Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

If you're seeking a new job in the tech field, or if you have (or know of) a job opening for a tech peson, this is the place to connect.

Are you a subscriber?

I subscribe to SERVO
I subscribe to SERVO Digital Edition
I subscribe to Nuts and Volts
I subscribe to Nuts and Volts Digital Edition
I'm not a subscriber
Total votes: 114

Dean Huster
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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by Dean Huster » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:22 pm

Not a lot of replies to such an old post. I might as well ring in with my less-than-positive comments.

I began subscribing to N&V back when it was a newsprint tabloid with no articles at all and was nothing but electronics classified ads selling test equipment for pennies on the dollar that was currently still being sold new. Good, lab-grade equipment. Then the publisher (unlike most publishers) saw the writing on the wall, seeing the emergence of on-line auctions and the popularity of the Internet, and began hedging their bets, including rudimentary articles along with the ads. Things change, and now we have N&V the way it is. Unfortunately (my opinion, of course), it's become more of a specialty magazine dealing nearly 100% with processors: "If you can't PIC it, you can't do it." Ergo, we have no more general electronics hobbyist magazines being published in the United States.

Why do I harp on such things? I guess it's because I'm from the old school of building from what you have, not what you can buy. I have an inventory in the high-hundreds of TTL and CMOS ICs. I have but a few processors: 8080A, 8085, 6800, Z80, all old stuff. I can build a digital clock using TTL and it will be a large board, large power supply, lots of components and I can build it for free. Or I can make one with a processor and spend money on the processor and support chips, programmer, software, computer, spend more time than I wish learning this software (which will change in a year) and end up with a clock that's small, light, using very few components and cost me $400. What a deal!

Sometimes, I think the question is not "why do you subscribe?" or "why do you not subscribe?" but "why do I still subscribe?". I guess it's the life subscription that keeps it coming!
Dean Huster, Electronics Curmudgeon
Contributing Editor emeritus, "Q & A", of the former "Poptronics" magazine (formerly "Popular Electronics" and "Electronics Now" magazines).


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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by Pius » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:12 am

I have already commented on why I am a subscriber. And the gentleman on the last post did have a point. I build robots and I do not use a pic controller. I am old school and also have an inventory of TTL and CMOS chips and I use a Z80 as my microprocessor. I use 2716, 2732, 2764, and the wonderful 27128 as my Eproms. I usually build from scratch and it is absolutely great fun. I realize that progress has been made and am glad to see robotics being popular with thousands of enthusiasts in every part of the globe. It would be nice to see old school articles that deal with actual construction. However I still get excited when I receive my latest issue. :grin:

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by WMc » Wed May 01, 2013 5:45 pm

__Walt McDonald__

It's not rocket-surgery
I see why we don't have any water,All of the pipes are full of wires!
Now with WiFi

ABB M202 certified
ABB M211 certified

Ted Tuck
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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by Ted Tuck » Mon May 13, 2013 10:14 am

I'm in my mid-70s. I failed electrical engineering before computer science curricula existed. My interests include mid-intensity computer usage, G-scale railroading, robotics, multi-rotors, etc. Controllable electromechanical devices. At my age paper media is the best choice for magazines and reference materials. It allows better random access and far better repeatable access on my terms than most of these non-intuitive, "our-way-or-nothing" digital media browsers. Besides, paper is the way to go when your waking life revolves around doctors' offices.

At one time, I subscribed to Robot, Servo, and Nuts & Volts. All three offer something of value, but now I subscribe only to Servo and read the others only occasionally.

Servo serves my interests most closely for reasons very well stated by Pius in his first post. It provides worthwhile, substantial projects that are somewhat above entry level but still doable by amateurs. (I have nearly completed Michael Simpson's Kronos Flyer and am anticipating his 3D printer series. Point is, when I'm done, I have a thing worth having.

I lapsed my Nuts & Volts subscription first. Joe Pardue's Smiley series is very good, but not enough to justify subscribing. N&V articles teach a lot of electronics, but the projects are too simplistic, and frivolous, and repetitive. Do I really need so many digital clocks, or a sixteenth way to make a bulb blink? For my tastes, and it is a matter of taste, most N&V projects lead to things not worth having. (Knowledge is not a thing.

