Saturday, December 6, 2008
My wife is a United Methodist pastor. Today we went out in the country to have lunch with some folks who have visited our church many times (and who speak fluent Spanish). In the midst of our lunch, I happened to see an old, console radio of the type that was in many living rooms in the 1930's. I asked if it worked and the lady of the house said it did and we could try it out after lunch.
Being an engineer, I had a short mental lapse from the after-lunch conversation about what this and that in the Bible REALLY means. I thought of the radio. I got up and the lady of the house turned it on by plugging it in. After some warm-up time for the tubes, I tuned around and found a couple of AM radio stations. There were only 4 control knobs, so the band switch was easy to locate. I switched to shortwave. No joy, even after tuning all across the band (3-18 MHz, as most of that era radio sets did). I asked her for an extension cord. She found one of about 12 feet length. I hooked it onto the wire I found dangling in the back of the set. The first shortwave station I tuned to was about 15 MHz and was in fluent Spanish. It was a religious broadcast. The folks we were visiting were amazed, since with the 3-foot antenna inside the case, they had not received anything. They may now have another source for receiving broadcasts that had been sitting inside their home for years.