Magnetic Core Memory

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yogi
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Magnetic Core Memory

Post by yogi »

This is pretty much how it all started. I remember seeing later versions of this particular version back in the days when computers were just coming out of the laboratories and into factory production environments. Amazing.


Magnetic Core Memory
Magnetic Core Memory
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Kellemora
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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I guess it didn't catch on, hi hi.
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yogi
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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It was state of the art at the time. Semiconductors were only lab experiments back then, but when that technology improved core memories had no place in the world anymore. The core memory board I recall was on a PC board about the size of a 10 x 14 photograph and I don't think it had more than 1024 bits of memory. It might have been 2048, but it's too long ago for me to recall clearly. We used punched paper tape to feed it data because small sized disks weren't popular yet.
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Kellemora
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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My Heath/Zenith Octal Entry, besides the numeric keypad, I also had a paper tape reader/punch.
It saved a lot of time entering data by hand. But that is all it was, a toy, hi hi.
My Apple I motherboard used a cassette player with data tapes, so did my Apple II at first, then I bought the floppy disk drives for it. It was lot's of money back then too!

It is amazing how far along computers have come in our lifetimes!
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yogi
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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It is amazing how far along computers have come in our lifetimes!
True that. The day I started my first job at Motorola semiconductors were a theory. We didn't make any products that used them until I worked there nearly ten years, and those products were hybrids. Closed Circuit cameras were the first product to use semiconductors and then hospital products. You could say I've been in electronic before silicon chips were invented. Now they are talking about qubits and quantum computers than can break every encryption code known to mankind in under twenty minutes. As fantastic as computers seem to be, they are based on the geometry and physics of our brain, which apparently is magnitudes more complicated than the world's most super supercomputer. The day where artificial intelligence will be smarter than humans is 5-6 years off. Then what? I can't imagine where that will end up. But, Stephen Hawking predicted it's one of the few things that will do away with humanity as we know it.
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Kellemora
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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When I used to go with my brother on his overseas buying trips, usually to Japan, Hong Kong, and parts of China.
I saw technology signed, sealed, and blocked from sale, until the current technology was all sold.
As simple example was the CD players, then recorders, even though they had already developed DVD players and recorders, and BlueRay was already in the works. You couldn't buy a DVD until the CD market was saturated first.
At the time my brother was buying CD jukeboxes, which only played music, they already had DVD jukeboxes with VIDEO Screens on display in their What's Coming Next showroom. But no sales could be made for like 2 more years on those.
He was so sure that the Hoverboard craze would become popular, he bought like 8,000 of those to be delivered somewhere around 6 months down the road is when they would leave China. These were the two-wheeled type, but ran vertically, not horizontally, so had good speed to them, compared to the later horizontal types that worked like Segway's work. He ended up selling the bulk of them at cost to get rid of them, nobody wanted that type after the horizontal ones came out. We had fun playing on them around his warehouse. You used them like you did a scooter, but they had no handle. More like a motorized skateboard, just put more pressure on your front foot to go faster, or more pressure on your back foot to stop. They didn't speed up until both feet were on the board, which was a benefit to them.
It was on our last trip over together that I bought the recumbent bicycles, two of them, one for me and one for Ruth. I rode mine a lot, she rarely rode hers at all. I ended up selling both of them together to a couple for around double of what I paid for them, but then too about 1/3 the price that they sold for here from a bike shop.
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yogi
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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I don't recall seeing many hover boards on the streets. I am certain that I have seen more recumbent bicycles than I have hover boards. LOL Frankly I don't know how technology is marketed these days. I've been out of that game for a couple decades now. It always amazed me how our development engineers would come up with the next generation product but not be able to sell it right away. It almost sounds like a conspiracy because I would think the guy with the game changing technology would have a marketing advantage. Why would he care about those other folks with last year's toys? I don't know the answer to that but that is how the game was played for many years. Also, China never was the leader in technology. They took what the Western World developed and made it more efficiently and cheaper. That's no longer the case because China is at par with us technologically, and possibly ahead in some areas. It could be that the marketing strategy has changed due to that.
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Kellemora
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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I hear ya, and agree, it doesn't seem like something cutting edge companies would do.
You got something new, get it out there before everyone else.
But then too, all these hi-tech companies just might be in collaboration with each other, to make sure they recoup their R&D investments on the current latest product, before flooding the market with the newer tech stuff.
There is also the issue with the parts needed to make those things en masse to sell to the public also.
Although they could make recordable CDs, first they hit the market with pre-recorded CDs that could be mass produced by stamping them in a similar way that vinyl records were stamped. So the music industry got them first, and also pre-recorded programs for computers, then finally they released the recordable CDs.
DVDs started in much the same way, but for the movie industry first.

