October 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.
RF Cafe regulars know
that the website's slogan of "Serving a Thoughtful Blend of Yesterday, Today,
and Tomorrow" is a very accurate description of the information presented on a
daily basis. Having always been a firm believer that being aware of the people
and events that brought us to where we are today is essential to forging paths
towards tomorrow's successes, I take care to review and excerpt relevant
historical passages from vintage newspapers, books, magazines, and videos. Some
of the most interesting reads are noting historical perspectives from writers at
a time that to us, today, is historical. Some of these "News Highlights" from a
1972 issue of Popular Electronics magazine are an example. The first
item celebrates the 10-year anniversary of American satellite communications
with the launching of the Telstar satellite. As of this writing, that article is
47 years old. Satellites are such a commodity today that
CubeSats can be placed in
orbit for a few thousand dollars.
Communications Satellite Has Tenth Birthday
Over ten years ago (on July 10, 1962) a small satellite was lifted into space,
carrying with it the beginnings of a new era in communications. Dubbed the Telstar
satellite, it set the stage for the future by conveying the first television broadcast
between the United States and Europe. The historic telecast featured the Stars and
Stripes rippling gently in front of the satellite's earth station in Andover, Maine.
The inaugural program also included the first telephone call beamed through the
satellite. The Telstar project, designed, built and paid for by the Bell System,
is credited with making a significant contribution to today's international communications
technology. Since Telstar, NASA has launched communications satellites Relay 1 and
2, Syncom 1, 2, and 3, and Intelsat I through IV. The latest communications satellite,
launched June 13, can carry 5000 to 6000 two-way telephone conversations and will
add 12 TV channels to the 48 now available between the U.S. and other nations. That's
12 to 20 times the capacity of Telstar 1.
RCA Institutes' Course Awarded Degree Status
The N.Y. State Board of Regents has authorized RCA Institutes to confer the degree
of Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS) to students completing the school's Electronics
Technology Program. This is a 2-year college level engineering technology course
which stresses communications and computer technology. After completing the program,
a student is qualified as an engineering technician. In addition to the new degree
status, the program is accredited by the Engineers' Council for Professional Development.
Credit for the course is also given at many colleges and universities.
N.Y. to Replace Fire Boxes with Citizens Alarms
The City of New York has awarded a $5-million contract to North American Philips
for expansion of a two-way voice communications system linking the man in the street
instantly with either the police or fire departments. Under the contract, 2900 of
the new street-corner call boxes and related central equipment will be added to
the 200 units the city has tested for the past year. This is the initial step in
a planned five-year program to replace all of the city's 15,000 aging fire-alarm
boxes with the new citizen's alarm system. The two-way voice communications feature
enables the exact location and nature of an emergency to be reported instantly and
the appropriate response to be made by the police or fire department.
Color TV Set Sales Are up 21 Percent
U.S. manufacturer sales to dealers of both color and monochrome TV sets were
up in the first half of 1972 over sales in the same period in 1971, according to
the Electronic Industries Assn. Sales of color TV sets to dealers, the industry's
major product, were up 21.1 percent for the first six months. Monochrome TV set
sales to dealers were up 9.1 percent over last year. Total TV set sales to dealers
were 5,373,776 units for the first six months, which is up 1.5.5 percent from last
year. Radio sales to dealers were down 4.2 percent and phonograph sales were down
9.1 percent compared to last year.
More Consumer Demands for Service Technicians
Consumer demands will increasingly focus on the service industry, predicted Garth
J. Heisig, director of consumer affairs for the consumer products division of Motorola
Inc. He advised TV service technicians at an Atlantic City convention that they
should be ready for it. He said there are estimates that within 10 years a family
will spend 15 percent or more of its income just for servicing the products it owns.
Electronic Editing at Democratic and Republican Conventions
Editors of United Press International at the Democratic convention are the world's
first newsmen to use electronic editing devices to report on-the-spot events. Video
display terminals, made by Harris-Intertype, were used to generate and edit convention
copy and to monitor the national newswire. Stories were typed on the terminal keyboard
at Miami Beach and immediately dispatched to New York. Then information could be
held in the computer memory or moved immediately on the newswire to UPI clients.
The terminals display 50 lines of text at a time on a CRT screen. As the editor
makes corrections, deletions, or additions on the keyboard, lines automatically
adjust themselves and revised copy appears instantly. Copy is displayed in upper
and lower-case characters, and is easily read in a normally lighted room.
Motorola Versus Learjet on Tape Cartridge Patents
Some months ago, Motorola, one of the pioneers in the early development of cartridge-type
magnetic tape players, filed a declaratory judgment action in the Federal District
Court in Wilmington, Del., against Gates Learjet Corp. Motorola asked that the court
declare four patents owned by Gates Learjet which pertain to the cartridge-type
magnetic tape players be declared invalid and non-infringed by Motorola players.
A few weeks afterward, Gates Rubber Co., which claims to have obtained title to
the Learjet patents, brought a patent infringement suit against Motorola involving
the same four patents.
CBS Labs Veep Honored by Audio Group
Ben Bauer, Vice President of the Acoustics and Magnetics Dept. of CBS Labs, has
been honored by the Audio Engineering Society. The AES Board of Governors has conferred
on him an Honorary Membership for productive innovation and leadership on the frontiers
of audio technology. Bauer led the technical team that developed the SQ quadraphonic
Radiation-Producing Electronic Products Modified by Manufacturers
More than 34,000 radiation-producing electronic products were modified by manufacturers
last year as a result of Food and Drug Administration efforts to reduce radiation
exposure from electronic equipment. Twenty-two electronic product manufacturers
took corrective actions. These actions involved about 15,000 television sets, 35
TV projection devices, 100 TV monitors, 11,000 microwave ovens, 8000 medical diagnostic
X-ray machines, and 200 X-ray diffraction and spectrographic units. In addition,
four TV receiver manufacturers were involved in compliance actions last year. Tube
replacements and improved picture tube shielding corrected the problems in all cases.
Posted October 9, 2019