped and worn out ones (I don't know why he kept the worn out ones?) I ended up with about 800 good ones to add to my pile. Some to keep and some to profit from. I had a country music disk jockey, from Orlando radio station, buy all 75 copies of the bluegrass 78's at 75 cents a throw without blinking an eye. So with that one sale I got almost all my money back.
So today, September 26, 2000, my 87th birthday. My jazz collection consists of about 1500 78's, about 3000 LP's, 455 recorded reels of open reel tape and about 650 cassettes of recorded jazz. Of course I don't buy many new cassettes. I fill blank cassettes by recording the local jazz shows on reel-to-reel tape and later edit the shows and transfer the selections that I want to keep to cassettes. Very few jazz CD's as yet. Most of the jazz on CD's I already have on the original 78's, LP's, tape etc. The above count does not include my speculation file of items that I have purchased for trading and sale consisting of about 2000 + items.
Now a word about the collection today. New Orleans Dixieland (sic.) is my principle "like" with early 20's jazz groups ODJB (Original Dixieland Jass Band) Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orch, Coon-Sanders Nighthawks, Jellyroll Morton, Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Buddy Bolden and the ilk. Second, swing from the late 30's and early 40's. Miller, Goodman, no relation, hi, Shaw, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Nat King Cole, The Mills Bros. You name them, I've got 'em! Blues singers like Bessie Smith, Holiday and of course Ella. Peggy Lee. Rosemary Clooney, Sarah Vaughn, and on and on.
Now as I sit today before my computer I am looking at over 90,000 entries in my jazz collection program alone. They can be accessed by song title, artist, source (45's, 78's, LP,s, tape, cassette, etc) record label, condition, file location, condition, my value and record label. I can enter the word 'love' on the title line, in the search mode, and get a readout of every title containing the word 'love' and so on. I can get my value on the collection at will also. All this with just one 8 line entry! I purchased this special program written by a collector in Tualatin OR. It cost me a pretty penny too!
Little known facts about the world of records today that you don't know or really want to know. An Elvis Sun label 78 went for $6700 at an auction last month. The most valuable LP listed in Goldmine magazine today is $4000 for Charlie Parker's "The Bird Blows The Blues". $2000 is an outstanding offer for the soundtrack of "The Caine Mutiny" w/Bogart and, believe it or not, $1500 for a pealable Butcher Block Beatles cover. I did have one that someone had tried to peal that I sold for $50 at my last garage sale. I had purchased it in a box of 25 LP's at a local garage sale for $5 just as they were closing the sale!
William Van horn,K3CP
NAZARETH, PA (ARNS) -"Someone said that one of the local FM stations was using a linear amplifier, is that right? Ima Lidd asked Elmer.
"No, - replied Elmer. "Linear amplifiers are used on AM transmitters. That, of course. includes upper and lower sideband (USB and LSB) AM rigs. Linearity is required only when you must maintain the fidelity of the audio wave envelope. This is not necessary on FM transmitters where the audio is not In an amplitude envelope. Also, it results In very low efficiency. Linear amplifiers generally run as Class A or AB and FM amplifiers run at the much more efficient Class C."
"Let's see if can understand you," said Ima. "We Hams would use Class A or AB (linear amplifiers) for the sideband modes and Class C (non-linear amplifiers) on two meters or other VHF and UHF bands for the FM mode."
"That's right," continued Elmer. "Also, don't forget code transmissions (CW). There Is no need for the relatively inefficient linear amplifiers there, either."
Ima said, "We never talked about the different classes of amplifiers, Elmer. What are they and how are they used?"
"Well, there are three common classes," continued Elmer. "They are Class A, B, and C. There are other classes (AB, D and E), but these three are of the most Interest to Amateurs. Class A amplifiers are the best for high fidelity purposes, but are low in efficiency. They have a maximum efficiency of 50 percent, but more typically run 25 to 30 percent. Class B amplifiers are biased so that they only operate on one half of the Input wave. Considerable distortion takes place. However, this distortion can be reduced by using them in push-pull configuration or by taking advantage of the fly-wheel effect of tuned circuits. The efficiency of Class B amplifiers is around 50 percent. Class C amplifiers are very efficient. Values In the range of 60 to 75 percent, but they are not linear. They are harmonic generators as well. Frequency doublers and other frequency multipliers are almost always Class C. Incidentally this characteristic can result in severe Interference to other radio and television services due to the harmonics. Because they are not linear, they would badly distort the audio envelope of a signal. Since the audio envelope (modulation) is what will eventually come out of our headphones or loudspeakers, we would hear this distortion."