I once went through a plant that made 4-track tapes, the smaller cartridge size like 8-tracks.
It was amazing to see how they had these humongous machines with 6 large spools of tape on them, feeding through recording heads at fairly high speed, then another machine that wound them up and cut the tapes off at the right point and slipped them onto the self-feeding reel. After I saw this in operation, I then understood why some of the 4-track tapes had such a long leader between the end of the last song and the start of the next group of songs.

I was also in a record stamping plant, but it was not for music, it was an advertising companies product. Well it did have music, but not the kind you listen to, hi hi. Ironically, some of these were printed on the side of cardboard boxes their product came in, so you could cut it out and play it on a 45 rpm turntable. Cereal boxes also did the same thing for a while.
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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You are my favorite time machine in that you bring back memories I completely forgot I was keeping in storage. LOL I recall those cereal box records and had a few of my own. I don't know now what was on the disks nor do I remember what cereal we are talking about, but I do recall the excitement of hearing what was on those records for the very first time. My uncle worked for a company that made turntables and as if by magic I happened to have owned a couple different kinds of my own. I think they started out being dedicated to one speed and came up with the multiple speed decks much later. The first one I owned was a 45rpm version, which is what was just becoming popular at the time. I must have been about twelve years old.

I don't think CD manufacturers were in cahoots in any way, but I do know the RIAA is the Mafia of the recording industry. They only reason they changed their ways was due to the porn industry advancing the technology at a multi-billion dollar rate. All that recording technology was available but the RIAA controlled the copyrights and the royalties. So even if you had a writable CD, it was illegal for you to use it for copying music. It took a while for them to figure out how to stop pirates, but eventually they did and then both read and write CD's were in public hands. Now it's all about streaming and the money is laundered before you even hear the music.
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Kellemora
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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Almost everybody remembers the 8-track cartridges, but almost nobody remembers the 4-track which handled all sizes of cartridges from single song, to multiple songs, to entire albums in a super larger cartridge.
I liked the 4-track cartridges much better, because the player had it's own drive wheel and capstan. You pulled a lever to raise the capstan into the hole in the back of the cartridge, and they never slipped. Plus, the disk the tape sat on had graphite bars to keep the tape well lubricated. Great little machines and cartridges.
Then, after they came out with the one size fits all 8-track tapes, the quality of the cartridges fell into the crapper.
Many of them had plastic capstan wheels which caused slippage, and instead of bonding the end of the tape to the lead end of the tape, they just stuck the foil sticker over the seam to hold them together, which of course tape dries out fast, and comes apart in a hot car.
You could play the standard size 4-track tapes in the 8 track players by adding a little device called a Gidget to the 4-track so it had a capstan wheel for the drive wheel to push against.

My first recording device was an old hand me down Wire Recorder. But for around my 12th or 13th birthday, for Christmas right after, my dad bought me a brand new commercial grade VM (Voice of Music) reel to reel recorder. He knew I took excellent care of everything I owned. I still owned it when I married Debi, but passed it and the tapes I had for it to my son just as I was moving south to Tennessee. I had lots of recordings of my sisters and brothers, plus mom and dad and a few friends, besides all the commercially bought music tapes, plus I did have some I recorded from the radio as well.
Ironically, even though it had many tubes in it, I only had to replace like three of them over a 40 years span.

