Radio Shack Electronic Kits

I like many of you had my first experience with electronics through the electronic kits that Radio Shack has had over the years. The versions
that spanned the 50, 100, 200 electronic experiments all come to mind.
My question is...how many versions and types of these kits have they had over the years?
I would be interested in hearing which ones you recall.
Thanks
TMT
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I think they had a 250, it had a neat plastic case with a hinged lid, and controls, displays, meter and speaker on the front of it. I still have a 150 that I have had for 25 years. The good ol' days of Radio Shack, when they were actually a good source for hobbyists. Now they are not much more than Best Buy wannabees.

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Hello Michael,

But why is that? Many kids aren't creative these days. They hang out in front of the TV or some video game but don't actually build stuff. Places like Radio Shack as we knew it from the old days can only survive when people built stuff.
The Radio Shack here in town has closed. It become a cell phone store. Sigh.
Regards, Joerg
http://www.analogconsultants.com
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Joerg wrote:

same could be said of most hams!! I bought an HT recently and I was astounded to learn HRO did NOT stock SMA connectors (needed for the HT), or RG174.
Hams pay $30 to $60 for coax with BNCs at each end. Hams pay $30 for 12VDC 200mA wall warts! Hams pay $15 to $30 for serial cables.
do hams actually BUILD anything these days?

yeah.
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Cliff,

So what? Although I understand your point here -- you'd like people to build their own equipment and learn a few skills -- I would sure hope that anyone who's been messing around with electronics since a kid has terminated hundreds or thousands of cables, built plenty of cheesy wall-wart-like power supplies, and wired plenty of their own cables. If they're smart, they've advanced their skills well beyond the point and now have good paying jobs and buying those pre-manufactured items is arguably a much better use of their time than making them.
It just doesn't make sense to build your own power supplies when you can buy something like a 5V, 1A switcher with 100-240V input for <$10... time is the ultimate commodity than you can never create more of!

Sure... look at something like GNU Radio, the Elecraft kits, the TAPR VNA kit, etc.
Being able to build something from a schematic prepares you for a job that pays little better than flipping burgers.
This is very much like mowing your lawn -- if you can afford to pay soomeone else to do it, there's little point in doing it yourself unless you truly enjoy and experience and understand the "opportunity cost" (the time you won't be able to spend doing other things you might enjoy more) involved.
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Joel Kolstad wrote:

Yabut - another ham and I were discussing the design of a phase discriminator. Mention Foster-Seely to any of the other hams listening and they thought it was a mattress. One of them didn't know how to solder a resistor to a PC board ... afaik the others didn't even try. Let me put it this way - some hams' time would be better spent opening a book or melting solder than buying a wall wart.
Ed
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Maybe the economy and so on - isn't what it once was - BUT - those who knock "knowing" electronics would be up a creek - were it not for those of us who DO. Those gadgets don't make themselves.
You're right about the Foster Seeley..... Hell, I've seen "hams" - using the term lightly as we're not all on the same platform - not even know what a "fuse" was! OR a ground! Eh....... seems to me they should have failed. But - that is my beef with the newer tests. You get all the answers given to you in a book. Years ago, you really didn't know what to expect when you went in front of the FCC. If you didn't know electronics, you were just wasting your time. My - how times have changed.
CLF
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I have to wonder what is the point of being a ham in the day and age of the internet.
i
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On 1/17/06 12:24 PM, in article uoczf.17873$ snipped-for-privacy@fe07.usenetserver.com,

Talking to someone via ham radio means you are talking with someone with developed skills with which you have something in common. There is a kinship that is comfortable. Also, it's great fun to use low power and make contact all over the planet.
There is nothing similar to ham radio, in the internet.
Don
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In particular, with ham radio, you don't need an ISP or a telephone line. You can talk to the other side of the world with no equipment except what is owned (and could even have been built) by the people on the two ends.
For emergency communication, ham radio is indispensable. Also, I think shortwave technology should be kept alive in the interest of freedom. A tyrant can take his country off the Internet but can't block all incoming radio signals.
VY 73 N4TMI
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mc wrote:

Say, doesn't Linux have some provision for using the ham radio bands for telecommunication? Anyone have any experience with this?
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All operating systems do. There's not much to it. What you need is essentially a packet radio modem, and from there, TCP/IP over the air is not hard to do.
You can't mix ham radio with the Internet because of the strict laws against commercial traffic on ham radio. But apart from that, it's a good thing, and very useful in emergencies.
I don't do packet radio myself because it's too much like my day job, but it's certainly a popular part of ham radio.
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I'm convinced that 99% of what the average person does on the Internet would be completely legal if the data packets were going over ham frequencies as well. Reading your personal e-mail? AOK (just don't read your work e-mail!). Ordering a book on Amazon.Com? AOK (just as ordering a pizza through a phone patch is). Etc...
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On 1/18/06 12:58 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@corp.supernews.com, "Joel

How can you be convinced of something that would be illegal? The ham frequencies are for use by people who hold an appropriate license.
Don
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wrote:

I meant that if the people in question had ham radio licenses, of course. My point was that a lot of people get VERY defensive if you suggest you're going to provide a straight gateway between the airwaves and the Internet for licensed hams to use, citing how the fact that there's no realistic means of precluding that gateway's use for illegal activities (just as there isn't when one uses an autopatch) should somehow be reason enough to disallow it in the first place.
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On 1/18/06 5:50 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@corp.supernews.com, "Joel

If messages traverse the internet and jump into ham band packets at one or both ends, and there is an operator controlling the transmission at the jump points, I don't perceive any legal problems for non-commercial messages. For "emergency" traffic it would be a valuable process. Maybe some are doing this..... It's not a brain-buster.
Don
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Yeah, the whole idea though really turns some people off, unfortunately. My opinion is that reasonably cool heads are prevailing, though, and ham radio regulations are sloooowwwllllly moving in the right direction. It appears that regulation primarily by bandwidth (rather than emission type) will be the law of the land in the next couple of years.
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I'm sure it will eventually. Ham will either evolve with the times or it will fade out of existence. I know a few old timers who are into ham radio but I've not yet met anyone in my 20-something generation who's into it, not even one.
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On 1/18/06 7:36 PM, in article GODzf.19683$6L1.17387@trnddc02, "James Sweet"

Maybe because young people don't want to put out the effort to become a ham, you know, like, they wanna hang at the mall.
Don
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Don Bowey wrote:

This lament is often repeated in many of the hobbies which are now considered the territory of the oldsters. Communicating by radio and messing with thumb-sized electronic components is pass. So is collecting rocks or fern samples and scale model railroading. I'm not so quick to write off a whole generation because they find their stuff cooler than mine. That kid hanging at the mall can reach into his pocket and pull out his toy and be in contact with China in a matter of seconds. That pretty much kills any hope of impressing him with my rig and hobby for communicating. Whoopee, I can build mine - but it doesn't "work" as well as his.
There have always been kids who get into all sorts of things. I don't think that the percentage of kids interested in technology has decreased...I'd be inclined to think the opposite. Technology has changed much more than the kids have. How many old radio farts are into THEIR modern technology?
-Bill
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