The Rest Of The Story

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yogi
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Re: The Rest Of The Story

Post by yogi »

While I think the Romex company can afford to lose a few feet of cable when making rolls of their product, I also can see the need for splicing. I'm not sure that's economical, but it does cut down on wire loss. It would seem odd that a building inspector would not know about the splices in rolls of cable, but apparently that's not part of the requirement for the job.

The Western Union splice must have been invented by ... Western Union. LOL It certainly is intended to not pull apart, and that is exactly what those telegraph wires need. I can understand the reasoning behind clamping high tension wires at the splice. I also can imagine the windings of the splice acting like a transformer. I suppose if the wires were heated and melted together that would short circuit the windings, but I can't imagine how RF would be generated. The frequency is pretty low even when the voltage is super high.

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Kellemora
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Re: The Rest Of The Story

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Although line voltage in this country is a constant 60 cycles. Coils on the wire can act as transmitters and emit an RF signal not only at 60 Hz but at multiples of that, and sometimes at 1/2 or 1/4 waves also. Any pigtail left at the end of a coil acts like a transmitting antenna. Also, lengths of wire between connections to a transformer can act as tuned antennas as well.
An RF signal can be added to an electric wire using a spaced coupler too. Either on purpose or not on purpose.

I shouldn't admit this, but we used to use a pick-up coil we held up in front of a junction box for early analog cable TV, and we could capture almost all the channels for free. All it took was for a lineman not to close a box properly, and back then, many of the junction boxes didn't even have lids. They were more like an upside down box. This was great because all we had to do was hold the coil up under the box, and their really wasn't anything the cable company could do about it, other than knock it out of the way when they saw it. It wasn't touching the utility pole, but was leaning over into their easement or working area. They could not steal our coil, but they always knocked them back over onto our property. If you remember, the old VCRs used to be tuneable. Little knobs inside to clear up a channel you wanted to record. So you could tune to as many channels as your VCR was capable of doing. But they only recorded one channel at a time back then too. Even so, we could watch one channel while recording another one.

As a Ham Operator, we used to send complaints to the electric company every time they had a wire sending out RF on our bands. It usually took three of us to nail down the location where the RF was emanating from so we could tell them exactly where it was. If we did that work for them, they would usually fix it in a day or two. If not, the noise may persist for a month or longer. They also liked to know which harmonic we were picking up, and it was usually all of them, but one band would be the strongest. This way they knew what filter was needed if it required a filter and not just a trim of the wire at the splice or at a connection.

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yogi
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Re: The Rest Of The Story

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You got my curiosity up with that RF being detected at A/C wire splices. I don't recall ever dealing with such a thing in my career, but I do know any wires can be conductors of an RF carrier wave. That's not the same a 60Hz signals generating the RF. I could not find any mention of how that RF might be generated at a spliced wire junction. I can only imagine that what your amateur radio pals and you managed to triangulate was some form of arching across some high tension transmission lines. If the splice isn't done correctly, then I can see the likelihood of the arc causing RFI and EMI. The splice itself has nothing intrinsic that would generate RF, so I'm a little baffled at your story.

Back in the old days we used to tap telephone conversations with induction coils. I suppose tapping into a cable box wouldn't be any different. Now and days the shielding is pretty good and the signals are encoded. So much for free television. LOL I also think it was nice of the cable guy to just toss your coil aside instead of cutting the wires with a shovel. Even if the service guy were to be malicious on purpose, it would be difficult for you to argue your case in court. You know, you were stealing a service and the cable company is the bad buy because they cut your tap. LOL

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Kellemora
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Re: The Rest Of The Story

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Here is an interesting read on the subject.
https://www.tdworld.com/overhead-transm ... line-noise

Actually, stealing cable programs in this way was NOT against the Law, for several reasons.
The antenna receiving the signal was on YOUR Property.
There was no physical connection to the Cable Service Lines.
Your Antenna did not wrap around or otherwise interfere with the cable service.
And the big one. They are NOT allowed to be transmitting cable services over the airwaves, they are not licensed as a broadcast company but as a cable company.
It is up to them to provide the proper shielding to prevent their signals from being picked up by a nearby antenna.
All they have to do is put the cover on the box like it is supposed to be installed and the person cannot pick up the signal.
Actually, they are violating the law by creating RFI from their cable drop boxes.

