Radios, roads, and more

Chevron East Bay Cities street map cover, 1964

Above: The cover of the 1964 East Bay Cities (Oakland, Berkeley, and so on) street map, published by the H.M. Goushá Company for Standard Oil of California, now Chevron. Chevron maps of the early 1960s featured color drawings of scenes from the area that the map depicted.

What's at this site?

This site features photos and other articles about interests of mine that I have shared over the years. See the Features listing on the right side of this page for links to different parts of the site.

Radios: In 2014, I gathered together articles that I had written about my collection of radios on various blogging sites, and put them here. A much earlier version of this site in the mid and late 1990s attempted to keep track of the comings and going of radio-station formats in Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois. When I moved to California, I discontinued that part of the site.

Roads: I was once a frequent participant on the Usenet newsgroup misc.transport.roads where, in the late 1990s, roadgeeks or roadfans would publish sites for the states where they lived. Remember that there wasn't Facebook or even blogging back then. Even though I didn't live in Missouri in 1997, I spent a lot of time there, motivating me to publish a site about Missouri roads. When I moved to California in 1999, I added photos of California road signs and sites. Subsequently, I added similar sites featuring New Mexico and featuring US highways in other states. Road maps are also a big interest of mine, especially historic maps of Missouri and California.

More: Aside from the list below, I have an interest in telephones and phone directories from the 1950s through the 1980s. I am also a road cyclist, but I don't have any related photos here. I'm really not a very fast or strong cyclist, but I can climb hills!

Where did the name come from?

The Cosmos-Monitor was the name of one of two daily newspapers in St. Charles, Missouri. It ceased publication in 1959. The other daily newspaper in St. Charles, the Banner-News, stopped publishing on May 31, 1978. Even though St. Charles and St. Charles County were rapidly-growing suburbs of St. Louis, evidently the Banner-News wasn't able to compete with the big city newspapers from St. Louis. After all, St. Louis County was just across the Missouri River.

Other photos at this site

Aside from the galleries and albums listed to the right under Features, here are some other selected photos:

Mark Roberts
Oakland, California
E-mail: Please see the Contact Information page.

Copyright notice: All photographs at this web site were taken by me, copyright 1998-2022, Mark Roberts, all rights reserved, unless the name of the contributor is otherwise noted.

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All dates shown are based on the Pacific time zone in the United States.

March 4, 2022: No changes, but it's this site's 24th anniversary. I realize there have been no changes in six months. Retirement beckons, and I'm seriously considering retiring the site as well, either soon or around its 25th anniversary. Hobby websites such as this one are getting more and more rare.

September 7, 2021: Revised the Sangean DT-250 and Sangean DT-400W reviews; also updated the Sangean HDR-14/SG-108 review, confirming that those two models are identical except for cabinet color.

August 10, 2021: With the purchase of a newer version of the Sangean DT-400W AM/FM/weather band radio, I replaced the previous DT-400W review with a newly written article to report on the greatly improved performance of the newer model. Also revised the review of the Sangean DT-250 (not sold in North America) to indicate that it is a DSP-based radio. The DT-400W may now also be a DSP-based radio, based on observing its much-improved performance.

July 27, 2021: The Sangean DT-250 is the European/Australian cousin to the Sangean DT-400W and DT-200VX. The resemblance, though, turns out to be skin-deep. Also updated the Retekess TR103 review to report that this model is no longer available, at least in the United States.

May 9, 2021: Is the number "108" significant for radios? It seems to be getting that way. I've updated two reviews in Radios I Have Known with information about near-identical models: the Sangean HDR-14 AM/FM HD radio now has a twin in the Sangean model SG-108, while the Chinese company behind the Radiwow R-108 has also been selling it as the Sihuadon R-108. Also: I've linked to Gary DeBock's in-depth reviews for five radio models (four of which I've also reviewed) in his 2021 Ultralight Radio Shootout. Thanks, Gary, for granting me permission to link to this amazing resource!

March 4, 2021: This year, we're actually marking the 23rd anniversary of this site on time! I was late in noting something else: I restored the Missouri Highways site after President Biden's inauguration January 20. One minor change: the development system (not that there's been much development lately, but that's another story) has been updated to Fedora 33.

December 28, 2020: Added review of the Tecsun ICR-110 AM-FM radio/media player/recorder, a sibling of the Tecsun ICR-100 reviewed earlier in the year.

November 26, 2020: Revised the Sangean HDR-14 review with updated information on the October 2020 approval of all-digital AM-band broadcasting in the United States, using HD radio without an in-band analog signal. Also made minor fixes to the Tecsun ICR-100 review.

October 5, 2020: Added review of the Rolton E500 Bluetooth speaker/FM radio/media player/recorder, with great sound but a middling FM radio and yet another "brickwall" filter used by the recorder to limit high-frequency response.

