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The buttons on Zenith’s original ‘clicker’ remote were a mechanical marvel

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My early working life, after a couple of years of "electronics school", was as a radio/tv tech. Zenith was a big brand in our area and, the "clicker"was the pride of many couch surfers. In fact, almost 50 years later, I still hear people refer to their remote as a "clicker".


Whenever I received a service call on a Zenith with a remote problem my first diagnostic step was to dangle and shake a set of house/car keys near the TV. If the TV responded by changing channel or an audio level change, I needed to service or change the remote. If there was no response the problem was (rarely) within the TV set. 


People loved the little magic trick, and I'm sure it became a party trick for their guests long after.

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We lost the 'clicker' to our giant 19" TV back then. In those days, everyone had ash trays on the coffee table whether you smoked or not, for guests. For some reason, I dropped a small bolt into the ash tray one day (a nice big glass one) and the channel changed! So we had ourselves a one-way (channel up only) channel changer that we used for the rest of the time we owned the TV.

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