You mentioned telephone which is an entirely different set of laws, most of them concerning privacy laws.
Whether you make a physical connect to, or use pick-up coils, you are still Wire Tapping a Private Service.

I used to pick-up cell phone calls. Not from the towers, but directly from the cell phones of passing motorists.
Even caught my attorney one time telling his wife about getting a ticket as he drove by.
I mentioned it to him and he about had a conniption fit, told me it was illegal, and considered wire tapping.
I told him he had better brush up on the law, because he was transmitting over the Public Airwaves.
This was also before the Scanner blocking law was in affect, hi hi.
I also told him he should not be putting out sensitive client data over the public airwaves either, because anyone close enough to your phone can pick it up. Not anymore with all the phones being digital.

To put it bluntly, ANY Signal transmitted over the PUBLIC AIRWAVES anyone can intercept.
The BIG STINK about Scanners picking up cell phone calls that existed a number of years ago did get some laws passed.
But they had NOTHING to do with receiving a signal transmitted over the public airwaves.
The laws merely stated that Manufacturers of Scanners and other Receiving Devices, had to render them inoperable in the 800 mHz band. Other Receiving Devices was clearly defined as a device normally purchased by an UNLICENSED CONSUMER. Ham Radio is a Licensed Service, so our equipment did not have to be locked out of that band! But this does not mean we could have a Scanner designed for personal use with that band unlocked, because it is not designed solely for a Licensed Service.

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yogi
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Re: The Rest Of The Story

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This quote from the article answers my question:
Sparking or arcing across power-line related hardware causes virtually all power-line noise that originates from utility equipment. A breakdown and ionization of air occurs, which results in a current flow between two conductors in a gap. The gap may be caused by broken, improperly installed or loose hardware, which causes inadequate hardware spacing, such as the gap between a ground wire and staple.
As I said, there is nothing intrinsic to the splice that would generat RF energy. The arcing from a defective splice will cause the interference. It's like a small version of lightening.

Like the Internet, public air broadcasts are fair game for anyone to receive. Even if they passed laws to make such intercepts illegal, there would be no way to enforce such a law. I'd still not want to argue your case of cable broadcast interception in court. To be sure the cable and junction box is on your property by invitation. The box most likely is on an easement that gives the utilities legal access to that part of your property. In the case of the cable television broadcasts, it is intended to be a paid for service. You were not paying for it like all the regular customers. I'm not sure what you call that, but it sounds like robbery to me. LOL Listening in on cell phone calls just because you can, is not illegal. Taking action as a result of what you heard can be illegal. The cable TV issue is blurry because that radiated signal outside the cable is in free air (or ground). But, by taping into it you are taking action intended for subscribers only.

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Kellemora
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Re: The Rest Of The Story

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The same could be said about the HUGE Satellite Dish I bought.
I was intercepting the Satellite signals from the High-Orbit Satellites.
It was a Big Business for a while, and many people had the Large Satellite dishes.
Then they began locking out the channels one after the other.
You could pay to get a code for your Satellite box, or a plug in chip if you had a newer box.
But I watched so little TV that I was happy with the ones that were not locked.
Any of the channels that were also broadcast channels were not locked, so all was good.
I ended up selling the dish and all the equipment that went with it shortly after they ran the cable lines for cable TV.
Even subscribed to them for a couple of years.

Pigtails left dangling on splices do act as antenna's and is the source of a lot of RFI.

