Category Archives: nostalgia technology

Walkman City Bummler from the 80s

IMG_3810From the early 1980s comes the “City Bummler” a mobile, portable cassette player – in short a Walkman. At that time, I received it as a Christmas present during my middle school years. The special feature of this device was a built-in microphone and two headphone ports. So you could listen to music in pairs and if you wanted to say something without having to remove the headphones (or to reduce the volume), so you had to press only  an orange colored button and the intercom was active. The device was sold as a low-priced “replica” version of the first Walkman from Sony, the TPS-L2 which came on July 1, 1979 on the market. The citybummler was distributed by UNIVERSUM via the source mailer.

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City Bummler with a self made coverplate after the original got broken

The device was delivered in a box with headphones, cassette pocket and carrying case with strap. For operation, three AA size 1.5V batteries were needed. The volume control is carried out with two separate sliders, so that each channel can be controlled separately. Unfortunately, the city loafer has not passed the last 35 years quite unscathed. Over time, the cassette cover was broken off, which I then replaced in my youth with a homemade tinplate lid. At some point I did not like the case color and I painted the device green. (or I just had green paint at hand). At least the “loafer” still exists and it works too.

IMG_3814I was then on the Web in search of a well-preserved, in the original state city loafer. However, the offer is extremely low and the few offers on online auction houses are not interesting because of the immense shipping costs.

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Fellow FE-1

But a compromise and at the same time a new piece in the collection is the FELLOW FE-1 Walkman. I got the most cheap and fully functional on a second-hand stock market.

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left: Fellow FE-1, right: City-Bummler
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both devices in comparison

The Fellow is also a clone of the Sony TPS-L2. It differs essentially in the arrangement of the keys of the drive.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3811IMG_3809IMG_3808IMG_3821 IMG_3812 IMG_3814 IMG_3819

 

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analogue multimeter – Goerz Minitest

Goerz Minitest
Goerz Minitest

The Goerz multimeter, model: Minitest FE5101 dates from 1969 and was manufactured by the company Goerz Elektro Ges.m.b.H from Vienna.

Introductory sentence from the operating instructions: “It is a multi-measuring instrument, which is particularly suitable for service work in the field of news and radio technology and electronics due to its small dimensions and low weight as a pocket instrument It allows the measurement of: equal and AC voltages, DC and AC, resistance, capacitance and frequency. “

The internal resistance is 20kOhm for DC and 4kOhm for AC. The achieved accuracy is 2.5%

IMAG1503
inside view

As overload protection, the moving-coil meter is equipped with antiparallel-connected diodes.

In this model, the measuring ranges are not to be selected by a selector switch, but each individual measuring range is designed as a socket on the device. The sockets themselves are suitable for 2mm banana plugs. The power supply for the resistance measurement comes from a 3V dry cell battery (type 2R10 duplex battery).

 

IMAG1497
scale

For the measurement of the capacitance with this device an external voltage is necessary, because here no own alternating voltage generator is installed. This said external voltage is the 50 Hz mains voltage which is connected to the device via its own supply cable. So a capacity measurement up to 500nF can be achieved. Measurements greater than 0.5uF are no longer possible due to the low measuring frequency. Goerz supplied a polystyrene transport case for storage and transport.

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analogue multimeter – Unigor 3n

Unigor 3n
Unigor 3n

From the years from 1964 comes the analogue multimeter Unigor 3n from Norma, respectively Goerz-Metrawatt. It was characterized by the large measuring range of 52 measuring ranges, all of which can be selected with just one selector switch. The measuring mode and polarity reversal is realized with a push-button switch. All measurements (except the 10A range) are possible on just one terminal pair.

The measuring mechanism is a “clamping band measuring unit” with a very good vibration resistance and low self-consumption.

The internal resistance for voltage measurements is a maximum of 4MOhm in the highest measuring range (see photo technical data). The voltage drop in current measurements is given as 12mV in the 120uA range and 120mV in the 30A range. The measuring accuracy is 1% for DC and 1.5% for AC measuring ranges.

Like the Unigor 6e, the 3n model is also equipped with various safety features.

The power supply of the multimeter takes over a 1.5V mono cell.

