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Light Sequencer
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Nikola Tesla:
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vrg II
Volume 5, No. 12 DECEMBER 1988

29 Holiday Light Sequencer-the light control circuit for the holiday season
and all year 'round
39 Build a Sliding Bar "Antique" Radio -return to yesteryear, and take Audiovox Car Alarrr-page 27
some solid -state with you
58 Build the Slave Flash Trigger -a
low cost circuit that will trigger that slave
in a flash
60 Build Your Own SCR Tester -make useful this tester a part of your tool kit

33 All About Piezoelectric Generators-they produce voltage from pressure Holiday Light SeQJeroer-page 29
43 Those Indestructible Novice Transmitters -built strong to last long
62 Nikola Tesla: Interplanetary Communicator ? -a man ahead of his time
67 All About Microphones -all mikes are not created equal...learn which
works best under what conditions
7C Isolate Yourself and Stay Alive -think safety first when working with AC
Sliding Bar Radio-page 39
74 E -Z Math -more on network analysis

23 Audiovox Car Alarm -an auto security system you can install yourself

24 Think Tank -the ubiquitous 555
82 Circuit Circus -you can power simple circuits using a diode detector SCR Tester -page 60

84 Computer Bits -make your computer do almost anything with a single

86 DX Listening -the sunspot cycle
88 Antique Radio -the shutter -dial set plays again
90 Amateur Radio -getting on 10 meters
92 Scanner Scene -there's a whole world out there waiting to be scanned

DEPARTMENTS Antiaue Radfo6-pege 88

2 Editorial -it's in our blood
4 Letters-let your thoughts be heard
12 New Books -the key to electronic knowledge
18 New Products -just in time for holiday gift giving
37 FactCards -a quick electronic reference
47 GIZMO -toys for kids of all ages
72 Free Information Card -go straight to the source

Scanner Sceie -page 92




Volume 5, No. 12
December 1988

i etrL)J)i s
Larry Steckler, EHE. CET
Editor -in -Chief & Publisher
Art Kleiman, editorial director
Julian S. Martin, KA2GUN, editor
Carl Laron, WB2SLR, managing editor
Robert A. Young, associate editor
Herb Friedman, W2ZLF. associate editor
John J. Yacono, associate editor
Brian C. Fenton, associate editor
Popular Electronics is in our blood Byron G. Wels, K2AVB, associate editor
Teri Scaduto. assistant editor
After reading last month's Editorial, a few readers called to tell Kathryn Campbell, editorial assistant
the staff how excited they were that Popular Electronics was Ruby M. Yee, production director
coming back. They cautioned, however, not to claim that we are Karen S. Tucker, production manager
the old Popular Electronics just because of past associations Robert A. W. Lowndes, editorial
with that magazine.
Marcella Amoroso, production assistant
They are right! We are not the old Popular Electronics; rather, Andre Duzant, technical illustrator
we are the new Popular Electronics. a magazine that is under- Injae Lee, assistant illustrator
going a change for the better. Look at the type style we are now Jacqueline P. Cheeseboro, circulation director

using. It is up -to -date and easy to read. To allow us to bring you Nancy Estrada, manager. HOE Bookstore

more information each month, we have gone to a three -column

format in our feature and construction stories. Our reader's let- BUSINESS AND EDITORIAL OFFICES
ters, books, and new -products departments, as well as our Gernsback Publications. Inc
regular columns, have been modified in style, title, and content. 500 -B Bi- County Boulevard
Greater attention, and we hope creativity, is being paid to the Farmingdale. NY 11735.
516 293 -3000
appearance of almost everything you see in this magazine. In President: Larry Steckler
short, what you see today is the development of a new and Vice- president: Cathy Steckler
exciting look.
But we do have many strong links to the old Popular Elec- Cover photography by
tronics. Herb Friedman, our associate editor, sold his second Walter Herstatt
article to Popular Electronics in 1958. He wrote for the maga- Composition by
zine for many years thereafter and currently writes a column for Mates Graphics
us. A fine technician and author, Homer L. Davidson, has written
for Popular Electronics for over 20 years and is currently writing
Advertising Sales Offices listed on page 105.
for us. There are several other authors who share the same
distinction. Andrew Duzant, our technical illustrator, was on the
Popular Electronics staff for more than 20 years and now he is
on our staff.
Many authors who wrote for the old Popular Electronics. and
3Ih ( ) -Wk.:.

Hands -on Electronics nu!acting Popular Electronics. IS, t.

even previous staff members who worked for Popular Elec- 't3-29681 Published monthly by Gernsback Publications. Ini

to-B Bi- County Boulevard. Farmingdale. NY 117[ 5 Se, ,n

tronics in the past, will be contacting us after they see the ass postage paid at Farmingdale NY and at addib x,al f
't es One -year. twelve issues. subscription rate U S inn

familiar Popular Electronics logo on the newsstand.


ins $21 95. Canada $26 95. all other countnes $29 45 Sic
ton orders payable in U S. funds only. International PIstal M,,.. .

Order or check drawn on a U S bank US single copy once $25,

Maybe we'll all get together one day for a big party. You see, '1988 by Gernsback Publications. Inc All nghts reser.red Hands -
on Electronics and Gizmo trademarks are register, in U S an,'
Popular Electronics is in our blood. Canada by Gernsback Publications. Inc Popular Electronics
trademark is registered in U S and Canada by Electomcs Tecr
nology Today and is licensed to Gernsback Publications Printed
The Editorial Staff Postmaster Please send address changes to Hands -On Elea
tromp, including Popular Electronics, Subscription Dept P'
Bo. 338 Mount Moms IL 610 54 -993 2
A stamped sell -addressed erne ,

manuscnpts and or artwork or

should they be rejected We il
,r damage of manuscnpls and
possession or otherwise
' ., service to readers. Hands -on Electronics including Popular
E tectronks publishes available plans or informatico relating .
hsworthy products. techniques and scientific and technology a
-mlopments Because of possible variances in the guainv i- '

inihon of matenals and workmanship used by readers Hand,


,n Electronics mciudmg Popular Electronics disc.aim.

,nsibkty for the safe and proper functioning of reader -b . .

based upon or from plans on information publish,;




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44 obligation! Exceptional Quality. All books are quality publishers' editions
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15 Easy Electronic Horns

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Electronics, as teaching aids at the univer- ever read. More importantly, the series al-
sity where was a consultant. How 'bout that? lows one to progress as far into electronics


I'll bet you didn't know that those magazines as even the most avid hobbyist might dare
are used in areas where up -to -date texts are to venture.
very hard to come by! Although the maga- The books /courses are outlined in meticu-
zines were anywhere from one- to three - lous detail in the Heathkit Catalogs. would

months late by the time they reached there, recommend trying the Soldering Course
the information was still more current than (EI- 3133), followed by the "Concepts of
that in the usual texts. Electronics Course" (El- 3140 -A). The latter
Again, the fewer articles on computers, requires an "Analog Trainer" (E1- 3600), but

Letters the better; there are enough computer maga-

zines. Keep up the good work!
San Jose, CA
that trainer can be used with numerous other
Heathkit courses. The combination of theo-
retical knowledge and practical skills pre-
sented in those courses are of inestimable
And the debate rages on. The previous value to the beginner.
two letters represent a cross -section of the P.E.B.
COMPUTER PROS.... Ft. Lauderdale, FL
mail we've received on the "computer" is-
In response to the letter from A.R. of Hack- sue. In general, people want either more, We received a number of responses to
ensack, NJ (August, 1988): What is he so less, or just about the same number of com- B.E.'s request and we would like to thank
afraid of? Computers can only intimidate peo- puter-related stories in each issue. all the readers who took the time out to lend
ple who refuse to understand them. They As we've said in the past, computers rep- a helping hand. While many different books,
are made of electronic components. and were resent only one segment of the electronics courses were recommended, the previous
invented by the same kind of people who field, albeit an important one. Because of two received overwhelming support. Judg-
do the electronics projects in magazines like that, and because of our dedication to serv- ing by the response, you can't go wrong
Hands -on Electronics /Popular Electronics. ing all facets of the hobby, you will never following either recommendation.
It's true that computers in cars have made see this magazine go to an "all computer"
car repair more complex. However, the diffi- format. Likewise, you will never see us com- PARTS SEARCH
culty in finding mechanics who can repair pletely ignore the computer field, especially Two recent articles by Larry Lisle -"The Build-
them is not the fault of new technologies -it the hardware end of it, because if we left ing -Block Radio" (May 1988) and "The Sim-
is caused by the reluctance of our society it solely for others we would be shortchang- plest Ham Receiver" (June 1988)-each call
to overcome the anti -computer attitudes of ing our readers. for Fahnstock clips and transistors SK3835
people like A.R. Can the average person re- or ECG103A. can't locate either of those

pair a calculator, or a VCR, or even a child's READER RECOMMENDATIONS items anywhere. Can you please tell me
toy these days? Does that mean that we where might be able to get them'?
For all the electronic tips, tricks, fun, and I

shouldn't have them, or that we all need more B.B.

