JR's Popular Electronics Articles

A resource for technical documentation. Datasheets, application notes, instruction manuals, books and links to resources are found in the Document Library.
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mediatechnology
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JR's Popular Electronics Articles

Post by mediatechnology » Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:15 pm

Presenting the John Roberts collection of Popular Electronics articles:

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"The 'Bucket Brigade' Audio Delayer": http://proaudiodesignforum.com/images/p ... e_1976.pdf

"Build Your Own Compander": http://proaudiodesignforum.com/images/p ... r_1977.pdf

"Build A Disco Preamp MIxer": http://proaudiodesignforum.com/images/p ... r_1978.pdf

"Stereo Parmetric Equalizer": http://proaudiodesignforum.com/images/p ... r_1979.pdf

"An Audio Time Delay System Part 1:" http://proaudiodesignforum.com/images/p ... y_1980.pdf

"An Audio Time Delay System Part 2:" http://proaudiodesignforum.com/images/p ... t_1980.pdf

"Build A High Performance Phono Preamp": http://proaudiodesignforum.com/images/p ... h_1981.pdf

"$70 Decoder For CX Records": http://proaudiodesignforum.com/images/p ... y_1982.pdf

The pdf extractions provided here are courtesy of American Radio History: https://www.americanradiohistory.com, John Roberts and Popular Electronics.

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https://ka-electronics.com

The "Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act" https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12- ... da-act-law
"'NewsGuard' app gives news sites 'trust' ratings & targets alternative media. What could go wrong?" https://www.rt.com/usa/448555-newsguard-app-fake-news/
"A New Neocon-Backed Narrative Control Firm Works To Destroy Alternative Media"
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01- ... tive-media

brianroth
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Re: Popular Electronics Articles by JR

Post by brianroth » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:53 pm

For John Roberts (and anyone else for that matter): Did you know John Simonton, founder and Prez of Paia Electronics? Lots of his kit projects ended up in Poptronics.

John was a mentor of mine when I was a teenage electronics geek in the late 1960's in Okla. City, which was also home of Paia.

Perhaps this could use a separate thread, so as not to detract from JR's fascinating Poptronics background!

Bri
Professional audio and video systems design/installation/maintenance.
www.BrianRoth.com

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mediatechnology
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Re: Popular Electronics Articles by JR

Post by mediatechnology » Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:19 am

Brian - I do remember PAIA very well and looked forward to getting their catalogs as a kid. They flourished in the same golden age as Southwest Technical Products. A thread about John Simonton, PAIA and your recollections would be very welcome.

I recently rediscovered some hand-written notes about reverb from the co-founder of MicMix, Bill Hall. I'm planning on posting them here soon because I think they have historical value. We have quite a few historical recollections of people:

JR posted his Dad's notebook. This was a fascinating journey into the early days (1932) of remote location recording: http://www.proaudiodesignforum.com/foru ... f=12&t=168

I see this runs in the family JR...

I have a hand drawn schematic by Al Burdick of the Benchmark Mic Preamp that Al gave to me when I visited him in his garage: http://www.proaudiodesignforum.com/foru ... ?f=6&t=107

Al used pink paper because it was on sale.

Ian Du Rieu shared some Graeme Cohen material here. Ian spent quite a bit of time with Graeme: http://www.proaudiodesignforum.com/foru ... ?f=6&t=164

And on a sad note we lost Joe Neil: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=961&start=10

Joe will be, or is, a historical figure in the world of location recording, circuit design and engineering.
"Praise the Lord, press record" was pure Joe Neil.
https://ka-electronics.com

The "Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act" https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12- ... da-act-law
"'NewsGuard' app gives news sites 'trust' ratings & targets alternative media. What could go wrong?" https://www.rt.com/usa/448555-newsguard-app-fake-news/
"A New Neocon-Backed Narrative Control Firm Works To Destroy Alternative Media"
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01- ... tive-media

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Re: Popular Electronics Articles by JR

Post by JR. » Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:55 pm

brianroth wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:53 pm
For John Roberts (and anyone else for that matter): Did you know John Simonton, founder and Prez of Paia Electronics? Lots of his kit projects ended up in Poptronics.
I'm afraid I got to know John all too well in the 80s-90s when he did a joint venture with Peavey.

John had done some work with using SMPTE time code to lock up inexpensive tape machines. He came to Peavey with a proposal to take that working (cough) technology and amp it up with midi control hooks providing an inexpensive SMPTE machine controller with midi program changes and multiple midi control bells and whistles... This (SyncController) was a beautiful system on paper and cheap for what it was, priced around $999 IIRC, at time when SMPTE machine control were several times more expensive.

