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Re: [Amps] pre-distortion

Subject: Re: [Amps] pre-distortion
From: "Gary Smith" <>
Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2014 08:44:39 -0400
List-post: <">>
Brilliant people not seeing the bigness of future markets is common 
enough. My father, SK this last May, retired as the principal 
engineer for General Dynamics, Electric Boat, his ability to design 
never thought of electronics was legend.

As his guitar playing son in the early 60's when he was still an up & 
coming EE, I remember being frustrated using a tuning fork to tune my 
acoustic guitar. The only electric tuning device at the time was the 
Strobo-Conn mechanical tuner and it was priced for studios. I asked 
him to make an inexpensive, portable, battery powered tuning device 
that would indicate high,low and dead on for a the specific 
fundamental frequencies of EADGBE so I could use it to get my guitar 
tuning dead on, and small enough to fit in the guitar case.

He declined saying his contract with General Dynamics wouldn't allow 
it and besides, nobody would want to buy such a thing. There was 
nothing on the market at the time and there wouldn't be one for many 
years. I tried telling him if he designed this and went into business 
for himself making these, there would be sales to almost every 
stringed musician in the free world; the voice of a 14 year old 
seeing the future wasn't heard. 

Can't say I blame him for not leaving the security of a solid job 
providing for his family, but what a market he missed being the first 
inventor in. 

OTOH, he did invent many things at home which were solely for his 
enjoyment; in the last issue of Ham Radio he had a comment about the 
efficacy of narrow band FM (which he had refined in home). In the 
early 70's he made a battery powered "black box" which plugged into 
the audio jack of his Collins. This device filtered the audio to a 
very few Hz and generated an independent side tone which made for for 
clear CW reception with no atmospheric noise in the background. He 
used it extensively but there was only the one made.

Gary, KA1J

> Years ago, my cousin (an Electrical Engineer specializing in machine 
> code and now a SK) asked me about SDRs before anyone had openly heard 
> about them.  He was interested in starting something up and wondered if 
> I'd be interested.  I thought for a moment about old timers and their 
> resistance to change and replied, "Nah, I doubt there'd be a place fo 
> it"  Shows how good my predictions for the future are, <:-))
> 73
> Roger (K8RI)

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