Thursday, December 27, 2018

My buddy, W3BBO has been busy again.

This time building a crystal radio and an antenna to use with it:

Admittedly, we are both fascinated by the ability of a diode, capacitor and a coil to detect radio waves and convert them to audible signals that you can actually listen to. "The Magic of Radio" as we both refer to it. It never gets old, and it seems that as technology gets ever more sophisticated and complicated and involved, we are both still fascinated by and drawn to the simpler aspects of radio. That may mean crystal sets or just "doing HF" like we used to - twiddling the dial, making QSOs without the aid of Clusters, Panadapters, and other gadgets and hoo-haws, and just enjoying being on the radio.

Isn't his handiwork the coolest?

You might think a crystal radio wouldn't be worth much; but this is how Bob described it to me in an e-mail:

"I removed the headphones and attached my old Radio Shack amplified speaker.  Basement filling sound, just like having a “real” radio on.  I find it’s performance amazing!  The only power source is the 9-volt battery in the amplified speaker!"

That's the wonder of it all - radio from a receiver that's not powered by anything, really.

When I was a young one, I had one of these:

I used to sit in our kitchen with the alligator clip attached to the metal finger stop on our rotary wall phone. I was able to pick up WWOR and WABC and a few other NYC stations, as well as WCTC our local AM station in New Brunswick, NJ.

Looking back at it, I think that like Bob, it was crystal radio that planted the seed about RF that eventually bloomed into the Amateur Radio flower.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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