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News Highlights
July 1972 Popular Electronics

July 1972 Popular Electronics

July 1972 Popular Electronics Cover - RF CafeTable of Contents

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Popular Electronics, published October 1954 - April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.

Engineering and science magazines, websites, and discussion panels frequently report on and lament the lack of women and minorities in both realms. You might think this is a relatively new concern since, but as evidenced by this 1972 Popular Electronics tidbit the effort to attract women and minorities into the fields has been going on for half a century. At the time, women and minorities made up about 2% of undergraduates in engineering curricula. The proportion was 20% as of 2015 (a 10x increase) according to a recent report by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). During that same time period (1970), according to the National Center for Education Statistics the overall split between men and women in college (in the U.S.) was 4,249,702 3 males and 3,118,942 females (57% males / 43% females). As of 2105 the split was 7,499,837 males and 9,536,941 females (44% males / 56% females). The ratio has reversed and today favors women to the degree it favored men in 1970. That must be why there are so many government programs now which are attempting to get men back into college. Oh, wait, no there's not.

News Highlights

News Highlights, July 1972 Popular Electronics - RF CafeRCA 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 transistors.

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 February 19, 2024
(updated from original post on 10/26/2017)

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