Tag Archives: Bill Mead

Joseph Hovsepian: Montreal’s “Radio Doctor”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Scott Gamble and Bill Mead who both share the following story via the CBC News:

Joseph Hovsepian says he is part of the last generation that knows how to repair electronics

Joseph Hovsepian has been repairing? radios for so long that he claims that he can sometimes smell the problem.

“When I pick up a radio, I turn it on or I plug it in and the way it smells, the way it sounds or doesn’t sound, the way it crackles and fades away, all these things are recorded in my brain and I know exactly how to start and how to fix it,” he said.

Since 1960, Hovsepian has been fixing radios, turntables and other electronic gadgets from his Parc Ave. repair shop.

The 79-year-old sees himself as part of the last generation of people trained in the art of repair.

“We have lost the ability to touch things, fix things, repair them and feel good for doing it,” he said.

For almost his entire life, Hovsepian has been tinkering with radios. He built a crystal radio when he was 12, and his first tube radio at 15.

[…]He believes that today’s electronics lack the warmth that the old radios offered. Hovsepian said smartphones look dead to him compared to old technology.

“Even the sound of the old radios, a little scratch here, a little scratch there…This is radio.”[…]

Click here to read the full article at CBC News.

This is a charming story and I think Post readers can certainly understand why radio seems to be in a class of its own. I feel very fortunate that I’m friends with two people who repair radios for others, my buddy Charlie (W4MEC) and Vlado (N3CZ). Both are kind enough to show me the ropes as they troubleshoot problem sets.

Post readers: Do you live somewhere with a radio repair shop? Have any readers ever visited Mr. Hovsepian’s shop in Mile End? Please comment!

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Bill tunes to WWFD in AM HD

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Mead, who writes:

Thomas, I’m sending you a short clip from WWFD 820 kHz in Frederick, MD. It’s America’s only all-digital station, apparently. They are HD only with a relatively eclectic music format. I’m hearing them at my QTH in Harrisburg, PA, about 80 miles or so north of their transmitter which is 4.3 Kw daytime. I sort of doubt they’ll come in at night when they drop down to 430 watts, but who knows.

My experience with HD on MW is that it can be heard at pretty decent distances under ideal conditions but the slightest bit of interference, a lightning strike or someone switching on the lights for example, and it’ll lose the HD lock.

My HD receiver is a Sony XDR-F1HD. It’s well-known as an excellent FM DX machine. What’s not as well-publicized is that it’s a very decent MW receiver as well. All it needs is a good MW loop antenna directly connected to the AM ANT terminals on the back of the radio.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Excellent!  Thanks for sharing, Bill. I’m passing by Frederick, MD in a couple of weeks and plan to tune to WWFD in both my car and with the Sangean HDR-14.

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The Architecture of Radio iOS and (soon) Android App

Architecture-Of-Radio-screen640x640

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Bill Mead, who writes:

I read about this in the Boston Globe.   It’s available for iOS now and android soon.

http://www.architectureofradio.com

From the Architecture of Radio site:

The Architecture of Radio is a data visualization, based on global open datasets of cell tower, Wi-Fi and satellite locations. Based on your GPS location the app shows a 360 degree visualization of signals around you. The dataset includes almost 7 million cell towers, 19 million Wi-Fi routers and hundreds of satellites. A site specific version of the app includes wired communication infrastructure embedded in the exhibition space. It’s aim is to provide a comprehensive window into the infosphere.

Thanks, Bill–you are one of several people who’ve told me about this app recently. While there’s no practical use for this app as a radio enthusiast (it’s purely a data visualization, not a measurement instrument) in an elegant way, it does make one aware of all of the radio infrastructure around us. Thanks for sharing!

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