July 1972 Popular Electronics
Table of Contents
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
published October 1954 - April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
RCA Records Releases Discrete 4-Channel Disc
A compatible, discrete 4-channel phono record was released in
May by RCA Records. The disc has the same price as the company's
2-channel stereo records. RCA plans to begin regular but selective
releases in the fall of the 4-channel discs. Eventually all new
RCA recordings will be compatible with both stereo and discrete
4-channel playback equipment. The company is working in collaboration
with Panasonic and JVC, who will make playback equipment available
for the new disc.
Texas Instruments to Market Through Radio Shack
Texas Instruments and the Tandy Corp. have initiated a marketing
program to retail electronic components through the Tandv Corp.'s
nationwide chain of 1300 Radio Shack stores. This marks the first
time in TI's history that the Dallas electronics manufacturer has
made its products available to the hobbyist, professional, and education
markets through a consumer electronics outlet. The semiconductor
components will be sold in individual packages under the Archer
label. Initial products consist of two dozen small-signal and power
Brazil Launches Nationwide Color TV Broadcasts
Brazil is the first South American country to launch nationwide
color TV broadcasts. Official inauguration of color TV began March
31 as one of a series of events celebrating the 150th year of Brazil's
existence as an independent nation. Start-up of manufacturing operations
in Brazil for the production of Sylvania color TV sets and picture
tubes has been announced by GTE International Inc. The Brazilian
color TV market is expected to be between 50,000 and 80,000 sets
this year, compared with the 900,000-set black and white TV market.
About one-third of the 19 million households in Brazil currently
own television receivers.
Minority Engineering Enrollment Figures
Equal opportunity employers will find help in locating minority-group
engineers from a new report just released by the Engineering Manpower
Commission of Engineers Joint Council. The report contains detailed
statistics on enrollments from incoming freshmen to doctorate candidates
in 282 engineering schools and 625 institutions offering technology
or pre-engineering programs. A unique feature of the report is its
special tables listing women, black, and foreign students. All told,
5303 women and 4831 blacks are included in the enrollment statistics.
Each group makes up only about two percent of all engineering undergraduates.
Olympic Scoreboard to Use 25,000 Triacs
Twenty-five thousand triacs will be used as switches in two massive
electronic scoreboards in the main stadium at the 1972 Olympics
being held this summer in Munich, Germany. Each triac, made by RCA,
will activate a 25-watt light bulb in the scoreboard display section.
The display uses 75,000 bulbs to present messages and pictures relating
to Olympic events. A computer will control the triacs to develop
the correct sequence in light switching to change the messages and
diagrams. The displays will be very similar to the latest scoreboards
now in use in athletic stadiums around the country.
Radar Systems in the News
The Coast Guard is evaluating a radar system that could be useful
to the International Ice Patrol's mission of recording the size
and position of icebergs in the North Atlantic. The side-looking
airborne radar was installed on a Coast Guard plane which recently
completed a pre-season ice patrol flight of the North Atlantic.
The Navy is studying a radar that sees under the ground. The broadband
radar system sends pulses into the ground and receives echos that
indicate the sub-surface area profile. Finally, rainfall over Lake
Ontario and its basin will be measured more accurately by a special
radar system which recently went into operation. Three radars are
used at Buffalo and Oswego, N.Y. and Woodbridge, Ontario. Each radar
measures precipitation for a radius of up to 120 nautical miles
from the site.
Ship-to-Shore Communications via Satellite
Comsat and the Cunard Line jointly announced a test to demonstrate
high-quality, reliable communications between the Queen Elizabeth
2 at sea and Comsat Laboratories in Clarksburg, Md. The communications
will go through the Intelsat IV satellite over the Atlantic Ocean.
This is the first time that voice and data communications will be
conducted via satellite with a commercial passenger liner at sea.
The principal on-board equipment to conduct the experiment is an
8-foot parabolic antenna on the top deck. The remaining equipment
and communications terminal are located in the children's play area
on the sports deck.
Dolby Labs Enters Film Industry
A new cinema noise reduction unit for use during film exhibition
has been announced by Dolby Labs. The new unit has the professional
Dolby system already widely used in the music recording industry.
The system reduces background noise of all kinds without affecting
the original signal. This is said to open the way to high-fidelity
optical sound tracks comparable in quality to magnetic tracks, but
at lower cost and with greater convenience to producer and exhibitor.
Recent films which used the system in production include "A Clockwork
Orange" and "Ryan's Daughter."
Most Sensitive Radio Telescope to Be in New Mexico
A 3000-acre desert site, 50 miles west of Socorro, New Mexico,
has been selected as the location of a Very Large Array (VLA) radio
telescope. When completed, the result will be the most sensitive
and accurate instrument of its kind in the world. The instrument
will be used to listen to naturally produced radio signals from
objects within, as well as far outside, our own galaxy. The initial
budget request for the facility is for $3 million. Total cost of
the facility is projected at $76 million. Subject to successful
negotiations for land use and availability of funds, work on the
telescope is expected to begin this year. The telescope will consist
of an array of 27 dish antennas, each 82 feet in diameter. The giant
antennas will ride on railroad tracks some 39 miles long and spread
out in the shape of a "Y".
Posted October 26, 2017