One thing for certain, even though many of the electronic type toys we had were actually mechanical and not electronic, we sure had a lot of neat things back then. Some used small motors, others used vibrators to make them work. And you know me, I loved to take things apart to see how they worked, hi hi. Especially the things that looked like they had flames in them, or caused lights to move around in odd patterns. But once you took it apart and saw how they did it, then it wasn't so mystifying anymore, hi hi.
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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Electronics is probably the fastest growing phenomena outside of viruses like COVID. LOL I discovered something last night that really got me excited and I will share a few details with you here.

SOFTWARE-DEFINED RADIO (SDR): https://airspy.com/download/

This software came out of Russia and for that reason I'm just a tad suspicious of it. It downloads clean however, and shows no signs of malware after being on my system for at least six hours now. This software is about radios and in particular short wave monitoring. The signals are digitized and relayed by various servers. Those servers are in fact limited in spectrum coverage which is why you might want to use one of the various dongles these guys sell to compliment the software. I may do that in the future, but for now I spent a few very enjoyable hours learning how to use this software to hear what's going on in the 40 and 2 meter amateur radio bands.

I've not owned anything too sophisticated as far as SWL or ham gear is concerned so that the features available with this SDR package are a bit overwhelming. Every modulation mode known to man can be detected and decoded, and there are both real time audio and rf spectrum analyzers on the control panel. I don't know what most of the filters are supposed to do, but there is one in particular that I wish I had when I ran my own ham radio station. They created a digital filter that rejects adjacent channel interference. I've only had one small opportunity to use it and it seems to work great at rejecting QRM from close by broadcasts. You can get rid of some of that by adjusting the bandwidth, but these guys found a way to null the inter-modulation too. Amazing. Actually it's amazing I discovered any of this on my own. There is a manual that you should download or at least bookmark. It's huge but then there are a gazillion things you can do and they explain it all in detail. The best news is that they apparently have a Linux version, or several versions, along with the expected Windows version. If you want to get back the feel of those good old rag chewing days, this amazing software is the way to do it. The only word of caution is that there is a huge learning curve. Once you get it all down pat, however, it seems fairly easy to operate. Unless you like to roam around the radio bands like I do. It's easy to lose a couple hours time listening to squawking. LOL
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Kellemora
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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I wish I had the time to learn and fiddle with it. Looks interesting!
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yogi
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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I've seen SWL simulators in the past, but this one is alluring and well made. I spent a few hours this morning listening to 40 meter hams and trying to learn how to use the software. My feed is all served by some computer out of Wichita, but apparently there are several others too. All the dials, knobs, and buttons I recall on my old ham gear are on this site along with a lot of equipment I only wish I had, such as audio and rf spectrum analyzers. It was all more exciting than I had anticipated and brought back the feeling of my old amateur radio station days. Then again, those rag chewers don't talk like us cyber nerds, but they DO talk and not type out their messages. LOL I also listened to some CW which was amazing in that I recognized a lot of the characters, but could not copy any conversation. Maybe if I listened more I could revive some old copy skills. Not sure why that would be desirable at this stage in my life, but it could be an alternative to trying to figure out Linux.
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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Back in the day, learning CW was the basis for getting your ham license. You just had to know it to get started. At the super slow rate of only 5 wpm. Then in later years they came out with a Tech license that didn't require code. I guess the purpose was to draw more folks into ham radio.
I spent most of my time on 40 and 80 meter CW for many years. I loved it! But it was still agonizing until I broke that 20 wpm barrier. I would have never broke it if it were not for a ham I talked to nearly every day. He told me the trick, which is not really a trick at all, just a different way of listening to the code transmissions.

Think about this for a moment if you will. Let's say you had to memorize an awful poem to recite in front of class at school.
It was one heck of a lot of work, if you remember from back then.
Now lets take a look at a totally different approach to learning.
When you hear a song on the radio you like, you only have to hear it a few times before you can sing along with the song.
But a song played at a slow speed would drive you bonkers in short order.
CW is like that. Slow will drive you bonkers!

To get started in life, you do have to learn the alphabet, numbers, and punctuation.
The same as when you were learning to read and write in English.
But when we talk, we don't do so in letters, we do so in whole words.