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yogi
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Re: The Rest Of The Story

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Back in the Chicago area we had over 60 channels of broadcast TV. I don't think we have that many with the cable here, plus we are paying well over $100 for less than we had before. The interesting thing about television up north was that there were quite a few analog channels that remained operational after the rest of the world went digital. I never changed antennas from the one installed when we built the house and I could receive about half a dozen of those analog channels. One was public broadcasting if I recall correctly. As far as my interests go, PBS is all I needed. The antenna needed replacement when we left, but I'm certain the new owners went with cable. Most of the neighbors had cable due to the HOA they had to deal with. I could have put up a 50 foot tower if I didn't mind paying the fee to the village. Then again, we were right in the flight path of O'Hare's runway 27 South so I dunno how much I could have actually gotten away with.

I always thought the satellite dishes were ugly and unbecoming for a home installation. The TV antenna on the roof looked fine to me. That probably had something to do with the fact I was into amateur radio and always wanted a beam antenna.

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Kellemora
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Re: The Rest Of The Story

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I had beams for a while, but decided multi-directional was best for most of my purposes.
I did have 2-meter Yagi pointed to the main packet repeater in the area.
This is one reason why I had so many using my system, as it was about the only way they could reach the GreenTree network too. If they lived south of me they couldn't reach the packet hub without going through me either.
One of the repeater clubs put up a huge packet repeater system about the same time I married Debi, and we moved south a year and a half later. With the new repeater, not very many were using my system anymore, so it worked out well.

One of the reasons I don't belong to the ARRL, after being a member since I got into ham radio, had to do with them coming out in force to help a new novice with massive antennas his dad paid for after turning me down four times.

I also had a bout with the QCWA that caused me to turn my back on them forever.
I was invited to join the QCWA by an older ham who was a member and knew me from the day I was first licensed.
His logbook also showed several contacts with me. Besides what he had, I had my old transmitter cards, yearbook pictures of me in the ham radio club, my old log books, and several awards I had won.
They didn't care, they only went by what appeared in the official CallBook.
Well, the CallBook had me messed up a few times. I brought them copies of the CallBooks that had mistakes about me in them. One even showed me with two different licenses at the same time, neither of which I ever held officially.
I even contacted some of the older hams who made copies of their logbooks, and/or sent me QSL cards which they verified they sent to me.
QCWA still turned me down, and even with all the proof, they still stuck by their unwritten rule of only going by the faulty CallBook.
After I reached the 35 year mark, they began sending me a couple of invitations per year, and I turned them down flat. Including with it a nasty note about their faulty methods of which I did not want to be a part of. I reminded them THEY are the ones who turned me down first, and they won't get me Second Fiddle now!

The big issue was, although my name was on my original first license, and my transmitter cards, in the CallBook they showed the person who tested me as the owner of that call. And he too appeared in the CallBook that year under his own call sign. One cannot hold TWO Call Signs at the same time! So the CallBook was printing errors.

My dad's subdivision where I lived had a rule in their HOA that did not allow HUGE antennas, with no other definition of HUGE, hi hi. However, Ham Radio is considered an Emergency Service, and our ability to put up an antenna overrides whatever and HOA rule says, even though they didn't think so. My dad just didn't want any trouble from the HOA so made me take it down. This was after I contacted the ARRL for the official federal ruling on ham antenna's and HOA rules TWICE. Right before I took it down so dad didn't kill me, I called the ARRL and spoke with someone who said they would call the HOA trustee, and send them a letter. I waited like three weeks to hear something, but did take down the beams and only left the tower and a couple of dipoles up.
A couple of years before I got married, a new family moved in diagonal across the intersection from us, and they put up the largest antenna system I ever saw in my entire life. It had at least three beams on it, plus several other stick antenna's and of course the dipoles. What he had over there made mine look like a popsickle stick in comparison.
I notified the HOA and told them, either theirs comes down or I put mine back up.
This got the HOA to jump into action, and it wasn't but a week later, lawyers from the ARRL were there and threatened to sue the HOA for violating federal laws. The ARRL came out in full force for this new novice, but wouldn't do diddly for me even after I contacted them again after the incident, because the HOA still got after my dad about my tower.
Didn't much matter by then anyhow. My cousin and I rented an apartment close to where we worked, and then I got married. When I did move into another apartment, I've talked about all the antenna's I had put up there, but most were well hidden, some were in plain sight but not thought of as antennas, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: The Rest Of The Story