 

Technische Daten
technical specification

 

 

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Multimeter analog

IMAG1347_1
Unigor 6e (ca. 1970)

A good friend of the older generation of technicians is certainly the analog multimeter of the manufacturer Unigor. In this case, it is the model Unigor_6e from the 70s.

An excerpt from the preface of the operating manual:

The electronic instrument Unigor 6e combines the advantages of classical measuring technology with those of modern electronics.

It was specially developed for measurements in the field of electronics and for all those applications where practically no power is required. The high sensitivity is achieved by means of a battery-powered transistor amplifier.

The field effect transistor chopper for DC measurements and the multiple negative feedback guarantee high stability and negligible drift. The large measuring range and the high accuracy of 1% at AC and DC, allows universal use in the radio and television service in test field and laboratories.

The “6e” offers a total

  • 54 DC and AC / voltage ranges
  • 13 dB ranges
  • 12 resistance and capacity ranges
  • 2 temperature ranges
IMAG1350_1
measuring ranges

The electronic components of the meter are powered by four 1.5V batteries and take a current of about 2.5mA. The working range of the electronics is between 4V and 7V. The battery is switched on with the rotary switch (which also represents the R, C adjustment knob at the same time). To check the battery voltage, a check position is provided on the measuring range shutter.

The Unigor 6e also offers a variety of protective devices and is therefore protected against damage caused by incorrect handling and overload. (I can remember quite well from my school time that this is not always the case: D)

The Unigor 6e has an electromechanical circuit breaker function. Its relay responds to overloads with DC and AC and requires no auxiliary power. The protection therefore remains fully effective even when the battery switch or battery is switched off. The restarting in case of permanent overload is prevented by a special switching mechanism.

Furthermore, fuses provide protection at the higher current ranges to respond in the event of a short circuit or tripping of the circuit breaker.

Against overvoltages at the inputs are voltage arresters at the input terminals whose breakdown voltage is lower than that of the internal circuit.

IMAG1349_1
Scale sheet of the Unigor 6e

 

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The flame licker

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A small mechanics project occupied me this time. It is again about a hot air engine. This time not about the Stirling engine, but the so-called “flame eater”.

During the search in the World Wide Web, I found, among other things, the website of Mr. James Maiwald. Mr. Maiwald is an ambitious modeler and specialist in the field of Stirling and vacuum engines. He develops and manufactures his own models in all variants and also offers them as a kit.

More precisely, it is a vacuum motor, which is popularly also called a flame eater. He is one of the hot air engines, but unlike the Stirling engine is an open system.

Technically speaking, it is an atmospheric engine, since here the external air pressure does the work (comparable to the first gasoline engine). As a result, the maximum piston force is limited to the product of piston area and air pressure. (Wikipedia)

IMG_3772
Detail view slide valve

And exactly one such model (lying the flame eater) is here. As I assemble the engine and the first time commissioning is seen in the following short video …

More information and interesting models and kits can be found on the website of Mr. Maiwald: www.kellergeist71.de

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TEDDY automatic

IMAG1321From the years 1970-1972 the radio receiver TEDDY AUTOMATIC 100 comes from the German manufacturer ITT – Schaub Lorenz. It is a multi-band receiver that covers the wave ranges of long wave, short wave, medium wave and ultrashortwave.

It is designed for mains and battery voltage (110-127V / 220-240V and for battery operation for 4×1.5 volt size AA cells).

IMAG1323

The output power is 0.8 watts and is transmitted with a dynamic oval speaker.

The technical structure according to the manufacturer consists of 6AM circles and 9FM circles. The receiver principle is a SUPERHET with ZF 460kHz and 10.7MHz. The housing is made of plastic (thermoplastic) and has the dimensions of 215x127x70 mm with a weight of 1.2kg.