If you listen to higher speed code on your radio, you will often hear someone calling CQ.
Most hams who send a CQ don't leave a space between the C and the Q, or if they do, it is super short.
The reason for this is the MUSIC the code makes. Dah Dit Dah Dit - Dah Dah Dit Dah.
You will often hear that string sent three times in succession.
Dah Dit Dah Dit Dah Dah Dit Dah - Dah Dit Dah Dit Dah Dah Dit Dah - Dah Dit Dah Dit Dah Dah Dit Dah.
Followed by DE which is Dah Dit Dit - Dit. Then much slower you will hear their callsign.
The reason for being slower when sending your callsign is it don't make music and needs to be understood letter for letter.

If you start with many of the simple words, such as My, Is, And,The, Rig, Saw, Now, Had, Some, Very, Just, Were, Know, That, When, Felt, Could, Should, Would, etc. And listen to them at high speed 25 to 35 wpm, same word in succession several times, you will learn CW by words instead of letters.
Sadly, it is not necessary anymore. Since the mid-1980's we all had CW readers that would listen to the code and display the word or sentence on a display screen, and now with computers, almost all CW is done on the screen using the keyboard.

What is great about CW is it can get through when nothing else can!
What's boring is most exchanges of information are just location, rig, antenna type, power, and thanks for the QSO, hi hi.
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yogi
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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It's been too many years for me to recall all the details, but it seems as if I was able to copy code in excess of 35 wpm. Knowing how to send and copy Morse Code was indeed a requirement for getting the license. In fact the FCC examiner would give the applicants the code test first before they were allowed to do the written part. If you failed the code then you did not get to do the written part. I did learn code and like yourself that's about all I did for the first several years. 40 and 15 meters were my playgrounds, and when 10 meters opened up that was a bonus. I got my license when it was free. Shortly thereafter they started to charge for it.

The trick you describe is what I learned, but did not think of it as music. As you aptly point out we don't read words letter by letter, and that same idea can be applied to aural phenomena. I used to copy code and write the conversation down on a note pad so that I could recall all that was said. I got to the point where the code was too fast for be to write text while receiving it. At that point I just made notes and didn't copy letter by letter. It's all pretty interesting but honestly it's useless to know code. It does have the advantage of merely being a carrier that can penetrate the heaviest QRM. I think only the military uses it now.

There was talk about dropping the code requirement back in my day, but it never happened while I was active. I don't recall the justification for them making it mandatory but it was something archaic like voice was too complicated for most people. Maybe that was true in the days when you built your own rig. You had to do it right or you could kill all the neighbor's TV's lickity split. HiHi.

The software I found is different than what I've seen in the past. This is not a simulation. It is a live stream of some server with a radio attached. The company giving away the software is actually selling these radios packages and I'm likely to get one eventually just to try it out. It's a matchbox with an antenna and a USB cable. The USB connects to the virtual front end software and gives you all kinds of virtual instruments. They have plug-ins too and I would not be surprised to learn that they have a CW decoder and display similar to the one you mentioned.
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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I know I bragged about this before, but I got my CB license in 1957, the year the service opened. I was the first person in Missouri to get a CB license, so my initial call was simply 17Q. The first person ever to get a CB license was Mary Stanley in California, and her call was 1Q. Years later when she moved to Missouri I met her and we had a lot of fun talking about the early days of CB and all of the restrictions it carried. CB back then was nothing like it is today and the simple radios were Rock Bound. Fortunately, my uncle picked me up like four crystals to use, and he was the only one I had to talk to for months. Walter Ashe put a big sign up in their store that said all of us in the Kirkwood area should use channel 7, and Webster Groves channel 10, and named a few other cities around us. Because I was simply 1Q, Walter Ashe had QSL cards printed for me at no cost to me, and set me up with a better radio and antenna system for fairly low price. And nearly ever person who had a !7Q call contacted me to get a QSL card. I never did find 17Q1 through 17Q12 as those were in Kansas City I think, too far for 4 watt CBs and also illegal to talk that far, hi hi. But I had contacted, or those who contacted me from 17Q22 all the way up to 17Q58 with only a couple missing in there.
The Q calls ended at the ripe old age of 1 year, due to some international regulation about transmissions or whatever. CB was not exactly local is why, signals could skip. I was slow to get around getting a new call sign, but when I did, the FCC issued me call sign KNH-7564, and a few months later, I had some friends telling me someone else is using my call sign. We tracked that person down and found out the FCC issued him the same call sign, so we called the FCC to get it straightened out.
Turned out, his call sign was issued before the gal went to lunch, and mine was issued after she got back from lunch. She just forgot to scratch that callsign off her list. So they changed mine to KPI-1591 which I held until they stopped licensing CB service at all. CB became fairly much unregulated and overcrowded, so instead of the 23 channels we already had, they increased it to 40 channels, which really didn't make sense, because CB was already a royal mess and falling out of favor for a new service called Family Radio which is controlled heavily by the FCC.