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I know I talked about this before, and I can't say I had any confidence in the ARRL when I was an active ham. They sent me invites to join but I never did. Many years after I packed away my radio station we moved to a suburb of Chicago that had one amateur radio operator. You knew who he was because his antenna towered above his house. It stuck out like a sore thumb, but I smiled every time I passed by. The neighbors, apparently, didn't smile. They wanted this antenna removed and got the village involved with their efforts. They all went to court to battle it out in fact, ARRL et al. It took many years to settle and this guy kept his antenna up all that time. In the end they could not force him to take it down but they could levy a tax or some kind of antenna permit. I understanding that permit was somewhere in the area of $700, which might have been a one time only cost. Don't recall the details at the moment. He never paid the tax and took down his antenna. That's all I know. Rumor had it that he moved out of the neighborhood too.

I don't know if this case was some sort of president but a lot of lawyers got involved. I'm sure it cost the ARRL a pretty penny too. So, I don't know what the ARRL got out of their participation other than a huge legal bill. But, for whatever reason they went to bat for this amateur radio rebel. The ARRL and QCWA have their rules and it would take some intelligence for them to see an error in their interpretation of the rules. That's why this antenna thing went to court in the first place and why they didn't help you out. You didn't follow the rules. LOL

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Kellemora
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Re: The Rest Of The Story

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I did win a lot of awards when I was in the ARRL, but I was most active at the time too.
Although I started out on 6-meters with a Tech License. Once I built the 40/80 meter transmitter, I did nothing but CW for many years. CW is a very interesting method of communication, besides getting through when nothing else will, the different speeds are like a whole different language at each level.
I didn't realize this right way, starting out at 5 wpm like everyone else and learning the letters, numbers, and punctuation.
And everyone you talk to will say how hard it is to break that 15 wpm barrier.
One I did I learned why. You are no longer speaking in letters of the alphabet, you are speaking in whole words at once.
So one way of looking at it is: You have to relearn the code as words and not letters. Listen to it as music.
Every word has a sound of its own.
Even someone calling CQ has a song all its own, and when you hear it as music instead of letters, you'll be close to breaking that barrier.
Sadly, it's been so many years since I've used CW I probably couldn't even do 5 wpm anymore, hi hi.
But I'm sure if I got back into it, I would pick up the words again as a song fairly rapidly.

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yogi
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Re: The Rest Of The Story

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Been there. Done that. Then I switched to SSB. LOL

For many years all I did was code and experienced exactly what you are talking about. There was some weather broadcast in code that I used to listen to in order to gain proficiency. It was weird stuff and mostly numbers with no standard words in the text. One day I recorded it and played it back at a slower speed just so I could tell what the heck was being broadcast. Apparently it was some kind of nautical weather service giving out weather statistics for various longitudes and latitudes. I had to look up the coordinates to see where they were referencing. I think most of it was in the north Atlantic, but I don't recall for sure now. They must have been 30 wpm or more and I did get to the point where I didn't have to write any of it down to understand what I was hearing. I got to the same point in regular QSO's too. I'd make notes instead of documenting each character. Then I stopped with the notes too after some time. By then I was ready for voice and seldom went back to code.

