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Hobbies 🪙 Radio in your house?

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,882
Points
57
At one point in history, almost every house had a radio. It is where kids heard stories, families gathered to listen to the news, and important information was broadcast to everyone within the frequency range.

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As times changed, TV's became more and more popular, but Radio never died. Growing up, we had a stereo in the living room and several smaller AM/FM radios through out the house. It was normal me to have the radio on as I was getting ready for school or work in the summer. We also had it on whenever we were doing something like cleaning, working on the house (Historic Folk Victorian), or out in the yard. For more than 40 years, the next door neighbor turns on the afternoon Detroit Tigers Games on a small battery operated radio and works in her garden. It is her thing.

Almost every car has a radio in it, but does your house have one? In these days of internet radio, streaming online, Pandora, Spotify, cell phones, and smart speakers, I wonder how many people still turn on an old radio.

Personally I listen to the radio through our Alexa. It is strange for me because my dad has been in Radio almost all his life, and this morning I discovered that I can listen to one of his radio stations that is 1200 miles away through my Alexa as I am getting ready for work, just as I did almost 3 decades ago when I was in HS. (Same morning DJ as back then too). Normally, I listen to a local country station because they also have the news and the traffic report and while it is not through a traditional radio, the result is still the same.

Do you still have a radio in your house? How many? How often do you listen to it?
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
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30,162
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74
Growing up, some memorable radios in my life included:
  • a circa 1970 Panasonic 'Super 7' am radio that sat on top of the refrigerator that was turned on in the morning when we got ready for school, and my mother (a stay at home mom) would listen to throughout the day. This was referred to as "the radio"
  • a little blue transistor radio I got as a Christmas present in the mid 70's. This one stayed in my bedroom and I used to stay up at night listening to city commission meetings under the covers with the volume turned low.
  • my grandparents had a 1930's vintage Zenith Admiral radio cabinet that was always on unless the tv was on. It had both a radio and a record turntable (which was never used, they didn't even own any 78's as I recall) It looked something like this:

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kms

Cyburbian
Messages
6,871
Points
45
The radio in my kitchen is always on. I adjust the volume from time to time, but its always on.

It's tuned to a classic/oldies station, and I listened to the AM version when I was growing up. Right now it's playing "Everybody Wants to Rule the World". So maybe this morning it's an 80's station.

They have news reports, which is essentially someone reading some notes they took from the local paper.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,254
Points
52
We have a stereo in the living room but rarely ever use it for terrestrial radio stations. Instead, we use it for records, CDs, or streaming satellite or podcasts too.

I also have a small bluetooth speaker that primarily lives in the den. When I'm working from home I have it on nearly all day either listening to podcasts, Detroit or Michigan Public Radio, or streaming the Grateful Dead station to. In the evening it comes with me to the kitchen when I get dinner ready or to the back patio while I cook our hang out back there. That $30 bluetooth speaker is probably one of the best purchases I've ever made for the home.

Growing up, we always had a stereo on in the dairy barn and it was always playing country music (Detroit's WWWW, "W4 Country") even though nobody in our household liked country. I think my dad had read somewhere that cows gave more milk when listening to country music. In the house on the weekends we always had the NPR station playing.
 

Bubba

Cyburbian
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5,903
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47
Mrs. Bubba has a portable radio she turns on for background noise during her work from home days - that's it for Chez Bubba.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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19,346
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71
We have several radios in our house. It's probably the holdover from when I was into SWL as a young adult. Let's see ...

* Family room: Pioneer bookshelf stereo. (It replaced the NAD separates, which took up a LOT of room.)

* Living room: vintage (1980s) Proton 320 clock radio. A classic for its time.

* Master bedroom: on my side, a Sangean RCR-30 clock radio. Stereo, Bluetooth, sleep noise generator, and so on, On my wife's side, a Soundfreaq Sound Rise.

* My office / guest bedroom: some clock radio with a built-in wireless phone charger that I got from Amazon. Also, tucked away, a nearly pristine Sears Com/Trek IX, circa late 1960s, that I picked up at an estate sale years ago. Its performance leaves a lot to be desired. I'm guessing it has low quality capacitors that have gone bad. The thing is a beast, though, and if I disassembled it for a DIY repair, I'd probably never be able to get it back together again.

