Fw: Professors worry that engineering students don't tinker

From: Jim Arnott <jrasite_at_eoni.com>
Date: Sun Dec 10 14:53:48 2000


Five tube Heathkit AM radio followed by a 20 watt stereo amp followed
by a 25" (RCA if I remember correctly) color TV. The last one had a
BUNCH of parts and took about a month and a half of soldering to get
it all together. Taught me all, and I mean ALL, about thyristors.
Stereo taught me all about diode bridges. Each kit had their quirks
and required a steady hand, a keen eye and a BRAIN to put them
together and make them work.

My dad built a complete Dynakit component stereo in the mid sixties.
The power amp is still sought after by audiophiles (Dyna Stereo 70,
True class A amp) even though the power tubes are long NLA. After
nearly forty years it still drives those 15" Altec-Lansing VoT
speakers and sounds better than any system I've heard. Clean!

Those experiences were far better than a four year degree. Not only
did I learn how it was *supposed* to work, I was forced to learn how
it *did* work. The loss of companies like Heath (build your own pdp),
Dyna, and Knight is really an educational opportunity lost for many 'students'.


ajp166 wrote:

> >Actually it's more unique to the UK than here in the usa. The common
> >transistor radios here were the very simple 2 transistor reflex and the
> >standard
> >six transistor superhet.
> >
> >I'm likely one of the few here that has built the AA5 (all American 5) 5
> >tube AM superhet that was common, later transistor designs and IC
> >based systems. Most of my efforts were in generatiing RF power
> >and measuring it. the thing that keep my interest is the intersection
> >of communications (radio) and computers.
> >
> >Building and analysing already built machines is a great exercise and
> >creative
> >instigator.
> >
> >Allison
> >
Received on Sun Dec 10 2000 - 14:53:48 GMT

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