Obsoleet is a show about exploring older technologies and using them in new ways. This could just mean a showcase of some old piece of hardware, a review of something, or taking components and using them together to create something new. The show has no set format, and no set release schedule. It started in 2010 by Famicoman and continues to be produced.
Segments: Lineman’s Handset Cable Descramblers and Filters Podcasting on the Cheap
“Lineman’s Handset” used a lineman’s handset, Bell model 500 rotary telephone, and a telephone wall jack. Both the handset and the phone were wired to the wall jack. To relay sound so the camera could hear it, a recorder telephone pickup (Radioshack part 44-583) and a mini audio amplifier (Radioshack part 277-1008) were used.
“Cable Descramblers and Filters” showed two Scientific Atlanta boxes from the 1990s, a later Scientific Atlanta box, and a newer Motorola box. This segment also made use of an in-line coaxial filter.
“Podcasting on the Cheap” used a 4-channel stereo microphone mixer (Radioshack part 32-2056), three unidirectional microphones each with an XLR to 1/4 inch jack cord, an rca audio cable, an rca to 1/8 inch jack cable, a computer microphone, two corded headsets, and an AC/DC adapter.
Segments: Pocket Tone Dialers CEDs Portable Radio Station
“Pocket Tone Dialers” used a Portatouch2 tone dialer, a Radioshack tone dialer, and a Bell model 500 rotary telephone. The Radioshack tone dialer appears to be modified to relay sound to an audio jack. Also featured was an iPod Video, and a Sony cassette recorder. To relay sound so the camera could hear it, a recorder telephone pickup (Radioshack part 44-583) and a mini audio amplifier (Radioshack part 277-1008) were used.
“CEDs” showed five capacitance electronic discs, also known as Selectavision videodiscs. The discs can be opened with a small screwdriver.
“Portable Radio Station” used a 4-channel stereo microphone mixer (Radioshack part 32-2056), a Dynex Portable Wireless Fm Transmitter, an RCA audio cable, and iPod Video, an RCA male to 1/8 inch male cable, and two Panasonic radios.
Segments: Betamax Basics Vocoding with the Stylophone Reel-to-Reel Players
“Betamax Basics” used a Sanyo Betacord VCR 4400, and a broken Sony Betamax SL-HF550. The blank tapes were Kodak and Sony brands with the number L-750. This segment focused on using the Betamax player while providing a brief history.
“Vocoding with the Stylophone” used a Stylophone available from Thinkgeek, http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/musical-instruments/aa64/ . The Stylophone was hooked through the computer using the headphone jack on the stylophone and the line-in jack on my computer’s sound card. Programs featured in the segment were Audacity via http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ , Zerius Vocoder via http://www.epiphyte.ca/code/vocoder.html , and Spectro via http://spectro.enpts.com/ . The segment talked briefly about the Stylophone’s use as an instrument and then demonstrated the ability to use it as a post-recording vocoder tool in the style of bands such as Daft Punk and Electric Light Orchestra.
“Reel-to-Reel Players” used a Concord Tape Recorder, a Tandberg 3300X, and an Akai GX-2300. This segment also made use of a Helix HX-4635 Boombox which is also known in other markets as a Conion C-100F and a Claritone 7980. An iPod Video was used briefly to show the recording capabilities. The segment mainly focused on showcasing the players as well as showing record and playback abilities.
Segments: Scrap Stereo System Project (Shinmaryuu) Laserdisc Lives Old School BBSing (Patt)
“Scrap Stereo System Project” Questions go to @Shinmaryuu on twitter. My scrap stereo system project and how to buy a old school stereo system components. My stereo is made up of a MCS (JC Penny Store) brand all in one system which includes a AM/FM radio, receiver, dual tape deck, equalizer, and turn table. The system was purchased alongside the speakers and cabinet all for $40. The system is not recommended and is actually of pretty poor quality. I mostly bought the deal for the old school high, low, mid speakers and the cabinet. I use the Audio in RCA jack on the receiver to pipe in a Sony 5 CD Changer or my hacked 5th gen iPod which runs the rockbox software so i don’t have to use iTunes. This system is the basics and will evolve over time as i find better stuff. How to get your own. Thrift stores are your friend. I bought the entire system you see in the video for under $50 not including the iPod which i had laying around. Most of the time if you shop wisely you won’t pay more that $10 for each component buying in this way. Brands to look out for in equipment are Sony, Marantz, and Pioneer with Marantz being the holy grail of thrift digging. When it comes to turn tables a good Audio Technica table will give you good quality for a decent price. Brands to avoid are any of the Sears and JC Penny brands such as MCS since they are all pretty poor cheaply made Chinese built crap. The years to look for are 1980s-1990s in order to get a high quality piece with modern hookups at a low price. Anything made in Japan during that era is going to be pretty good. The idea of this project is both practical and creative in nature. Similar to the Ratfink style of hot rods the idea is to take a bunch of stuff and turn it into your own creation. Sure you can buy a $100 shelf system covered in blue LEDs and extra useless plastic from best buy but it will have none of the soul and creative freedom that comes from dusting off electronics from the past and showing them some love. It takes very little work, very little money, and you can create some pretty awesome results. Nothing really sounds as good when it comes to rock and roll than a old pair of 3′ 1970-1980s speakers. Go spends some time digging in thrift stores and see what you can find.