education you've provided for me since I sub-
education? Bedford, IN
scribed to your magazine, now I'd like to re-
have an AAB in Computer Programming

ciprocate. Fahnstock clip is the proper name for a

and an AAS in Electronic Engineering, and it's
In the September 1988 "Letter Box" B.E. spring- tension quick connect/disconnect clip.
a good thing got the computer degree first.

of Delray Beach, FL asked for a recommen- If you can't find Fahnstock clips at your lo-
Almost all the electronics courses I took re-
dation of a good book on basic electronics. cal supplier, just about any other type of
quired the use of a computer at some point.
Computers and electronics are inseparable
your magazine would be shortchanging its read-
- As a fellow, Hands -on Electronics /Popular
Electronics reader and electronics enthusi-
terminal or binding post can be used.
SK and ECG part numbers are RCA and
ast, I'd like to recommend Getting Started Sylvania, respectively, industry -standard sub-
ers if it pretended that computers don't exist.
in Electronics by Forrest M. Mims Ill. Basic stitute part numbers. Those are used and
I'm also writing to ask if you know where
electronic theory cannot be made any sim- recognized by the vast majority of major
I can get a low -cost device for bending soft
pler. The book contains 128 hand -written and component distributors. We provide those
metals, such as aluminum; I like to make
hand -illustrated pages, has experiments that when the original part may be hard to lo-
my own boxes for the circuits build. Thanks

work, and costs only $2.49. The book, as cate. The GE -59 used in the projects falls
very much.
well as any of the parts needed for the ex-
periments, can be purchased at any Radio
Louisville, OH
Shack store.
... AND CONS Don't be turned off by the childish -looking
nature of the book's method of teaching. You'll
As an avid and highly appreciative reader
be relieved by its simplicity, and how well it
of Hands -on Electronics /Popular Electron-
gets the message across. I might not be work-
ics, completely agree with the views on includ-

ing as an electronic technician now without

ing computer projects that were expressed
in A.R.'s letter in the August issue. The fewer
the foundation built from this book.

the better -your magazine is one of the few

Good luck -I hope it helps!
left that a true "experimenter," "messer-
Brooklyn, NY
around." or "hacker" can really enjoy.
Iam an R &D Engineer with one of the In the September issue of Hands -on Elec-
large aerospace corporations here in Silicon tronics, B.E. asked for recommendations on
Valley. I, and many of my cohorts in the field, some books to get him started in electronics.
thoroughly enjoy your magazine and the pro- There are certainly a plethora of books to
jects it presents. choose from, but I've found Heathkit's (Ben-
. Ireturned to the U.S. a couple of years ton Harbor, MI 49022) series of books/
ago, after living in Southeast Asia for 17 years. courses to be particularly helpful. They com- "Don't tell me .. .

While overseas, used many of the projects

I bine hands -on experience with the clearest we're out of bananas again!"
in Hands -on Electronics, and in Radio- explanations of electronic theory that I have

into that category. Hence, we provided the
substitute. If you still have difficulty finding
the part, here's a suggestion: Try making
friends at your local TV and radio repair shop.
The owner may be willing to order the part
for you, or put you in touch with a local dis-
tributor that carries it.


I built the "Perpetual Calendar project that

appeared in the July 1988 issue. However,
I didn't attach it to a clock. Instead, I used
a Schmitt trigger and a 6.3 -volt AC trans-
former to derive the pulse. It works quite well,
By the way, love your magazine. espe-

cially the "Circuit Circus" column.


Ozone Park. NY


.if .mi a: ,

.. ,
, ,
.. .._ n


In his letter in the July 1988 issue. J.V. from

Tacoma, WA, mentioned that he would like
to see more projects in kit form. That seems
like a good way to get started in electrnics-
,r,fl it'i'.
i. .. - - .., ,.r

but after you put together 4 or 5 of them, it . ' I/ I Ni I ,.:.i N'

.i l'f
starts boring. Just read the enclosed litera- .

ture, warm up the of soldering iron, and get MINI( I . " . . .

ready to follow the step -by -step procedures. fC , i . .

PH .. .. . ..
.. .- .., ,. :.

After putting together a few kits, the fun and

I,.iNi i i11 ..il. ..,,.i
excitement just isn't there any more.
What find highly gratifying is following

the "How to..." or "Build Your Own..." articles 'Ii.,IUI.,;,

i:.,. ;.I.... ..;.
in electronics books and magazines. search
.f.iN'.i A1.AI.:... ' .... .

around for needed parts, etch or breadboard 'CALL FOR AVAILABILITY

my own circuit board, learn the theory and

principles behind the device itself, and spice Output Price TOTAL
Ouantity Item PRICE
Channel Each
it all up in a nice enclosure with custom em-
blems and dry- transfer letters.
Iam 15 years old and fascinated with elec-
tronics, computers, and amateur radio. I've
been building electronic gadgets for a num-
ber of years now, and I've learned a lot SUBTOTAL
California Penal Code $593 -D forbids us
through fine publications like Hands-on Elec- from shipping any cable descrambiing uric Shipping Add
$3 00 per unit
tronics/Popular Electronics. to anyone residing in the state of California
COD & Credit
do agree with J.V. about "The Power

Play" article (February 1988). built that power

Prices subject to change without notice Cards -Add 5%
supply on a breadboard for about $50.00.
and it covers all my needs.
Name --- City -_
Jackson. MI State Zip _ -_ -__
- _ Phone Number I )

r; Cashier's Check IT Money Order ri COD f ' Visa Mastercard

Acct $ Exp. Date
building the 'Rapid Fire" circuit (Septem-
ber 1988) noticed several discrepancies be-
Signature _ -_ -

tween the schematic and the printed- circuit FOR OUR RECORDS
board. believe the board is in error; am

that all products purchased, now and in the future. will only
- do hereby declare under penalty of perjury
be used on cable TV systems with proper
correct? authorization from local officials or cable company officials in accordance with all applicable federal and
E. P
Las Vega, NV
Dated - -- -_ Signed
were a couple of prob-
Yes, you are. There
lems with the board. There is a trace miss-
ing in the foil pattern. To correct that, add
Pacific Cable Company, Inc.
a jumper between the cathode of Dl and 73251/2 RESEDA BLVD., DEPT. # RESEDA, CA 91335
H -12
pin 3 of U1. Next, eliminate the connection
to J1 pin 8 and add a connection to J1 pin
(818) 716 -5914 No Collect Calls (818) 716 -5140
6 at the anode end of D1. Finally, reverse IMPORTANT: WHEN CALLING FOR INFORMATION
the NORM and AUTO labels on switch SI. Please have the make and model # of the equipment used in your area. Thank You


2112 25654 450ns 2 99 4116 -200 8451
16316384 200ns 2708 1024.8 OSOns 25V 1.95 80872 8 MHz 159.95
2114 102454 450ns 99 4n6 S0 ' 150,1s 2716 204858 450,1s 25V 3.49 8087 -t tO MHz 22995
MK4332 200ns 204858 350ns 25V 3.95 80287 6 MHz 179.95
21141.2 102454 200n5 1 49 3776851 b 2716 -1
TC5516 204858 25Ons 3 95 4154 -150 6553651 15Ons 20, 2732 409658 450ns 25V 315 80287 8 8 MHHZz 249.98
TMM2076 -200 204858 200,1,1 3 25 4164.120 6557651 120n5 3 ' . 27129 4096x8 250,15 21V 3.95 7
802810 1OM .91
1MM2016 -150 204858 150n5 3 29 4164 -100 6553651 10Ons J - 27C64 8192x8 250ns 12 5V 4.95 80387 -16 16 MHz 4327909 . 9;
TMM2016 -100 204858 100ns 4.29 TMS4164 6553651 15Ons 2 n 2764 819258 45Ons 12 5V 3.49 80387 -20 20 MHz 9 1