"I see," said Ima. "AM Is the type of modulation that varies the amplitude of the signal and therefore we wish to maintain the Integrity of the wave form. FM, on the other hand, doesn't vary the amplitude of the signal so we don't need to worry about that."
"Right you are, Ima, said Elmer. "When lightning or other noise modulates an FM signal, the clipper circuit merely eliminates the AM from the signal. This is why FM is quiet, even in a thunderstorm."
"Many years ago, Hams used to add the modulation after the carrier (RF) was amplified to its desired level. They designed their amplifiers to run Class C and didn't worry about distortion because the audio wasn't added until after RF amplification had taken place. Unfortunately, this required a lot of audio power. 50 percent of the RF power for 100 percent modulation."
"Wow," said Ima. "That means that If a station ran a kilowatt of RF power, It would need 500 watts of audio for phone operation."
"That's right," Elmer said. The audio was Introduced into the final plate circuit and was called plate modulation. There were other forms of modulation used to reduce the high cost of the audio equipment. They were called control grid, screen grid, and suppressor grid modulation. Instead of modulating the plate circuit, the modulation was introduced into the grids of the final amplifier tubes."
Ima interrupted, "What class of amplifier did they use for audio amplifiers?"
"That's a good question," replied Elmer, "They generally used Class B to achieve higher efficiency than In the high fidelity Class A amplifiers. To reduce the distortion that Class B introduced, they designed them as push-pull circuits that I mentioned earlier."
"Now, the next time someone says they are using linear amplifiers on FM, you can tell them to switch to Class C amplifiers and get more for their equipment money. See you next time, Ima."
"Ok, Elmer. I will look forward to another interesting talk."
73 DE VAN. K3CP
from the Delaware-Lehigh ARC W3OK Corral, via the August, `91 issue of the ARNS Bulletin, Lon Stewart, WM7E, ed.
GRUMMAN AMATEUR RADIO CLUB
MINUTES OF GENERAL MEETING12/20/00
By Pete, N2PYV
The meeting was called to order by Pat at 5:25 PM. All present introduced themselves.
TREASURER'S REPORT –
Finances continue to be in good shape.
REPEATER REPORT –
Gordon reported that he had talked to Bill, N2NFI and they have agreed to meet some day in January to install an AC-10 controller at the Hauppauge site.
NET REPORT –
The 20-Meter Wednesday Net was good today. The Sunday Morning 40-Meter Net had 16 check-ins. The 2-Meter Thursday Night Net needs more check-ins.
WAG REPORT –
Pat reviewed the status of the move of our trailer and Bethpage repeater. He has contacted Dick Dunne in the N/G Public Affairs Office who said he will try to help us. The feeling is that we may be getting a little closer to an agreement on these issues.
Pat reported that in addition to those elected at the November meeting, he has appointed Jack, WA2PYK and Bob, W2ILP to replace Bill, N2NFI and Dan, WA2NDP as one-year board members.
Marty, NN2C discussed the plans for Ham Radio University 2001 which will be held at the Phelps Lane annex to the Babylon Town Hall on Sunday January 21, 2001 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. There will be seminars and demonstrations.
Jack, WA2PYK discussed the arrangements for the Holiday Party that we would share shortly. The food was catered through the N/G Cafeteria Staff.
We all enjoyed the Holiday Party
Once again I would like to thank Emmett Goodman, WD4GOL for another great article. This one is titled, "HOW TO RIDE ANOTHER HOBBY, BESIDES HAM RADIO!"
Emett has given us a number of very good articles in the past and hopefully he will continue to do so in the future.
Emmett is a shining example of what club members can do to help make their newsletter rating move from good to great.
Every member has at least one good story to tell and most have three or four. Sharing your story with other club members not only gives them a lift but gives you a lift too.
So let's hear your story. It's really great to see your byline with your name and call in print.
The Editor, KA2FEA