Posts Tagged ‘Electronics Cranny’

The Electronics Cranny: Operation Telephone 2025

August 25, 2015 Leave a comment
By Fritz Tennis

By Fritz Tennis

The time: a day in 2025. You’re planning on spending the afternoon at a friend or lover’s house. But you’re also expecting an important telephone call. You pick up your phone, dial first a special code prefix, then your friend or lover’s number. This done, you leave the house, knowing that all calls to your number will be automatically forwarded. When you return home that evening after a fine day of comraderie or fornication, you dial another code number and incoming calls are once again routed to your own phone.

Figure One

Figure One

Impossible, you say!  A fantasy, a chimera, an impossible dream! Fuck you, Tennis, you dumb soulless electronics shit!  And yet, whatever your opinion may be, this special service and dozens of others just as advanced will soon be available to you. Already, a prototype all-electronic telephone central office is in operation in the Eastern Lankville High Wooded Area. And it’s delighting subscribers with services which make present-day systems seem as obsolete as the rotary dial on a telephone nailed to some filthy alcoholic’s kitchen wall like some sort of perverse communication Christ on the cross.

Special Services. Within a few years – as versatile all-electronic equipment replaces the present imperfect relay-switching systems – your phone will perform such tricks as these:

Special Services Control Center- the world's first all-electronic telephone central office, now serving customers in, is but a portion of overall network shown in block form below. The system was developed by Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Special Services Control Center- the world’s first all-electronic telephone central office, now serving customers in the Eastern High Lankville Wooded Area was developed by Danny Madison Industries.


You’re talking to a friend about a new hot/cold cup you’re planning to buy. But you need more information. So without either of you hanging up, you simply dial your electronics dealer’s number. A few seconds later he is connected into the manifold presence circuit, and all three of you can discuss the hot/cold cup at will. You can even continue calling additional numbers (as many as you like up to seven) and all will be connected so that everybody can talk to everyone else about hot-cold cups.

“We decided on a limitation of seven calls at once,” noted Special Services spearhead Danny Madison of Danny Madison Industries. “Our research indicates that when an eighth voice is added to a conversation of seven, all eight participants immediately turn insane.”

“We’d like to avoid such an occurrence,” Madison added.


There are several numbers you call regularly. A word to Special Services, and each of these “regulars” is assigned a special two-number prefix. Then, instead of having to dial the usual seven-digit number (or ten-digit number for the Outlands and Desert Area) you simply dial “12” when you want your local motel, “13” for the corner drugstore, “14” for the wife of your best friend, etc., etc.


You run a small business or a kiosk and don’t want to miss any incoming calls. You make the proper arrangements, and if your office line is busy when someone dials it, your home phone rings automatically. If your home phone is busy too, a third number – perhaps an answering service, perhaps some low-skilled individual you’ve assigned to wait for calls in a building with low overhead (like a shed) will ring, and so on for as many alternate numbers as you wish (up to seven).

Danny Madison.

Boy genius Danny Madison.

“The Incoming Switcher can also alert your Reckoner which will then display a green digital message on its Electronic Brain Reading Square identifying the caller and, if possible, limited personal information,” noted Madison, who paused to attach some electrodes to a pizza. “The Reckoner can also accept short messages utilizing the mini tape disks which insert into the back but which, of course, must be purchased separately. You can then play back the message by utilizing the Danny Madison portable Reckoner Speakers which plug into the side of your Reckoner and which can also be purchased separately.”

These are only a few of the scores of special services you’ll enjoy when electronics takes over completely. Hordes of electrons rushing through transistors, diodes, tubes and funnels will do the job, and they’ll do it within millionths of a second. Thus, the all-electronic system will be able to perform at least a hundred different operations, carrying out extremely complex switching operations impossible with present-day equipment.

The Electronics Cranny: New Products!

June 30, 2015 Leave a comment
Fritz Tennis

Fritz Tennis

New Products

SHUT-OFF SWITCH from Applied Restrained Electronics, Inc.

A new switch not much bigger than a Lankville “A-Form” paper clip which automatically shuts off a tape recorder if the tape breaks, is being marketed by Applied Restrained Electronics, Inc., P.O. Box 10, Deep Lankville Savannah Suburban Area (West). The device incorporates a non-magnetic nylon housing filled with leaves, over which the tape passes. In the event of breakage, the leaves are jettisoned into the air, alerting the operator of the issue. If the operator does not respond with 15 seconds, a second “safety cache” of leaves equipped with exploding fireworks are released, thereby adding the warning dimension of sound. The main body of the switch is less than 11/2″ in length and is Electronics Cranny approved at 3 amperes, 250 V.A.C., 14 BBTS. For price details, contact the manufacturer (after 10 p.m.).