* Garage: vintage (1970s) Panasonic RF-1150. The whip antenna is broken, and replacements are nearly impossible to find. Its performance on AM is outstanding, and it has that bassy but clear 1970s high end radio sound. I have a Bluetooth receiver connected to the aux-in, so I can listen to podcasts when I'm in the garage.

* Portable: some rebranded Tecsun AM/FM/SW pocket radio. I'd love to get one of the Russian Malachite SDRs (see this link for an article).

I live in an area with no over-the-air television reception. It's home to one of the earliest cable TV systems in the US. Radio reception is equally bad. On the FM side, reception is difficult for any FM stations more than 15 miles away. On the AM side, there's three local stations. Anything more than 20 miles away sounds like distant DX, even with a powerful receiver like the Panasonic RF-1150. Because of that, most of these radios seldom stray from the local NPR station.

IMHO, the best clock radios ever were the Boston Acoustics Solo, Dupo, and Recepter. Great sound, and the usability was outstanding. Someone who never saw one could easily set them up and use all of their features without instructions. It's just too bad they were so unreliable. I'd love to have a Tivoli Model 3 as a closck radio, but I can't justify its ridiculously high price, especially compared to an equivalent radio from Sangean.
 

Gedunker

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When I was young, the family kitchen radio was always tuned to WOR with John Gambling as the host and later, IIRC, John Gambling, Jr. On Sundays, my dad listened to opera loudly, which sounded like cats screaming to my unsophisticated ears. I never did develop a taste for it.

Today, I have a weather alert radio next to my bed, and no others. Between iTunes and podcasts, I don't really miss radio.
 

Big Owl

Cyburbian
Messages
2,861
Points
37
I have an alarm clock with a radio and we have a wooden retro looking cd player with a radio in the hallway. I couldn't tell you the last time that I listen to the radio in the house or in my car for that matter. I do listen to the internet streams of a couple of radio stations, specifically those of high school & college football and basketball. However, more and more of those games that once was just on the radio now are on some type of video live stream now. There's a certain nostalgia about listening sports on the radio, especially baseball.
 

luckless pedestrian

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When I was growing up, my Mom had a radio going in the morning while we were getting ready for school in the kitchen - a lot of my memories of pop music late 60's, early 70's music comes from that

I had a transistor radio that was black and covered in leather that I used to tape songs off of

The basement play room had a cabinet stereo record player and 8 track tape player that I used to play the radio on too when my friends were over

Then the boombox thing came on, and the radios that you cranked for batteries to bring to the beach that also had a solar film on it

Now, I have a Bose radio in our bedroom that sometimes I will play the news on while getting ready for work, or the radio station to match the Marantz radio stereo system we still have in the living room (speakers separated in living room, family room and kitchen lol) so the whole house is filled with that station (very handy when cleaning for turnovers in the summer)

My husband always had a world radio Grundig that was really fun

My MIL, from living in super rural Vermont in the 70's, still has a radio that has the crank dial on it, can get shortwave, emergency stuff on it too

I listen to Sirius radio or podcasts in the car when I am commuting - but often I will listen to local radio - at work, when I need a break from Pandora, there's a station in Portland Maine I like (98.9) that I will stream at my desk
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
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1,675
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29
Had the stereo system in the living room in the 1970s and 1980s. Currently have an under the cabinet-mounted Sony radio/CD player my wife likes to keep on while gone for the benefit of the animals.
 

MD Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,124
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49
I grew up in a house where the local AM station was always on in the kitchen. CBS national news at the top of every hour, local news at 6,8,noon and 5. Remember when local radio stations actually had news departments?

Until I moved I had an under the cabinet clock radio in the kitchen that was on pretty much all day tuned to WTOP out of DC. News, Weather and Sports with traffic on the 8's. It was great for hearing what was going on in the DMV. And vital for those early morning commutes into DC to work my part-time stagehand gig.
 

RandomPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,830
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28
I do listen to the radio at the house but often via Pandora or Spotify through the surround sound speakers.

In the car (did @Whose Yur Planner really say he's never used his car radio?!!), I am always listening to local radio or podcasts.

