Found in the Attic: Wilkinson GCA-1 AGC Amp

Found in the Attic: Wilkinson GCA-1 AGC Amp

By Tom Vernon on Oct 5, 2015 1:01:00 PM

The 1970s was the decade when peak limiters and AGC amps were transformed from equipment that kept a station's modulation within FCC limits into creative tools to tailor a unique on-air sound. With the right audio processor and careful tweaking, you could also beat out the competition in loudness wars – or not. CBS Labs Audimax/Volumax combinations, Gates Solid Statesman limiters and later, Optimod 8000s were common. However, the equipment market was flooded with various AGCs, compressors, squashers, clippers and limiters that promised to make your signal stand out. Some delivered on their claims, others, not so much. Lurking in the deep recesses of the attic is a Wilkinson GCA-1 AGC amplifier. Time to dust it off and take a look.

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Topics: Vintage Technology

Telos Visits the Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording

Telos Visits the Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording

By Tom Vernon on Jun 24, 2015 3:00:00 PM

Most technology museums are started by people who have a passion for the equipment they have worked with. The Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording in Austin, TX is no exception. Martin Theophilus, founder of Phantom Productions, spent much of his career as a recording engineer, working with analog tape recorders. His passion is such that he has turned his entire house into a tape recorder museum. No room has been spared, and he's quickly running out of space. Having never seen a house filled with recorders, this was on the 'must see' list during a recent trip to Austin.

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Topics: Vintage Technology

Found in the Attic: Pioneer SR-202 Spring Reverb

Found in the Attic: Pioneer SR-202 Spring Reverb

By Tom Vernon on Jul 1, 2014 4:00:00 PM

From the earliest days of high fidelity in the 1930s, the goal of equipment designers was to create a listening experience almost like having a front-row seat in a concert hall. As technology evolved, frequency response was extended to the theoretical limits, noise and distortion were reduced, and recording technologies were improved. Another avenue for recreating a live listening experience is reverberation; this month's Found in the Attic looks at a 1971 Pioneer SR-202 spring reverb.

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Topics: Vintage Technology

Vintage Technology: Carroll Shelby liked Las Vegas - a LOT

Vintage Technology: Carroll Shelby liked Las Vegas - a LOT

By Tom Vernon on Apr 5, 2013 12:48:00 PM

He liked it so much, in fact, that he built his headquarters there, not far from the Las Vegas Speedway, and only about 15 minutes from The Strip (make that <5 minutes if you're driving a GT500KR). Shelby, of course, was the Texan who thought it would be cool to stuff a Ford V-8 into a British 2-seat sports car, and see how much asphalt he could melt (turns out, it was quite a lot).

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Topics: Vintage Technology

RIP John Karlin, Father of Modern Telephone Dialing

RIP John Karlin, Father of Modern Telephone Dialing

By Tom Vernon on Feb 4, 2013 4:00:00 PM

At Telos, phones are, quite naturally, rather dear to our hearts. Just days ago came the news that John Karlin, a veteran of Bell Labs and the man directly responsible for All-Digit Dialing and, indirectly, DTMF and the modern telephone keypad, passed away on January 28 at the age of 94. Without Karlin, much of the UI common to modern communications would likely come in a much different form.

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Topics: Telos Systems, Technology, Vintage Technology

Zap! Boom! Pow! The Rise and Fall of the Amusement Arcade

Zap! Boom! Pow! The Rise and Fall of the Amusement Arcade

By Tom Vernon on Jan 31, 2013 3:58:00 PM

Many of us grew up spending our Friday nights pumping dimes and quarters into pinball machines or Space Invaders games down at the local arcade. These arcades served as sanctums, meeting places, king's courts and on-the-job-training for a lot of budding teen electrical engineers (and a lot of others, too). Now, these places are pretty much gone, sanitized out of existence or supplanted by the rise of the console game and the embrace of the living room couch. Ah, but there was a time...

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Topics: Vintage Technology

What do Explosives, Flashlights, and Toy Trains Have in Common?

What do Explosives, Flashlights, and Toy Trains Have in Common?

By Clark Novak on Dec 23, 2011 12:48:00 PM

Those of us who came of age at a certain time will fondly remember one of the traditional joys of our youth: setting up the electric train beneath the Christmas tree. Not just any train, though - it had to be a Lionel train set, big and loud and bright, complete with billowing smoke from the locomotive and all manner of animated trackside accessories.

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Topics: Vintage Technology

When I Was a Young Boy, I Played the Silver Ball

When I Was a Young Boy, I Played the Silver Ball

By Clark Novak on Sep 30, 2011 5:55:00 PM

Usually, when we're in Las Vegas to attend NAB, the evenings are a time to rest the aching feet, perhaps throw back a libation or two, and generally relax before the next day's havoc ensues. This year, however, we got wind of one of Sin City's hidden marvels: the Pinball Hall of Fame,

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Topics: Vintage Technology

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