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still periodically think about Sony clip “one-station radios” from the late 1980s, where you had one earphone/battery unit and tuned to different stations by *swapping physical cards* with art representing each station, and naturally the art is sick as hell

they apparently made 42 of these different radio cards back in the day, for stations in Kanto, Kansai and Tokai, across FM, AM and Shortwave radio frequencies. The system even won a Good Design Award in 1988 g-mark.org/award/describe/1459

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I can’t find a higher quality image than these from a Twitter user, but this is an ad which ran on the back of the October 1989 issue of “Radio Paradise” for the full range at the time, every single one is just impeccable

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you can read a bit more about it, and see more up-close photos on this store page, it’s a fascinating little artifact of ‘80s Japan web.archive.org/web/2020040701 (Internet Archive link because who knows how permanent the listing will be!)

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now the really fun part is I only know these exist because Sony, almost exactly twenty years later, went on to pay homage to them by using this as the basis for a bunch of PSP internet radio players web.archive.org/web/2012062000

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anyway one day I should really get back to my reimplementation of the radio player API so people can play with these without a (networked, which is increasingly challenging these days) PSP haha twitter.com/ticky/status/10826

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@ticky >even the PSP was more than a decade ago

aaaa
AAAAAAAA
AaaaaAaaAaAAAAAAA :bassboosted:

@NTSummoner yeahhhh I think occasionally about the 1.5/2.0 firmware homebrew era and realise I’m getting olllld lmao

@ticky i still remember when writing homebrew was like magic well beyond my level

@ticky

that's some next level skeuomorphism
I didn't know my PSP could do that???

@noiob yeah! If you go to the “Internet” heading and go *up* it’s in there. The “About Internet Radio” page used to bring you to a list of stations but it seems to be broken now, but the players themselves are still up, and you should be able to find the player “prs” times on some Homebrew scene sites, or I could share them. I really ought to finish my emulator project now that their site is broken!

@ticky wish I had my PSP here, I lent it to my dad so he could play Pokémon 😄

@noiob that’s a funny thing for a PSP to be doing but I understand

@ticky i was about to reply about these because i was staring at them going "...this seems familiar," before it suddenly dawned on me

both the actual things and the callback are cool as hell goddamn. low key wanna import some of these clip cards and frame them or something just because they have such a gorgeous design

@LexYeen I hope the thread delivered. I don’t know much about them other than what I’ve gathered from looking up auctions and reading some old message board posts. It seems they had morphed into a collectors item by the time the Internet was big!

@ticky whatttt these are incredible how haven't I seen these. REALLY curious how big a part the cards play in this

@emi they seem to have six contacts connecting the card with the earphone portion, I don’t think I know enough about radio to know what that would be (stereo would be 3 pins (ground+2), plus two for power, presumably… no idea what the rest would be!)

@ticky that's super curious, at first glance I thought it just had some plastic nubs that configured electronics packed into the little white blob. Now I'm thinking most/all of the tech is in the card itself. contacts being power from the batteries (positive, negative) stereo audio (ground, L, R) and maybe a dedicated antenna conductor as many early radios used the headphone cord as one?

@emi seems like a pretty good hypothesis to me! I’d love to get one and reverse engineer it but I fear the ones on the Internet are a bit expensive for a bit of a goof I probably can’t use locally except to get background static 😅

@ticky that is the most awesome bad idea I've seen in ages. Ahh Sony, you were truly the best at amazing but utterly bizarre and badly thought out ideas.

@ticky and now I'm wondering if these cards just have a single resistor inside them, instead of the radio having a potentiometer

@fraggle it seems like they might contain *all the radio circuitry* given there are FM, AM and SW station cards!

@ticky wow. I had no idea that these ever existed before reading this.

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