EXISTENCE from Danny Madison Industries

Danny Madison Industries is marketing a new automatic tape player which promises to be the last word in automatic tape players. “Existence” will play up to 1600 hours of unrepeated time utilizing a simple 14″ reel at 33/4 ips. “Existence will record sounds and notes that do not even exist yet, have never been heard by the human ear,” promises wunderkind inventor Danny Madison. “Although I am naturally skeptical to such hogwash, I will note that if there be a heaven, “Existence” will record it.”

Existence by Danny Madison.

Existence by Danny Madison.

Reviewers are already ogling over the machine, whose abilities are being called “unparalleled”.

“It was able to record imperceptible noises coming off my…wife,” noted contributor Neil Cuppy. “Noises that have never been heard before. My…wife…couldn’t believe it. It was almost frightening.”

Other features include: gold and silver satin anodized aluminum construction, synchronous motor, “Reckoner” compartment, fast forward and reverse, automatic release for continuous play following a power failure, speakers, “sound cages”.

“Existence” retails for $795 and, per usual for a Danny Madison product, is already sold-out in pre-order.

THE TRAUMA MICROPHONE from The Tubelabs Company

The Trauma Microphone from The Tubelabs Company.

The Trauma Microphone from The Tubelabs Company.

The Tubelabs Company of the Lankville Peninsula have designed a new low-density, junior velocity microphone for recording stories of challenges and trauma. “A lot of our tape recordings were muffled with a lot of interference, static and street noise, rendering much important information useless,” noted Detective Gee-Temple. “Myself and the Bureau of Probes requested the construction of a better microphone and we’re glad to see that the Tubelabs Company have obliged.”

The microphone was initially tested on an old woman who was struck by a vehicle at high speeds while shopping in a mall. “The car burst through a big window, ran me over, and just continued on. I dragged myself over to the food court, bought a cookie that was so hot out of the oven that just it collapsed into my mouth, and waited for help to arrive.”

The woman’s testimony was crystal clear and was deemed presentable as credible evidence in an upcoming court case.

“The part about the cookie was really, really clear. You could just taste that cookie,” Gee-Temple noted.

For more information write The Tubelabs Company, 27 Shelby-Cruz Building, Lankville Peninsula.

The Electronics Cranny: All About Little Scanners

June 22, 2015 Leave a comment
By Fritz Tennis

By Fritz Tennis Electronics Expert

Have you ever wondered what makes little scanners so popular? Well, there’s no need to cuss. Just go somewhere else and let the people interested in the subject listen.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’d like to start with a brief history. The first scanners were developed by the Keithley Corporation of Central Lankville. These early prototypes were simple devices that operated on crystals or berries and required repeated interior penetration on the part of the operator. Their frequency ranges were generally limited– usually to the owner’s front yard and therefore, unless something really great was going on in the front yard, the scanner received almost no signals whatsoever. Oftentimes, buyers would simply return the scanners complaining that they were “stupid” or “useless” or “pointless” and, yes, there was some cussing.

The first frequency-synthesized (little) scanner was developed by the Teagardens Company in 1972 but was never released due to several problems with the device (it was discovered that it caught fire and exploded easily). In 1973, founder Shearboy Teagardens was strangled during a challenge and thus ended the Teagardens Company brief flirtation with the scanner. Fortunately, in that same year, the Keithley Corporation (re-emergent as a major player in little electronics) issued their PT-647-X which, of course, became the Holy Goblet of little scanners.

Keithley PT-647-X

The Keithley PT-647-X

What made the Keithley PT-647-X ingenious was its master oscillator which enabled the listener to generate a practically infinite number of frequencies. “You could get fire stations, police centers, hospitals, kiosks, just about anything,” noted electronics collector Billy Choppy. “The capacitance of its variable-voltage capacitor was almost monstrous and you could peak the tuned circuit to just glide it in,” added Choppy, who was suddenly cussed at by his mother from the top of the stairs. “Don’t worry about her,” he assured us. “She’s not able to understand even a simple block diagram circuit paper, so that’s the kind of intellect we’re dealing with here.”

Keithley followed up their wildly-successful PT-647-X with the X-X-12, issued in 1975 which introduced, for the first time, the idea of a telescoping antenna. Unfortunately, manufacturing problems with the antenna led to many accidental lancings and the X-X-12 was quickly recalled. “It was an inferior product anyway,” said Choppy. “Because of problems with the exoskeletal engine and the little green numerical display face, you were really only able to receive signals from things like distant farms or perhaps some truck people. Indeed, it caused Keithley to go out of business again although, as we all know, they emerged later as a big player in the home numerical keypad market.”

