Monday, June 10, 2013

Today's walk report: 061013

23 years ago today...

My son was born. Happy birthday, Alessio! Your dad loves you!

I've been working on a project. I've been trying to resurrect my childhood, family stereo system and I thought I was there today but I was mistaken. One of the most significant aspects of my doing this was to be able to play my records on this system once again. The receiver checked out just fine for FM radio after tweaking and cleaning  and quite honestly I didn't think "phono" was going to be a problem but it is. All I get on either Mag 1 & Mag 2 (magnetic) connections/settings is a loud hum. I tried this on both the built-in Garrard Type A turntable and a Kenwood unit I bought years ago to use with my computer and transfer vinyl to AIFF, etc. So... I joined an audio forum for one and posed the issue there. Other than that, I'm operating a little like Algernon in The Beatles film, Help!

If you've never seen Help! I think you should. It's actually one of my all time favorite movies and I'm not a huge Beatles fan.

So what does this have to do with my walk? Not much but then, as I've mentioned before, I tend to problem solve during my walks. The idea that came to mind on this issue was to RTFM. Let me Google that for you in case you don't know what it means. Take note, this receiver, a Harmon Kardon, TA260 hit the streets in 1960 and the unit I'm working on was purchased by my mother in 1962 but I was able to find a manual. It's just not very helpful. I thought perhaps something in my brain would jar from the 2 years of electronics classes I took in middle school and a light would turn on when I looked at the TA260's schematic. But there was no light. There was however a slightly piercing pain emanating from my frontal lobe. Ultimately I had ended up walking with reckless abandon, pausing for nothing, only to come home and regain my frustration over making this thing work and not understanding the problem. There is an output tube balancing control but I think that is specific to any hum the unit may produce without any input devices, only speakers should be connected if changing this. I plan a tad more research into that.

Here are two videos which show how far I did get in making this thing work again...

Occasionally I'll listen to the radio but I really wanted this to spin vinyl on the very system which played host to the first records I ever bought.

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