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 Post subject: "Functional Music, Inc" amplifier ... any help?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 04, 2019 8:41 pm 
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Location: Bristol, Rhode Island
Hi all,
A friend of mine has an old amplfier that he doesn't have any info for. We're trying to track down a schematic for it but so far, no luck. Has anyone hear ever heard of equipment manufactured by "Functional Music, Inc." out of Chicago? No other identifying info on the amp apart from what looks to be a serial number (DN4062). Thanks!


Ted


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 Post subject: Re: "Functional Music, Inc" amplifier ... any help?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 04, 2019 9:29 pm 
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A top photo might be helpful and the tubes used in this thing.

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 Post subject: Re: "Functional Music, Inc" amplifier ... any help?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 04, 2019 9:48 pm 
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Location: Bristol, Rhode Island
Tube lineup: 5Y3, 6V6, 6SL7 .... one tube socket is empty but thinking it could be a second 6V6 (but I don't have a good photo of the output transformer primary leads or empty socket pins to figure out if it's a push pull amp or not). Here's the chassis-top photo, thanks!

Ted


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 Post subject: Re: "Functional Music, Inc" amplifier ... any help?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 04, 2019 10:58 pm 
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Location: 18424 PA
I see what lokks like a rf coil, they are listed as a radio music service on a subscription basis.
Functional Music Inc., which was owned by the former Field Enterprises.

Functional Music was sold to Chicago lawyer Maurice Rosenfield, who later sold it to Muzak.


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 Post subject: Re: "Functional Music, Inc" amplifier ... any help?
PostPosted: Feb Tue 05, 2019 1:30 pm 
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Judging by some cursory internet searches, I suspect that this might be a receiver thats tuned to a single channel, and designed to play some sort of commercial content, like in-store music, or advertisements. The company name appears a few times in the context of a station in the Chicago area. Maybe the receiver would have been provided free, in return for its usage. IDK, just speculating here.

https://books.google.com/books?id=4woEA ... 3F&f=false


Didnt scroll down far enough, I see that someone beat me to it.


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 Post subject: Re: "Functional Music, Inc" amplifier ... any help?
PostPosted: Feb Tue 05, 2019 3:59 pm 
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Looks like there are actually two tunable coils visible. That definitely reinforces the probability this is some sort of receiver for a subscription or subchannel music service.

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 Post subject: Re: "Functional Music, Inc" amplifier ... any help?
PostPosted: Feb Tue 05, 2019 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 24, 2013 11:50 pm
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Location: Bristol, Rhode Island
Thanks for the tips.

I had seen a few coils underneath so suspected it was some type of amp with a line in for a turntable or other options. Thank you very much. Interesting unit.


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 Post subject: Re: "Functional Music, Inc" amplifier ... any help?
PostPosted: Feb Wed 06, 2019 1:01 am 
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Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
Originally, and prior to SCA, struggling FM stations would play music supplied by Functional Music, Inc. Unlike with SCA, the broadcasts could be heard by the general public along with any commercial content that the stations were lucky enough to sell. Functional would lease (or maybe sell) and install background music systems in various businesses in the area like restaurants, department stores, etc. I am unsure of the financial arrangement that Functional had with the stations or the businesses for providing the service.

In order to provide this background music without commercials, announcements, and station ID's, a 20 kHz tone was transmitted during these breaks which would mute an FM receiver used with the audio system at the establishments. I believe what you have is a 20 kHz tone decoder which would open a relay to mute the audio from the station during commercial and ID breaks. I remember hearing the tone on my dad's Howard 482 FM tuner when I was a pre-teen in the '50's living on Eastern Long Island from WMMW-FM, Meriden, CT (one of only 2 FM stations we could receive at the time). I recall that Functional promoted their system of interruption-free music with a commercial during some of these breaks.

I believe your decoder is probably pretty rare.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: "Functional Music, Inc" amplifier ... any help?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 5:53 am 
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This is the amplifier part of an 11-tube crystal-controlled FM receiver used to furnish background music -- "functional" was also a widely used industry term -- which was leased to businesses on a subscription basis for a monthly fee. Missing is the 7-tube single-frequency FM tuner which occupied the open space on the version pictured.