HM6116 -4 204858 200,15 4 95 7M544+6 1638454 150115 8 55 2764 -250 8192:8 250ns 12.5V 3 69 80387.25 25 MHz 999 9 ,

HM61t6 -3 204858 150n5 5 95 41128150 13107251 150ns 5.95 2764-200 8192x8 200ns 12.5V 4.25
HM6116LP -4
14M61161P -3
41256 -150
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HM6116LP-2 204858 120ns 695 41256 -120 26214451 120n5 1295 27C756 3276858 250115 12.5V 7.95 sr
HM6264LP-15 819258 150ns 995 41156100 2624/a IOOns 13A 27256 3276858 250,1s 12.5V 5.95 5
MM6764L P -12 8197x8 20,1V 10 95 41256.80 26714451 80ns 13.95 27256 -200 3276858 200ns 12 5V 7.95
HM43256LP -15 3276858 150ns 1295 HM51258100 26214451 100,15 1395 27512 6553658 250,1s 25V t.95 YEAR
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741512 22 7415139 39 7015260 .49
6532 5 95 8086 649 8274 4 95
PIN COMPATIBLE WITH 8088 741513 26 7415145 99 7415266 .39
6545A 395 8088 5 99 8275 16 95
741514 39 7415147 99 7415773 79
6551 2 95 8088 1 12 95 8279 2.49 741.515 26 74L5148 99 7415279 39
6551A 6 95 8088-2 7 95 8279-5 2 95 741520 7415151 7415280
V20' 5MHz 895 V20' 8MHz 1095 17 39 1 98
CMOS 8155 2 49 8282 3 95 nn 10 MHz 1295 V30 8MHz 1395 741521 22 7415153 39 7415283 .59
8156 2 95 8283 3.95 741522 22 7415154 1.49 7415290 89
3 95
2 25
795 495 REGULATORS 1618 2.95 741530 17 7415157 35 7415322 3.95
6800 8748
6800 I 95 '812T 49 7912K 149 1684 2.95 741537 26 .39 7415367 .39
Z-80 r UARTS
79 95 7415162 49
6802 295 78150 49 781.05 49 741538 26 7415368 .39
802868 249 95 74L542 39 7415163 39 7415373 .79
6803 3.95 '9057 59 78112 49
6809 295 Z80-CPU 25 '908T 59 79L05 741547 75 741.5164 49 7415374 .79

68809 5.99 2130A,CPU 179 7912T 59 79112 1 49

AY5-1013 395 741548 85 741_5165 65 7415375 15
6809E 2.95 2808-CPU 215 '91ST 59 LM3231 349 AY3.1015 495 741.551 17 7415166 95 7415377 .79
68809E 5.49 8205 3 29 280ACTC 691 805K 1 59 LM33RK 4 49A TR1602 395 741573 29 74L5169 95 7415390 1.19
6810 1.95 8212 1 49 280BC7C 4 25
2651 4 95 741574 24 74L5173 49 741_5393 79
IM6402 3.95 7415174
180B DART 695
r ADC0804
299 9334 75
68E171 1.85 8228 2 25 Z80A-DMA 5 95 1

6840 395 8237 3.95 280AP10 184 ADC0809 3.85 9368 2 85

`NS16450 10 954 741585 49 7415192 69 74L5645 .99
6845 2 75 82375 4 75 28013P10 4 75 154C0800 3 29 9602 6, 741586 22 7415193 69 7415670 89
195 741590 39 7415194 69 7415682 3.20
95 8238
4 49
2806.510 0 5 95
f)AC1022 595
INTERSIL 741592 49 7415195 69 7415688 240
CL7107 10.95
74LS93 74151% 74L5783
6850 95 8250 6 95 2806-510 95 5 MC 140818 1 95 MC3470 1 95 39 59 22.95
1 1
ICL7660 1 99 741.595 7415197
68850 1806.510 8728 29 MC3487 295 49 59 251.52571 280

75 8251
1 29
1.69 280B-S10
2 12 95

59 AY5-3600
ICL8038 3 85
7415107 34 7415221 59 261531 I 9
`68000 9 95 8253 1 59 Z8671 BASIC 9 95 ,DP8304 2 29 PRE' " 1CM7207A 5 95 74L5109 36 7415240 69 261532 1 95

r TL071
.69 LM380 89 XR2206 395 74HC00
21 74HC244 85 74HCT138 35
7400 74121 .29 74F240 1.29
71072 1.09 LM383 1 95 0R221t 795 74HC04 25 74HC245 85 74HCT139 55 7400 19 74123 49 74500 .29
TL074 195 LM386 89 LM2917 1.95 14HC08 25 74HC273 69 74HCT157 59 7402 19 74125 45 74502 .29
T1081 59 LM393 .45 CA3046 89 '4HC14 35 74HC367 69 74HC1161 79 7404 19 74150 1 35 74SO4 .29
11082 99 LM394H 5.95 CA3146 129 '4HC32 35 74HC373 69 74HC T240 89 7406 29 74151 .55 74508 35
TL084 149 LM399H 5.95 MC3373 129 74HC74 35 74HC390 79 74HCT244 89 7407 29 74153 55 74510 29
LM301 34 TL494 4.20 MC3470 195 '4HC138 45 74HC374 69 74HCT245 99 7408 24 74154 149 74532 .35
LM309K 1.25 71497 3 25 MC3480 8 95 74HC139 45 74HC4040 89 74HCT273 99 7410 19 74157 .55 74574 49
LM310 1.75 NE555 29 MC3487 295 74HC154 109 74HC TOO 25 74HCT373 99 7411 25 74159 185 74586 35
LM311 59 NE556 .09 LM3900 49 '4HC157 55 74HCT04 27 74HCT374 99 7414 49 74161 .69 745117 50
LM311H 89 NE558 79 LM3909 96 14HC161 65 74HCT08 25 74HCT393 .99 7416 25 74164 85 745124 2 75
LM311K 3 49 NE564 1 95 LM3911 2 25 74HC164 65 74HCT32 .27 74HCT4040 99 7017 25 74166 1.00 745138 79
LM312H 1.75 LM565 15 LM3914 189 ,'4141'175 59 74HCT74 45 74HCT4060 1.494 7420 19 74175 .89 745153 79


745163 1.29

LM323K 3 49 NE590 2 50 RC4136 25 4001 19 4078 65 4069 19 7442 49 14F00 .35 745175 .79
LM324 34 NE592 98 RC4558 69 4011 19 4040 69 4070 29 7445 69 74F02 35 745195 1.49
LM331 395 LM723 49 1M1360 49 4013 35 4042 59 4081 22 7447 89 74F04 .35 745240 1.49
LM334 119 LM733 as 75107 49 4015 29 4044 69 4093 49 7473 34 74F08 .35 745241 1.09
LM335 1.79 LM741 .29 75108 49 4816 29 4046 69 14411 995 7474 33 74F10 35 745244 1.49
LM336 175 LM747 69 75110 95 4017 49 4047 69 14433 1495 7475 45 74F32 35 745280 1.95
LM338K 449 MC1330 1.69 75150 95 4018 69 4049 29 14497 675 7476 35 74F64 55 745287 1.69
LM339 59 MC1350 1.19 75154 95 4020 59 4050 29 4503 49 7483 50 74F74 39 745288 189
LF347 2.19 LM1458 .35 75188 25 4021 69 4051 69 4511 69 7485 59 74F86 55 745299 295
1F353 59 LM1488 .49 75189 25 4021 25 4052 69 4518 85 7586 35 74F138 79 745373 189
11356 99 LM1489 .49 75451 39 4024 49 4053 69 4528 79 7489 2 15 74E139 79 745374 1.69
1F357 99 LM1496 85 75452 39 4025 25 4060 69 4538 95 7490 39 74F253 89 745471 4.95
,LM358 59 UL N2003 79 75477 129 ,4077 39 4066 29 4702 995A 7493 35 74E157 89 745571 2.95



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On page 36 of your October 198E issue, the