Choppy was suddenly cussed at again by his mother and a clothes basket, filled with trash, was hurled down the stairs causing a ruckus.

Today’s scanners are mostly computerized and feature wide frequency ranges, including international and islands. The electronic sophistication of the modern scanner could hardly be dreamed of even, say, ten years ago. What does the future hold in store? It is anyone’s guess though I like to think that one day we will be able to receive funner signals and not really depressing things like announcements of murders or burials. Until then, take your pick from some of the finest little scanner technologies now available.

The Electronics Cranny: Make Your Own Fuzz Box

February 12, 2015 Leave a comment
By Fritz Tennis

By Fritz Tennis

Apart from the usual tone knobs, there are at least three different electronic effects that are currently in vogue among individual guitar operators and pop groups. They are:

(a) Echo or Reverberation- effected by a tape delay or a mechanical delay. This is made evident as a periodic recurrence of a single sound.

(b) Vibrato– sometimes mistakenly called “The Patrick Lalime Pitch”- is produced by mixing a fixed low frequency oscillation with a signal from the guitar operator.

(c) Fuzz Box- a harsh yet not unpleasant sound effected by wave shaping circuits. The impact of this contrived distribution is more evident on low frequencies or if the Fuzz Box is placed near a sound-absorbing couch or sofa.

Here at The Electronics Cranny, we have seen several published designs for Echo Units and Vibrato Units but very few for Fuzz Box circuitry. “There is a tremendous interest in the Fuzz Box,” said noted guitar operator Tom Evenings, who performs in the “Lankville Hill Basin Style”. “Commercial units are available, of course, but usually they are cost-prohibitive and I know I speak for a number of guitar operators in noting that we would greatly appreciate a schematic on how to build one, perhaps from, you know, an Electronics magazine or something like that,” added Evenings.

Guess what Tom? Your friends at The Electronics Cranny are happy to oblige.

“Oh, great, thanks,” noted Evenings.

Figure One. Take note of the foot paddle.

Figure One. Take note of the foot paddle.

A long, odd silence ensued.


The Fuzz Box is based on a three stage shaping circuit (see figure one). The initial stage (marked with the first large vertical line in bold) is a simple pre-amplifier that can be found at any small electronics retailer or at one of those roadside stands. The value can be decreased to 0-1f if fuzz bass is not to be used or, again, if you put the Box near a heavy sofa.

The signal developed across the second stage (marked with the second large vertical line in bold) utilizes a semiconductor diode and can be reasonably applied for point contact, junction types and Paille Belts. The interspacial values are non-critical and a choice of resistor between 600 kilohm and whatever you’ve got lying around should prove satisfactory in the long run.

There are two more stages (marked by the third and fourth large vertical lines in bold) which both serve the by-passing of the effects box when the switch is not depressed and also the foot paddle. As can be seen, this provides a considerable saving in current.


Since the unit housing will be subjected to continuous foot pressure, it was decided to use an aluminium chassis, with the flux switch being mounted at one end. This allowed for easy control as the foot can pivot on the box or, if you don’t have any feet, can be operated with a long stick.

Figure Two. Note:

Figure Two. Take note of the Saffran Board.

Assembly of components is made on a piece of Saffran Board and can be readily followed from the wiring diagram (see figure two). Fresh insulation or a similar substitute (cotton candy works well) should be used for the board mounting but in the prototype a section of barrier terminal strip must be attached quadrilaterally (see figure two).


There are three possible methods for installing and using the switching unit.

(a) The unit can be installed in the amplifier itself with a series of manual controls to form a “fuzz cohort”.

(b) As the foot paddle. In this scenario, the guitar lead will plug directly into the paddle and the output from the unit will connect to the amplifier.

(c) As a component piece within a larger unit, either an electronics setup, a piece of furniture or inside a tree.


There are a number of different ways of providing power to the Fuzz Box: batteries, mains driven power units, tapping of the foot paddle from the power amplifier, etc. Polarities, connections and a thorough numbering of the carts are very important. Batteries should present few problems, however they’re very boring to purchase. There is really nothing more boring than approaching a battery display. You can avoid this method by creating a circuit similar to those illustrated in both figures above.

Another method is to harness the power of the wind. This can be accomplished with a Zener Wind Diode and a schematic available in my pamphlet Wind Power and Electronics: A Probe available by mail for $1.95.