 

IMAG1324
Connection for external sources
IMAG1325
Switch for receiving frequency

 

 

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The oscilloscope tube

At the beginning of my blog, I talked about a small project with an oscilloscope tube. Since there are still pictures in the archive, I do not want to withhold it from the blog here:

Cathode ray tube with high voltage generation


A cathode tube (Braun tube) consists of an evacuated glass bulb in which a hot cathode of tungsten wire is heated by an electric heating wire. The electrons emerge from the surface as a charge cloud (annealing emission). Between the positively charged anode and the hot cathode there is an electric field in which the electrons are accelerated. A pinhole allows the approaching electrons to pass only a bundle of determinable diameter, the actual electron beam. The electron beam can then be further accelerated.
The Braun tube – as it is e.g. is present in a cathode ray oscilloscope – has two capacitor plates each to deflect the electron beam. (X and Y baffles). The tube is a Philips B7S 401 oscilloscope tube. For the sake of completeness, I list some technical data here:
  • Indirectly heated cathode, heating voltage Uf = 6,3V
  • Heating current If = 90mA 
  • time for heating kathode tK =1min
  • total accelerationvoltage Ua= 1,2kV
  • Base point tension of the post-acceleration resistance Ug5 = 300V 
  • acceleration voltage Ug4 = 300
  • focusing deltaUg3 = 20V … 50V
  • pre acceleration volatage Ug2 = 1,2kV
  • reverse voltage Ug1 = -30V … -80V
Connections on the tube socket

The aim of the project was therefore to put the small tube back into operation and to lure her a few pictures. So a drive had to be built. Since the supply voltages are quite varied (6.3V to 1200V), this problem had to be solved first. With a NE555, a few components and an old transformer (240 / 12V) a high-voltage power supply was tinkered.
The principle is simple: A DC voltage is switched on and off very quickly with a small circuit. This switched DC voltage in turn connects with a power transistor, the output side of the transformer. (ie where normally the 12V are applied now fed) The ratio of the transformer works in the other direction :). So arise at the exit ever a few hundred volts. (depending on the switching frequency). In order to produce over 1200V, I have connected a cascade (capacitors and diodes). (Functionality)
So now all voltages necessary for the operation of the tube are available to produce an electron beam. With the aid of adjustable voltage dividers, the beam current and the grids for brightness and image focus can be set.

the fist illuminated spot

The voltages for the baffles are also taken from the high voltage supply and controlled by transistors. Thus, a deflection of the electron beam in both axes is possible.

Plexiglas housing

The transistors in turn are controlled by a small pre-stage, which is fed externally with a voltage of -5V to + 5V – the control voltage for the deflection of the light spot. This control voltage input exists for both axes. I added another input to switch the electron beam to “bare”, ie dark. For this purpose, a corresponding voltage is applied to the corresponding grid, which previously block the electron current to the anode.

connections

Thus, the tube can now be controlled directly from the outside, for example, by means of analog outputs of microcontrollers (Arduino, PIC, etc.) or NI DAQ cards with the extra-low voltages available there. After the first positive test runs with the breadboard electronics I then constructed a clean board and mounted the whole construction on a wooden board and covered with a transparent Plexiglas housing.
All connections are routed via banana sockets to the outside. For example, you can easily draw Lissajous figures on the screen …

Lissajous-figure done withe NI-DAQ
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F101 Voodoo Radarmonitor

From a McDonnel F101 Voodoo came the following sample that I got from a customer back then, with a request to try to bring it back to life somehow.
The thing I’m writing about was a black cylinder about 30 centimeters long and about 20 centimeters across. On one end face of the cylinder was a picture surface as seen from an oscilloscope, with a rotatable scale ring with a 0 to 360 degrees angle label.
The customer told me it was the cockpit radar of a Starfighter jet. Then I began to research what turned out to be relatively expensive at that time, in the mid-90s, especially since the Internet did not yet exist in the form and diversity as it exists today.

picsource: Wikipedia

But at least I found out that the part was really the board monitor of the radar system of an airplane. Namely to the radar monitor of a McDonnel F101.
A twin-engine fighter aircraft of the 50s cold war US Air Force.
In any case, the part came from this plane – wherever the customer had it from. And he asked me if I had any chance of getting it up and running. He meant that he wanted to see the famous, rotating light stroke on the screen.
At that time, I could not find any information or documentation on the part, how to connect the tangle of cables over cables, which came out of the device …

 
frontview of the monitor

So I started dismantling. Several miniature electron tubes, transformers and many smaller tubes with bobbins with immersion cores and many, many capacitors were installed. In the longitudinal axis of the device, the picture tube was housed, with the magnetic deflection was rotatably mounted about the axis of the tube. Say, the complete deflection unit was turned around the tube by means of an electric motor drive.