COMMUNICATIONS SCANNING CONTROLS schematic diagram (Fig. 2) for The "Solid -
BP91 -INTRO TO RA- I just read "Saxon on Scanners" in the Sep-
State Tesla Coil" shows the ground side of
DIO DXING.... $5.50. Ev- the power supply going to the emitters of
erything you need to know tember 1988 issue, and am disturbed by

about radio DXing and how the offer of information for modifying the Ra- the transistors. Obviously, if the circuit is wired
you can get into this fas-
dio Shack PRO -2004 scanner to receive the
up that way, no operating current would be
cinating hobby area. delivered to the high -voltage circuit, and
cellular mobile -telephone frequencies. When
hence it would not work.
I saw the original mention in the April issue
I assumed there would be little Interest. But,
/p..Mlwtr obviously, there are a number of people who Atlanta, GA
Neils tilw...
wish to eavesdrop on phone calls. Of course, you are correct. For proper op-
STATIONS GUIDE .... Icomment as the owner of three scanners eration, reroute the connection to the emit-
$6.95. New edition lists sta-
and a cellular phone. believe in the right
ters from the bottom of C3 to the top of that
tion site, country. frequency,
ERP provides for thou- of the individual to listen to general communica- capacitor. All should now work fine.
sands of short wave radio tions -and, indeed, feel that our police, fire,
stations. Nine sections REPLACEMENT PARTS
cover a variety of broadcast and government agencies may be kept on
services their toes knowing that countless listeners I enjoy reading your magazine, and I've no-
are out there. Those transmissions -as well ticed your emphasis on readers helping each
PROJECTS.... $5.50. as those of marine and aircraft radios, and other. This letter is in response to L.J.'s ques-
Practical antenna designs old -style, high -power car phones -were never tion in the September "Letter Box."
including active, loop, and
ferrite types that are simple intended to be picked up by only one re- The U1 op -amp (MC3401) for the "Wind
and inexpensive to build. ceiver. Their users are aware that others are Witcher" project (February 1988) can be re-
yet perform well Also in-
listening in on those shared frequencies. placed by an LM3900N. That's what used,
cluded are antenna ac- I

cessories The cellular -phone system, on the other and it turned out great.
hand, was designed for private, individual By the way, pin 7 is repeated twice in the
28 >sirrol.
M..ur Band phone calls. There is no reason for, or value schematic. The correct pin 7 should go to
.rrn. in, anyone else listening. The near- micro- ground.
.. $5.50. Shows how to wave frequencies, very low power, near-by R.F.S.
build 25 antennas starting reuse of channels, frequent channel changes Sun City. AZ
with a simple dipole and
working on up to beam, tri- as a vehicle moves, and lack of recogniz-
angle and even a mini rho- able identification eliminate the likelihood of MINIMUM ORDERS
DX; the conversations taking place should
We just received our first copy of Hands-on
have no interest to anyone who does not
Electronics (the August 1988 issue) here
4 8P132 -25 SHORT- have a sick mind. On a recent visit to a local
WAVE BROADCAST AN- at work. and was really impressed with the

$5.50. Good
parts store that carries scanners found two
article "Low- Battery Alarm. It presented a
antennas can be inexpen- customers engrossed in listening to one side solution to a problem I'd been working on.
sive. Here's 25 different
ones ranging from a simple
of a conversation in which a woman was jumped right in and called Jameco. as
describing -in graphic detail-her child's ill-

dipole, through helical de-

the article suggested, just to find out that
signs to a multi -band um- ness, apparently to a doctor.
brella. the $0.99 8211 would cost me $20.00-their
The FCC has been considering regula-
minimum order. called around locally, but

tions to ban scanners from receiving those no one sells or can order one or me.
BP136 -25 INDOOR frequencies. Articles like yours simply add Is this a new chip, or hard to get? Do you
AND WINDOW ANTEN- fuel to the fire. Any such ban, once enacted,
NAS.... $5.50. If you have a cross -reference to ECG or others?
is likely to lead to other bans of police and
can't put up a conventional
antenna because of where government reception. Aside from those pos- A.S.
you live. one of these 25 de- Addison, NY
sible ramifications, one must consider our
signs is likely to solve your
problem and deliver great continuing loss of privacy, and the immoral- Mimimum orders are a problem for hobby-
reception ity of unnecessarily furthering that loss.
ists, but unfortunately there are few ways
How would Mr. Saxon feel if his home -
around them. There are relatively few well -
phone conversations were being picked up
MAIL TO Electronic Technology Today Inc. stocked mail-order parts distributors left, and
PO. Box 240
inductively by his next -door neighbor? Would just about all have a minimum order or a
Massapequa Park. NY 11762-0240 he defend his neighbor's right to do so?
service charge for orders be.'ow a certain
Think about it. The manufacturers who
SHIPPING CHARGES IN USA AND CANADA amount. That comes about because of the
have deleted the cellular band deserve praise
cost of doing business by mail. Unless the
$0.01 to $5.00 ...$1.25 $30.01 to $40.00 .$5.00 and support for doing so. not criticism and
$5.01 to 10.00 ... $2.00 $40.01 to $50.00 $6.00
order exceeds a certain amount, retailers

plans to beat the system.

$10.01 to $20.00 .$3.00 $50.01 and above $7.50 .
actually can lose money filling an order. And
$20.01 to $30.00 54.00 E.F.W. Jr.
while $20 may seem high, it is less than
SORRY, No orders accepted outside of USA and West Roxbury, MA that charged by many long -established, mail -
order distributors.
Total price of merchandise $ HAVES AND NEEDS
Unfortunately, we don't have an ECG (or
Shipping (see chart) S
Subtotal S
I'm looking for two schematics. The first is other) cross reference for the 8211, nor an
Sales Tax (NYS only) S for a True Tone Model D117 2 -band table alternate source. Often, we buy components
Total Enclosed S radio. The second is for a Sears Model 1484, for several projects at a time. We suggest
chassis number 185.11040 guitar amp. I've the same approach. Get the catalogs from
Name tried my Sears service outlet with no luck. as many parts distributors as possible and
Address Larry E. Arnold try to lump your parts -buying together. You'd
City State Zip 608 Ellen Drive be surprised how quickly you can reach most
North Little Rock, AR 72117 distributor's minimums.

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(Version 3, Second Edition)
POWER SUPPLY AND ALL ELECTRNIC PARTS INCI (JP The opening chapters provide some back-
WG MANDAI Carole Boggs Matthews
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readers who use a network, information is is covered in detail. The Centronics par- SUPERCONDUCTIVITY:
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age and location, file sharing (and cautions connecting printers to computers, is also
by Jonathan L. Mayo
on sharing), communicating with other us- covered. The book examines video, power,
ers, and using different printers. and disk -drive hook -ups, as well as MIDI, Using easy -to- follow terminology, Jonathan
A detailed, DOS command message sec- the Musicai Instrument Digital Interface. Mayo presents the full spectrum of super-
tion, arranged alphabetically, is a quick and Computer Connection Mysteries Solved conductivity and its applications. He begins
convenient reference source. There are sev- is available for $18.95 from Howard W. with a brief explanation of the recent ad-
eral useful appendices -including special Sams & Company, 4300 West 62nd St., vances in high- temperature superconduc-
commands for users of COMPAQ, Epson, Indianapolis, IN 46268; Tel. 800-428 - tivity, and progresses to the more-techni-
Leading Edge. and Zenith operating sys- SAMS. cal aspects. The properties of supercon-
tems. A handy, tear -out "Quick Reference" ductivity -what it is, what it can and cannot
card that highlights important DOS keys
and frequently used DOS commands is also
MS -DOS User's Guide, 3rd Edition costs
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tion, P.O. Box 90, Carmel, IN 46032; Tel.
1- 800 -428 -5331.


