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Fixed Frequency AM radios

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Lucky615
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Fixed Frequency AM radios

Post by Lucky615 » Sat Jun 13, 2020 6:40 pm

Back in the 60’s and 70’s some AM top 40 stations would give away through contest radios that only received that station. Does anyone remember these radios and if so does anyone remember what stations, A friend of mine had one I believe from WLS in Chicago from 1969 it ran on a 9 volt battery.


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Turkeytop
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Re: Fixed Frequency AM radios

Post by Turkeytop » Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:20 pm

I never saw one or even knew of it.

I remember reading that HCJB, a missionary station in Ecuador, used to give out that kind of radios to people in remote villages in Ecuador.

That was the good old days of short wave. HCJB was one of the better stations on the air. They didn't just have religious programs. They also had information and entertainment. Their DX Party Line was one of the best DX programs



CK-722
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Re: Fixed Frequency AM radios

Post by CK-722 » Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:52 am

I remember FM radios like that. The Flint Board Of Education put FM radios in the schools without functional PA systems that only tuned in WFBE 95.1. I'm sure that somewhere there was a tuning shaft of some description, but it wasn't easily accessible. Probably there was a hole in the back that you could put a screwdriver (or a nonmetallic tool if metal threw the tuning off) into and change the station. At worst, there was probably a knob that you could get to if you took the back off the radio. I never saw an AM radio like that, but no doubt they existed. A competing station like WCFL should have offered to pay you for them to retune your radio from WLS 890 to WCFL 1000. They could do remotes where the engineers would retune them for the listener. This would have ended the one channel radio promotion in a hurry.

I think I would pay money to see a documentary about the promotion, and the competing station retuning them. I'll have to ask Art Vuolo if he ever heard of a station derailing a promotion like this. In those days, everyone was friends with everyone else and/or had worked at the other station though. And next week they might be working at the other station. So maybe they wouldn't have.
Last edited by CK-722 on Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:04 am, edited 2 times in total.


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Turkeytop
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Re: Fixed Frequency AM radios

Post by Turkeytop » Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:59 am

I'm betting the AM radios were cheap and subject to drift.



zzand
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Re: Fixed Frequency AM radios

Post by zzand » Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:49 am

I worked for a station that screwed with a competitor that gave them away. Turns out an allen wrench was all you needed to change the frequency on this particular type of radio. So we bought a bunch of them and gave them away to people who had the radios so they could change the freq to us.



kc8yqq
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Re: Fixed Frequency AM radios

Post by kc8yqq » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:12 am

Fixed frequency was also done with FM radios (in the 80's?). I have a couple of them, one for "Sunshine Radio" out of Grand Rapids. There is a switch where you could listen to the normal FM signal or to the SCA off the FM signal.



Lucky615
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Re: Fixed Frequency AM radios

Post by Lucky615 » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:20 am

That’s cool that you can get the SCA. Does the receiver still work good and is the SCA tunable?


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kc8yqq
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Re: Fixed Frequency AM radios

Post by kc8yqq » Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:54 pm

You had to make me drag them out...lol. Actually I have not had them out for a few years and was thinking about them not too long ago.

Both are made by MetroSonix, but no model/serial on them. Both have the manual tuner dial covered, one "The Children's Sonshine Network" and the other with most of the label gone "Fun K...". Frequencies are 91.3 and 89.9, respectively. The 89.9 has a label on the back for WLJN.

These radios have plastic cases and are portables, something a kid would carry around. They also have a power cord built-in or can run on 4 D-sized batteries.

As mentioned before, the tuner is fixed. IIRC from taking apart one of the radios, the tuning dial was disconnected from the tuner. Both the normal FM and SCA are fixed since they both use the same tuner. Reception is not that great as one would expect from a cheap radio. And, yes, they both still work.

Both radio were purchased from thrift stores.



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Re: Fixed Frequency AM radios

Post by CK-722 » Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:28 pm

Even if they decoupled the knob from the tuning shaft, if there's a will there's a way. You could get inside and retune it. I used to have a lot of problems with slide rule dials. I tuned them so much that they stopped working in various ways. On one, the dial cord broke and until I fixed it, I reached inside and turned the flywheel. The other one I think I wore out the dial cord so it didn't move. I got a new dial cord, but it wouldn't work because the dial cord replacement wouldn't drive both the flywheel and the pulley. So I just had the knob, shaft and dial cord drive the flywheel. I later found out that the replacement dial cord was too thin to do the job, and that I needed a thicker gauge dial cord to do the job. My folks weren't that happy because only I could tune it, and find all the stations, by rough frequency, the signal meter, and the formats. Every time they wanted to listen, they called me in to change it. It was so frustrating to try to string the dial cord around the flywheel and dial pulleys, that it didn't get fixed. It worked so well, other than that, I hated to mess with it. The flywheel had another cord that pulled the slug in and out of the inductors for the FM. Fortunately, that cord never broke.


Is THAT where they got the idea for the 486-SX?

Same (x, y, z), different (t)

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RTN Price. Not guaranteed. As of 12:30, 157.71 Down 0.22.

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Turkeytop
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Re: Fixed Frequency AM radios

Post by Turkeytop » Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:28 am

I restrung the dial in a car radio once. I once had a Sony tuner and I restrung that a couple of times. After the first time it gets easier.



UP906
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Re: Fixed Frequency AM radios

Post by UP906 » Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:41 am

I had a small one that was supposed to hang on your ear. It had a Chicago Cubs logo on it and only tuned WGN AM 720.


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WOHO
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Re: Fixed Frequency AM radios

Post by WOHO » Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:59 pm

As a poor teenager, I think that I restrung a tuner with kite string rubbed with candle wax- kinda worked - good enough.



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Turkeytop
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Re: Fixed Frequency AM radios

Post by Turkeytop » Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:38 pm

WOHO wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:59 pm
As a poor teenager, I think that I restrung a tuner with kite string rubbed with candle wax- kinda worked - good enough.
I used the string type fishing line.



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