Sunday, February 12, 2023

Pioneer SX-980 Back In Service, and Boy, What A Journey! Part the First


Some say the journey is more important than the destination. I knew the destination, mapped out The Journey, and then proceeded. 

This Journey wasn't extremely difficult, but took far longer than expected. I wound up going down several blind alleys, numerous Rabbit Holes, picked up and discarded various things along the way, and I didn't have the misfortune of meeting any Grues ("You're in a maze of twisty passages, all alike"), which was pleasant.

I know The World of Radio pretty well, and FM radio, too, but had never taken the path  into the Wonderful World of FM Muliplex Stereo before. I knew the principles, but had never applied them to anything. Required a whole lot of learning and thinking, and put me into Deep Ponder Mode more than a few times.

Along the Way of Discarded Items was an old Heathkit FM Multiplex Generator, and two Heathkit Audio Distortion Analyzers. While these had appeared suitable at first, they were a Blind Alley, and so they were left behind, and The Journey continued.

Realizing I needed far better equipment from my adventures along the Way of Discarded Items, my next stop was to get properly outfitted at the House of Messrs Hewlett and Packard, Purveyors of Fine Quality Instruments. Suitably equipped, I continued along my Journey to the Land of the SX-980, all the while continuing to seek enlightenment.

After setting up my Base Camp, now properly equipped, I proceeded to transit The Straights of Pioneer in search of the Destination.

The first encounter was with a certain SX-780, and pleasant indeed it was.

Dusty and crusty she was, matey...

But turned out quite nice after a good scrubbing.

She willingly joined our expedition, providing song and enjoyment in exchange for passage, and nothing more.

Off we set on the next leg of the Journey through The Straights of Pioneer, in search of the Next Level.

Part the Second will pick from there....


  1. I am a fan of all your projects, DrJim. In the 60's, I tangled up with the FM Stereo subcarrier stuff in some old homebrew projects back then. It's very entertaining for me to vicariously enjoy you fixing stuff from that era.

    1. FM voice radios I know pretty cold, but I only had a vague idea of how FM Stereo Multiplex worked. It's amazing they were able to come up with this stuff in the 1950's and get it out to consumers. These days it's done on a chip. My Heathkit AR-15 receiver has one entire good sized circuit board dedicated to just decoding the Multiplexed signal, and it's complicated!

  2. Ah, the 'joys' of ratholes and divergent paths... Good on you for completing the 'journey'!

    1. As Col. Slade would say...."I'm Just Getting Started".....


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