By now, your Fuzz Box will be powered by the wind (or batteries, if that’s how you want to live your life) and ready for use. Check your specifications one final time and then amaze your friends or heterosexual lovers with the brilliant, queer sound of fuzz. Return to the schematics for an occasional refresher.

Madison to Introduce Unspaced Phrase Prefixes

December 24, 2014 Leave a comment
By Neil Cuppy

By Neil Cuppy


12-year old inventor Danny Madison will introduce his latest creation today at an Electronics Cranny Christmas gathering in downtown Lankville.

Danny Madison, creator.

Danny Madison, creator.

“Unspaced phrase prefixes,” said the wunderkind at a press conference yesterday. “They are a type of metastat tag allowing for faster electronic searches or “quests” as I like to call them. The unspaced phrase will have a label prefix which I’m putting finishing touches on today. Probably a smiley face or a pizza, something familiar and recognizable.”

Madison claims that the prefix will allow for the grouping of similarly tagged messages.

“Imagine a set of encyclopedias but instead of the information therein being about history, geography, anthropology– all the things that make up our existence, the set of encyclopedias would all be about, say, pizza. That is the power of these unspaced phrase prefixes.”

Madison pointed at a pizza on his workbench by means of illustrating his assertion.

The boy genius, whose handheld computational device “The Reckoner” has sold over a billion units in the past month, will be spending the holidays with his family.

“It will be a time of relaxation and candy but hopefully I’ll have time to knock out a few new inventions,” he noted.

Madison to Introduce “Weather Simulator”

December 19, 2014 Leave a comment
By Fritz Tennis

By Fritz Tennis


Danny Madison, creator.

Danny Madison, creator.

Boy-genius Danny Madison, creator of the enormously popular “Madison Game Cube” and “The Reckoner”, Lankville’s fastest-selling handheld computational device, is rolling out another product in time for the holidays.

“The Madison Weather Simulator” goes on sale in stores today. The retail price is $299.99.

“This device is called a “simulator” so as not to frighten people,” noted the wunderkind Madison, who was interviewed while draping a soggy pizza over a bunsen burner. “Really, its powers are far greater than mere simulation.”

Detail of the Madison Weather Simulator.

Detail of the Madison Weather Simulator.

Madison gave us a withering stare.

“It’s too bad that we are so frightened of the unprecedented,” he added. “We should all be ready for this, this next stage.”

The Madison Weather Simulator requires the completion of several identification forms and a two-day waiting period to obtain. It will be carried by most major electronics retailers.

The Electronics Cranny: Watcher of the Signals

December 5, 2014 1 comment
By Neil Cuppy

By Neil Cuppy

Many of the Electronics Cranny’s 57 radio station towers connecting Eastern Lankville to Western Lankville stand on hills, mountains and little small mounds far away from towns. Day after day, the apparatus does its duty; no man need be there to stare at it. But when trouble threatens, an alarm system, developed especially by this author, alerts a testman (generally a big neckless man in a pantsuit) in a town perhaps hundreds of miles away.

“A bell rings,” explained Central Lankville Rural Area Testman Cloff Joffrey. Joffrey then stared at us for some time as though he felt no further explanation was necessary. Finally, at our prompting, he continued. “A bell rings and then I go see what is wrong. There’s a pattern of lights and I look at them lights and I can see what’s wrong.” Joffrey then became distracted by a lewd pamphlet and the interview was ended prematurely.

The rural testman’s explanation is not far off, however. Indeed, a pattern of lights at the tower site goes far in illuminating the problem at hand. Most commonly, the problem is a power interruption or an overheated tube. Other times, it can be a blown fuse, the sudden introduction of “The Summoning”, or a simple drop in pressure of dry air. The testman will put the system through a vigorous series of tests to return it to working condition.

Testman probes device inside a rural radio tower.

Testman probes device inside a rural radio tower.

We are currently working on a remote control system, which will enable The Electronics Cranny to repair systems from afar, thereby eliminating poky, slow-witted, doltish testman such as Cloff Joffrey. “We feel that this is 3-4 years off,” noted EC President J.H. Bangley.

“It’s something that we’re constantly working on in the laboratories, something that I have a personal interest in as well.

I often find myself staying quite late into the evening, long after everyone else has gone. The reason for this, I suppose, is that my wife never has intercourse with me and so I figure, what the hell go home for? There’s also a decent enough submarine shop down the street. Makes a good ham sandwich and you have to find some comfort in life, some little pleasure, particularly when your wife never does anything at all and you can’t even find a good book to read or a program on TV. It’s a cold bed. A cold, cold bed fellows.” Bangley continued to natter on incessantly and we felt it best to terminate the interview.

