Friday, December 17, 2004

Radios around the House

Do you know, I've got a radio in every single room of the house?

Seminole 902
In the half-bath upstairs, I've got a fair-sized portable radio, red and silver, I'd guess of early 1960s vintage. Seminole 902, "Transistor Nine"... whip antenna that folds down into the carrying handle, runs on four C batteries. I usually keep that radio tuned to the public radio station up in La Crosse, and if there's one radio filling the upstairs with the sounds of classical music, it's probably that one. (Photo of radio sitting, not upstairs, but on my kitchen table.)

Grundig Satellit 700
In the "radio room"— upstairs radio listening post, hobby room, extension of my library— I've got my Grundig Satellit 700, which is my main shortwave radio. Pulls in everything from the BBC to Radio Tezulutlán from Cobán, Guatemala. Also receives AM, FM, and longwave. I've also got in my listening post an old shortwave tube radio, Hallicrafters S-120, seldom used. (Photo of Grundig sitting, not in my listening post, but on my folks' kitchen table.)

In my bedroom, my boombox sits atop one bookcase, usually kept tuned to the campus station from La Crosse: sometimes I set the sleep timer and drift off to sleep with jazz playing softly. Also have a digital clock-radio, which I never use except to wake me up at 5:00 AM on Sunday mornings: it's kept tuned to a station from Decorah, Iowa, which usually plays golden oldies rock, sometimes also car races(?!).

Downstairs in the kitchen I have a GE Superadio, which pulls in distant AM stations like no other radio I've ever seen. I got it because this is the only place I've ever lived where you can't pull in any of the big-city clear channel stations during daylight— indeed, except for 580 up in La Crosse, the AM dial below 900 is usually dead around here in the daytime, except on the Superadio. I usually have it tuned to the Cedar Rapids station, and I listen to news and weather while I'm eating breakfast. By the way, don't you hate it when stations do station identification five or six times a minute??! "This is 600 WMT... Now on 600 WMT we have the traffic, brought to you by 600 WMT... 600 WMT!!!"

In the living room I have another shortwave radio, a Realistic DX-440, sitting on the end table. Handy for listening to WBCQ, Monticello, Maine, 7415 kilocycles [sic] on your dial, whilst relaxing on a rare free evening. I also have in the living room my old stereo system— which has a turntable but no CD player— on the rare occasions when I use it, I have it tuned to one FM station or another.

In my study I have a Henry Kloss Model One. Small, retro-looking radio. AM on it isn't worth a darn, but it has the most amazing FM sound quality you've ever heard in a small monaural radio. I usually have it tuned to one of them public classical-musickish stations down between 88 and 92 on the FM dial.

And in the downstairs bathroom, I've got a little red and white transistor radio perched atop the toilet tank. Usually have it tuned to 95.7, which plays what passes for rock in these latter days— odd, except when I'm in the tub, I never listen to modern rock, I always listen to golden oldies rock, that is, mid-60s through early-to-mid-80s.

Oh, yeah, I've also got some diddly radio out on the back porch, which during the more seasonable months of the year I sometimes use as a second study.

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