February 1958 Popular Electronics[Table of Contents]People old and young enjoy waxing nostalgic about and learning some of the history of early electronics. Popular Electronics was published from October 1954 through April 1985. All copyrights (if any) are hereby acknowledged.
There was a time when "Pong" was a must-play breakthrough bit of futuristic technology with people waiting in line to give it a try, but now nobody would invest a quarter to play it in an arcade. Similarly, believe it or not, people were mesmerized when listening to the series of "beeps" coming from Sputnik I satellite during its short life circling the Earth. This item from a 1958 edition of Popular Electronics shows high school students listening intently to a tape of Sputnik's broadcast. The same "Electronic News" page reported on the availability of a special record with calibrated sounds for helping to calibrate and troubleshoot hi-fi systems, and also a new low-wattage public address speaker system installed at Yankee Stadium that needed only 6½ watts per speaker.
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Another recording star has zoomed into the world's firmament. While it's not expected to out-gross Elvis, Sputnik's signals have proved to be quite an attraction to a Mason City. Iowa, high school, as seen in the photo above.
Two local high school teachers, in cooperation with a Bell & Howell tape recorder dealer, recorded the "beeps" of Sputnik I.
Then, using a radio announcer as commentator, they incorporated all pertinent scientific data to produce an educational tape on one of the milestones of scientific achievement - including the "interview" with Sputnik itself.
The tape has been made available to schools and colleges and other interested groups, and has been playing to capacity audiences at all sessions.
Hi-Fi "Do-It-Yourself" Recordings
A series of test records to help the audiophile determine what's wrong - if anything - with his hi-fi system has been issued by Components Corp., Denville, N. J. Priced at 89 cents each, the records consist of tests and instructions in layman's language on the following problems: wow and flutter; stylus wear; rumble; pickup resonance; vertical/lateral response; and location and cure of hum.
Ballpark Service Uses Sound Efficiently
An unusual high-quality public address system brought cathedral-like sound to 50,000 people attending a religious service at Yankee Stadium recently. Backbone of the system was an installation of 12 University WLC speakers in a square atop a special canopy 48 feet above the altar on the field at second base. Although capable of handling 30 watts each, the 12 speakers required a total of only 6 1/2 watts to achieve complete sound coverage. Such a low-level sound installation is just the reverse of earlier systems at the Stadium, which used large amounts of power fed into a relatively small number of speakers. This had a tendency to cause echo effects, blasting and reverberations not present with the University system.
Posted February 19, 2013