Quite unintentionally a one-page story on an old Heathkit tube tester in the December 2004 edition of Elektor magazine spawned dozens of ‘Retronics’ tales appearing with a monthly cadence, and attracting a steady flow of reader feedback and contributions to the series. Since launching his Retronics columns, Elektor Editor Jan Buiting has never been short of copy to print, or vintage equipment to marvel at.
This book is a compilation of about 80 Retronics installments published between 2004 and 2012. The stories cover vintage test equipment, prehistoric computers, long forgotten components, and Elektor blockbuster projects, all aiming to make engineers smile, sit up, object, drool, or experience a whiff of nostalgia.
To reflect that our memories are constantly playing tricks on us, and honoring that “one man’s rubbish is another man’s gem”, the tales in the book purposely have no chronological order, and no bias in favor of transistor or tube, microprocessor or discrete part, audio or RF, DIY or professional, dry or narrative style.
Although vastly diff erent in subject matter, all tales in the book are told with personal gusto because Retronics is about sentiment in electronics engineering, construction and repair, be it to reminisce about a 1960s Tektronix scope with a cleaning lady as a feature, or a 1928 PanSanitor box for dubious medical use.
Owners of this book are advised to not exceed one Retronics tale per working day, preferably consumed in the evening hours under lamp light, in a comfortable chair, with a piece of vintage electronic equipment close and powered up.