Electronics Cranny Industries is hoping for a fully-automated system by the end of the decade. In addition, this new system should reduce maintenance costs and increase reliability. It will be an all-seeing “Watcher of the Signals”.

Madison Launches New Website: “The Cover of Lankville’s Internet”

November 30, 2014 Leave a comment
By Fritz Tennis

By Fritz Tennis


Precocious techno guru Danny Madison is spilling his sack of inventions all over the Lankville community these days. Mere weeks after the release of his wildly successful “Game Cube”, the 12-year old wizard launched “”, a website which describes itself as “the cover of Lankville’s internet.”

“ will summarize the best pictures and stories of Lankville’s internet and place them in an easily-scannable format perfect for aimless, desultory leering,” noted Madison, who was interviewed while programming a series of robotic arms to lightly toss a bowl of chilled gelatin. “Imagine the internet as Lankville’s giant book, a book that we’re all creating. will be the cover of that book.” Madison paused for a moment as the wobbly gelatin suddenly shifted and began to lurk dangerously at the bowl’s edge. “It’s alright,” he then announced to the group of onlookers gathered behind him as the gelatin returned to its original position. “Everything is going to be alright.”

Madison: "

Madison: “I’m very pleased with the seven kitten posts…”

Critics, however, have noted that has a rather lengthy list of posting rules and has already banned 7 million users as of 8AM this morning.

“I opened three different accounts just as a test,” noted Electronics Cranny contributor Neil Cuppy. “I was banned immediately for posting one of my personal electronics articles, was banned a second time for mentioning a particular zoo that was evidently unpopular with the creator and was banned a third time for opening a third account.”

“Just about everyone that has tried to post has been banned,” stated Electronics Cranny contributor Skip Vorhees. “If you log on right now, you’ll see that they only have seven posts. And they’re all just pictures of kittens.”

Madison attributed some of the early problems with to “growing pains”.

“I’m very pleased with the seven kitten posts, however. I know that we’ll soon see more.”

Madison then returned to his experiments and the interview was ended prematurely.

Electronic “Snappy” Mail: The Future of Correspondence

November 24, 2014 Leave a comment
By Neil Cuppy

By Neil Cuppy

Last July, the Lankville Postsmasters General gave the signal that put into operation one of the most revolutionary systems of communications in the long history of the Posts Offices Department. At the signal, an ordinary letter was inserted into a machine in the Lankville capitol. Three hours later, another letter, absolutely identical to the one in the capitol, popped out of a hose that had been affixed to the side of a shed in the Lankville Grasslands.

Thousands of other letters– all official– followed at the rate of one every hour for each pair of sending and receiving machines. Since there were always four letter pairs operating in each direction, there followed a period of deep confusion and, ultimately, a vast clogging of the hose. This minor setback, however, was repaired by adding a second hose to the side of the shed. It was at this point that the long-awaited age of “Snappy Mail”– the Posts Offices Department’s name for this new service– had begun.

Simplified explanation.

Simplified explanation.

Actually, the July operation was only a test. Although several governmental agencies and a sauce restaurant have transmitted via “Snappy Mail”, you can’t send letters– yet. And you probably won’t be able to for another three or four years. Why? Because a third hose will need to be added.

Nonetheless, if present plans work out, “Snappy Mail Shoppes” will be established in Lankville’s 71 largest cities. Such a system will mean same-day or next-day or the-day-after-that delivery anywhere throughout the country. The limiting factor, of course, will be the man-hours required to handle pickup and delivery and also the hoses. The actual transmission to the next city or even to the house next door will take only seconds.

So, let’s see how Snappy Mail will work.

Let’s say you live in the Woods and you want to send a letter to a relative, friend, or that friend’s wife. You’ll just write the letter on a special form (similar to the one used during the Depths War). Since the form will then be cut into threes, you will want to write only towards the top. Use heavy black lines.

The Future of Mail

The Future of Mail

Now, you’ll put the letter in a special “Snappy Mail Hamper”. These hampers will be color-coded by region– for example, if you live in The Woods, you will look for the pink one. You’ll also be able to take your letter to any one of several planned “Snappy Mail Posts Offices” (to date, the Posts Office promises as many as 200 locations!)

Next, the special “Snappy Mail Coder” will stamp your letter with the date and location. It is while being fed through the machines that the letter will be torn into threes and the lower two parts will be removed and recycled for holiday wrapping paper. Just think– the very letter that you wrote to your friend’s wife could very well end up being the paper that you wrap her secret gift in! Part of the resourceful planning of the Posts Offices Department!