Functional owned and operated Station WFMF, 100.3/33kW (221 N Michigan Avenue, Chicago 1, FRanklin 2-7838) which it acquired from Field on Nov. 1, 1957. Chief engineer Ivan Bukovsky signed the QSL letter I received in 1961 after reporting reception during a sporadic-e session in June of that year from my home outside NYC. A stroke of luck because a few weeks later, WVNJ-FM/Newark occupied 100.3, forever closing that frequency for any more FM distant listening.

The audio muting technique was called simplexing, recalling a rather thorough paper I wrote a few years later for a graduate school class. My own experiences in the NYC area were with Muzak-owned WBFM/101.9 which the company acquired from Wm G.H. Finch (as WGHF) on May 4, 1955. Muzak had been involved with FM broadcasting earlier but Finch who was an FM pioneer in his own right decided to sell the NYC WGHF and move to Connecticut where he became involved a new FM station licensed to Brookfield taking the WGHF call letters with him. It signed on July 14, 1957.

As perilous times settled over FM after WW II, some stations that managed to survive while others were never built from construction permits or gave up altogether decided to adopt simplexing which almost immediately incurred the wrath of the FCC. WSEL/104.3/Chicago was one of the first, scoring a cover story/article in Radio News magazine.

Using WBFM the way it was operated sixty years ago, Muzak melodies were clustered in 12-14 minute segued blocks which meant three or four tunes. Muzak melodies earned all the negative sobriquets of both humor and scorn with this mushy, low-fi stuff that was scientifically paced and arranged to motivate and soothe audiences in offices and public establishments such as restaurants. Well, maybe it was OK for grownups , but the thick, oily Muzak renditions by its own specially commissioned in-house orchestras were anathema to this teen-ager's ears.

So after a few minutes of this musical gurgling comes a 25-cycle tone, issued from the 10,300 watt transmitter atop the 10 East 40th st. building in midtown Manhattan. where WBFM and its predecessor (WGHF) had been housed since early 1946. I remember being in a restaurant around 1959 and noticing the silent spells. That was for 1-2-3 minutes -- so it had to be WBFM and its lilting melodies of Muzak filtering into Gwynn's restaurant in Teaneck, N.J. -- depending on how productive the WBFM sales staff had been peddling ad time on what to me was a totally useless FM station. Paying attention to WBFM unfiltered, I tallied up a small group of no more than 20 advertisers, who over a year's time were probably paying mere pennies per ad based on say, the heavily discounted 50,000 time rate, an absurdity in normal broadcast practice. Why do I still remember sixty years later the name an advertiser, a bake shop in NYC's financial district but that's what psychologists say about repetition.

The FCC frowned on simplxing because by intent it wasn't really broadcasting to a mass audience but based on the subscription model, more of a private, point-to-point communication channel. In 1941, Muzak had petitioned the FCC for a subscription service in the then-still-allocated, albeit narrow 117 megacycle FM band. Subscribers would be furnished with a special receiver designed to mute or eliminate what at the time was called a "pig squeal" inserted so that non-subscribers wouldn't want to listen.

The battle over simplexing raged before the FCC and into the courts for years touching into the early 1960s when it finally died of exhaustion, superseded by multiplexing on 41 and 67 kc. Major Armstrong and others -- Finch and Wm Halstead among others -- has successfully demonstrated multiplexing and in May 1955, the FCC began issuing subsidiary communications authorizations (SCA) through progress was slow at first. There were technical issues. In January 1957, WFMX/104.3/NYC signed on, the southern leg of a four station classical music network based in Boston (WBCN/104.1) which sent its programming down the line to NYC (WFMX became WYCN first and later WNCN) via over-the-air relay at first via two intermediate facilities -- WXCN/101/5/Providence and WHCN/105.9/Hartford -- but the real money maker was the for the station's two multiplex subcarriers -- 41 and 67 kc. -- and one of them bled into the main channel program, noticeable on quiet periods typical of the serious music format.

As for the Functional receiver, it has 11 tubes, 4 octal tubes on the amplifier chassis, 7 (7-pin miniature) on the receiver. 3 IF transformers, the fourth the detector. The crystal is marked 22,400 kc. The unit is well built with a cover and dial light. The two slug-tuned inductors on the amplifier chassis were designed to respond to the low-frequency 25 cycle tones.

