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RADIO REPAIR GUY
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HOW I GOT INTO REPAIR

JOHN OBRIEN

 March 9, 1943-Feb 14, 2016

Well, I have a BSEE. But that really qualifies me for screwing in a light bulb (forty years later). The real qualifications emanate from the fact that when I was 13-17 years old, I was building radios, repairing radios and tube type TV's.

That is a hobby I never left and have repaired old radios for my collection of Hallicrafters receivers (Ham type) for the last 15 years. I have also for 5 years restored old radios (usually the more complex Ham receivers) for sale on Ebay.

Recently, I started (by request) to repair old radios for a variety of friends and neighbors. So I am qualified and have been doing repair work, at one level or another since 1956 (a long time ago......).

I do enjoy fixing old radios after a career in "paper" where I did the normal white collar "talk - write - meet" for a living. At the end of the day, I have actually physically restored a radio that will give somebody great pleasure in listening to it, or recounting memories associated with that radio.

Several customers have sent me radios that they have childhood memories of listening to announcements about Pearl Harbor, or watching their parents gather around the radio for a FDR fireside chat.

HOW I GOT INTO RADIO REPAIR....

STEVE SCHINDEL

Fascinated by the ability of a neighbor being able to talk to people around the world without the use of a telephone. I studied and became (with the help of my neighbor) an Amateur Radio Operator (HAM). Using both Morse Code and AM transmissions I was in a zone that none of my high school friends could understand.  But I didn't care !  I was mesmerized by the technology and couldn't wait until I got home from school to strap on the headphones and go for it!

After graduating from high school I attended college and was disappointed to find that there were no courses that would prepare me for what I wanted to do.  I discovered a little known technical school, United Electronics Laboratories, that had a two year, 5 day per week training program that would enable me to work on any type of electronic equipment made: Radios (Home, Car), Televisions (NTSC Standard B&W, Color), Radars, Commercial Broadcasting Transmitters, Computers, and more.  I graduated in the top 5 of my class (there were 28 students in my class)

Working in St. Louis at McDonnel Aircraft I worked on every electronic system in the F-4 Phantom.  Later, I was drafted but bypassed the Army to go into the US Navy where I worked on our ships' Gun Fire Control System and became the "Computer Operator". 

After four years in the service (including a tour to Vietnam) I went to work for Honeywell Data Systems and spent 6 months learning about "Digital" computers and how to repair them.  The training consisted of chasing every logic signal in the computer and understanding how to locate and replace defective discrete components (transistors, capacitors, diodes, resistors).  Later Honeywell replaced these with Integrated Circuits (chips) but the drill was the same - find the bad chip and replace it. 

I moved on. I was still in search of how to communicate using these toys.  Over the years I worked for NCR-Comten, ITT Europe, AT&T, Infonet-GSI, and Lockheed Martin.  At Lockheed my duties of Engineer, Systems Engineer, and Quality Assurance Inspector were applied across the product suites of Air Traffic Control Systems installed in the US for the FAA and to other nations (South Korea, Austrailia, Kazakstan). 

John and I both worked together at one of those companies.  We met recently - after I stopped working - and joined up to help work on the repairing some of the things that brought me into a really fulfilling career.

 

 

 


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Web Services Global Partners
Bethesda, MD
CELEBRATING OUR 16TH YEAR
 

 
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