Your letter will now be stacked in a special cartridge along with 400-500 others. The cartridge, like every other device in the process, is specially designed to provide secrecy. An operator will simply push a button and the Posts Offices “Cartridge Jenny” will send your letter flying across the country to its intended destination. Suction cups grasp each letter, shove it, pull on it and pound it flat so that it will slide easily and without lubricant of any kind into the automatic scanner.

As each letter slides into place, it trips a photoelectronic “Lumens Cell Circuit” which begins the scanning process. Your letter will be lightly baked and powdered and your original message will now appear in a black, soot-like substance on the paper. A facsimile beam will now sweep across your letter, very much like a beam might sweep across the screen of your TV set or across your body if you were to make an attempt to escape to the east.

And now your “Snappy Mail” letter will be delivered to your relative, friend or your friend’s wife. And only a few short hours after you sat composing the very same letter– sweating and feverish, cursing aloud, trying desperately not to include lewd comments, over your cramped bedroom desk!

The miracle of the Lankville “Snappy Mail” system– something we can all look forward to with anticipation.

The Electronics Cranny: New Semi-Portable Typing Machine Now Available!

November 14, 2014 Leave a comment
By Neil Cuppy

By Neil Cuppy

How many times have you said to yourself, “HOLY GOD JESUS IN CHRIST’S HELL! I can’t read my own handwriting!” Often the information you are trying to decipher is critically important– perhaps even could save someone from being murdered. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a semi-portable typing machine that you could just whip out every time you had to jot down a message? Well, with the new Handi-Writer from Fick Industries, you can do exactly that! Now you can carry a typewriter everywhere and use it when needed.

The Handi-Writer is small enough that it can be strapped to your back using the patented Sling-Cups design. Although it can not be measured, it checks in at only 26.2 pounds– it’s actually no heavier than two heavy bowling bowls in a sack. The Handi-Writer is made possible by advanced technologies and new theories in slight keyboard compression. “The keyboard is very, very slightly smaller than a normal typewriter keyboard,” said Fick Industries founder Fick from his dark, eerie home on the gloomy Lankville heaths. “This is what makes the Handi-Writer semi-portable.”

Best of all, the Handi-Writer is easy to use. Just switch the patented “Fick Knob” to the “Type” setting and begin typing (be sure that you have already disengaged the chassis first). Then press the “Memo” key. Finally, press the “Data” key and then click “Yes”.

“It’s actually no heavier than two heavy bowling balls in a sack.”

Stupid bitch uses a conventional computer device.

Stupid bitch uses a conventional computer device.

Begin typing your note– it’s that simple!

Make an error? No problem. Disengage the “Memo” key, press “BUFFER” and enter your corrections. The Handi-Writer comes equipped with a “Fick Memory Chips” that will hold up to 24 characters at any given time. Best of all, as you’re typing, your information will appear on the Liquid Matrix Data Screen Dots display. Just another fail-safe from Fick Industries.

Ready to print your note? Just insert paper into the top of the device, lube the rollers and press “YES” (not the same YES as on the data key, however). The Handi-Writer will now expertly line and rule your note and slowly begin printing your document (average time– 25-30 minutes). Your note is now permanently recorded.

Best of all, Fick Industries is now inviting you to try the Handi-Writer on a 30-day free trial basis. Decide you love it, and you’ll pay just $239.99 plus $99.99 shipping. Don’t love it? Well, we’ll see. Comes complete with AC adapter, paper, sheets, card template, balloons. Call today– Heaths, 5-2116.

The Electronics Cranny: Transmission Measuring Sets!

October 21, 2014 Leave a comment
By Neil Cuppy

By Neil Cuppy

The recently-revised LCC (Lankville Communications Commission) regulations governing noise, distortion, funny squealing, and feedback in conjunction with recently-released affordable transmission measuring sets has proven a renaissance of sorts for the amateur radio enthusiast and professional alike. There are now over 10 sets available at most electronics stores and, for the mechanically-minded, a set may be crafted in a matter of days using parts obtained from various sources. Today, we are going to examine a set designed and constructed by members of the Electronics Cranny Board of Regents during a recent tent display at a pizza-themed amusement park in which, strangely, huge gooey pizzas were stressed more than amusement to the point of nigh-mania. Nevertheless, the Board of Regents was able to model our set for several onlookers and will now share the design and plans with readers of The Lankville Daily News.

