Introductions

chuck ochs

Member
2008-03-25 5:08 am
Hello All-
As a newbie to this list, I thought I would mention a little about myself, and why I have subscribed.
My uncle was in the "radio" business during the '30s. One day he went to work, and discovered that his partner had cleaned out the bank account and blown town leaving my uncle with a dead business and a pile of deader radios. He had no choice other than to shut the doors and clean out the shop.
When I was six or eight, he would often give me one or two old radios whenever we visited. Being very young, and very curious as to how one could get one of these strange boxes to speak, I proceeded to rip and rend them into their various parts, hoping for some insight.
By the time I was 12, or so, I began to actually repair a few of them with the help of a few textbooks, and the Heathkit instruments that my parents gave me for Christmas, and birthdays.
When I was 14, I got interested in music, and started to play the guitar, which has remained an essential part of my life.
At 19, I found employment at a local radio and TV shop. Here, I was able to learn a lot about fixing radios, a bit about TV, and, for the first time, I encountered actual Hi-Fi components.
Later that same year, I joined the US Navy, went to various schools of engineering, and spent the rest of my enlistment as an Interior Communications Electrician aboard an LST where I had oversight of all things Audio, as well as the ship's gyrocompass and a lot of other interesting gear.
When I got out, at the end of 1968, I returned to that same radio and TV shop that I had previously worked for, and put in another year. After that, I went to work for H. H. Scott, in Maynard Massachusetts, where I worked as a repair technician until the company closed it's doors in June of 1970.
I didn't realize it at the time, but the audio industry was, even at that time, rapidly being "outsourced" to Japan.
Next came a job as "head audio guy" at a local electronics retailer, a Lafayette Radio associate store on Cape Cod--sort of a "CircuitCity" of the day. I was the only one of the 4 technicians employed there who did audio repairs, and during this period I had a lot of hands on with all of the various types of home and professional audio gear that was around at the time. There was still plenty of vacuum tube stuff around then, and all manner of solid state gear too. This was before the "throw-away" era, and people had their stuff repaired if it broke. We took in everything-- receivers, turntables, reel tape recorders, PA gear, guitar amplifiers--you name it. That was the best time for the audio industry in America.
After 3 years, I opened a small shop in Hyannis, and went into business for myself. Business was good. So good that I quickly took on a partner, and expanded the operation.
We soon moved to a larger location, hired some additional help, and ended up aquiring an established music store (there is obviously a long story here, but I am trying to be brief).
After a few more years, I sold out my share to my partner, who continues to run the operation to this very day.
I retired from all things electronic for about 10 years, but circumstances caused me to re-enter the business again.
At that time I was living in Woods Hole, and had put together a fairly extensive laboratory of test and measuring gear, and would occasionally find myself doing repair work for the Oceanographic Institution when their own guys were out of town.
Audio maintained a high priority in my life, being a combination of my interests in electronics and music.
At one point I found myself living in a house with a very large living room, which provided a golden opportunity to assemble a world class audio system. McIntosh amplifiers, Tannoy speakers. EV Regency enclosures with outboard ribbon tweeters, bi-amped etc, etc.
By this time, the consumer electronics business had changed greatly. We had entered the "throw-away" era, and one could no longer do very well with just audio repairs. It did not seem like a good idea to abandon a lifetime of learning and experience to ply some other occupation, so I decided to go "retro".
I wrote some articles for the old "Glass Audio" magazine, and started to buy and sell all sorts of audio components, antique radios (shades of my lost youth) and test / measuring gear.
Now I live in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and basically continue to do the same stuff. I am a member of the New England Antique Radio Club, and people send me antique radios for restoration. I occasionally sell rebuilt audio components, restored radios and other goodies on e-Bay.
I enjoy the electronic "shows" and often sell at the area flea markets and "ham-fests", including the one run by MIT in Cambridge during the 6 months of tolerable New England weather.
I have an extensive collection of audio components, antique radios, boat anchors, test equipment, 78 RPM records, etc.
I have always been a short wave listener, and 16 years ago, I got a ham radio license which has augmented my other interests. My current activities include the design and construction of miniature electret-condenser microphone systems (Mighty Mics), and single-ended amplifiers for guitar and harmonica players.
And-oh yeah-I have been working for over 30 years as a professional musician. Acoustic pre-war blues on guitar and banjo. I also repair and restore various musical instruments-a "sideline" that grew out of the necessity to repair my own.
Well, that's about it-the basics, nothing more.
I'm looking forward to sharing information with the other members of the list.
Chuck (N1LNH)