Monthly Archives: April 2011

Radio Shack promises to go back to its roots

Wow. Thank you to Make Magazine for pointing out the fact that, in an ad, RadioShack has recently re-committed to serve electronics hobbyists.

I remember, as a child, when I used to travel with my family on vacation–we would pass through a town and I would declare that it was “livable” when I verified that it had a Radio Shack. It was an ongoing family joke, but of course, there was some truth in there.

I lived for the new releases of the RS catalog each year.  I would plan my purchases and was eager to see when highly sought after radios and accessories would go on sale each month. My first pocket AM transistor radio was a Realistic (the RS brand name on their radios at the time). My first crystal radio kit came from RS. My first digital shortwave radio was purchased at Radio Shack. The local store manager knew me by name.

Most of all, though, Radio Shack  had an extensive collection of small electronic parts/components that I would use to build projects or repair my electronics. Long before the internet, RS was my lifeline.  Where else would I find a 2 cell AA battery holder, small incandescent bulb or tiny servo in my small rural town? Those were the days.

Times changed, though. In the past few years, RS has focused more on consumer electronics–especially mobile phones, computers and TV/Satellite services. I noticed that in corporate stores (not as much in locally-controlled franchise stores), the electronic components sections were getting smaller and smaller.

So, I believe we can thank the Maker community for RS’ new commitment to carry components for the hobbyist.

Okay, Radio Shack, let’s see you go back to your roots. Perhaps my home town will become “livable” once again? One can certainly hope.



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The BBC World Service to keep Hindi broadcasts

BBC World Service - Bush House

According to MSN India, British Members of Parliament have decided that they cannot allow cuts to BBC WS broadcasts in Hindi to India as India is a growing economic power and partner with the UK. Hmmm…I wonder if the BBC WS or VOA will reconsider broadcasting to China for the same reasons?

Andy Sennitt posted the new BBC WS broadcast schedule to India:

  • 0100-0130 UTC on 6065, 9425, 11995, 13745, 15510 kHz
  • 0230-0300 UTC on 11995, 15660, 17510, 17655 kHz
  • 1400-1500 UTC on 1413, 7565, 9685, 11795, 15470 kHz
  • 1700-1730 UTC on 1413, 5910, 7460, 9605, 11740 kHz

Thanks to Kim Elliott for bringing this to my attention.

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Radio Caroline seeks a spot on the British AM dial

Radio Caroline circa 1960's.

(Source: NY Times)

“Since first taking to the air from a makeshift studio on an offshore ship in 1964, Radio Caroline has endured government raids, shipwrecks and a decade of radio silence before finding a land-based studio in the southeastern county of Kent. From there, a cast of volunteer disc jockeys has transmitted album-oriented rock to a global audience over satellite radio and the Internet since 1999.

But to station management, that global reach isn’t enough. In an age when many prefer to listen to music over the Web or by satellite, Radio Caroline would like to be rewarded for its contribution to British popular culture in the most modest of ways: an AM radio designation in the southeast of England, where it was conceived.”

Read full article at the NY Times.

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