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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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