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Sherlock Ohms

Corroded Copper Stops Dial Tone

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Cabe Atwell
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Re: Back in the olden days
Cabe Atwell   3/26/2014 4:44:27 PM
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I remember cleaning copper electrodes on batteries and slot cards with a pencil eraser to get a current to flow, but those were exposed. You would think that copper connections outside would be shrouded better than they were. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Back in the olden days
Ann R. Thryft   3/4/2014 1:25:56 PM
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Thanks for those details, William. I used to work in telecom way back before fiber. You're absolutely right. There's so much stuff made so cheaply today that the higher quality of invisible stuff like wiring is hard to believe.



William K.
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Back in the olden days
William K.   3/3/2014 3:54:02 PM
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I did recently read about telephone wiring in a really old AUDELS publication, and the difference in wiring is huge. Those splices would not have failed, even exposed to the weather, in the tale told above. The suggestion was that phone circuits between the poles should be a minimum of #12 hard drawn copper wire, and the splices were some mechanically strong ones three inches long, sometimes taped with rubber tape. Current phone wire may be as big as #24, although most is much thinner. Of course, that was before the large cables became common. But now can you imagine a 320 pair run of individual wires, not in a cable? One real mightmare, no doubt.

William K.
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Re: The more things change...
William K.   3/3/2014 3:47:02 PM
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Ann, your comment about disposable products brings one of mine to mind. A Collins transceiver dating to about 1965, or earlier. One of the good ones built to last, which it has. The really nice thing about good quality equipment is that the radio is worth about as many dollars today as when it was new. That would certainly not be true of any current PCs or entertainment electronics. Last years Ipod? How much would that be worthy? Not much. And a five year old computer? Scrap metal value only. Some stuff is built to last, other stuf is built to fail in a week after it becomes obsolete in three months. I think I read that in EDN a few years back.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: The more things change...
Ann R. Thryft   2/26/2014 2:15:32 PM
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Thanks, tekochip. I think all of us--consumers and technoids alike--have had our perspective seriously distorted by high-volume, cheap, throwaway consumer electronics, clothes, and a lot of other things now made in China. This may be less obvious to younger folks, but those of my generation remember when the US was the best at manufacturing a lot of things. The kind of audio equipment we took for granted when it only played vinyl, for instance--I think we've exchanged comments on that subject before, as well as fridges, washing machines, etc. I find myself not wanting to buy a lot of things made after the 70s or 80s due to poor quality.

tekochip
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Re: The more things change...
tekochip   2/26/2014 2:08:59 PM
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....we get what we pay for. I think that's a principle many of us have forgotten in the rush to the cheapest.

 

Thanks Ann, that's a principle that always needs to be remembered.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: The more things change...
Ann R. Thryft   2/26/2014 1:53:26 PM
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TJ, that may be true about costs. But regulation also helped to ensure high quality technology, in addition to protecting living beings. To some extent, we get what we pay for. I think that's a principle many of us have forgotten in the rush to the cheapest.



William K.
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Re: The more things change...
William K.   2/22/2014 4:29:28 PM
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Sometimes the government does get things right. Moreso in the past than in the present, though. That New Deal thing was indeed a great idea at the time, probably if they tried it now it would not work out so very well. Things have indeed changed, and not all for the better. And my critical remarks are pointed at our current government in general. Of course the job is a lot more complex now than it was in 1950, which certainly makes doing a "good job" not only much more challenging, but also much harder to define.

George Kaye
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Re: The more things change...
George Kaye   2/21/2014 8:53:37 PM
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For those who want to bash the gov't the fact that we even have widespread POTS including the non profitable rural service areas is a result of the New Deal and the establishment of the FCC. Also the Rural Electrification Act (REA) got power to rural areas where it was thought unprofitable or impractical.

"Major changes came to rural telephone companies with the advent of the New Deal. The 1934 Communications Act created the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide quality telephone service to all Americans at reasonable rates. However, rural telephone service availability and quality remained poor until long-term, low-interest loans for rural telephone companies became available as part of the REA loan program in 1949." - http://reic.uwcc.wisc.edu/telephone/

"At the time the Rural Electrification Act was passed, electricity was commonplace in cities but largely unavailable in farms, ranches, and other rural places. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 7037 on May 11, 1935, establishing the Rural Electrification Administration." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rural_Electrification_Act

Many, or most of today's gov't regulations are authored by special interests, you know, the ones that own the country. Money talks and the rest of us walk.

The truth is gov't can get things done. It is not the enemy Reagan made it out to be.

 

tomintx
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Re: The more things change...
tomintx   2/21/2014 7:19:11 PM
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...  if todays regulations had been in force in 1950. ...

We would have a very complex system of interlocked strings and soup cans. 

Just sayin'

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