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do, and its advantages and drawbacks
are described, and a thorough history is
- mative schematics, tables, charts, photo-
graphs, and diagrams are included.
nize and defeat electronic -surveillance de-
vices. There is also plenty of practical ad-
provided, to help the reader fully under- The book provides a thorough tutorial vice concerning risk assessment, how to
stand and appreciate the science. in the basic principles of sound, hearing, select the proper system, and how to in-
The impact of its applications is dis- and acoustics; sound pick-up, amplification stall and test systems.
cussed, including their effect on the elec- and reproduction; the audio spectrum and The 292 -page book is designed as a leam-
tric lines, generators, and motors that com- its characteristics; and radio- and television - ing tool. It contains dozens of informative
prise our power systems; and on the high - stereophonic broadcasting. It takes an in- illustrations and photographs, and a com-
density, high -speed integrated circuits used depth look at both digital and analog proc- prehensive glossary of security -electronics
in today's electronics. In science and medi- essing and recording -on disc and on terms. Each chapter concludes with a self
cine, the book examines containment of tape-and provides a helpful overview of quiz; answers are supplied at the end of
fusion reactions and increasing the power related digital and analog noise -reduction the book.
of particle accelerators, and medical -imag- techniques.
ing systems. Transportation applications in-
Understanding Security Electronics is
Such state-of- the -art technologies as com-
available for $16.95 from Howard W. Sams
clude electromagnetic trains and electric pact -disc and digital audio-tape recording
& Company, 4300 West 62nd St., Indian-
automobiles. and reproduction are examined. Complete
apolis, IN 46268; Tel. 800 -428 -SAMS.
The future of superconductivity is also details about studio -program production,
explored. The book discusses advanced post-production, and editing, and related CIRCLE 95 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
research and applications, international ef- techniques for film recording and reproduc-
forts and competition, and governmental tion are also included. Of particular interest
influences. Dozens of relevant photographs to specialists in the field is the extensive MORE ADVANCED ELECTRONIC
and illustrations accompany the text, and section devoted to industry standards and
a comprehensive glossary is included. recommended practices.
by R.A. Penfold
Superconductivity: The Threshold of a The Audio Engineering Handbook is avail-
New Technology is available for $12.95 able in hardcover for $79.50 from McGraw- This sequel to Electronic Security Devices
from Tab Books Inc., Blue Ridge Summit, Hill Book Company, 1221 Avenue of the (Order No. BP56) contains slightly more
PA 17294 -0850; Tel. 1- 800 -233 -1128. Americas, New York, NY 10020. complex security projects, but most of them
should still be within the capabilities of elec-
tronics hobbyists -even beginners.
Although the projects are not excessively
techniques; it is assumed that the reader
edited by K. Blair Benson by John E. Cunningham
revised by Joseph J. Carr
There have been revolutionary develop-
ments in audio technology-including noise- In today's world, everyone is concerned More Advanced
reduction, digital -processing, and laser - about security. This book covers all aspects Electronic
recording systems -in recent years. This of electronic -security systems -basic prin-
authoritative, 1040 -page handbook is de- ciples, applications, and advantages and Projects
signed to help audio engineers, and any- disadvantages of various methods.
one who designs, maintains, or operates The book presents an overview of both
professional- or consumer-audio equipment, electronic- security measures, and the coun-
to update their knowledge and broaden their termeasures used by criminals. The em-
base of expertise. phasis is on deterrence, by making intru-
sion and theft difficult, time -consuming; and
attention -getting. The installation and prin-
ciples of proprietary, central- station, and lo-
cal -alarm systems are described.
Virtually every type of electronic -secu-
rity system is examined. Electromechanical,
photoelectronic, infrared, ultrasonic, and mi- is already familiar with standard burglar -
crowave intrusion detectors are discussed, alarm techniques. The section dealing with
in terms of how they work and how they computer -based systems, however, does
are set up. Proximity detectors, including proviJe general background information on
Beat -frequency, Bridge-type, and FET de- that subject.
tectors; alarm and signalling systems, from The projects presented include a pas-
simple bells to complex "auto- dialing" sys- sive infrared detector that can be used with
tems; audio and video monitoring; metal, a variety of lens systems, a fiber -optic loop
magnetic -gradient, and explosives detec- alarm, an unusual ultrasonic intruder detec-
tors; time, key-operated, electrical- combina- tor, and computer -based security systems.
tion switches, and card -lock access -con- The description of each project is accom-
trol systems; and hold -up and assault panied by relevant illustrations.
The Audio Engineering Handbook is a alarms are described in detail.
The roles of digital electronics and com- More Advanced Electronic Security Pro-
collection of contributions from 33 experts
puters in designing and implementing se- jects (Order No. BP190) costs $7.95, in-
at such companies as Dolby Labs, Sony,
curity systems are explained. There are sec- cluding shipping. It is available from Elec-
Philips, and RCA Records. It encompasses
tions on computer crimes and their detec- tronics Technology Today, P.O. Box 240,
all the latest methods of the generation,
Massapequa, NY 11762.
transmission, storage, and reproduction of tion and prevention, protecting automobiles
sound and audio signals. Over 700 infor- and their components, and how to recog- CIRCLE 97 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD

BUILD YOUR OWN LASER, that is capable of illuminating low -level tor's License, the Marine Radio Operator
PHASER, ION RAY GUN & OTHER clouds and can be used for special effects, Permit, and the Radar Endorsement ex-
WORKING SPACE -AGE PROJECTS light shows, long -range sighting, and ho- aminations. The tenth edition includes the
lography. The magnetic -field distortion de- 1984 FCC rules and regulations, and criti-
by Robert E. lannini cal information needed to pass the techni-
tector lets you listen to, measure, and re-
If you've been wanting to get involved with cord solar activity, aircraft. UFO's. and other cian- certification tests given by various non -
tomorrow's technologies, the do- it- yourself objects by sensing the slightest change in government certifying organizations. Some
guidance offered in this book will prove in- Earth's magnetic -force field. of the new topics covered are digital -logic
valuable. It demonstrates how to build an Detailed building instructions for each pro- circuits. op -amps, phase - locked loops, mo-
array of practical and just- for -fun projects ject are reinforced by plenty of illustrations bile -radio equipment, receiver sensitivity.
using workable lasers, along with ion - and complete parts lists. Listings of parts field- effect transistors. RF interference,
producing devices, ultra- high- frequency suppliers for all the materials needed to modulators and mixers, and more.
construct the high -tech devices are also Typical FCC -type questions are pre-
- Will UMW, included. sented for each element of the examina-
LAtikR, RI AtiER.
l ION RAY 1,17s
t711F11 11p11iIV: tiPAl1 .WI PIMNII Iti Build Your Own Laser, Phaser, Ion Ray
Gun and Other Working Space -Age Pro-
tions. a clear answer follows every ques-
tion. In most cases, a short discussion
designed to give the reader a thorough knowl-
jects costs $16.95. It is available from Tab
edge of the specific topic-is also included.
Books Inc., Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17294-
Each section concludes with an FCC -style
0850; Tel. 1- 800 -233 -1128.
practice test. and the correct answers are
CIRCLE 98 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD provided at the end of the book. An exten-
sive section on troubleshooting offers prac-
tice examples in solving the kinds of prob-
RADIO OPERATOR'S LICENSE O &A lems that appear on the actual exams.
(Tenth Edition)
Radio Operator's License Q &A Manual
(Tenth Edition) is available for $16.95 from
power supplies, Tesla coils, and security by Milton Kaufman Hayden Books, A Division of Howard W.
devices such as infrared viewers and a Sams. 4300 West 62nd St., Indianapolis,
This study guide contains all the informa-
voice-operated, wireless phone transmitter. IN 46268.
tion necessary for the successful comple-
You'll learn how to build a hand -held,
tion of the General Radiotelephone Opera- CIRCLE 95 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
battery -operated. visible laser -light source


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and current over a wide range, make the
80i -kW well- suited for industrial- and utility -
service applications, and for energy -man-
agement needs.
Its measurement range is from 1- to 1300 -
Automatic Tuning and
balancing for amps DC, from 1- to 1000 -amps AC. and
the novice or pro. 0.5 to 330 kW. The switch -selectable out-
put signal is 1 -mV per amp or 1 -mV per
kW. For conducting energy surveys, the
FREE New Products power factor can also be calculated from

Metal 1r, ninon? tub/intuited in /r,rmuliun on new

data measured by the 80i -kW.
Special voltage -test leads-with alliga-

Detector /n ?dur IS covered in Ihic Aydin? from the

mun?/ucntrcr. pleucr circle doe Ilenl'c code
?timber on nie Free Inlormulion Cord
tor clips for safety -are provided with the
probe. Those test leads provide a voltage
input that, in conjunction with the current
Test Report input, gives a readout in kilowatts on the
Reprinted from Lost Treasure The rugged carrying case provides space
magazine. Fisher's automatic, easy -to- ANALOG -TO- DIGITAL SCOPE CONVERTER for additional accessories. making it a port-
use, low cost metal detector turns A new device from B &K- Precision cuts the able service -tool kit that can be custom-
Treasure Hurling into a hobby that pays ized to meet individual needs. Also included
high cost of owning a digital- storage oscil-
off. Find old coins, relics, jewelry, ar- with the probe are an instruction booklet,
loscope. The Model 2501 Digital Storage
tifacts, yo name it.
Adapter adds the features of a true digital -
The 1210 -X comes with a no- nonsense
storage oscilloscope to almost any analog
five year warranty backed by the oldest
oscilloscope. It provides dual -channel op-
and proudest name in the business.
Write: Fisher Research Laboratory, Dept. eration, waveform -store and -magnify ca-
HOE,1005I Street, Los Banos, CA 93635. pabilities, an output connector for a hard -
copy plotter, and 10- megasample -per-
second capability.