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Kellemora
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Re: The Rest Of The Story

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Using CW usually means you need to have the time to sit down for a half hour or longer to enjoy the exchanges.
But my uncle knew I would burn out real quick if I couldn't do voice. So he's the one who pushed me to get my tech license as fast as possible. So I technically was on voice first, using a Heathkit Sixer given to me by my uncle, already assembled and working just fine. I was welcomed to the small group of fellows that were local on the 6-meter band.
I also bought from Heathkit the Twoer and Tener. But repeaters were not popular at the time, and I wasn't licensed for 10-meter voice yet. I did assemble the kit and uncle tuned it up and we sold it, so I could buy an HF transceiver kit. With school and an after school job, I never had time to put it together. But I did have that old Hallicrafters receiver uncle gave me, plus I had built I think it was an HR-10B receiver, and of course the 40/80 meter home brew transmitter.
These items are what got me hooked on CW. Plus I had about 5 very patient hams who would help me by responding to my low power CW transmissions.
But what hooked me hook line and sinker was when I started getting calls from overseas from other weak stations by new hams. Made lots of friends those first few years, some of which we still stayed in contact for years afterward too.
Getting drafted into the service was basically the end of my ham radio days for a long time afterward. I was still on, but not like I used to be. Day and night jobs, plus dating and getting married, stole whatever free time I had for hobbies.

I had one neighbor when I lived in my second apartment who I caused TVI on his old black n white TV. He was mad at first, so I installed a filter for him and now he couldn't hear me unless he wanted to. Turned out he wanted to quite often and we got to talking. I helped him get his Tech license, and after he bought a little 2-meter handi-talkie, he was on our local repeater almost all the time, talking to someone. That's one of the reasons I started using 220 and 440, plus I also turned back to using HF almost all the time once again. Unless I was in my car, then I was on UHF and VHF.

Since computers and the Internet, ham radio has died back a long ways. I still have my radio station packed in boxes. Never set it back up again. Most of the equipment has probably gone bad, dried out capacitors from being in storage so long. Sad really!

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yogi
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Re: The Rest Of The Story

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There was lot of talk about 6 meter voice when my interest in ham radio started to germinate. I didn't like the idea in my early days because if I wanted to talk local there was the telephone. My heart was set on DX and nothing else would satisfy my wants. A buddy of mine gave me a homebrew CW transmitter that he build from a magazine. It was about 8" square and all of 20 watts, or something in that range. I also had a hand me down Hellicrafters receiver I used primarily for SWL. It had a band spread circuit which allowed me to listen to ham radio easily but the front end was so wide that it was hard to pick out a single signal. That was my first rig. My first contact was a kid and his dad who lived about a mile away. As luck would have it I was his first contact too. You can imagine the excitement and confusion going on all at once. LOL It took some practice before I was able to use the BFO and pick out some of those other signals who were calling me but got lost in the noise. Once I got going, however, I didn't stop. I spent many hours DX-ing the 48 states, but one day I got a call back from an off shore station. It was a guy on an island somewhere in the Pacific and the QSO only lasted a few minutes before his signal dropped out. It was long enough and good enough to get a QSL card from him which I kept on my wall near the station until I shut it down permanently. It never occurred to me that you weren't supposed to be able to DX with 20 watts of CW. I just did it and had a great time.

Eventually I graduated to a Swan 350 and abandoned CW for the most part. All I recall about the Swan was it was horribly calibrated. I was cited a couple times for being out of band. After I got a crystal calibrator everything was wonderful.

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Kellemora
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Re: The Rest Of The Story

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My early transmitters were rock bound, so I was stuck on a single frequency for transmitting CW.
Most of my overseas contacts I had to tune to their transmitter frequency and listen to find out what they were receiving on. Many countries had different ham bands than we had in the states, so they could only transmit on their bands, but like us, could listen in on any band. Knowing this enabled me to earn the Worked All Continents really fast, but it took a long time for me to Work All Countries on both CW and on Voice.
I should have earned the Worked All Islands award too, but they disqualified over 10% of my contacts for one reason or another. Hams would set up stations on remote islands for a day or two in order to get contacts on those islands, but if they didn't register their event and wait for their official document with the event code, then those contacts didn't count.

I did manage to speak to an astronaut on the MIR space station once for about 20 seconds, long enough for him to verify my callsign, but I never got the special card they were supposed to send out.

Talked to a few movie stars over the years too.