“Laserdisc Lives” Provides a history and overview of LaserDisc technology with video and images, then covers my LaserDisc collection as well as my collection of LaserDisc players. During the overview discussion, there are a few asides with comparisons and further explanation. During the player collection overview, there is an aside for the operation of a player. The disc collection may be skipped as there is little to share other than what the discs look like and are packaged with.
“Old School BBSing” Uses an old serial modem to connect to a BBS via telephone number. The computer runs Windows XP and runs HyperTerminal in this segment, a program that is included in XP installs. The link used in this segment to find Dial-up bulletin boards is, http://www.telnetbbsguide.com/dialbbs/dialbbs.htm
Segments: VHS Basics Payphone Anatomy Quadraphonics
“VHS Basics” Makes use of a RCA Selectavision VCR and a Phillips Magnavox VCR. The segment talks about the history of VHS format and introduces the VCR and VHS tape.
“Payphone Anatomy” Segment shows the inside and outside of a Protel payphone. This phone is a COCOT and may be incomplete. There is a brief history of payphones followed by the teardown.
“Quadraphonics” Features a Sony 4-Channel Quad Receiver and offers a brief demo or the positioning function of the receiver and a history of quadraphonics.
Segments: CEDs Part II Holiday Reviews Commodore 1702
“CEDs Part II” Shows the operation of several CED players including: RCA Selectavision SKT 200 RCA Selectavision SJT 100 RCA Selectavision SFT 100 Zenith CED VP2000
“Holiday Reviews” Reviews several items: - “From Betamax to Blockbuster” by Joshua Greenberg - “Phone Losers of America” by Brad Carter - Get Lamp DVD - Pure Pwnage Season One DVD and CD bundle - Liquid Tape - Wire Glue - Digital Video Stabilizer - Stylophone
“Commodore 1702″ Shows off the use of the Commodore 1702 monitor. Demonstrates homemade s-video to chroma/luma cables for high quality picture using a laserdisc player to pipe video to the monitors.
Segments: Minidiscs ‘Secrets of a Super Hacker’ Review Digitizing VHS
“Minidiscs” Shows the basics of Minidisc Net-MD players, transferring to Minidsic from the computer, and playback on a Minidisc deck. Players used were: MZ-NE410, MZ-N510, MDS-JE500 (deck) The SonicStage software can be found here, forums.sonyinsider.com/files/file/95-sonicstage-43-ultimate-edition/ NOTE: Registration is required for download, but is free and takes no time at all.
“’Secrets of a Super Hacker’ Review” ISBN-10: 1559501065 ISBN-13: 978-1559501064
“Digitizing VHS” Gives a little discussion of methods for transferring VHS. Shows off the PolyTron Digital Video Stabilizer, Vidicraft Detailer II, Vidicraft Proc Amp, Archer Super Video Processor, Archer Video Enhancer/Stabilizer, Archer Video Color Processor, Archer Video Sound Processor, Ambico Video Enhancer/Audio Mixer, Sima SED-CM Video CopyMaster. This is followed by a demonstration chaining the VCR –> Stabilizer –> Vidicraft Proc Amp –> Vidicraft Detailer II –> DVD Recorder.
Segments: 8-Track Tapes Book Review Flexies
“8-Track Tapes” Shows the basics of 8-track tapes. Uses a Sears player/recorder. Music was recorded on to tape with an iPod connected to the input jacks on the tape deck.
“Book Reviews” Kingpin – Kevin Poulsen Ghost in the Wires – Kevin Mitnick
“Flexies” Shows two flexi discs compared to a standard vinyl record. Flexi discs are than demo’d on a Technics turntable.