Save Over $50

On Commercial Units
See Radio Electronics Map. Constructora
Project Feature Mey 86

Bench Top Power Supply

0 -30 Volt 1 Amp Kit The Model 2501 is easy to use, even

Looks so Good your Friends for those with no previous digital- storage
won t Believe you Built It!' scope experience. Once it's connected to __
the analog oscilloscope-with a simple three -
lead hookup -that scope can be used to
capture single -shot events. to store and mag-
nify waveforms for analysis, and to view battery, and quick- reference guide.
pre -trigger information at zero. 50 . or The 80i -kW has a suggested list price
100%. of $395.00. For more information, contact
rns Great It provides digital- storage memory of John Fluke Mfg. Co.. Inc., P.O. Box C9090,
power supply is a must for every
Elctronrc Enthusiast and Electronic Student Use it to 2048 -8. The vertical resolution is 8 -bit, Everett, WA 98206: Tel. 800 -443 -5353,
power and test circuits and 1000 other uses Very easy I), ext 77.
build - even the beginner constructor should have no and sampling is 10 megasamples per sec-
trouble - Just follow the plain English step by step ond to 2.5 samples per second.
FEATURES: Output variable between 3 and 30 Volts The Model 2501 Digital Storage Adapter
Short circuit Protection Full Amp output over entire
has a suggested list price of $795.00. For
voltage range Load switching Current limiting fully
'variable -twin selectable ranges Dual Scale Meter additional information. contact B&K- Preci- SWEEP FUNCTION GENERATOR
Separate earth terminal provided Housed in
Deluxe 'ABS` instrument case sion, Division of Maxtec International Cor-
SPECIFICATIONS: Output Voltage - 3 to 30 Volts B &K Precision's Model 3017 sweep func-
poration, 6470 West Cortland St., Chicago,
Output Current - O to Amp (fully variable) Load tion generator provides a full range of ca-

Regulation - Better than 0 29% from 0 to full load IL 60635.

Output Ripple - Less than 2mV WAS pabilities- including variable -duty cycle
Visa I Mastercard holders may
CIRCLE 74 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD to fill the need for an accurate signal source
Phone Order. After validating your
purchase we guarantee same day despatch for sine, triangle, and square waveforms
(Or Mall Check or Money Order)
as well as TTL- and CMOS -pulse signals.
Its special features include internal- or ex-
Phone Your Order - We Guarantee ternal -sweep source capability, with continu-
Same Day Despatch The 80i -kW current power probe from John
Fluke Co. is a clamp -on multimeter acces- ously adjustable -sweep width to a maxi-
K 3210 Fantastic Value $59.95 sory that measures DC current, AC cur- mum 1000:1 ratio. The Model 3017 covers
Add $5 Ship and Delivery Cont. USA
rent, and AC power in kilowatts. It accepts from 0.2 Hz to 2 MHz in seven ranges.
11930 31st Court. St. Petersburg conductors of up to 2' 4- inches in diameter. Separate outputs are available for TTL
FLORIDA U.S.A 33716 That, along with its ability to measure power CMOS and other waveforms. For engineer-
Phone 811572-9010
ing applications, a variable -DC offset simu- The Model 3017 sweep function genera- a peak capacity of 180 watts. Frequency
lates the presence of a DC signal on the tor has a suggested price of $319.00. For response is 38 Hz to 24 kHz.
generator output. That is useful for match- additional information, contact B &K Preci- The Model PL2690 speaker system sells
ing the DC voltage at the signal-input point sion, Division of Maxtec International Corp., for $150.00. For more information, contact
to prevent changes when the test signal 6470 West Cortland St., Chicago, IL 60635. Phase Linear, 4136 North United Way.
is applied, for evaluating the effects of DC Schiller Park, IL 60176
bias on AC circuits. for shifted- operated CIRCLE 77 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
points of a DC-coupled amplifier, etc.
The Model 3017 features adjustable - TWO -WAY CAR SPEAKERS
sweep time from 0.5 to 30 seconds. with Phase Linear's PL2690 is a two -way. TELECOMMUNICATIONS TEST SET
linear or logarithmic operation. Sweep -
molded and felted graphite cone speaker The AR -180T telecommunications test set
start and -stop frequencies can be set in-
system. With graphite woofer cones and from American Reliance is packed with the
dependently. Sine -wave distortion is less
polycarbonate tweeters, the speakers offer functions and features needed by telecom -
than 1 percent at 100 kHz. with square-
spectacular transient response, high effi- munications and data -communications
ciency. and great power handling. For technicians. Those features include level
measurement, noise measurement, AC
." , soamoodo ' ` volts, DC volts. DC current. and resistance.

, , 1

4110.416.6 In addition, the unit will generate four

) .o -A precision tones for frequency- response
A true -RMS AC converter is used for AC-
voltage and level measurements. For noise
measurements, the unit incorporates a built -
wave symmetry of better than 98 percent in "C- message" noise -weighting filter.
at 100 kHz and triangle -wave linearity of sophisticated custom installations, the 6 v The AR -180T is switchable between
98 percent. The unit's output level is con- 9 -inch speakers also have bi- amplifiable either 600 -ohm terminated or bridge
tinuously adjustable from zero to 20 dB. terminals. measurements at an impedance of 1

A 20 -dB -step attenuator extends the range The low -mass, high- rigidity cones offer megohm. An audible continuity beeper is
from zero to 40 dB. 80 -watts continuous power handling with also featured.

Stay in touch with the technology that is affecting our
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L' Master Publishing. Inc 'Texas residents add slate and local sales lax on subtotal HE 128 1


backed by a one -year limited warranty. Op- RAM cartridge costs $19.99. For further in-
tional accessories include a long -life. 800 - formation, contact INTEC. Inc. (International
mA hour NiCad battery pack, a desk -top Toys. Electronics. and Games). 2674 N.
drop -in rapid charger, a five -unit multi - First Street. San Jose. CA 95134.
charger, and tone-coded squelch. An "in-
trinsically safe" model- designed for use
in hazardous, potentially explosive environ-
ments-is also available. PANAVISE WORKHOLDING SYSTEM
The VHF Communicator costs $429.00;
the UHF model costs $489.00. For further Designed for maximum flexibility, the Pana-
Vise Wbrkholding System features several
information, contact T -Berry Electronics Cor-
interchangeable components. The system
poration, 15 Technology Drive, Noblesville,
will work securely in any position for preci-
IN 46060; Tel. 800- 648 -8683.
sion assembly, adjustment, soldering. or
CIRCLE 79 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD any similar operation.


The standard PanaVise (Model #676301)
can use any of three interchangeable jaws
nylon ( #676343). nylon with
JC, The Junior Computer, an electronic - ( #67B344). or steel ( #67B353). The unit

learning aid for children 6 years and older, fits into either of two screw -down Pana-
is designed to look like a laptop computer Positioner base components, a 33 4 -inch
The AR- 180T, including test leads, car-
rying case, operator's manual, battery. with a pop -up screen and built -in carrying high -profile base ( #676127) or a 2'/2 -inch
handle. It incorporates 16 learning act-
spare fuse, and a one -year warranty. sells
for a suggested retail price of $249.95. For
ivities that are designed to be fun and
further information, contact American Reli- educational.
INTEG, Inc's JC speaks instructions in
ance Inc.. 9241 East Valley Blvd., Rose-
a clear, easily understood voice. Two op-
mead, CA 91770.
tional, plug -in learning cartridges are avail-
CIRCLE 78 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD able. The ROM Activity Cartridge comes
with a story book for learning additional
spelling and vocabulary. The RAM Cartridge
lets users create and store animations and
T-Berry Electronics' Communicator, a crys- music.
tal- controlled. two-way radio, is an easy -to-
use communications system. Weighing only
20 ounces, it fits easily in the palm of one's
Available in VHF or UHF, the Communi-
cator produces up to 5 watts on its six avail-
able channels, giving it a range of several
miles. It is encased in a rigid, die -cast metal ,ow- profile base ( #3826305). Another op-
chassis, ensuring years of reliable perform- tion is a vacuum base ( #676154) that ad-
ance. The radio's easy- access controls in- heres to almost any smooth surface.
clude a Hi /Low Power switch for conserv- All components are die -cast from rug-
ing energy, and a Tone OniOff switch for ged zinc- and -aluminum alloy, and reinforced
optional tone -coded privacy. Indicator lights with steel for extra strength.
are provided for Channel -Busy verification (Continued on page 22)
and Transmit'Low Battery warnings.