Actually, my biggest later years of doing so much CW was from about 1978 to 1981 when I lived in my grandparents house. I could put up all the antenna's I wanted, including a few sloper-dipoles that were up 100 feet at one end.
From around 1966 up to 1969 I was heavily into both 6 and 10 meters, mostly on 10 meters. Had both rigs in my car, along with a CB too of course, hi hi.

Speaking of CB radios. My first CB call was 17Q since I was the first person in Missouri to obtain a CB call.
And ironically, the gal who had 1Q was the very first person to ever get a CB callsign, while living in California, moved to St. Louis and we got to know each other. I actually did some work for her and from our talks I learned about her being the first.
How it worked was simple. The first person from each state had only a Q, the second person from the same state would have Q1, and the third Q2, etc. In retrospect, they should not have done it that way, because every time I gave my call, the receiver would ask what's the rest of it, hi hi. We solved this problem on our own by appending a zero to our call, so I started using 17Q0, hi hi.

Then they issued the K calls, my first K call was KNH-7564, which I had for about about six months before other CBers started telling me somebody else is using my callsign. I checked into it and both of us had a valid license with that call, so we contacted the FCC to get it straightened out. I'm the one who had to change because his call was issued before the gal went to lunch and she forgot to check it off. Mine was the first one issued after she got back from lunch. So, they changed mine to KPI-1591 which I held up until they quit using callsigns for CB. The band got out of their control so bad, it became almost useless. Adding more channels didn't help much either. 23 channels were plenty, so kicking it up to 40 didn't really make much sense, since they couldn't control the 23 channels we already had.
At least they did go after those who started using the ham bands within cities. In rural areas they didn't do diddly squat.

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yogi
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I think CB radio was the equivalent of Facebook today. Maybe CB was a little worse. LOL The idea behind it was valid but too many idiots took things to extremes. As you point out, when the number of idiots passes a certain point there is no way to regulate and control the chaos. We called it Childrens Band radio because even the OTR truckers got a little obtuse at times and they were the mature ones. Motorola made CB radios for a while but never was successful at marketing them. That's the only reason I ended up with one. I think I had to send in something to the FCC to let them know I had a radio but that was it. There was no license or call letters that I recall. I installed it into the car and it sat there for many months virtually unused. I'd listen to the squawking once in a while but only transmitted a few times. Compared to ham radio CB was a joke.

My tiny 20 watt CW rig also was crystal controlled but it was tuneable within a certain range. It was for 40 meters and I had 6-8 crystals I could swap out. I think I bought them at Allied Electronics before they separated Radio Shack into an independent store.

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Kellemora
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I grew up with Walter Ashe, Allied Electronics, Lafayette Radio and Electronics, and of course Heathkit.
When I was driving OTR, I did take a run to Lafayette Radio ONE TIME, and quickly learned why most the drivers turned down that run, even though it paid over twice as much. It took four times longer to make the run to Soyesset(sp) than to any other stop. Mostly due to traffic and no through trucks, hi hi.
While I was there, I bought several cases of electronics from them for pennies on the dollar. All of it was on lines they were discontinuing so were not making any more. Some of it was hard to sell, but the rest sold like hot-cakes and I more than quadrupled my money in less than a month. I never felt it was a risky thing to buy so much stuff, because I had many contacts back in the day. But I did buy some dumb things too, just because they were cheaper than dirt.

Truckers were using 600 watt linear amplifiers to reach only a mile ahead of them, thus wiping out the band for everybody. But in the early days, when we had licenses, although the service was not supposed to be used as a hobby, we still exchanged QSL cards and worked some skip when we could. I think this is why my uncle pushed me into Ham Radio too.
The challenge of running skip on 11-meters is what probably intrigued me to do so much 10-meter work later on.
Radio Shack was at one time a great store. Then they switched to consumer products, computers, and cell phones. Dropped nearly everything they used to sell, which was the beginning of their demise. No matter what you went in to buy, they either did not have it in stock, nor could they order it for you anymore, or they didn't want to bother ordering it for you. I used to own one heck of a lot of Radio Shack, Archer, Knight-Kit, and their other sub-branded stuff, like Micronta.
Then suddenly, they had none of it anymore, nor did they have Allied Catalogs to order from. That was the end, but it took a long time for them to die, hi hi.

