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 Post subject: Prophetic Letter to the Editor from 1957
PostPosted: Feb Fri 19, 2021 10:34 am 
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The following I found in the April 1957 edition of "Radio Television and Hobbies".

The language is quaint, reflective of the time, but that last paragraph is amazingly prophetic, written 65 years ago!
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 Post subject: Re: Prophetic Letter to the Editor from 1957
PostPosted: Feb Fri 19, 2021 5:41 pm 
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Perhaps there were others in the 50s who saw that one day televisions be antique as well. I have always liked this 1955 New Yorker cartoon where the obsolete 1940s TV is joining dad's cathedral radio and granddad's Victrola in the attic.


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 Post subject: Re: Prophetic Letter to the Editor from 1957
PostPosted: Feb Sat 27, 2021 7:59 pm 
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Location: Endicott NY: home of IBM and McIntosh Labs
Ha! Great NYer cover, and published on my 5th birthday. No doubt I was busy watching Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doodie on the "huge" 17" 1953 RCA 21T227 b&w in our LR that day!
I don't remember anyone with a television with a tiny screen like that, even in 1955.
People moved up in size quickly in b&w, but moved up very slowly to Color, my parents didn't get one until 1971.


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 Post subject: Re: Prophetic Letter to the Editor from 1957
PostPosted: Feb Sun 28, 2021 12:36 am 
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But we're going a bit OT here. The facts are, vintage TV collectors do exist, they generally eschew modern TVs (that are much as he describes them) and as a group we are running out of CRTs.

It is interesting to read in the associated article that the proposition of "vintage radio" was laughable as recently as 1957.

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 Post subject: Re: Prophetic Letter to the Editor from 1957
PostPosted: Feb Sun 28, 2021 5:23 pm 
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irob2345 wrote:
But we're going a bit OT here. The facts are, vintage TV collectors do exist, they generally eschew modern TVs (that are much as he describes them) and as a group we are running out of CRTs.

It is interesting to read in the associated article that the proposition of "vintage radio" was laughable as recently as 1957.


In the Midwest US the number of late 40's and early 50's sets still surfacing currently outweigh the small collector base to the extent that with rare exception the excess of undesirable sets could supply good 10BP4 and 12LP4 CRT's to collectors well into the future. Were I see the real challenge is with late 50's wide sweep angle(Predicta) b&w as well as early 60's round and early rectangular color types. On the other hand CRT's were never stockpiled to the extent of radio and television receiving tubes, and therefore we've nearly exhausted the supply anything NOS. Also as a side note I believe collectors tend to restore way more set's then they could possibly use up by actually watching them within their lifetime.


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 Post subject: Re: Prophetic Letter to the Editor from 1957
PostPosted: Mar Mon 01, 2021 12:38 pm 
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irob2345 wrote:
But we're going a bit OT here. The facts are, vintage TV collectors do exist, they generally eschew modern TVs


Ha, I doubt that, I have a collection of vintage pre & post war TV's.

But my home has become populated with modern big screen TV's, that is what everyone wants these days and I enjoy them too. But I might point out they are not perfect, or reliable for that matter. I spent most of the morning trying to track down a fault in one, which has two CPU boards and 100,0000 x the computing power of Apollo 11 and multiple surface mount fine pin pitch IC's that are awkward to deal with. But these TV's are now part of most people's reality, even the vintage TV collectors. Partly because they have beome so cheap.

They are becoming very difficult to repair, the manuals are harder to get and many of the PCB's are 4 layer. At least on the two layer type is was easy enough to trace out a sub circuit , but now it is a major hunt to find even a single connection that disappears into a middle layer. In this respect I much prefer older TV's.


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 Post subject: Re: Prophetic Letter to the Editor from 1957
PostPosted: Mar Thu 18, 2021 2:17 am 
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That's a great letter made me laugh. The guy had a good sense of humor. Great imitation.


I've been having this theory that cell phones will become massively collectable in the future. I've been thinking about buying an iPhone 1, the first android phone, the iPhones with touch id, the Moto Razr 2019...

Problem is that you can't fix them! But maybe in the future there will be some sort of TV tape that creates a display on anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Prophetic Letter to the Editor from 1957
PostPosted: Apr Fri 16, 2021 11:28 pm 
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ACORNVALVE wrote:
irob2345 wrote:
But we're going a bit OT here. The facts are, vintage TV collectors do exist, they generally eschew modern TVs


Ha, I doubt that, I have a collection of vintage pre & post war TV's.

