Very strange things

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 4:57 PM

daveklepper

If your 1917 Victrola still works, and you have some 78 Shallack records to play on it, I wonder how you compare its sound quality with today's CDs and sreaming and other difitally recoreded and accessed music on good loudspeaker systems.  Have you listened ti it recenty?

 

It still works perfectly David, and the sound quality is quite remarkable considering the (for lack of a better term) primitive technology involved, surprisingly so!

We have a number of Victor records, some with Caruso, some with John McCormack, some Sousa, and some Fritz Kreisler.  

We've also played some later 78's from the 30's, 40's and 50's on it, which actually you're not supposed to do.  But again, the sound's even better with the 78's.

This is how you tell the difference between the two.  A Victrola record will say "Victor Talking Machine Company" on the label, if the label says "RCA-Victor" it's a 78.  

Compared to a modern CD or even a vinyl LP?  Well, there's no comparison to the modern technology, but as I said, for 1917 it's pretty darn good! 

We were lucky enough to have the original owners manual come with the Victrola and learned a few operating tips.  First, for better sound close the top cover!  It does improve the sound quality.  Second, adjust the turntable speed with a knob just to the right of the table.  We've gone to antique shows where exhibitors are demonstrating a Victrola and told them "It's turning too fast!  This is how you adjust it."  I adjust the speed for them and it makes a world of difference, usually makes a sale too!  Also, you adjust the volume by the position of the front cover doors.

Anyway, the "scratchy-sound squeaky Victrola" is just a stereotype, they're a lot better than people are lead to believe.

The best thing about a Victrola?  When we have a power failure here we still have music! 

Before I forget to mention it, Edison records don't work well on a Victrola.  Edison's machines used a different needle head and angle. 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:43 PM

Flintlock76
Before I forget to mention it, Edison records don't work well on a Victrola.  Edison's machines used a different needle head and angle. 

If you think that's the only difference, I'm not surprised you can't get Diamond Discs to 'work well on a Victrola'.

The Edison discs continued to use the modulation used on the cylinders, hill-and-dale, which provides far better fidelity than the lateral method Berliner (and all vinyl LP records) used.  They were also played with a conical 'permanent' diamond stylus -- in fact, you play them today with a stereo cartridge (which works as well 'decoding' hill and dale as lateral, in quadrature) using a typical LP stylus, which is the right size to track the grooves smoothly.  Not only will they sound like crap on a Victrola, you'll probably be wrecking the groove form.

It doesn't help they're nominal 80rpm, either, so be prepared to use a tach for your speed control... 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 7:01 PM

Well, the difference I mentioned was pointed out to me by the curator of the Edison Museum in Fort Meyers FL about 15 years ago.  He also brought me "up close and personal" to an Edison machine so I could see for myself.

He also cautioned me, in an appropriate, serious, tone of voice...

We don't mention the word Victrola in here!"

A very nice and fun man to spend time with.  I was really lucky that day!

The biggest problem with an Edison record on my Victrola?  You can barely hear it!

 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 8:09 PM

Flintlock76
The biggest problem with an Edison record on my Victrola?  You can barely hear it!

Not surprising.  The grooves move up and down, at right angles to the Scully-lathe wiggle.  Turn your diaphragm flat with the needle acting straight up and down in the geometric center and ... provided you machine the tip of the needle to track the continuous groove walls ... a Victrola will play these discs just fine.

 

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 11:43 PM

From Mike 


Train Song !

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 8:37 AM

Interesting, but our 1917 Vic sounds a lot better.

Here's a pretty good approximation of what ours sounds like...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgQCPifM-p8 

I suspect this may be a digitally cleaned-up recording, but typically the clean-ups are a removal of surface noise from scratches and wear and preserve the original sound pretty well.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 9:32 AM

Flintlock76
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgQCPifM-p8 

I suspect this may be a digitally cleaned-up recording, but typically the clean-ups are a removal of surface noise from scratches and wear and preserve the original sound pretty well.