In the '65 truck, however, we removed the junk 90s stereo and welded a radio delete panel into the dash until we are ready to splurge on an original radio with new guts and bluetooth. In the meantime, I've been bringing a bluetooth speaker to sit on the dash and listening through my phone. I created a Spotify station called Truck Yeah with all the songs I could think of that seemed 100% 1965 truck appropriate. It's not a great station yet so I generally just turn on classic 80s and 90s instead which also works well.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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In the '65 truck, however, we removed the junk 90s stereo and welded a radio delete panel into the dash until we are ready to splurge on an original radio with new guts and bluetooth.
I love the "new old" car stereos that are designed to look stock.

For the Radwood crowd, I wonder what they'd see as more authentic in a 1980s or early 1990s car: an original factory car stereo, or an aftermarket Alpine stereo from the era. I put an Alpine 7400 in my first car. Two breakins, and both times the perps only took the knobs.

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Car radio thought ①: SiriusXM is a godsend for those of us who enjoy what's now called "linear programming", or something like that. My wife loves it. However, when I'm taking a road trip or long weekend drive, I used to like tuning around the dial to see what interesting stuff was out there. There's far less local programming now than 20 years ago, but I think you can still get a little taste of local flavor from small town AM stations that don't devote a lot of their air time to syndicated programming. For example, dose der polka shows der. Frequency surfing annoys my wife, and ten-minute long commercial blocks annoy me, so most of the time we just stick to SiriusXM.

Car radio thought ②: One of my invention ideas that I know people would love, but would ultimately be a flop in the marketplace, is for a DIN-sized box with a built in 120 V AC to 12 V DC power supply, and built-in speakers, so old car stereos can be reused at home. Factory/OEM car radios are known for having very sensitive receivers with good noise filtration; ideal for DXers and those of us who live in weak reception areas. However, with the supply of old car stereos shrinking, and table radios being a very niche market (although not without its fans), I don't think a "DINbox" or whatever I'd call it would get much traction beyond Kickstarter.
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,579
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21
We play Pandora or Apple music through our TV or blue tooth speaker every day. We also have a record player and stereo, though I don't have the AM/FM radio hooked up to the stereo (though I do have one).

Two of my cars have older tape deck radios, so driving those is probably the only time I actually listen to FM radio, otherwise I am playing streaming/XM radio in my daily driver.
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,675
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29
I love the "new old" car stereos that are designed to look stock.

For the Radwood crowd, I wonder what they'd see as more authentic in a 1980s or early 1990s car: an original factory car stereo, or an aftermarket Alpine stereo from the era. I put an Alpine 7400 in my first car. Two breakins, and both times the perps only took the knobs.

View attachment 51911

Car radio thought ①: SiriusXM is a godsend for those of us who enjoy what's now called "linear programming", or something like that. My wife loves it. However, when I'm taking a road trip or long weekend drive, I used to like tuning around the dial to see what interesting stuff was out there. There's far less local programming now than 20 years ago, but I think you can still get a little taste of local flavor from small town AM stations that don't devote a lot of their air time to syndicated programming. For example, dose der polka shows der. Frequency surfing annoys my wife, and ten-minute long commercial blocks annoy me, so most of the time we just stick to SiriusXM.

Car radio thought ②: One of my invention ideas that I know people would love, but would ultimately be a flop in the marketplace, is for a DIN-sized box with a built in 120 V AC to 12 V DC power supply, and built-in speakers, so old car stereos can be reused at home. Factory/OEM car radios are known for having very sensitive receivers with good noise filtration; ideal for DXers and those of us who live in weak reception areas. However, with the supply of old car stereos shrinking, and table radios being a very niche market (although not without its fans), I don't think a "DINbox" or whatever I'd call it would get much traction beyond Kickstarter.
"The Alpine's bumping but I need the volume higher."
-Anthony L. Ray, ca. 1988.
 

Whose Yur Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
12,015
Points
46
I would say one of those weather radios has to be helpful, but the alarm on my phone goes off anytime a gnat farts sideways. On a more serious note, I'm glad I have and remember when we didn't have any of this. It's better than the bad old days when people died from lack of a warning.
 
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