I got my first HAM license in 1959, KØVCH. I had that call sign all the way up to 1968. It lapsed while I was in the service, so after getting home I had to take all of my tests over again a couple of years later when I got back into Ham Radio in 1972, KAØCDE, which was only a Novice license. But I enjoyed 40 and 80 meter so much on my home brew rigs, and on my later Heathkit rigs, I never upgraded until 1993. My main reason for wanting to upgrade was my uncle gave me a Heathkit Sixer, from the series called Heathkit lunchboxes, hi hi.
Once again, the FCC messed up royally. An individual can only hold ONE Ham License. In 1993 I took my test for a General Class license, passed with flying colors. However, they said my KAØCDE license had lapsed. So I had to start all over again at the bottom. I passed my Novice Class and got the call sign KBØLMW. A week later I took my Technician Class so I could use the 6-meter rig, then took my General Class. The crazy FCC issued me a new call sign after each upgrade when they were not supposed to do that. I was surprised when they came in the mail. I don't remember what they were anymore, because they told me to use the latest for General, which was NØZOI. I used that call for 2 years before upgrading to Advanced Class in 1995 and got a two x two callsign, KGØZP which I still hold to this day. I also took my Extra Class a couple of times while I was working on electronics, but missed a few too many answers. And then with my wife so sick and no time for much of anything else, I just never got back into it, and also I had my brain erased, so it would be nearly impossible to upgrade after that attack. They discontinued the Advanced Class, and they should have just given us all a free upgrade to Extra since they alleviated many of the hard questions on the test and also code.

I'm glad to hear you were proficient at CW. I had a CW key used by pilots that clipped to my leg, and did CW while mobile in my car. A few were surprised I could carry on a conversation using CW while driving, especially since my cars were all stick shifts, hi hi.

I moved south 20 years ago, and never got my Ham station set back up again. A shame really! But there was a lot going on trying to renovate a house for me and Debi, then her dad dying and my taking care of her mom, then selling the house I started on to buy Debi's mom and dad's house for her and start renovations on it.
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yogi
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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Before I took an interest in ham radio I was an avid short wave listener (SWL). My first radio was bottom of the line and didn't work very well, but it was intriguing to listen to those foreign broadcasts live. Then I discovered the amateur radio frequencies which perked my interest even more. I had two or three SWL receivers before I got interested in hamming it up and each one was more sophisticated than the previous one. Even when I got my General Class license I still listened to the SWL bands below 30 MHz. At the time I thought there simply wasn't any thing better than getting news about Russia directly from Moscow. LOL

The SDR software I discovered recently is still pretty new to me. Apparently it's just the front end for interfacing with either the hardware they sell or the network stream they host. There are dozens of servers on their network and I've only listened to a few here in the states. There is a server is St Louis, for example, but they only go down to 24 MHz and up to 2 Gigs. Most of my interest is down in the single megahertz range and that is where the server in Wichita comes in handy or the one in Fargo. I don't think it's very complicated at the server side. The radio electronics is in a very small package and all you need is an antenna - or that is all I think you need. The output of the radio goes to some kind of network card and that's it. Of course you can do all that without hosting on a server, which is probably what I will do some day. The SDR network is global and there are a ton of servers in Europe and Asia. Might be a few in China too. Once I master the software I currently am using I might attempt to see what those foreign servers are picking up.