Although it is outside your survey purview, I lapsed Robot for reasons which I again think parallel Pius. They have evolved into a survey of current robotics often on a massive industrial or governmental scale, affordable only to plutocrats. Their other bent is a worthwhile finger on the pulse of robotics education. Good material but no doable projects. Again I don't end up with a thing worth having.

Sorry to be long-winded, at my age it isn't good to be short-winded.


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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by gsprole » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:11 pm

Yes. Because it is the best most fun educational get ideas do things electronic mag out there. I'm old enough to bond with the feel of a mag, the ability to browse a mag, to follow tutorials, see new cool things, to download files, to stay up nights with a meter and a scope going What Why Really, read about things I normally wouldn't but I have to read something, and it is another month till the next issue comes.

Dean Huster
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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by Dean Huster » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:55 pm

I was a subscriber back in the days when N&V was a classified ad tabloid with no articles or projects. I'm a lifer now, and sadly, is the only reason I still am a subscriber, since I'm old-school electronics with tons of old-school parts on hand and don't have the least bit of desire to invest in the hardware, software and learning curve to fiddle with processors that seem to totally change every five years. At best, I'm still in the 8085 class and not that fond of it. I even sold off my Altair 8800 I bought back in 1974 for a lousy $500, having well over $1000 invested in it.

My question is ... the digital edition is a totally separate subscription that's not covered by the paper edition?
Dean Huster, Electronics Curmudgeon
Contributing Editor emeritus, "Q & A", of the former "Poptronics" magazine (formerly "Popular Electronics" and "Electronics Now" magazines).


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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by bparrill » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:51 pm

I'm a new subscriber to Nuts & Volts as of just a few months ago. I've always had an interest in electronics and have build some simple circuits, but after my son went through an Electronics merit badge class for Boy Scouts I figured I'd take a deeper dive into it.

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by nikfj » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:55 pm

This is my first post. I subscribed yesterday to revive my hobby and passion although I've known and read NV for a long time now. I unfortunately cannot subscribe living outside US. Print edition gets too expensive for. But I will make my contribution subscribing the digital edition.

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by dracoamericanus » Thu May 08, 2014 3:01 am

I have been a subscriber since i got my free magazines from the Dayton Hamvention from around 2003 or so and now i get both the print and digital versions, i find the digital one harder to navigate but it's better then a trunk full of magazines when heading to a friends house but i find the paper version easier to read and don't need power like a viewer does. I like the articles on pic and arduino a lot, the little beasties still amaze me. I keep all my past issues but i think that may go to PDF if i fill another filing cabinet. this is the last hobby electronics magazine so i hope it keep going till i am old a grey,
I do miss popular electronics and electronics now and still have a lot of the older issues waiting for the day when i have a fist full of old parts and something in need of a good "zapping"

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by Joseph » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:48 pm

I began subscribing to Radio-Electronics, interested almost only in audio amplifiers made discretely out of bipolar transistors. Radio-Electronics then became Electronics Now, which later merged with Nuts&Volts, taking on Nuts&Volts' title. I think that is how the progression of the magazines went. I continued on subscribing through the progression until I eventually didn't renew Nuts&Volts because I stuck with just analog transistor circuits as my area of interest, and I didn't feel like reading tech magazines or magazines from any publisher any longer.

I've always completely been into analog, with 75% of that using transistors as the active component, with the other 25% being with ICs, mostly the CD40106 hex inverter Schmitt trigger, with most of the rest involving IR dual MOSFET-gate drivers with a floating high side. I only use through-hole ICs, transistors (except a few SO8 package MOSFETs), and everything else, too. For me, its almost all through-hole, like very old school.

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by FiOS-Dave » Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:42 pm

:grin: I am a life subscriber. I started subscribing from near the first issue!
N&V has always been my "go-to" publication for finding parts needed for all my various projects.
It is one of the few magazines for which I save back issues!
I feel a sense of accomplishment, when I hear good things from those people to whom I have recommended subscribing!