There is much more 'high-fidelity' information recovered from hill-and-dale encoding, and the practical measures you can take to recover the information from the record surface cleanly are much more effective with 'Diamond Discs' than on typical lateral shellacs.

First: the Edison recording is high enough quality that if you can determine the physical characteristics of the recording equipment (which for early recordings was basically a horn and diaphragm) you can process the recorded signal for much better fidelity -- both in dynamic range and frequency response!

Second: due to the straight groove structure, many of the typical "Beaumont Egg" treatments for shellac (friction modifiers and void fillers) work much better on Edisons to give a good 'ride' for the stylus.  There goes the screeching and much of the impulse noise, but more to the point the modulation is no longer "multiplexed" on the physical noise sources.  With lateral modulation any induced high-frequency vibration from friction is difficult to separate from actual high-frequency information lathed into the grooves.

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 9:44 AM

My God Mod-man, is there anything  you don't know?

No wonder Miningman says you can "slice n' dice" onions with your brain!

Seriously, that's some fascinating information, but honestly I'm not going to go nuts trying to play the Edison records I've got, there's only two of them, and I bought them more as curiosities.  These are the 1/4 inch thick jobs, the ones advertised as "unbreakable,"  with a picture of ol' Tom on the label. 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 9:50 AM

For grins, put them on an ordinary turntable (like a BSR or Garrard with the 78rpm speed and enough pitch control to get 80rpm) with about 1.25 gram tracking force to start, spherical rather than elliptical stylus.  Straight grooves mean little anti-skate problem; adjust 'to suit'.   Bet you can play them with not much further ado.  (If reproduction is spotty I have a further kludge, but will only 'impart' it if necessary as it violates the audiophiles' secret pledge.)  

Theoretically I don't see a reason an elliptical wouldn't play them, too, but it would be a bit like operating railroad cars in flange contact.  You'd need a good equivalent of TOR lube in the grooves, thin but not too thin, definitely not too thick...

In case it helps, and it should, I know almost NOTHING about any generation of practical copier repair.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 10:16 AM

Don't feel bad, the way the technology's going in another ten years I may know nothing about practical copier repair either!

Personally, I think the designers are getting a little "Too smart for their own good!", to coin a phrase, and building too many unnecessary features into the machines  that 90% of the customers will never use, but that's someone else's problem now, I'm done!   Laugh

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 11:27 AM

Flintlock76
Personally, I think the designers are getting a little "Too smart for their own good!", to coin a phrase, and building too many unnecessary features into the machines  that 90% of the customers will never use...

You see, in the future we were building in the late '80s, we were rapidly getting to the point where the machines would continually analyze, diagnose, and provide repair instructions for themselves.  (And provide workarounds until that got done, which is another story.)

This right down to the ability to provide the manuals, advice, etc. even with the AC power off.  And if you remember Salutation Protocol, which was going to be a big thing for 'extended copiers', it would be easy to get the AI device to assert as the master and scope out problems in the 'connected environment', too...

Perhaps the saddest thing is that the current Internet-style 'fix it like a game' mentality lends itself particularly well to AI/ES and the current generations of extreme low-power electronics make it simple to run even if your only source of power is a shake generator.  Ah well, sometimes the fuds really did know more.

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Posted by York1 on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 11:34 AM

Flintlock76
Personally, I think the designers are getting a little "Too smart for their own good!", to coin a phrase, and building too many unnecessary features into the machines  that 90% of the customers will never use

 

Do you mean my wife and I aren't so stupid?  We still can't figure out the heating controls for the backseat of our SUV, let alone the sound system.

Saints Fan John

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 11:53 AM
If you like Ada Jones (the 'railroad station'), here she is again. Ren. G. May is Irving Berlin.
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Posted by Deggesty on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 1:18 PM

York1

 

 
Flintlock76
Personally, I think the designers are getting a little "Too smart for their own good!", to coin a phrase, and building too many unnecessary features into the machines  that 90% of the customers will never use

 

 

Do you mean my wife and I aren't so stupid?  We still can't figure out the heating controls for the backseat of our SUV, let alone the sound system.

