Professors worry that engineering students don't tinker

From: John Honniball <>
Date: Mon Dec 11 08:49:22 2000

On Sun, 10 Dec 2000 18:55:15 +0000 (GMT) Tony Duell
<> wrote:
> > >-tony (who grew up holding a acrewdriver, built his first radio 28 years
> > >ago. For the UK people, the semiconductors were an OC45 (regenerative
> > >RF/AF stage), 2 OC71s (AF stages) and a couple of OA81 diodes. That
> > >should identify it.
> You know, I am a little concerned that not one UK member of this list
> recognises that radio circuit. I thought just about everybody built it at
> some point...

Well, I recognise the transistor numbers as PNP germanium
types, but I have to admit that I've never built a radio.
Unless you count a Rugby MSF time-code receiver? I think I
must have got into electronics at a time when off-the-shelf
radios were commonplace and the exciting stuff (for me, at
least) was television. Then Philips came out with the
N1500 video recorder, and then the first calculators and
microcomputers came along.

> My scars were less serious as they've all gone by now (well, apart from
> the cuts made last week :-)) but I've had more than my fair share of
> burns from molten solder, cuts from assorted tools, etc.

Oh dear, now you're making me realise how long it's been
since I did any soldering... But I did take my Akai 4000DS
reel-to-reel tape deck apart at the weekend.

> It's amazing how much is learnt by 'tinkering'. And how that knowledge
> comes to be useful to solve totally unrelated problems.

Absolutely right!

> -tony

John Honniball
University of the West of England
Received on Mon Dec 11 2000 - 08:49:22 GMT

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