Front panel (fig. 1)

Front panel (fig. 1)

For our transmission measuring set, the Board elected to utilize a “7-knob system” rather than six (see figure 1)– the reasons will be immediately apparent. Although a fixed sourced impedance of 600 tables is all that is required for terminating the audio test oscillator, an input selector switch allows the addition of another 50 or 100 tables for use in measuring lines, audio systems or lighting carnivals. The minimum attenuation presented at these impedance values is crucial: trade 5 db. for 600 tables at any point but never 10 db. for 250 (COMPLEX) llm. ever. Use a cord wrapped in thin muslin.

By now, you have constructed your calorimeter which should be adaptable as well as reliable. The calorimeter may be connected from one heating unit to another on your transmission set without introducing changes in calibration. Finally, it is possible to change the impedance load by first testing it with a calorimeter made from magnetic steel and then with one made from non-magnetic steel (because of the strange circumstances of our amusement park tent display and the obsessive demand of ownership to impress upon us their huge gooey unappetizing pizzas, our magnetic steel calorimeter was ultimately destroyed, so our final unit featured the non-magnetic steel version).

The completed transmission set.

The completed transmission set.

Our back panel is fashioned of regular 19″ aluminum stock. The unusually neat appearance was made possible by drilling all mounting holes from the backside of the panel and also by keeping the amusement park pizza people away from the rear of our device. The holes were then tapped to receive brass screws. Our particular size allowed for three good turns per screw but this may vary according to your preference.

The Board then fashioned a typical setup for broadcast audio utilizing several ordinary items found at electronics stores, hobby shops and dumps. We switched a correct amount of attenuation to each circuit, allowing for distribution and flow and added amplifiers (figuring for mismatch loss) at the final stage. Run a damp cloth over each amplifier for greater warmth of sound.

At the present time, our model is in use at Electronics Cranny Tower 1-C, located in the Southern Lankville Cane Forest under the general supervision of Fritz Tennis, Electronics Cranny contributor and Chief Engineer at LCAE, a station operating on 65 mzz and broadcasting principally light solo organ music and basketball games. “It’s operation more than justified the time spent on its construction,” noted Tennis, who was interviewed by phone, “as well as the ordeal that the Board suffered through in regards to having all those huge gooey pizzas shoved at us as well as into our machines. The set has held up beautifully.” The model is currently one of three utilized by Tennis at LCAE.

The Electronics Cranny: Is it Time for a New Antenna?

July 22, 2014 Leave a comment
By Skip Vorhees IV

By Skip Vorhees Electronics Expert

While it’s true that almost any piece of wire connected to a post can be serviceable, the listener will receive a far superior performance with a properly installed antenna. And while it may be “wisest” to utilize the type of antenna prescribed in your radio’s user manual, the Electronics Cranny is going to show you how to go above and beyond.


Let’s begin with the rigid support method. Begin by finding two rigid supports, sufficiently far apart and properly located. Attach one antenna insulator firmly to one support using a piece of antenna wire, then attach the desired end to the same support by means of a nonslipping knot (see figure 1.1).

Now you can proceed with the mounting, soldering and the reams. When you have completed these crucial steps, you can begin the attachment of a series of complicated pulleys. This will allow for the second insulator to pass crisply over the pulley wheel, deliciously coming to rest on the opposite stanchion. Now you can draw hard on the rope until it become taut. Be sure to turn on your radio now and see if you can hear anything. If you can’t hear anything, go back to figure 1.1 and study further. Check again your tautness or tautivity.  Note: you won’t be able to use the rigid support method if you live in the Southern Lankville Savannah Areas.


Several types of antenna have been approved for indoor use to avoid the horrifying nuisance of the outdoor antenna. These are primarily for use with portable, table-model radios or built-in components that have proven popular with the crafty. One type is the hanks antenna, so called because it is merely a hanks of some wires.  You can stretch it out carelessly along the floor or ruin some moldings by banging it in there with a hammer (see figure 1.2).  This will give you good reception for local programming but is rarely effective for good short-wave reception.  It can prove to be noisy and distracting.  And while it may appear useful at first, as the months pass you will begin to realize that there is a sort of lurking, odious fear issuing from your walls, a hum that portends some irreversible disaster (see figure 1.2).

Figure 1.2

Figure 1.2

Therefore, it may be best to utilize a flagpole antenna. In this scenario, a commercial flagpole antenna, similar to an auto-radio whip atenna, will produce better results.