A very interesting sidelight to FM subsidiary multiplex history in Chicago that I covered at length in my paper. WCLM/101.9, another, presumably struggling independent FM station in the early 1960s leased one of its SCAs to a third party -- Newsplex -- operating what presumably was a news service to subscribers who leased crystal-controlled FM receivers across Chicagoland that were locked on 101.9 mc. In August 1962 during a routine check of bookie joints, the Cook County Sheriff found a number of the Newplex receivers were being used to get the results of various race tracks across the country and that information was being used for betting purposes. It took a few years but the FCC revoked the WCLM license and the station had to leave left the air.

The Functional receiver pictured probably came from Chicago and may have been used for years in a restaurant, bar or other public establishment. It certainly wouldn't be very common.


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 Post subject: Re: "Functional Music, Inc" amplifier ... any help?
PostPosted: Feb Mon 11, 2019 2:17 pm 
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Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
It appears that I'm wrong about the chassis being a 20 kHz decoder. A bit of research showed that WMMW-FM was actually affiliated with a company competing with the Functional system called Storecast Corp. of America. I recall that the 20 kHz muting system was described in one of electronics hobby magazines of the day with plans to build a decoder. I believe I was confusing the WMMW operation with another station in Syracuse, NY (WDDS-FM).

Then I found this news flash published in an archived issue of an October 6, 1958 issue of Broadcasting Magazine. Both WMMW and WDDS were denied the use of the Functional simplex system for muting local announcements with the on-set of SCA multiplexing. I guess WMMW-FM was involved with Functional for a while. But now I remember WMMW's promotional slogan "Music to Buy By" which was Storecast's slogan, according to the internet.

Attachment:
Functional Simplex Denied by FCC.JPG
Functional Simplex Denied by FCC.JPG [ 80.63 KiB | Viewed 969 times ]


https://www.americanradiohistory.com/hd ... e-0064.pdf

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: "Functional Music, Inc" amplifier ... any help?
PostPosted: Feb Tue 12, 2019 5:26 am 
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Location: columbia mo
I remember "Music to Buy By" on WHOM-FM/92.3/NYC. Storecast Corp of America leased WHOM-FM for this service as early at 1951.

Well documented is the story of the original occupant on 92.3 -- WMCA-FM. Owner Nathan Straus sold the FM station to Progress Broadcasting Corp. (WHOM-AM/1480) for $7500 in 1951 who in turn leased time on the FM station to Storecast.

The Storecast format occupied the weekday schedule of the station until August 1961 when WHOM-FM switched to the Heritage classical music service provided by International Good Music of Bellingham, Wash. There was some Chinese language broadcasting on weekends and there were some days when the station was off the air. Simulcasting Spanish language WHOM-AM/1480 on 92.3 replaced the Heritage format a few months later underscoring the futility of competing for that blue-chip audience versus WQXR-FM and WNCN among others

WHOM-FM eventually shifted "Music to Buy By" to a subcarrier. Whither Storecast today? The WHOM-FM/92.3 transmitter was atop the Chanin Bldg. on East 42nd street, co-located with the historic (12-15-41 airdate) WQXR-FM rig so its coverage was comparable to that of WBFM a few blocks away. In 1959 their were no tones on WHOM. There were no outside commercials either because this was a leased service aimed at supermarkets and the public that happened to be listening uninterrupted. It wasn't Muzak, the bland melodies churned out by unknown orchestras that one critic with a touch of humor at the time said were the hapless, otherwise unemployed members of an AFM Local, locked in a room and directed at gunpoint to toot away and away.

Another application of tones, this time to boost the level during commercial breaks was the TransitRadio developed and promoted by the Taft Family of Cincinnati. This was aimed at mass transit patrons in busses and streetcars. This one ended up in the U.S. Supreme Court which sided with TransitRadio but the service petered out by dint of lack of advertiser effectiveness in 1953. Stromberg-Carlson manufactured thousands of rugged crystal controlled TransitRadio receivers which were installed in vehicles cruising in some two dozen communities. A tone at the beginning of a commercial break turned up the volume so captive riders would be drowned the advertising spiels something the plaintiffs in the SCOTUS case were unable to prove.

