Saturday, September 06, 2014
  My first 'unboxing' item

Since we're being all Russki around here,

I figured I ought to have some Soviet Stuff. So I ordered a 1980's Soviet transistor radio [VEF 214] from Ebay. Wanted to have a new toy as an end-of-project treat.

It came today. Haven't heard it yet. The AC cord has a Russki plug and is meant for 220 V 50 cycles. So battery power is the only choice. Will try it out tomorrow after picking up some C-cells. .... Oops. C cells are too small. NOTE: The specs for this radio say C cells, but the radio actually takes D cells.



Mostly I wanted to see how it was built, not hear how it sounds. And the construction fits nicely into Orlov's account of the secret of Soviet survival: it's REPAIRABLE. A stuck tuning dial gave me an excuse to open the case immediately, but I would have opened it anyway.



It's solid and chunky. The case opens with four long screws that run all the way from back panel to front panel. After removing the screws, the front and back panels come off, leaving the middle part standing. The screws thread into captive nuts in the front panel so you can open the case as often as necessary. (Most American = Chinese consumer gadgets use self-tapping screws into plastic, which you can open 4 or 5 times before the thread is gone.)



Note how the case divides the interior into 'rooms'. Everything inside is hand-soldered and hand-assembled. This radio gave jobs to real Russians, not robots. Note the IF transformer cores reachable for alignment; also the twisted wires to speaker and pilot light for AC noise cancellation. The dial cord is real cord, running over several pulleys in traditional 1940's style. Unsticking it was easy; someone had forced the pointer all the way to one end, and a little push brought it back into normal range.



= = = = =

Distraction: As it happens, the radio arrived while I was trying to fix my 4-year-old Kodak printer. Yesterday it started giving an Error 3527 Printhead Blah Blah. These Printhead Blah Blah errors usually turn out to be software glitches which disappear after swapping out printheads and ink cartridges in no particular pattern for several hours. Printer is bored and decides to pull a prank on User. Ha ha ha, I made User look funny. User just wasted a morning fucking around with my cartridges! Now his hands are black and red and green and yellow, and his face is red! Ha ha ha! You been punked, User!



But this time it was a real physical failure. The cogged belt that moves the printhead has little tabs on it (circled) that hold the printhead in place. One of the tabs broke off, so the printhead no longer stays with the belt. No fix possible, had to order a new printer.

Nice comparison. Similar pulley arrangements. One is still working after 30 years, the other is broken after 4 years.

= = = = =

Back to the radio ....

It has 6 bands, all calibrated in meters instead of kc or mc:
LW 1000-2000 m (300 - 150 kc)
BCB 180-550 m (1660 - 540 kc)
SW1 the usual 25 m international band
SW2 ditto 31 m
SW3 ditto 41 and 49 m
And the bonus:
"UKV" 4.1-4.5 m (73 - 66 mc)
This is the Soviet FM band.

= = = = =

Got batteries, putting them in.... Hmph. Well, after all that it doesn't work. No power at all, as in a blown fuse. Oh well. Would have been more fun, but this was enough fun. As abovementioned, hearing it wasn't the main purpose. I'll check to see if the problem really is a blown fuse, but I'm not going to spend a lot of time and effort if it's deeper.

Next day: YAY! It does work. Wasn't the fuse, but it was equally simple. The AC jack has an interlock thingamajig that disconnects the battery switches when the line cord is inserted. The interlock was dirty and not quite fully released. I wiggled it and made it release, and immediately got results. This radio has a BIG sound. It picks up some 25m SW stations and BCB, all very clearly. SW reception has never been good here; Spokane doesn't pick up skip from Europe, and my house has aluminum siding. Nothing is heard on the Soviet FM band, which isn't terribly surprising.

So: the radio had two problems. Both just needed a little wiggle. Tools: screwdriver, fingernail. That's REPAIRABLE.

Later observation. The 'art' on the PC board in this 1983 radio looks like American PCB 'art' from the '60s. It doesn't look anything like German or Japanese etching from the same period. This stylistic difference is hard to describe but clear to an experienced eye. Russian cars showed the same American tendencies in underhood and inner details, even while their outer styling was closer to German.

Labels: ,

 


<< Home

blogger hit counter
My Photo
Name:
Location: Spokane

Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

My graphics products:

Free stuff at ShareCG

And some leftovers here.

ARCHIVES
March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / June 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / November 2011 / December 2011 / January 2012 / February 2012 / March 2012 / April 2012 / May 2012 / June 2012 / July 2012 / August 2012 / September 2012 / October 2012 / November 2012 / December 2012 / January 2013 / February 2013 / March 2013 / April 2013 / May 2013 / June 2013 / July 2013 / August 2013 / September 2013 / October 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / January 2014 / February 2014 / March 2014 / April 2014 / May 2014 / June 2014 / July 2014 / August 2014 / September 2014 / October 2014 / November 2014 / December 2014 / January 2015 / February 2015 / March 2015 / April 2015 / May 2015 / June 2015 / July 2015 / August 2015 / September 2015 / October 2015 / November 2015 / December 2015 / January 2016 / February 2016 / March 2016 / April 2016 / May 2016 / June 2016 / July 2016 / August 2016 / September 2016 / October 2016 / November 2016 / December 2016 / January 2017 / February 2017 / March 2017 /


Major tags or subjects:

Carbon Cult
Defensible spaces
Ethics
Experiential education
Grand Blueprint
Гром победы
Heimatkunde
Language updates
Metrology
Natural law = Sharia law
New toys
Skill-estate
Switchover

Powered by Blogger