For the best reception, however, the Electronics Cranny recommends a Hertzberg-Praff ungrounded antenna for both broadcast and short-wave reception. This is a project for the advanced electronics enthusiast as it requires the mounting of multiple “lightning shields” to prevent being scorched by the heavens. If you feel confident (or if you’re the type of person who thinks you are always right), go ahead and proceed with the Hertzberg-Pfaff.

First, climb to the highest point possible and begin laying out nets to capture and redirect ambient noise. Install the leadin on the ground and then quickly yank it out again.  This will allow you to listen for defects.

Figure 1.3.  It may be useful to have a lightning detector while installing the Hertzberg-Pfaff antenna.

Figure 1.3. It may be useful to have a lightning detector while installing the Hertzberg-Pfaff antenna.

Begin attaching the lightning shields. If there is lightning in the area, it may be useful to purchase a lightning detector dashboard (figure 1.3) from The Electronics Cranny (most models are from $5500-$6500). By reading ampere levels, you will begin to have an idea if the lightning will strike your high area. If readings prove conclusive, just climb higher up. It’s always wise to bring a couple of ladders with you.

Now, it’s just a matter of matching the transformers and punching some industrial staples into the ground. Your Hertzberg-Pfaff will be ready to go.

1. What considerations must the serviceman keep in mind when entering an apartment?
2. List several possible sources of noises.
3. A receiver is reported as suffering from excessive fading. A check of the receiver shows it to be perfect. What the hell do you think could be up?
4. An operator has spilled a cake on his antenna. What’s the procedure for reinstallation?
5. An antenna is be installed near several power lines, an energy plant and an airport. Should precautions be taken?
6. Who were Hertzberg and Pfaff and how did they come up with the idea of the ungrounded antenna. Are they dead? How did they die?

The Electronics Cranny: Lankville Radio Programming for Tomorrow Morning

June 4, 2014 5 comments
By Neil Cuppy

By Neil Cuppy




Tomorrow morning’s radio programming has been announced for Lankville’s seven major stations, according to Communications Overseer Harry Rowley III in a report issued today. Transmission will be limited to the amplitude modulation (small) waves operating under the call names LTAB, LFRC, LFWI, LQRC, LWWY, LOTT and LPIP. “Anyone with any questions is free to write us from time to time,” stated Rowley, who was interviewed while inspecting some farm equipment. “We have a little mailbox and we can accept most things from postal carriers.” “When will the afternoon and evening programming be announced?” we asked. There was a long pause, silent as the grave followed by Rowley shaking his head slowly and spitting menacingly in the dirt. “We’ll let it go on an’ happen that way, then,” was the last thing we heard Rowley say before he moved slowly towards us.

The schedule below is taken directly from Rowley’s original dispatch.

6-7:00 A.M.

LTAB: Health Exercises and Entertainments
LQRC: Restrained Cheer Hour

7-8:00 A.M.

LTAB: Health Exercises and Entertainments
LFRC: Morning Encouragement
LFWI: Seals: What Are They?
LQRC: Early Bird Hour

8-9:00 A.M.

LTAB: Health Exercises and Entertainments
LFRC: Health Exercises
LFWI: Musical Breakfast
LQRC: Down Memory Lane with Oleg
LWWY: Home Life
LOTT: Health Exercises
LPIP: Popular Selections

9-10:00 A.M.

LTAB: Health Exercises Until 9:30 Followed by Dead Air
LFRC: Small Business Parade with Shelley Reports
LFWI: Restful Hour Sponsored by the El Arroyo Bank of Del Lankville
LQRC: Highlights, Weather, Deaths
LWWY: Regg’s Daily Chat (with William A. Hancock at the Piano)
LOTT: Health Exercises (with Breathing)
LPIP: Children’s Hour

10-11:00 A.M.

LTAB: Health Exercises
LFRC: Your Decorative Ham (with Chris Vitiello)
LFWI: Scripture, Instrumental Selections
LQRC: Dean T. Pibbs Takes Your Questions/Country Store
LWWY: No live broadcast. Distant string music will be played
LOTT: Johnny Ludlow, friend to boys
LPIP: Crop Report Sponsored by Chambers Company Hand Drills

11-12:00 P.M.

LTAB: Health Exercises, short break
LFRC: Farm Report/Time Signals from the Naval Observatory
LFWI: Concert Orchestra of the Cloud Motel (Hits of Today)
LQRC: Live coverage of the Lankville Commonwealth Luncheon from the Palace Auditorium
LWWY: Some trumpet sounds
LOTT: The Girl’s Half Hour with Ida Rumpus/Dead Air
LPIP: Birthday Celebration for Bill Connelly, Eastern Lankville

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