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yogi
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My memory of CB radio is kind of fuzzy but I'm fairly certain working skip was illegal. That didn't stop people from doing it which is the reason why they also used linear amps. A guy I worked with at Motorola was the only person I know who was visited by the FCC (or maybe it was the FBI) for his antics on the CB band. I believe it was due to the high power he was using which wiped out half or all the surrounding bandwidth. All they did was confiscate his equipment. They might have booked him too.

There was a Heathkit store not too far from where I lived in Chicago. The store was in a suburb, however. A buddy and me went there one time just to check them out. That is where I bought my phone patch kit which was the only thing I ever build from a Heathkit. Allied Electronics was about the same distance from my house but in the opposite direction. That has like dying and going to heaven at the Allied store. Radio Shack at that time was part of the store and located in a corner somewhere. I might be wrong about this but I think it's where I purchased, or at least ordered, the Swan 350 transceiver. I remember bringing it home from someplace; just not sure it was from Radio Shack.

A funny thing happened when I wanted to buy that Swan. I didn't have enough cash on hand and credit cards didn't exist in those days. I thought it might be a good idea to establish a credit rating and went to the Local Loan store to buy some money. It was only a few hundred dollars, but they ultimately denied me credit. I had absolutely no history other than a checking account and that didn't count as far as they were concerned. They said they might consider it if I could provide them with a s/n of the equipment in advance. Well, I couldn't because I needed the money to get the s/n off the radio. I just had to wait a few months longer to save up enough to pay cash and it was driving me crazy. LOL

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Kellemora
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I didn't have much trouble getting credit anywhere, but I assume that was because of our families reputation.
Even so, I knew some day it would come in handy having obtained credit and paid it off timely, and usually long before the due dates. I didn't need to buy most of the things on credit, but did so for no real reason other than to establish a solid credit rating everywhere.
God's Truth, I got my very first charge account when I was like 12 years old.
However, here is how they did it. We had the customary local grocery store.
This one was only like four doors away from our house, and my parents sent me there for stuff all the time on their charge.
I really didn't want my mom or dad to know how much stuff I was buying that I didn't have cash for and had to put on their charge. Elmer and Vi owned the store, and I asked Vi if instead of putting it on mom and dads charge, if they would make a book for me instead. She said she would talk it over with Elmer and let me know.
I don't doubt she called my dad about it first though, hi hi.
I stopped in after school everyday like usual. Grabbed a soda and a candy bar, but was like 8 cents short.
Vi grinned and said, no problem, I'll put it on your charge. But you have to pay off your account every Wednesday after school. So she must have known I got my allowance, and a small bit of income from working on Tuesdays.
I also learned a valuable lesson back then too. When you can charge something, those charges add up FAST.
Especially when you grab an extra candy bar and a bag of chips, or those penny paper candies.
It only took a couple of Wednesday payments on my account to be more frugal with my charge purchases.
A few years later, I got a charge account at Kennedy/Brownie Music Center, who also sold 45 rpm records. And oddly enough so did the Singer Sewing Machine Store sell records and albums.
I ran up a rather large charge at Kennedy/Brownie because I only looked at the monthly payment amount. And although I always paid double or triple the minimum payment. My charge grew to close to their limit, before I decided I had to pay it down and fast.
Ever since then, I've always tried to pay my credit charges, and later credit cards in full each month.
Doing so served me well over the years too!

Allied I think is who owned Walter Ashe, and we had a HUGE Walter Ashe store, and like you said, one corner of their store had a counter and a sign that said Radio Shack on it. Over time they took down the outside Walter Ashe sign and replaced it with the Radio Shack sign, and made a major change inside the store too.

