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My First Remote

An ag show in the little town of Greencreek, Idaho.

When I read James Careless’ story “There I Was, at the County Fair …” (Sept. 8), I had to laugh as it brought back lots of memories of those first days in radio.

While I admit I don’t have the years of George Marti, I do relish those days of going on the road to the county fair and broadcasting from the animal barns and sack races.

The first remote broadcast that I remember was in 1979 from an ag show in the little town of Greencreek, Idaho. We set up our gear next to the doors of the community center, where farmers and ranchers made their way in to look over all the new agricultural products, machinery and swap stories with one another.

Our job of course was to talk with everyone we could and increase the attendance at the show using our outdated yet “still working” Pulse Dynamics model 288 PD/MC. It was for its time a top-of-the-line POTS remote system; it had four XLR mic inputs and used a modular line that had a small transistorized 1/4-inch plug that you jacked into the back. The rotary dial on the front was a hoot because its return was always so slow. The system with case must have weighed about 25 pounds. It believe it was manufactured in the late 1950s or early ’60s at the PD plant in Colchester, Ill.

While I no longer have our setup’s Sennheiser HD 414 headphones, everything else here is still original and continues to work. The Electro-Voice RE10 took a lickin’ and kept on tickin’.

If memory serves me, our only problem that day was having to share the party line the community center had with their Catholic Church neighbors next door. We would be right in the middle of a broadcast, hear a click and then the sound of the parish priest using his rotary dial phone trying to call out. Ha! Those were the days.

Jeff Jones
KLER Radio
Orofino, Idaho