I never had a lot of trouble with the FCC, but then I didn't do all the upgrades that you did. My novice license was one that specifically was limited to novices so that when I got the general license my call letters changed. I never tried for a higher grade license because the added features that go with it didn't interest me. I noticed that the SDR servers cover a 12 meter amateur radio spectrum. All I've ever head there was a carrier signal, and the band is quite narrow. I'm guessing that's the band for one of the advanced licenses probably dedicated to TV and or FM broadcasts. That might be why I can only detect a carrier. I can detect FM, but there isn't that much activity there for me to do any serious investigation. Anyway, I was a little surprised to find that band. I totally forgot that it existed until recently. Then, too, I am absolutely ignorant when it comes to anything above 2 meters.
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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When I was a little tyke, my dad had a console TV with a 78rpm record player on one side, and a radio on the other side that tuned AM radio, FM radio, and 3 different Short Wave bands all in AM only. My dad thought I was crazy listening to what was probably telex signals, because they were just a roar over AM. But that is not what I was listening to, there was talking underneath the noise which I could make out if I played with the knobs a bit.

Many years after that, I had a few old short wave radios my uncle gave to me, and that got me hooked, hi hi.
He's the one who knew about the new CB band opening up, and helped me get that license. He didn't get one for himself though, which surprised me. But he did help me learn the code, so I could get my General license. When I did, he gave me his old Heathkit Sixer which was pretty beat up. But it was fun and I could talk to him and a friend of his every day.

I only found 12 meters to be useful at night when the solar flux was high. So rarely used it. Did more on 17 meters.

I see pictures of guys (and gals) ham shacks, and they all have computers and monitors now, plus a few laptops. Not many radios like I used to have piled up on my desk, hi hi.
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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My first encounter with the wonders of radio communications was when I still was wearing diapers. LOL Back then the police used the AM band just above 1600 KHz for communications. Once in a while if we fiddled with the radio enough we could hear them. It didn't take too long for them to figure out how easy it was to eavesdrop and they changed frequencies and modes of broadcast probably before 1950 came rolling in. I don't recall exactly what I heard them saying, but I do have memories of being amazed by it all.

I did a little more exploring last night and this morning and it turns out the 13 meter ham band was fairly active. There were several CW signals that all sounded like novices. Very slow code sending. I also picked up some audio at the upper end of the band. I couldn't tell where they were located but I imagine some skip was involved. To my amazement I also discovered the 30 meter amateur band. This morning I could not find any intelligence there, but it's an entirely new range of frequencies for me. I never heard of 30 meters prior to this morning. I guess the world of Amateur radio has changed drastically since I had a license.

One thing that did not change is the style of communications. I used to think the Internet was "like ham radio" but am being reminded now that they are two separate worlds with two different civilizations populating those realms. After all these years in chat rooms and social medial, I think I would have a very difficult time dealing with all those old guys talking about nothing on the ham bands. There are the networks with lots of members and all they do is check in every day and give a weather report. Perhaps a short comment too, but that's it. They don't do anything other than announce their presence. I guess there are times and circumstances when they accomplish something useful. but. and I can't believe I'm saying this, the trolling between democrats and republicans on Facebook is infinitely more interesting. I dunno. Now that I've been on the Internet, I don't see how I could ever go back to the ham radio crowd ever again.
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Re: Magnetic Core Memory

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I don't remember much about the bands other than some countries have different bands than we do, so we listen on their band and transmit back on ours.
I also used to belong to GreenTree which used the 2-meter band to transmit and receive, and the 440 band to tune into the HF frequencies. They often had unusual bands we could use, because they were licensed to the person operating the HF rig.
There was another 2-meter cross-country group, but for the life of me, I can't remember the name of it right now.

There are many types of discussion groups on Ham Radio, you just have to know what frequency and the times of the get togethers. There was also a model railroad club who met on 10-meters every Friday night around 9:30 to 10 pm. Most of the talk was about building different types of scenery. But with no video, it took a lot of explaining on how to do something to get the affect one was talking about. There was another group for miniature steam engines and trains, big enough to ride on. I was into trains back then, so dropped in on them often.
Now they are all on-line on the Internet and are really cool to watch.

And as always there are the plentiful rag chewers groups who talk about anything and everything 24/7 or as long as the band holds out, hi hi.
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