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yogi
Posts: 6411
Joined: 14 Feb 2015, 21:49

Re: The Rest Of The Story

Post by yogi »

My #2 daughter gave me gray hairs before my time. One of the reasons that happened was due to her attitude about money. It didn't mean much to her. It was a necessary vehicle she had to use to get what she wanted, but that was the only rule she believed in. My wife was a financial analyst for a while and then a company comptroller so that she knew a lot about money and how to use it. None of that seemed to rub off on my daughter, however. I'm not sure what her age was, but I'm thinking she was still a teenager when she got her first credit card. I don't blame her as much as I do the credit card company for issuing it to such a high risk. But, back in those days you could literally get a credit card for your pet chihuahua. I knew somebody who did exactly that. Anyway, with credit card in hand my daughter felt she was free to buy anything at any time with no constraints. She too only looked at the minimum payment and would get a new card to pay off the old one when it maxed out. Of course, the old balance didn't go away, it just moved to the new card. She did this trick a few times before it became obvious that she could not pay off anybody anymore.

Again, I can't believe the credit card people would keep giving her credit and raising the limits, but they did. By the time she got married she had so much debt that it was impossible to ever pay it all. She filed for bankruptcy. That probably was the best thing she ever did because after that she could only use cash. When it came time to buy a house, she could not be on the title because of that bankruptcy. That in particular straightened her out because she was totally dependent upon her spouse for any cash. It took seven agonizing years for her credit record to be wiped clean. She was a new person at that point and paid off her debts as they were incurred. I know of other people who went through the same ordeal but never learned their lesson. At least my daughter was smart enough to come away from it all with a more mature outlook on finances.

The irony with my daughter's story is that for a while she worked for a credit card company as a collector. She had to make phone calls all day long and try to convince people to pay off their past due debts. There were some interesting stories she had to tell but I was inspired by only one of them. Apparently her company gave a credit card to an octogenarian woman who scored high and received a high credit limit. It was something beyond $25k which she got extended when she hit the limit. Not sure why they would extend anything like that but they did. This woman, unlike my daughter, never paid anything on her card while she ran it up to the limit on a luxury vacation in Hawaii. When my daughter called her and explained there were legal things that could be done to make her pay, the lady laughed. She told my daughter she was 87 years old. What are they going to do? Come and put her in jail? Apparently there was no answer for that. But, I am now thinking about applying for a few credit cards. :lol:

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Kellemora
Posts: 4077
Joined: 16 Feb 2015, 17:54

Re: The Rest Of The Story

Post by Kellemora »

We had a fellow who worked in our greenhouses for close to five years before we all though some great uncle died and left him a fortune. Turned out, he was building up a stash of credit cards, using each one for a few small things and paying them off until he over 20 cards with limits of 2,500 bucks or more. Then he decided to go hog wild and buy anything and everything he wanted.
I have no idea how many judgments got piled on his head, but only so much of his paycheck could be garnished. So I assume each of his creditors just had to wait their turn at getting a garnishment. He continued to work for us up until we closed in 1984 and my dad who handled the payroll always sent in the garnishment before giving him his check.

Some of the folks said, maybe he wasn't so dumb after all. He got everything he wanted, none of it could be repossessed, and they could only take so much of his paycheck. I'm sure he got tons of calls and letters, but he didn't care. We don't know all the types of things he bought, but think he must have bought things he could resell later at a profit too, because he seemed to always have money to spend. Who knows, maybe he was using stolen cards, but I don't think so or he would have got caught eventually.

My brother knew a guy who got rich using credit cards, but in this case, he paid off the credit cards on time with no late pays. He thought of himself as a one man CoOp, hi hi. He learned where the price breakpoints were for volume purchases on many items, and then went around to stores to undersell what their wholesalers or distributors charged them for the smaller size purchases. If he could get ten or more stores lined up to buy a product from him, he would jump on the deal and get the items for them. And since my brother had such a large warehouse at the time, my brother ended up doing the drop shipping for him, for a fee of course, hi hi.

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