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Older Base Form Factors Relavant Today

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Dawn

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Even though I've been in this business most of my life, I've always had a soft spot for all-in-one base/control stations. The combination of several useful instruments such as a clock, metering, speaker, power supply and other amenities in one physical box to me has been an ideal. That was the prevailing form factor up to the 80's across many disciplines. Somewhere along the spectrum, the ubiquitous mobile unit as base or control station with a seperate power supply has become the norm.

The driving factor is economy of scale. That's understandable in today's finance driven world. You're going to sell a heck of a lot of mobiles for every box base.

Without going into specifics, would you consider buying a 70's style base station?
I realize there are still a few in a rack form factor and I think the Galaxy 2547 is still available. None of these really parallel the clock and creature comforts like a front firing speaker or a clock, but do have a frequency counter. Still besides a power supply and metering, these are not an entire station in a box like those of old. Neither is the cosmetics that fit into a home or office decor.

It would probably be impossible at a reasonable price point to make a chassis like those of old. But for some, this would be a plus especially within a domestic setting such as a den rather then relagated to a male space or "shack". There's no reason a saturn, RCI, or galaxy can't be made with wooden end panels and the display alternately functioning as a clock for at least another $100usd for a visually aesthetic appearance.

I do restorations of older units. This appears to be a very sought after quality both in cb's and older Stereo equipment. I don't do wood, but have a guy that does wood and laminations.

If radios such as the old Couriers, Trams, even vinyl covered Simbas were to reappear in a new form. Would you buy them? Or is this something best left to the past with younger generations. Older folks seem to appreciate this quality rather then the mobiles or the high tech rack bases. There has been a divorce from technology as furniture from stereo and televisions to radio equipment. Would this retro appeal be acceptable today? I'm sure that wives would be more accepting to wood grained vinyl or wood in a communal space.
 

PrimeNumber

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No, I'm not into the big base systems. I'll take the discrete, modular approach every time because I can select each part to better suit my needs. Want a local/zulu clock? MFJ has one, sits on top my radio rack. Power supply... batteries are quiet, and already part of my solar power system, so I don't need no steenkin' power supply. I can pick from a range of outboard speakers to suit my needs and price, so I don't need to be locked into a manufacturer's choice. If something breaks, it can be repaired or swapped out without disassembling the rest of the system. When it comes to the visual factor, a neatly built up modular system can look just as good. It takes a little effort and some zip-ties, but yeah, it can look good too.

I totally get why some people want the all-in-one solution, especially if you have young children around. But it's not for everybody, definitely not for me.
 

Oldme

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The big bases of yesteryear bring back a lot of good memories.

I also remember when people learned that it was mainly an empty box
containing the "guts" of a smaller radio. They felt they were being ripped
off for the cost of the clock.

I feel that today, people are used to the smaller size of components and being
able to mix/match what they want. An interchangeable component system, in
maybe a portable rack, might be more appealing to the most people.
 

PrimeNumber

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I feel that today, people are used to the smaller size of components and being
able to mix/match what they want. An interchangeable component system, in
maybe a portable rack, might be more appealing to the most people.
It would be really nice to have a rack standard that's smaller than 19", say one in the 8.5"x11" range. Most CB and many ham radios would fit neatly into this. I built up one out of a three drawer plastic stationary storage bin, works great but definitely a hack job. It would be cool to have pre-made metal racks ready to mix n' match.
 

Oldme

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PrimeNumber... That is a great idea.
I bet your homemade rack works well.
That is something I will also look at.
Thanks for the idea.
 

n5ims

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It would be really nice to have a rack standard that's smaller than 19", say one in the 8.5"x11" range. Most CB and many ham radios would fit neatly into this. I built up one out of a three drawer plastic stationary storage bin, works great but definitely a hack job. It would be cool to have pre-made metal racks ready to mix n' match.
Back in the 70s we mounted our CB in a standard 19" rack. The radio was a standard mobile style one and the extra room was used to house an oval speaker that sent the audio out the front and the mic clip. The 12v power supply was also supported by the rack mounting. We custom built the unit but this helped it match the control panels for various unrelated functions that were also custom built so they matched and looked nice together.
 

Oldme

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Jun 25, 2014
Messages
75
Location
Hull, Ga,
I just looked in the close at a rack I bought a while back from,
I think, Musicians Friend. It is disassembled right now.

The cross bracing is sq tubing with a plastic insert to screw into.
It looks like it could easily be cut length and have the insert knocked
out of the scrap and reinstalled, making it any length wanted.
 
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