September 8, 2020: Added review of the Tecsun ICR-100 FM radio/media player/recorder and updated the Radiwow R-108 review with a mention of the nearly identical Sihuadon R-108, which became available in the summer of 2020.

August 29, 2020: Expanded the Tivdio V-115 review with more information on its audio recording and playback capabilities, including the discovery of a low-pass "brickwall" filter that limits the unit's frequency response when recording. As an aside, this is the first site update using the new development system.

August 8, 2020: No changes to the content of the site, but noting on the Site Information page that I have migrated development to a new server running Fedora 32 (Linux).

July 30, 2020: Added review of the Prunus J-125 AM/FM radio, an extraordinarily inexpensive DSP-based model.

July 18, 2020: Finally solved the mystery of the original phone exchange names in the Centralia, Mo. area, which all were changed in 1971, including the move of two nearby small towns into a different area code.

July 14, 2020: Added review of the Sony SRF-45W "Soundabout" AM/FM radio from the mid-1980s. Changed font for "specialty text" (such as this part of the page) to Merriweather Sans, which is the sans-serif version of Merriweather, the font used for the main blocks of text on the site. See the revised colophon for details. Minor adjustments were required to some of the Missouri highway history pages as a result. Also revised the site history and site information pages.

July 9, 2020: Improved and added pictures on the CD-3 page. Updated the page on radio station KPCR in Bowling Green, Missouri (now WLIQ in Quincy, Illinois) for the first time in more than 20 years. Improved the photos in the Retekess TR103 radio review to be a bit less dark.

July 1, 2020: While it's not a radio, added an article in Radios I Have Known on the trailblazing Sony Discman D-5 portable CD player from 1985. Also revised one of the oldest articles on this site, greatly improving historical information about the short-lived CD-3 recording format. The article, dating from 1996, has lived at least eight times longer than the CD-3 format. Also rearranged elements on this page for better navigation and layout. Also trimmed the list of updates to those made in 2020.

June 25, 2020: Revised the Sony SRF-S84 review with additional results from experimentation with the Neutron MP media player Android app to mimic the radio's "megabass" equalization curve on other platforms.

June 7, 2020: Added a review of the tiny Sony SRF-S84 AM/FM Walkman radio, which has a "megabass" circuit that can make some earbuds sound much better than they usually do.

May 24, 2020: In Radios I Have Known, added review of the tiny but mighty Retekess TR103 radio and media player and made minor corresponding revisions to the Tivdio V-115 review, since the same Chinese company made, or at least marketed, both of them.

May 17, 2020: In Radios I Have Known, revised the review of Sony Walkman radios to update information about the SRF-30W's performance, to note its availability in a red case, and to add historical information on the SRF-40W's introduction in 1981. Also revised the review of the Sony SRF-A1 stereo AM/stereo FM Walkman to correct the dates that it was produced and to update information about AM stereo broadcasting from KVON in Napa, California.

May 10, 2020: In Radios I Have Known, extensively revised the review of the Westinghouse RC42N38B AM/FM clock radio, including new pictures; updated the Digitech AR-1780 and XHDATA D-808 DSP radio reviews regarding their stereo FM performance; updated the Cambridge Soundworks Model 88" AM/FM radio review regarding its AM performance; and removed the page about audio streaming on mobile phones, because it didn't really say anything meaningful.

May 5, 2020: Added a review of the Sony ICF-38 AM/FM radio, modified for SCA reception on FM. I've categorized it as a table radio, even though it's also portable.

April 30, 2020: Added a review of the Grundig Yacht Boy 400 AM/FM/shortwave radio, one of the 1990's top travel radios. At the present time, I've categorized it as a vintage radio.

April 19, 2020: Added a review of the M-Audio Bass Traveler headphone amplifier to Radios I Have Known.

April 16, 2020: Added, temporarily, a summary box to Radios I Have Known relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also updated an external link in the Tivdio V-115 review.

March 30, 2020: Revised the Tecsun PL-100 pocket FM radio review to include updated information about the radio's performance and features.

March 29, 2020: Added a review of the legendary but fragile Proton 100 pocket FM radio, including extensive historical material.

March 7, 2020: A belated note, as has been the custom in recent years, marking the site's 22nd anniversary on March 4. I guess I am persistent.

February 22, 2020: Added information about two additional models to the Sony Walkman radio page. Those models are the SRF-30W (very similar to the SRF-40W) and the SRF-35W, which has a three-band graphic equalizer. Also updated the Sony SRF-AX15 review.

January 20, 2020: Added a review of the Sangean DT-800 DSP-based AM/FM/weather-band pocket radio, in many ways an updated version of the classic Sangean DT-400W radio.

January 5, 2020: Restored the long-lost posts on Sony Walkman radios, combining them into one article and updating with performance comparisons to DSP-based radios. Also made revisions to the Sony SRF-A1 review, and revised the home page for Radios I Have Known.