The list of stations in the 1958 Broadcasting Magazine article represents a hardy group of FM operators, many of them independent, eight of which I managed to receive at one time or another from outside NYC between 1960-63 with verification letters to prove. A personal experience with KCFM/93.7/St. Louis which I visited in April 1966. Chief engineer Ed bench demonstrated the crystal-controlled SCA receivers he had personally designed and was manufacturing on site. This was a scrappy FM operation owned by Harry Eidelman who secured the license in 1954 on 93.7 after TransitRadio affiliate KXOK-FM threw in the towel on April 1, 1953 when TransitRadio evaporated. KCFM and most of the other stations on that list were carried through the FM drought financially in part by revenues from SCA-based background music services.

My own, later SCA experience leasing two subcarriers to a firm holding the Muzak franchise for Western Arkansas/Eastern Oklahoma was when I owned KMAG/99.1/Ft. Smith, Ark. between 1989 and 1996. This is a true FM super station in coverage: 100,000 watts; antenna height above average terrain of 600 meters or 1928 ft. Awesome. We had regular listeners a hundred or more miles away. But in 1990, I moved the transmitter in a lateral 58-mile shift from Mt. Magazine, Ark. to Cavanal Hill outside Poteau, Okla. This was for a full Class C facility, the absolute maximum coverage allowed by the FCC. Our Muzak customer was aggravated of course at the prospect of losing dozens of customers up and down the Arkansas River Valley but we quickly pointed out that there were equally lucrative markets the station would be covering more effectively from the Cavanal site. By the time we sold the station, Muzak was supplying a multitude of formats to franchisees with the eventual conversion to satellite distribution thus obviating the need for third-party FM station distribution. What is the status of functional music services these days? Certainly nothing FM stations are crying out for as lifeblood.


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 Post subject: Re: "Functional Music, Inc" amplifier ... any help?
PostPosted: Jul Tue 23, 2019 4:29 am 
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Joined: Jul Tue 23, 2019 3:58 am
Posts: 1
I came across this Group and Forum just recently while doing what was for me a nostalgic look at my past. I was familiar with the radio station history
excellently described by Algermond. I bought a couple of these vacuum tube crystal-controlled receivers when the local Muzak franchisee purchased
the Functional Music Company in Chicago. While the companies made changes at client locations from Simplex main-channel FM receivers to Sub-carrier mulitplex FM receivers, I was able to enjoy commercial-free music from these vacuum tube receivers. In fact, I learned how to turn the audio back on
after the receiver was 'silenced' with the audio tone. (I would short to chassis ground a capacitor at one of the test points.)

My interest in radio was such that I knew the Chief Engineer and others at WFMF and spent hours after school watching the engineer on duty cue up and play the instrumental tapes (lots of British arrangements) and following their log/schedule, flip a switch which would send out the inaudible tones to mute and un-mute designated client receivers. As an incidental, the transmitter was an old one made by Western Electric. As the times were different in those days, a young person could conceivably establish contacts at radio stations by walking in the door. In that spirit of exploration I also got to know an
owner and Chief Engineer at station WCLM, also mentioned in the history. I appreciate the various responses all contributing to this topic.


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 Post subject: Re: "Functional Music, Inc" amplifier ... any help?
PostPosted: Jul Fri 26, 2019 7:44 pm 
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I think that the "WKJR" listing is a typo; the station was WKJF, at 93.7 mhz. I worked for the latter-day incarnation of that station back in the 1980s, and still have their old production board in the basement.

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 Post subject: Re: "Functional Music, Inc" amplifier ... any help?
PostPosted: Jul Sat 27, 2019 4:54 am 
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Location: Gold Country, (Stanislaus National Forest) California 95235
An Audio Guy wrote:
I spent hours after school watching the engineer on duty cue up and play the instrumental tapes (lots of British arrangements).
In fact a very large percentage of those British arrangements - or British recordings along with the British arrangements - found their way not only onto THEIR background music services - but after their original run on the service that paid for them - the tracks were often sold and resold to all kinds of competing services.

Listen to these library reels sometime and then listen to the same selections on some of the old Seeburg 16-RPM/2-inch hole/9-inch discs and their Rowe counterparts - and their Rowe 7-inch 33 with a 45-hole counterparts - and their Rowe and 3M cartridge counterparts - and on and on and on. The luckiest ones also made it onto budget label LPs - from Columbia's Harmony and RCA Victor's Camden to all manner of Pickwick International and all kinds of other outlets.

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