Why Would This Be Fun?

Should I cut the red wire or the blue wire?
Should I cut the red wire or the blue wire?

I did some man-caving in the garage tonight. After walking the dogs and taking trash to the curb, I set out to see if an old 23-channel citizen’s band (CB) radio was working. When I discovered it was not, I decided, quite organically, to take it apart. Part of me says I was scavenging for parts, but the other part was just having fun learning about how radios were put together in the 1970s.

As an aside: one thing I explored on my recent drive to Kansas City for Thanksgiving: where is the CB radio scene these days? I deployed a magnetic-mount antenna connected to my Uniden Pro501HH. I didn’t really expect to hear anything, but was surprised that the chatter was almost continuous through my whole drive, and I discovered that CB radio is mostly populated by noisy, inarticulate, lonely people who are on the verge of mental illness. How much of this parallels the real world and/or the comments section of pretty much any hot internet topic I don’t know, but it was unsettling to say the least.

Most two-way radios, including CB radios, can be modified or programmed to transmit a “key up” tone, which is sent at the beginning of a transmission. At the beginning of this clip, you can hear the “key up” tone is a screaming child…

 

But back to tonight: one oddly satisfying thing in my disassembly is trying to unscrew stubborn screws. When they don’t budge, I lean into the handle of the screwdriver, push and turn. When I finally get that little “pop,” as the screw unseats, it’s like a tiny victory.

In the end, I have little to show for my effort except the fun of piddling and a pile of parts.

This is the fruit of my labor: a proud pile of junk.
This is the fruit of my labor: a proud pile of junk.

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