P.S. In re-reading the February 2014 back issue, I saw a question in the Reader-to-Reader Tech Forum regarding a Traffic Detector, asked by Curtis Erpelding, of Port Orchard, WA.
I couldn't find a response, but I thought that he might use one of the modules sold in the Projects column.
He could use either the vibration detection module or the Seismograph kit and either run underground wiring (he stated that their is a pole, 75 feet away) or have the sensing device trigger a small transmitter
using an under 100mw module and single element antenna, so no licensing would be required) or a Ramsey Laser module with over a 500 yard range.

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by Gorgon » Sun May 03, 2015 9:57 am

I used to be a subscriber of both Servo and N&V for many years, but now I only subscribe to Servo as long as my current subscription lasts.

The reason I stopped was that N&V tried to auto renew my subscription without my approval, but was stopped since my credit card was obsolete.

When I got the email that they couldn't renew, I did NOT renew and stopped my subscribtion.

As far as I know I've not approved N&V to do this, and I didn't like it. I sent a message about it, but received no answer, so N&V is out for me.

I suppose they don't give a damn, but I don't like selfserving at my table(money).

Gorgon the Caretaker - Character in a childrens TV-show from 1968. ;)

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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by ShopRat » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:17 am

This thread appears to be feedback to the magazine, so I'll risk reviving an old post. I'm a long-time N&V subscriber, medium-time reader (I have a stack of the large-format N&V that I haven't had time to read). I usually read every article even if it's not my specific interest, or it gets too deep for me to understand, because I hope to learn something I can use, now or later. I may never build an LED cube or a nixie tube clock but I enjoy those type of how-to articles. Continuing my (paper) subscription may help continue the remaining magazine for future hobbyists. My only problem was a subscription renewal returned a few years ago because you needed an email address (for a PAPER renewal).
I don't have internet at home ($50+ per month for...what???) but now have access at work. I'm rather new to this interweb thingie Al Gore invented :grin: . I recently discovered this forum and really enjoy surfing the archives (educational AND entertaining). I appreciate that you can manage 5 posts to a thread without descending to insults and name-calling!
(background) I tried a few Forest Mims projects, bought a Commodore VIC-20, spent a few years as electronics technician at the Post Office, and apprenticed as industrial electrician, where I've been employed for two decades.


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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by Lenp » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:24 pm

Just for some background, I started as a kid with Popular Electronics, with a stack of back issues from a relative. I still have the #1 issue, but not all the rest!. I learned and grew from those articles, and gained enough knowledge to eventually teach aviation electronics in the Air Force for a part of my hitch.

Later I added Electronic World, Circuit Cellar, Midnight Engineering, '73' and a publication I was introduced to in the UK. Then I hooked onto N&V, still in the big book format, plus a small smattering of others. Computer magazines like Byte, PC World, Computer World and several others filed in the gaps. Sadly they all were run over on the digital highway. Eventually I found this forum and was quite pleased to find that that the recently deceased Dean Huster, a favorite magazine pundit, was also member.
Not long ago a forum member 'inherited' hundreds of pounds of my older N&V issues as well as others by gladly paying the shipping cost. So again, I am not alone!

But more to the point, I relate better to the printed word. Several of the magazines that went digital perished so I am not alone. The Gutenberg version is portable, compact, lightweight, inexpensive, and quite durable plus can be handed down or re-purposed, and is environmentally recyclable. Of all of these values, a tablet, Kindle, smart phone or laptop have none. I have never had to run back with panic to an airplane to recover a magazine, or jump in horror as I watched a magazine take a unintentional dunk, while in my 'personal library', but a cellphone ... well that's another matter!

Sadly, N&V and Servo seem to be the only game in town. My N&V subscription still has a few years left, (If they stay around) but I may add Servo just to see if it appeals to me.

If anyone subscribes to other related mags, please let me know. I still have a little time around 2 and 3 in the morning to do more reading! :shock:

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a big pile of junk.” (T. Edison)
"I must be on the way to success since I already have the junk". (Me)

Robert Reed
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Re: Are you a Subscriber? Why, or why not?

Post by Robert Reed » Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:24 pm

Ever hear of EVERYDAY PRACTICAL ELECTRONICS out of UK. Sort of a blast from the past.
Although Postage will kill you for the print version.

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