June 1966 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.
Popular Electronics printed in
April 1966 its
first notice of new frequency units to be used beginning with this June edition. The
May issue included a piece titled, "Comes the Revolution
- or - '40 Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong'." Predictably, not everyone liked it.
With this same June issue came the promised change and along with it the first in a series
of reader responses.
Here is a
reader's opinion from the August issue.
Old World Standards Breaking Through - Reader Response
Much Ado About Hertz
In "Old World Standards Breaking Through" (April, 1966) you question the sensibility
of adopting hertz as a unit of frequency. If cycle and hertz were equivalent, you might
have a valid gripe. Actually, hertz is equivalent to cycles per second, and is a true
frequency unit. Too often frequency is specified in cycles and the per second factor
tacitly assumed. This may justify, in part, the creation of a new unit.
Danny W. McDonald Silver Spring, MD
I agree that the term cycles is time-honored and sensible. Since one hertz equals
one cycle, however, no real change is being made, so it's kind of unimportant. But wow!
When I got down to the bottom of the article, I darn near fell over. It actually looks
like you said you don't like the metric system! Incredible!
William H. Roberts, III Reno, NV
In reference to the term "Hertz" in place of the word cycle, I get the feeling there
is almost nowhere to turn in an effort to do something about this sort of thing. The
tone of the announcement in the April issue is as if you have raised your eyebrows, shrugged
your shoulders, and then turned the other way. Perhaps this isn't quite true but you
leave me with the thought that you have a "hands tied" attitude. Is there no editorial
objection to a thing like this?
C.S. Stockslager, Brookfield, IL
We have no disagreement with you, Danny. You do admit that while the "old" frequency
designators did infer cps, they generally did not carry the per second notation. Could
be the term hertz is a step in the right direction, but it too will infer "per second."
Bill, honest and truly, we have nothing against the metric system. See "Comes The Revolution"
(May, 1966) for some very good reasons why we should use the metric system. We just didn't
want to upset our printer, at least for another month. There is no way to turn, C.S.,
except maybe in cycles. There are many very fine electronic products on the surplus market
that have been shunted aside by an ever-expanding technology, and electronics magazines
that don't keep up with the changing standards will be competing for shelf space with
Posted July 24, 2018