topview

Since I had no chance to somehow understand the circuit, especially since apparently some components, such as the entire voltage and signal conditioning were not integrated in the monitor, but apparently were installed elsewhere in the plane, so I set out to dismantle everything. All that was left was the picture tube with the mechanics and the deflection coils and the drive. On a breadboard I started to make my own drive for the coil drive. For the deflection coil itself, I built a sawtooth generator with a sufficiently strong power output stage. And for the high voltage of the tube had to serve an old line transformer of a television, which was driven by a NE555 (the old known timer module) and a matching power transistor (some BU508 …).

and it´s turning again

The whole circuit was operated at about 24V and took over 2A. (including cathode heater and electric motor and the scale bulbs that illuminated the labels).
But it worked. On the screen was a green line, which turned at the adjustable rotational speed. That was already everything. There was no beam modulation or the like to draw any simulated radar images. Today you could work together with small microcontrollers like Arduino and co, quite simply …

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The old repair shop

While browsing the digital archives, I noticed the following pictures again.
Meanwhile, more than ten years have passed since I had to initiate the end of the television repair shop.

Look in the old workshop

Almost at the same time as the widespread use of flat screen televisions, orders were down. Except for a few customers, who insisted on retaining the old technology from ideational values, hardly anyone could fix it. Due to wage side costs and realistic, minimal profit-oriented pricing, it was just too expensive for people. If, for example, a repair of the high-voltage power supply of a television (replacement of line transformer, driver transisor and various capacitors and resistors) a price of about 90 euros assumed, that was again borderline, almost too expensive. If one considers that for these sum the parts scarcely 40 euro in the EK cost, then for the remaining 50 euro the error had to be searched for and found, everything to be expanded and reinstalled.

The unit had to be cleaned inside (often we got “boxes that collected the dust and nicotine of twenty years”.) Also, a careful test run should be done, so what about the 50 bugs? Hired labor costs more than half of non-wage labor costs. How many devices do you have to repair during the day in order to cover your costs?
 
 
dust accumulation

Sometimes you could see curiosities. Since one or the other owner of the TV has ever tried even as a repairer and found a faulty network backup. – “No problem, is only a backup …” Which is then wrapped in the absence of a suitable new backup and knowledge simply with cigarette paper …

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“expert” repair of the customer
 
“Then it works again …” which turns out to be not quite correct. After inserting “it pops and flashes” and nothing was more … So the device came to me on the desk … “Why is the repair so expensive? – was only a fuse broken – I know myself out there – I am an electrician “You can hear such sayings then.
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The 80s and the Watchman

In 1985, the company Sony brings a small, compact and above all mobile TV on the market. The Watchman Voyager FD20-AEB. It has been designed to be used everywhere. For example, in the car, on vacation, just everywhere.
It is not a TV with LC display, or TFT, or LED display. No. The TV brings the image by means of a cathode ray tube (Braun tube) to the eye of the beholder. And not in the brilliant color variety and resolution of today’s receivers, but in black and white (BW).

 

 

The screen diagonal of 4.7 cm can be displayed with the help of a clip-on magnifier still a little enlarged.
The receiver is a multinorm receiver that covered the European television standards.

It was tuned manually by means of a side-mounted “rotary wheel”. The reception tapes VHF / UHF can be selected with a slide switch. Of course, only analog TV reception is possible.

source drawing: Frank’s Taschenfernseher.de

 

 

 

Settings such as brightness, contrast and also the image capture can be carried out on the underside of the device.

 Tunermodule and flattube

The power supply comes from four 1.5 volt AA batteries or from a power supply. At a power consumption of 2 watts is relatively fast on battery operation. The high voltage generation and heating of the flat screen tube is probably one of the biggest consumers of electricity.

The structure of the boards is very discreet. There are hardly any integrated circuits. The large tuner module can be seen on the left in the picture. The supply of signals takes place exclusively via a telescopic rod antenna. A built-in speaker provides the sound. Optionally, a jack for connecting a headphone is installed.

today there is only more noise to be received
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