Saturday, October 20, 2012

AM-FM Radio Kit, batteries, not included

It self-advertised on the side of the box "Listen to local AM and FM radio stations on a radio that you built yourself. Safe, solderless, coil-spring assembly."  Radioshack catalog item# 28-175 was for the nerdy neighborhood kid, the second line for the parents. Every parent lived in fear that he would set the carpet on fire with a soldering iron. They were right of course. I read about one of those soldering-iron-gone-awry fires just recently.

The Brand "Science Fair" was actually owned by Tandy which of course actually was Radio Shack. They had a microcomputer trainer with a similar design. On the bottom it says in tiny print: made in china. I have no definitive date on when these were made. It appears to be a mid 1980s product just from the color scheme and the condition of the hardware. For what it's worth, Tandy trademarked the brand "Science fair" in 1970. More here.

They worked but were totally inferior to other available gear. You can get a breadboard and jump wires cheap enough to call it a toy. Btu if you want to go all out, the Denshi block-type units like the Gakken EX-System were reissued in 2002, so they are available but very pricey. See below: