Oct 13, 2019

Memory Lane

Yesterday, I was searching the internet for electronics kits when I discovered Heathkit is in business again, not like they used to be, but there they are. Wow, the memories that brought back. My first shortwave receiver, listening to the radio with my dad when I was only in the single digits. Then I was trying to recall the model of the radios we had. Well, here they are.

When I was just a little guy, dad had this big gray radio with pull-out drawers in front, a big silver tuning dial, and a big matching speaker. Ends up that radio was a National HRO-50 or HRO-60. This is exactly like I remember. The box-jointed wooden crate, the four A, B, C, and D tuning coils. The awesome silver dial that brought the world to my ears, and my imagination. That dimly lit meter glowing with the hope of hearing yet another new friend somewhere out there in this vast world of radio!

I remember tuning the big dial, swapping the tuning coils out, and staring at that big speaker listening to the whole world pass by right in front of me. And somehow, this was all made possible by a thin strand of wire strung out the window to a tree in the yard. Wow. The glorious triumph of those warm, glowing tubes eagerly seeking out the tiniest of signals! I wonder where that radio is now...

When I hit the double digits, dad bought me a radio of my own. For many years, I lost interest in radio out of frustration of not knowing Morse code. I understood it, but just couldn't seem to develop the ear for it, especially mid-message. My radio was the Heathkit GC-1A Mohican, just like this one. This radio sat in my room all the way through high school. Every once in a while I would spin the dials, but somehow never regained interest in it.

In the mid 1970's, the big thing was CB radio. In 7th grade, I had a Realistic CB radio, a crystal police scanner, and later, a Midland CB radio. My next door neighbor Billy and I would talk back and forth on the CB all the time and listen to the incredible "skip" at night, hearing guys seemingly from all over the country. Ah, the good old days. How time flies...

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