Audio – Mono

In high school I had a friend (Bob WTF are you?) who was really into stereo equipment, and consequently knew a lot about them. Audio receivers, turntables, amplifiers, and speakers

Everything I learned about home audio equipment I learned from him. I couldn’t afford any of that kind if equipment, but I could dream.

If you are the least bit interested in electronics (or batteries) as a kid, one of the first things you learn is positive and negative. I was one of the few kids who was given a copy of the Bantam Science books from their Knowledge Through Color series, (‘color of course being “colour” ‘ 🙂 ) Book No. 9: Electronics

My copy of the book (looking at right now) cost $1.95. This was back when American and Canadian published books had the same price.

[Enter: small political rabbit hole]

Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulrooney, and whatever clown was President decided on the “Free Trade Agreement”, I believe the quotes were “Good For Canada”, “Good for Canadian and American Business.”

The quote you DON’T see: “Bad for the Canadian consumer”

Books that would cost (let’s pick a current -2021- number) $9.99 US, Costs Canadians $12.99. Some how free trade meant Canadians paid more. Then you have that orange clown who said the US got screwed over the Free Trade Agreement.

Apparently Mulrooney has such an imposing physical and politically presence that the US caved on his demands. Sounds just like what they’d so [snrk]

[Exit: small politcal rabbit hole]

Anywaay… this book gives the proper scientific names of positive and negative. Namely: Anode and Cathode. If that second term sounds familiar it’s probably because you’ve heard the term “cathode ray tube”. That’s what “tube” TV’s and monitors were. CRT for short. Unless you watch an old TV series or move, you probably won’t see one of those. If you are young enough, you probably don’t know what they are.

I kid the Millenials. Dumb as posts and don’t know it. Strains of Jethro Tull’s Thick as a Brick are playing in my mind right now.

Even people who know nothing about electronics “know” that it flows positive->negative.

And then you take an Electronic course.

You find out that “positive->negative” flow is called “hole” flow or “conventional flow”. When you take an electonics course, you start off with textbooks that are “conventional flow”, when you get used to the basic formulas they hit you with “negative flow textbooks”. That’s what you need to know when you are solving circuit diagrams.

That’s a longer and more jargon laded explanation than wasn’t needed. For soldering RCA cables you solder the black wires to black (or to the negative terminal) and solder white or red wired to the white or red wire (or positive terminal).

I got very good at soldering RCA plugs. Of course you can buy solderless plugs, but if you don’t get that crimping right. Just saying…

To circle around back to the title of this blog. Mono is one speaker (and not just the left or the right channels of a stereo, or the others I will get to) it includes all the sound from the source (you will all the channels).

Bose has a great Soundtouch Color series that has great sound. Expensive but you really do get what you pay for. They also make Soundtouch 10 series, that you can link together from once source, or even pair to stereo.

JBL also makes great standalone mono speakers, with same kind of options. I have a red Soundtouch Color because it reminded me of a red transistor radio I got as a kid for Christmas. Nostalgia went a long way into the decision to buy it.

I also have a JBL Charge 3 bluetooth speaker I use for gaming speakers on my gaming machine.

And I have 2 of the JBL Flip 4 speakers I have paired in the bedroom. They are loud and last a long time on a charge, but remembering to charge them before you want to use them is a pita.

Stereo talk goes in a follow up blog.

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