 

57 years ago, I bought a new car--and had to clear the fog inside of the windshield one evening--and did not know levers to push. I now have an alarm clock which has sevral buttons around the rim, and I have look in the isntruction book to see what to push when I want to make a change..

Johnny

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 1:26 PM

York1

 

 
Flintlock76
Personally, I think the designers are getting a little "Too smart for their own good!", to coin a phrase, and building too many unnecessary features into the machines  that 90% of the customers will never use

 

 

Do you mean my wife and I aren't so stupid?  We still can't figure out the heating controls for the backseat of our SUV, let alone the sound system.

 

No you're not sir!  Any more than the people who got fed-up with "12:00" flashing on their VCR's years back, couldn't figure out how to make it go away, and covered it with electrical tape!  

I've heard it said that the main problem with high-tech products now is the people designing them aren't designing them for the consumer, they're designing them to impress each other!  "Hey!  Look what I stuck in here!  Aren't I a genius?"  

The last few years on the job I was issued a smart phone for recieving and closing service calls, in addition to communicating with customers and other technicians.  It was loaded with more apps than you could shake a stick at!  The only ones I used were e-mail and the map app, the rest were a waste.

I've got a flip-phone now.  I just use it for phone calls.  That's all I need. 

Plus, it reminds me of Captain Kirk's communicator, which is kinda cool!

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 4:56 PM

Now I'm sure we all know that 5 Presidents got together for a picture but have you ever seen 7 Kings?

Ok .. LR#6005-King George II

            #6008-King James II

            #6017-Kind Edward IV

            #6020-King Henry IV

            # 6022-King Edward III

            # 6023-King Edward II

            # 6024-King Edward I

             That was tough, whew!

2) Clear track ahead guaranteed !!

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 5:14 PM

Shot 1)  You had me goin' there for a bit!  "Whaaaat?  Was there some kind of marathon seance session in Westminster Abbey?"

Shot 2)  The closest a diesel is ever going to get to going into space!  Everyone who hasn't yet check the "Steam Powered Rocket" topic on the "Trains" Forum.

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Posted by Miningman on Sunday, August 25, 2019 4:01 PM

1) Now I know Amtrak has some funding problems but has it come to this? 

2) Who needs an electric car when you get around in this!

3) This has to be Canadian Pacific, ... right? ( the maroon running board is a giveaway) 

4) Yeah yeah Centipede pair rolling through Altoona but check out the background... eleventy million gazillion steam locomotives all dead and awaiting the end. ( it's kind of fuzzy but you can grasp the scale)

5) I know gears are gears but was Trevithick inspired by a watch? 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, August 26, 2019 8:23 AM

(2) of course is a bit like the later French equivalent of that German 'car' you had in the last installment, and of course there were nearly full trains built to the principle by him -- "Aerotrains" -- by the time the party ended 'over there' very differently, and in my opinion infinitely better, with LGV and TGV rather than any flavor of TACV.  We had some funny ones as part of the Johnson Administration's high-speed ground-transportation project (which produced the Metroliners and the TurboTrain as more 'conventional' approaches).  I see that Bertin's fundamental idea is still going strong under the name of 'Fultrace'.

(4) is the way it is for two big reasons:  First, there is only one piston, and it has a 36" or similar stroke; and second, all the power transmission has to be via full-contact gears, involving considerable reduction but retaining the ability to 'bar' the engine by hand off any dead center or approximation.  Both these things are facilitated -- one might as easily say 'made possible at all' -- by that enormous flywheel conveniently if more than a little noisily driven off that common cranked gear.  Note too that the cranked gear's bracket is neatly if somewhat suicidally riveted directly to the boiler shell, sure to produce interesting effects a few months or years down the line...

