A History of The Radio Shack Weather Cube

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KE5FNB, Jan 14, 2020.

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  1. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    When the "cube" first came out, and for several years thereafter, like UUU, a fair number were converted to 2-meters by amateur radio operators. That was when most repeaters were confined to one of 4-frequencies, 146.940 MHz, 146.880 MHz, 146.820 MHz, or 146.760 MHz. In fact, the majority were on 146.940 MHz. They allowed monitoring of the repeater without having to have the tube-type commercial surplus unit on.

    Glen, K9STH
     
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  2. KK4CUL

    KK4CUL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had this one:
    [​IMG]

    This was before I knew much about the technical workings, but I was probably in my teens and always took sh*t apart to see how they worked / if the speakers were any good, etc. I do remember there being a bunch of those ceramic tuned inductors you could adjust with a flat head, and they had a colored top sometimes and a Sharpie mark where the factory set them. One of them, if you turned too far in one direction would make a squeal like a pig dying and farting at the same time! Another one, I was able to adjust it to receive some sort of packet, but I didn't have a scanner or radio at the time to see what band it was.

    Kinda wish I kept it, but I saw no use for it other than novelty!
     
  3. KD5RKO

    KD5RKO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've never come across one of those Deskubes in my thrift store haunts, but find the weather cubes all the time.
     
  4. KJ6ZOL

    KJ6ZOL Ham Member QRZ Page

    KK4CUL, I bought one of those at a garage sale for $2. The 9v clip was busted, so I soldered in a new one and it worked fine. Gave it to my mom after she complained that her favorite local TV station couldn't predict the weather anymore. Then a few weeks later there was a sporadic E event and she complained that it no longer received the local weather radio stn (KEC57, Fairplay, Calif.), but was now getting a stn from the Bay Area. (During this Sporadic E I was briefly able to receive the Monterey Marine stn meant for sailors at sea, which has a transmitter located on Mt. Umunhum, near Los Gatos, Calif. Considering that the signal pattern is directed towards the Pacific Ocean, it was a treat.) I tried to explain VHF propagation to her in a way that would let her know that the Fairplay transmitter would be back in a day or two, and she just rolled her eyes and said "oh you and your radio stuff" and out in the garage it went. And she still whines about the TV weather forecast. :confused::rolleyes::eek:
     
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  5. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the matching Vox Clock.
     
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  6. KG4ZQZ

    KG4ZQZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    to the OP: thanks for the article... kinda timely as i was just looking over my collection of two RS Cubes (serial #1219 and #1831); found both for $1 each at a local flea market... also have the little 1244 compact and 1243 desktop... just for giggles i also just ordered the snot green Kaito cube... although i have other NOAA WX receive-capable receivers (such as the Commradio CR1A, VX3R, VR120D, etc.), the cubes are just great to look at and use... and despite all the advances in Internet media, these radios can come in handy down here in hurricane country...
     
  7. N1YR

    N1YR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I kept one of the amplified speakers my 2-way basic toolbox with an input wire permanently soldered inside through a DC blocking cap. This allowed me to monitor control lines for voltage and current-controlled remote bases as well as tone control. I used the spring from a ball-point pen as a strain relief. The other end of the wire has a double banana plug.

    I could plug the speaker cord into my Fluke DVM, and plug the test leads into the back of the double banana. I could read the RMS voltage while I listened to the TX or RX remote audio. Much easier than getting extra equipment out of the van for a quick diagnosis. I could also monitor the detector audio in a receiver under test that did not have a working speaker.

    As far as the weather radios, somewhere in storage I have the Weather Radio/Timekube combination with the UTC conversion dial seen on the lower left in K7MH's photo. I think I used it for WWV more than weather.

    I just got some camping equipment out of our trailer to loan to our granddaughter, and discovered stashed there we also have one of the three-channel portables with alert (not SAME) that I had forgotten about.

    I also somewhere have a tabletop weather radio with SAME decoding and an LCD screen to display the warning type. It is probably from Radio Shack. I once had it mounted on the bedroom wall. But due to my location, at first it barely heard the broadcasts, and then not at all, so I put it away. Somewhere. Maybe it will work in a stronger signal area.
     
  8. KA0USE

    KA0USE Ham Member QRZ Page

    i like to learn the history of things. in this case, it isn't just history but evolution, too.
    i don't drink beer, but i appreciate it's history and the evolution of it's ummm, flavors (?)
     

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