They are becoming very difficult to repair, the manuals are harder to get and many of the PCB's are 4 layer. At least on the two layer type is was easy enough to trace out a sub circuit , but now it is a major hunt to find even a single connection that disappears into a middle layer. In this respect I much prefer older TV's.


Eh.....I want to be Eschew, but the big TV is always so tempting...

Yes, they are very had to service. They make them that way so as for no one can repair them, and so they have to buy another television. Little do they know that they keep jobs from growing, and them from getting more profits by producing parts for them to sell.

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 Post subject: Re: Prophetic Letter to the Editor from 1957
PostPosted: Apr Sat 17, 2021 3:47 pm 
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What an interesting topic.

Recently I was looking for a TV for my shop. I have a space above my shop floor with a pool table, a wet bar, and plenty of space for a couple couches and chairs - and a nice long wall just crying out for a big screen TV.

I found the perfect, funky, cheap, big screen behemoth on CL, advertised for $40 DELIVERED - a 65" rear projection, which they claimed worked perfectly, so they felt it wasteful to take to the dump. I pulled the trigger immediately.

And they did - $40, delivered! It's a Samsung, dated June of 2004. It's only 720P, but does indeed work perfectly. Star Trek TOS looks amazing on it - the point being 17 years and a modern TV is considered obsolete junk. 17 years! 17 years and just throw it away.

The point being that in 50 years there will be no 'vintage TV' hobby from this era, because TVs from this era are unrepairable. The screens either work or they don't. All components these days are actually the product of a world-wide technical 'ecosystem of the moment' which produces a new generation every 8 months. The next cycle might be backwards compatible, but probably isn't, as groups of chips are all designed to work together as a system. And it probably won't even matter if you can get parts (which you won't), because today's high density chips are largely installed with a process called BGA, which requires a large and very expensive machine, and very specialized skills to use it.

Screens will die. Boards will fail. Signal and media formats will change. The 21st century will leave a big hole in technical history filled with just a few dusty nonfunctional consumer items. Ironically, we are going to know much more about the beginnings of electronics than the 21st century evolution of it, at least on a personal level, as we will still be able to make the earlier technology work.

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 Post subject: Re: Prophetic Letter to the Editor from 1957
PostPosted: Apr Sat 17, 2021 11:32 pm 
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Well, I design and "bring up" 4 and more layer boards in my job, so they are possible to repair using modern tools. The big issue with Large Flat Panels is documentation. It is more likely that new generation LFPs (I don't call them TVs) in the years to come will be repairable by substituting boards.

It's also possible that more specialist suppliers may appear if there is enough interest. My son Pete is restoring (with a little help from Dad) a 50 year old classic Holden HQ Ute. I have been surprised at how easy it has been to get reproduction parts for it, even body panel sections for fixing the rust. Fuel tank pickup and gauge sender assembly? No problem, there were two different types used in the HQ. Guy at Rare Spares: "What color are the lines near the E on the fuel gauge?" Replacement arrives, perfect, made in Taiwan.

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 Post subject: Re: Prophetic Letter to the Editor from 1957
PostPosted: Apr Sun 18, 2021 3:39 pm 
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irob2345 wrote:
Well, I design and "bring up" 4 and more layer boards in my job, so they are possible to repair using modern tools. The big issue with Large Flat Panels is documentation. It is more likely that new generation LFPs (I don't call them TVs) in the years to come will be repairable by substituting boards.

It's also possible that more specialist suppliers may appear if there is enough interest. My son Pete is restoring (with a little help from Dad) a 50 year old classic Holden HQ Ute. I have been surprised at how easy it has been to get reproduction parts for it, even body panel sections for fixing the rust. Fuel tank pickup and gauge sender assembly? No problem, there were two different types used in the HQ. Guy at Rare Spares: "What color are the lines near the E on the fuel gauge?" Replacement arrives, perfect, made in Taiwan.

I agree that it's possible to repair anything - it's just a question of time and money.

The electronics so many take for granted today are produced by an industry that is invisible to most people. I believe part of the enduring attraction of records and record players is that in theory it is possible for a person to take readily available standard materials and make their own record player. Not so with CDs, let alone an MP3 player or streaming device. Modern TVs are also in the latter category. It takes industry to produce them, and it will take industry at some level to support them if people so choose.

Antique radio is a niche interest. It always has been and always will be. It exists today because of the efforts of countless individuals who alone had the interest, skills and resources to support it. Will industry in the future have a similar interest for the products of today? When I weigh that question, I think not. I may be wrong. I hope I am wrong. We shall see.

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