It would be nice to say this was an earlier version of a Holman locomotive, but there are legitimate reasons why the gearing here is arranged as it is.  Note the early approximation of supercritical-water jacketing for the cylinder, done knowingly for all the right reasons.

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Posted by Backshop on Monday, August 26, 2019 8:29 AM

Miningman, what I find interesting about the PRR photo is that it includes the East Altoona roundhouse.  For how many fans flocked to Altoona, and how close it was to the one road bridge, there are very few pictures of it.

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, September 03, 2019 10:31 PM

1) Looking more like a giant bug than a trolleybus.

2) Maybe a cab would help... obviously the convertible model.

3) American Freedom Train Alco PA getting photobombed by Baldwin Centipedes. 

4) All shop locomotives are strange creatures and this Northern Pacific #6 is right up there.

5) Railroads of Britain 1963 then 1984.. what is it now in 2019?

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Posted by MidlandMike on Wednesday, September 04, 2019 9:25 PM

The trolley-bus seems to be a tractor cab pulling a semi trailer.  That would explain the trolley poles on the front.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, September 05, 2019 8:47 AM

Ah, Mr. Beeching.  Still not exactly popular over in "Old Blighty" as I understand it.

Still, as the saying goes, "It's an ill wind that blows no-one any good."  All those Beeching abandonments made possible the Heritage railroads the Brits enjoy today.  A lot of that "ready-to-use" trackage was put to almost immediate use by preservation groups.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Friday, September 06, 2019 12:06 PM

Miningman

1) Looking more like a giant bug than a trolleybus.

This is a 1949 Hino TT10 Trollery Bus, the trailer and the body are built by Japanese local manufacturer. Looked cute, but the ride must be hell. 

http://yamada.sailog.jp/weblog/2015/04/post-e43c-1.html

Miningman

 

Left: Uveitis

Right: Recovering

Coffee

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Posted by seppburgh2 on Friday, September 06, 2019 9:23 PM

During WWII, these cutaway views were super critical for everyone to understand what the heck this thing is and function.  It was a high art and skill to do in B&W and color.  I subscribe to historical aventation history journeys and this art form came up.  The artist is question specialized in recreating downed and captured Luftwaffe.  Just for reference on the artform, see:  https://www.prints-online.com/ww2-poster-german-junkers-ju-188-fighter-plane-14376336.html  

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, September 12, 2019 12:30 AM

I'm certain someone out there knows what this is all about.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, September 12, 2019 7:21 AM

Miningman

I'm certain someone out there knows what this is all about.

 

 

Revenge of a duplex?

Return of a friend?

Must be another mystery that never solved,

the truth that nobody wants to handle.

He can duplicate a whole universe,

including all the pleasure and pain;

like that printing machine, printing fake news all night long.

It never bothers me, because he can trick me with sweet dreams.

Constant and variable? I have no say in it, why bother?

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:04 AM

Jones1945
I'm certain someone out there knows what this is all about.

Star Wars, Return of the J1d.

Steampunk edition of the AT-AT, you know, but with elementary armament?  Regrettably I don't recognize the person you added, unless it's Jimmy Stewart, so the extraordinary goodness of what you were doing was lost on me.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:38 AM

Overmod
GraceMoore1947
I'm certain someone out there knows what this is all about.

Star Wars, Return of the J1d.

Steampunk edition of the AT-AT, don't you know?

Oh, my dear Prof. Overmod,  how could I possibly don't know? We can find tons of search results of it on Google photo search, but I want something that the "G" site cannot offer, thus my previous reply and that new meme pic I made.CoffeeSleep

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, September 12, 2019 8:45 AM

Problem is that the 'technical details' don't go much beyond what a typical Star Wars fan would do with Photoshop, although there is some clever use of the various pieces.  What I wish someone would do is to 'channel' Dr. Lovelace, or the folks who did Boilerplate, to come up with "better" steam-driven SF tech... that invokes more mainstream SF tropes.

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