My task was to be the inside man to execute John's outside design into a producible finished good.
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(It makes me a little queasy now just looking at that picture.)

Long story short, and I don't want to speak ill of the dead (RIP), but the design never lived up to it's promise, even after years of trade shows with many units sold and in the field. At the time I was just an analog guy, which made supporting digital hardware less than easy. It was based on 6511AQ a pretty powerful microprocessor for back then (I think one of the early apple computers used that processor).

One brief anecdote that also talks about things inside Peavey. I was trying to get the first cut of hardware to boot up (from John's schematic), without success. I even carried it to the Digital Design Group inside Peavey (not exactly friendly territory) and begged with hat in hand for their help. Their top digital engineer spent a while on the bench and gave it back to me still not working. As often I found myself in the deep end of the digital pool trying to learn how to swim. After a few days of trial and error, I finally got it working. I had to add a logic gate delay here and there to get the handshake timing correct so processor could read the PROM program and boot up. :oops: That was just the beginning of years of serial disappointments associated with that project and me being the in house recipient of customer/dealer/rep complaints. The software was never satisfactory after years of tweaking. I kept one technician busy almost full time just checking out that software... It had a ton of features and every one had to work properly for final approval. What was supposed to be a one-time final check out to approve the software never ended. Every time John fixed one reported bug that we found in that "final" check out, he would cause another different bug. I never did get to sign off on finished software after years of back and forth tweaking.

I recall one status meeting in Meridian late in the program where John had the balls to blame me and Peavey for his lack of success. In effect he was using our final acceptance check out process, over and over, to debug his undisciplined code writing.

Now years later with coding experience of my own I can speculate better about what was and wasn't going on but I will stop now before saying something mean. It was a painful experience for all involved. I can't imagine how much money and market good will Peavey lost from that adventure. John surely invested a lot of time too (but not on debugging his own code).

JR

PS: Sorry John was probably a cool guy but circumstances made him a huge pain in my a**, I have the scars.
John was a mentor of mine when I was a teenage electronics geek in the late 1960's in Okla. City, which was also home of Paia.

Perhaps this could use a separate thread, so as not to detract from JR's fascinating Poptronics background!

Bri

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Re: JR's Popular Electronics Articles

Post by brianroth » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:58 pm

John....wow, sorry to hear about your bad experience with Simonton!

Bri
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Re: JR's Popular Electronics Articles

Post by JR. » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:03 pm

brianroth wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:58 pm
John....wow, sorry to hear about your bad experience with Simonton!

Bri
No worries, now decades later it's just another chapter in a thick book...

Like I said he was probably a cool guy, just over his head in a project that I ended up taking the (public) punishment for poor results. I suspect he was also disappointed by the lack of his own personal reward for effort expended.

JR

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Re: JR's Popular Electronics Articles

Post by mediatechnology » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:15 pm

Did I miss any of the Popular Electronics articles?
https://ka-electronics.com

The "Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act" https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12- ... da-act-law
"'NewsGuard' app gives news sites 'trust' ratings & targets alternative media. What could go wrong?" https://www.rt.com/usa/448555-newsguard-app-fake-news/
"A New Neocon-Backed Narrative Control Firm Works To Destroy Alternative Media"
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01- ... tive-media

brianroth
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Re: JR's Popular Electronics Articles

Post by brianroth » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:36 pm

I am now reluctant to post comments/memories re. Paia after reading JR's sad experiences with Simonton.

Bri
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JR.
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Re: JR's Popular Electronics Articles

Post by JR. » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:20 pm

brianroth wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:36 pm
I am now reluctant to post comments/memories re. Paia after reading JR's sad experiences with Simonton.

Bri
No go ahead... I am finished venting for now.. I didn't mean to rain on your parade, we just had some history.

JR

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Re: JR's Popular Electronics Articles

Post by JR. » Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:03 pm

mediatechnology wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:15 pm
Did I miss any of the Popular Electronics articles?
IIRC there was one other popular electronics kit, a simple add on switched 2 pole active HPF/LPF board. Don't ask me to remember which year it was, probably early 80s. As I recall I shipped it with multiple sets of resistors so the customer could set different pole frequencies.

My Phono Preamp kit to end all phono preamps (P100) was published in TAA.

My kick-butt tape noise reduction kit (P522) was featured in Audio magazine.

Some of those later kits were over-engineered but I rolled that way. :lol:

JR

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