Is this an über-cool homebuilt
radio or what?
Proud Canadian and RF Cafe contributor Dr. Marek Klemes wrote to me a couple
weeks ago regarding a quotation I had posted a while back. At the end of our communications,
he casually made a comment about needing to engage in an electronics project that
would be free of the rigors of his professional pursuits. Being a trained notable
quote recognizer myself, I instantly realized that his statement was itself worthy
of being quoted widely. He granted permission to post it here (with adornment of the original).
Per Marek in part:
"Phase one of my therapeutic, funky one-tube radio project is basically done.
Although it is more funk than function, it just needs some "optimization." It is
also still a little touch-sensitive. I am building this 1-tube SW (Short Wave) radio
as a therapy for my frayed nerves caused by recent "upgrades" of "smart"-phone and
company computer SW (Software) that have been foisted on me against my will, in
the name of progress and efficiency.
This radio will:
- Not have a USB or Ethernet port
- Will have a real on/off switch
- Will not be capable of self-updating
Will not siphon money out of my bank account
- Will be compatible with all past and present versions of all software ever to
be conceived, as it won’t use any
- Will be immune to hacking
- Will not do what I don’t tell it to do
- Will not be touch-sensitive
- Will have all parts visible and no invisible functions
- Will not send information to anyone
- Will not have non-standard pentalobe or triangular-slot screws (only Philips
and Robertson ... proudly Canadian)
- Will glow and warm my hands and soul like a real radio should*.
(* The quote was adapted from from a 2006 blog post in
EE Times by Ed Mustoe.)
As much as I enjoy my scientific work in high-tech, I am endlessly frustrated
by how the technology is presented to the users. It is configured for purposes of
marketing and data-mining accessibility and taking control away from users, especially
frustrating knowing that the technology can do much better but it’s all buggered
up by greedy non-technical humans.
Best regards, Marek Klemes."
Dig the amazing 1930s vintage
Magnavox gramophone speaker bearing a manufacturing location of Oakland, California,
and the Canadian Brandes Ltd headphones of the same era. A hand-drawn schematic
/ wiring diagram can be seen in the lower photo*. The oscillator appears to be a
simple Hartley tapped coil type, and the antenna is a section of 300-ohm twin lead
feeding a folded dipole. A 3A4 pentode vacuum tube is the lone amplification / detection
device, which uses two series-connected 'D' cells to light the heater. The mounting
platform is a teak cutting board. As Sherlock Holmes would say to Dr. Watson, "It
is simplicity itself!"
Well done, Mr. Klemes!. Messrs. Marconi and Bell would be proud!
* Circuit design is Marek's variation of a regenerative receiver presented by
James Tobola (KC5LDO),
who in turn modified it from an article in the September 1995 issue of CQ
magazine (p. 48), "Red Hot Radio Returns." That article's author credits the original
design to an article appearing in Boys' Life magazine and in the ARRL's
to Become a Radio Amateur" booklet during the early-to-mid 1950s (it used a
3S4 tube). That's
quite a provenance.
Posted March 23, 2017