JC's touch -sensitive keyboard contains
76 keys: it has 36 alphabet and number
keys, a 12 -key cursor -control keyboard, and
18 function keys. The unit, which runs on

four C -size alkaline batteries, turns itself _

off if left unattended for 5 minutes. too

"Computer' games challenge users to o
supply missing letters of words, to spell the
names of objects appearing on the screen.
to decipher scrambled words, and to guess
the meaning of on- screen images. There
are three levels of addition, subtraction, mul-
tiplication, and division exercises. JC's graph-
The Communicator comes with a 9.6- ics offer puzzle -reassembly and image - . --1J=-
volt, 500 -mA- per -hour NiCad- battery pack, duplication features.
a wall-mount battery charger, a flexible an- JC. The Junior Computer, has a sug-
tenna, and an operator's manual. It is gested retail price of $69.95. The optional Vl-




The CIE Microprocessor Trainer heir s you to learn how circuits with
microprocessors function in comput?rs.

START WITH CIE. the handy reply coupon or card below to:
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NEW PRODUCTS curreny capability and superior sound at changes to match each of the three sources.
a relatively low cost. A palm -size wireless- remote control also
(Continued from page 18)
By using output devices with an extra accesses the main functions of all three
The standard PanaVise costs $35.95. The margin of safety, the TA -1A is able to de- sources.
two nylon jaws cost $4.25 each, and the liver peak currents of 10 -amps per channel Each source has its own illuminated func-
steel jaw costs $4.95. The high -profile, low - into low- impedance loads. It provides ex- tion legends. When a new source is acti-
profile, and vacuum PanaPositioners cost ceptionally good performance with "difficult" vated. the user hears a beep to confirm it.
$16.50. $16.95, and $26.95, respectively. speakers. Its unusually high voltage gain and a corresponding marker lights in the
For more information, contact Jensen Tools, enables the tone controls to be incorpo- corner of the switch area.
7815 South 46th St., Phoenix, AZ 85044. rated into the output stage itself. That elimi- There is another audio -control setting dis-
nates the need for a separate tone -control play for volume. balance, bass, treble. and
CIRCLE 81 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD fader. Those adjustments are confirmed by
amplifier and provides a more direct signal
path through the amplifier. indicators on the edge of the panel. The
CQ -R9550 audio head unit also features
muting, loudness. two-step dimmer, and il-
Laser Photonics' THE POINT is a hand- luminated power switches, and an auto-
held laser device designed to replace the matic antenna lead.
standard wooden pointer in classrooms and
at sales conferences and business meet-

ings. Its operating range of up to 100 feet
permits the speaker to "work the room;" it
is no longer necessary to stand next to the -)4...41..41104 . 1i
display board to point out specific details.
The attention -getting device is a port-
The tone controls are designed to per- ( :
mit alterations in bass and treble response
able, rechargeable, battery -powered laser without midrange coloration. They provide
pointer that weighs less than one pound a maximum boost or cut of ' 10 dB at the
and measures only 7' 2 x 3''4 1' 2 inches.
frequency extremes, without changing the
The built -in receiver has 24- station pre-
With it, the presenter can stand anywhere response in the two -octave midrange band
in the room and aim a steady, powerful,
sets (12 FM and 12 AM) and preset scan;
(300 Hz to 1200 Hz). The TA -1A's defeat -
it can be tuned manually or by scanning.
thin (1 -mm) beam of bright red light at the able "Loudness Contour" compensates for
It will automatically preset 12 stations when
object of attention. loss in hearing sensitivity at low listening
traveling out of range of the local preset
levels by increasing in effect as volume is
stations. A dynamic -range controller avoids
sudden fluctuations in volume, and an FM-
Nakamichi's "Isolated- Ground To-
optimizer circuit controls stereo separation,
pology"-whereby the positive and nega-
treble, and muting. Multipath distortion is
tive supplies are regulated by passing cur-
suppressed automatically.
rent between the two supplies instead of
The cassette player features tape -pro-
between each supply and ground-prevents
gram search, allowing the user to skip to
power -supply current from flowing in the
the start of any song up to nine songs ahead
ground system. The audible result is im-
or eight songs behind the current position.
proved signal -to -noise ratio and musical defi-
It also has tape -scan. repeat. and blank -
nition, and stable imaging.
skip features. To prevent damage. the CO-
The TA -1 A's quartz -synthesized tuner pro-
R9550 automatically disengages the pinch
vides manual or auto -seek tuning and 10
roller when it is switched to the CD or radio
THE POINT can be operated continu- station presets. In addition to its CD and
mode. Play resumes immediately upon re-
ously or intermittently for an hour before tape- monitor inputs, it features a third line -
turn to the tape mode. The tape player has
requiring recharging, or can be used con- level input to switch the audio feed from
a double -cut narrow -gap head to optimize
tinuously with a 110 -volt wall adapter. (Re- a video source. A subsonic filter, built into
head -to -head contact. a Dolby Noise Re-
charging time is 12 to 14 hours; it has built - the phono preamp, prevents tape and
duction system, a metal -tape selector. and
in overcharge protection.) The unit fully com- speaker overload when recording or play-
plies with the Bureau of Radiological Stan- ing a warped record.
The Technics CX-DP 11, an optional trunk -
dards' 21CFR 1040.10. The TA -1A high- definition tuner ampli-
mounted, 12 -disc CD changer. can also be
The laser pointer, complete with AC wall fier has a suggested retail price of $329.00.
controlled with the CO-R9550. CD func-
charger and shatterproof carrying case, For further information, contact Nakamichi
America Corporation, 19701 South Vermont
tions- accessible from both the touch -
costs $339.00, including shipping. In quan-
sensitive front panel and the remote con-
tities of five or more, THE POINT costs Avenue, Torrance, CA 90502.
trol- include 35 -step random -access pro-
$239.00. For further information, contact CIRCLE 83 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD gramming, skip, intro -scan memory scan,
Laser Photonics Inc., 12351 Research Park-
and random play.
way, Orlando, FL 32826; 1- 800 -624 -3628.
The CQ -R9550 also has a built -in stereo
CIRCLE 82 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD amplifier. A preamp output and a built-in
With Technic's CQ -R9550 audio head unit, fader permit almost unlimited system ex-
the user can control the functions of its pansion.
HIGH -DEFINITION TUNER AMPLIFIER The suggested retail price for the CO-
quartz -digital receiver. its full -logic cassette
Nakamichi's TA -1A high -definition tuner player, or an optional CD changer by sim- R9550 is $750.00. For further information,
amplifier is a 35- watts -per -channel AM, FM ply tapping a touch -sensitive face on the contact Technics, One Panasonic Way, Se-
stereo receiver. Its custom -designed dis- front panel. That LCD face serves as the caucus. NJ 07094.
crete- output circuitry provides high peak- control and display panel; it actually CIRCLE 84 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD

Install your own auto burglar alarm system,
save a few bucks, and give the perpetrator an earful!
Imagine you've parked and left your. after all you've been through, to make Alarm System features an ultrasonic
car in an unfamiliar neighborhood, a rock cry out in pain. sensor that bathes the interior of the
only to find upon your return that the Let's face it, a whole lot of sweat vehicle with high- frequency sound
car is held suspended in the air by four went into the purchase of your modest waves, which, when disrupted, trigger
milk crates (the tires are long gone), carriage. And you can ill afford to let the alarm. Protection is also provided
the windows have been knocked out some "night crawler" slither in and mis- for doors, hood, and trunk. The system
and the sound system is missing. To top appropriate your goods. Fortunately, also features a 12- second entry /60-
it off, a few key parts (such as half of the one firm (seeing the plight of those on second exit delay, automatic reset,
components that make up the engine a tight budget) has provided the an- module- mounted valet /panic switch,
compartment) have mysteriously van- swer; install the Audiovox Security and a high -power siren. An optional
ished from beneath the hood. And you AA -9135 Ultrasonic Passive Alarm Sys- motion detector is also available.
know what, no one saw or heard a tem yourself and cut your cost to less The Audiovox AA-9135 system is easy
to install. First disconnect both nega-
thing. How's that for a mystery?
You vow to go out and have the best
than half of what you'd expect to pay
for an alarm system with professional
he's done it a few times more than
- tive and positive battery terminals.
Then decide where the siren is to be
auto burglar -alarm system that money
can buy installed in your (now re- you -installation. Sound interesting? mounted; under the hood in the en-
stored) prized possession, only to be Read on. The best is yet to come! gine compartment is probably the
dissuaded from your mission by the best location. It will be necessary to
nemesis of the common man-a big System Installation. The Audiovox drill four small mounting holes at the
price tag, but little money. It's enough, Security AA -9135 Ultrasonic Passive site chosen for the siren.
Mount the Alarm System VALET/PANIC
switch, out of sight, perhaps under-
neath the dashboard in the passenger
compartment, but in a place where it
can easily be reached in case of an
emergency. Run the interconnecting
four -conductor color -coded wire har-
ness provided (terminating in a four -
conductor plug) from the valet;panic
switch to the siren in the engine corn -
partment, and connect it to the
matching four -conductor socket.
(There is only one that matches.)
Mount the ultrasonic sensor in the
passenger compartment as did. If I

your auto has a brake light in the rear

window, the brake light housing pro-
vides excellent cover. The ultrasonic
sensor's cord terminates in an ordinary
.. .l. L . phono plug, which mates with a pho-
Mount the ultrasonic sensor in passenger compartment. 1/ your auto has a no jack at the rear of the siren. The wire
brake light in the rear window, the brake light housing provides excellent corer. (Continued on page 96)
disabling the oscillator and inhibiting
the alarm.

Think However, if the ignition is turned off

while the lights are on, power is ap-
plied to the 555 and Ql is turned off,
and the alarm starts.

Tank Switch S1 is an optional override. If

you desire to use the system for park-
ing, for example, you can disable the
alarm circuit with that switch.
By Byron G. Wels -Sam Jaffe, Brooklyn, NV
Thanks Sam. This is the sort of thing
we're looking for! Your Fips book is on
THE UBIQUITOUS 555 the way.
Continuity Tester A friend who works
Before you can play any game, sistor circuits. Nowadays you can for a fairly large electronics company
you've got to know the rules-and hardly see a circuit that doesn't use a went to the stock room to check out a
how to be a winner. Think Tank wants 555. We've gotten so many offerings VOM so that he could "ring out" a ca-
you to submit your own favorite sche- that we assembled all of them here. ble he had just put together, only to
matics and share them with your fellow find that they were all in use and he'd
readers. Now that does not mean that Lights -On Warning. How many times have to wait for at least another day.
you can freely copy a schematic from have you gotten out of your car and So we put this little continuity- tester cir-
another magazine or a book and send left the lights on? It's really no big deal, cuit together in my basement work-
it in. That's called plagiarism, and the because when you get out to the car in shop.
legal penalties can be pretty stiff. the morning, you'll find that the lights The continuity tester has the advan-
We also are limited as to space. We are out-because the battery is dead. tage of an audible indication of con-
can't use circuits with more than one or The circuit in Fig. is designed to help
1 tinuity, so he doesn't have to take his
two solid -state devices. A transistor keep that from happening. If you eyes off his work to read a meter. Now it
and an IC are fine. Two transistors are leave the light switch on and turn the sits on his bench at work, and he's al-
OK, as are two ICs. So don't submit a ignition off, that little gem sounds an ready been asked for the schematic
twenty- transistor amplifier circuit...it will alarm to remind you to turn off the several times.
never see the light of the printed page. lights. The box has two external test leads
We also have to put some text in with Because power for the circuit is pi- labelled POSITIVE and NEGATIVE. Put a
your circuit, so always add a descrip- rated from the car's side lights, the cir- dead short between them, indicating
tion of the circuit's application, why
you liked it, and -most important
how it works!
- cuit can't oscillate unless the lights are
on. The reset pin on the 555 connects to
transistor Q1. The base of Q1 is con-
continuity, and you get a 2 -kHz beep;
with a 5000 -ohm resistance between
them, it's a 1 -kHz beep; and at 80,000
So what do you get for all that? Back nected through R1 to the ignition auxili- ohms, it's a 100 -kHz signal.
in the early days of radio, our founder, ary terminal on the car's fuse box. Because the current flowing in the
Mr. Hugo Gernsback, used to write a When the ignition is turned on, power is circuit is low, the circuit can be used
special feature article for every April supplied to the base of 671, turning it on. around semiconductors with no
issue. The hero of those articles was With 671 turned on, pin 4 of U1 is tied low, damage. The circuit is seen in Fig. 2. It is
one Mohammed Ulysses Fips. To an
electronics enthusiast, the "Fips" sto-
ries, as they came to be known, re- R2
sulted in gales of laughter. But so 1K
knowledgeable was Gernsback, and +v
such a clever author, that people who
didn't have the know -how in the sub-
ject often tried to actually duplicate IGNITION
the experiments-with disconcerting AUXILLARY
We've assembled all of those arti-
cles into a book of some of the funniest
reading you'll ever do-provided that
you know one end of a resistor from
another. We sell the book for $12.95
plus postage, but if we use one of your
circuits, we'll send you one absolutely
free of charge! Now let's get started.
Before the 555 timer arrived on the Fig. I. Power for the Lights -On Warning circuit is pirated from the car's side
scene, we had everything from time - lights. The heart of the circuit is a 555 oscillator/timer that's activated
delay relays to complex timer-tran- and de- activated by way of a control signal applied to the base of Ql.
a conventional 555 astable circuit with
the test leads in series with the charg-
ing resistor. The output drives a small
loudspeaker Because the current at
the leads is unidirectional, from
positive to negative, you can use this
device for testing diodes, or to perform
simple diode tests on transistor junc-
Be careful when doing on -board
tests. Sometimes you can get strange
results due 4o sneak paths through
power supplies and the like. Anyway,
my friend is happy with his continuity
tester and so are some of his friends. I
ticket to
hope you are too!
-James Condon, Ft. Smith, AK
New solid -state and digital
TV sets, stereos, and vid-
eorecorders are tougher to re-
a huge selection
Good going Jim. All circuits don't
have to be complex to be good. In
pair than old- fashioned tube
type sets and require special
training for the service tech-
nician who works on them.
of electronic parts.
fact, we figure that by puffing in a
Only a few states have laws
three-way rotary switch and adding requiring competency tests
the necessary resistors, this would fm licensing technicians who
repair consumer electronics,
make a fine code -practice oscillator but fifteen years ago the In-
with a choice of three different tones! ternational Society of Cer-
tified Electronic Technicians
You've earned your copy of the Fips !CET) began its own certifica-
book. Hope you like it! tion program to qualify these
technicians and those in in-
dustry. To carry the CET des-
ignation, technicians must

have four years experience
and pass a rigid examination
on general electronics and a
TEST specific area of expertise such
PROBES as audio or radio-TV.
{ Many consumers look for a
Certified Electronic Techni-
cian in the shop when they
need any electronic item re-
Free Consumer Checklist
A consumer checklist for
selecting a service shop is av-
The all -new MCM Electronics Catalog is like having
your own reserved, front -row seat to the best
,j 1 aott
electronics parts and components show in town!
With nearly 11,000 items (most of them in-stock and
Fig. 2. The Contircit.v Tester feeds a Modern electronic equip-
voltage through the positive probe to the ment such as digital TVs ready for shipment in 24 hours), you'll be able to
or stereos should be re-
circuit -under -test, while the negative paired by specially trained spend less time looking for the products you need
probe serves as the return line. Voltage people. and more time watching your profits and customer
returning to the Tester through the nega- ailable free by sending a satisfaction grow! So, order your FREE copy today
tive probe triggers the circuit, giving stamped. self- addressed en- and discover why MCM gets nothing but standing
un audible indication of continuity. velope to: Checklist. 1SCET,
2708 West Berry, Fort Worth. ovations from our customers!
TX 76109. The list reminds

Courteous Courtesy Light. The so-

consumers to check such
items as "Does the business For your FREE copy,
have the parts for your par-
called "courtesy" light in a typical car
is a misnomer. Sure, when you open the
ticular brand ? ". "Did you get
an estimated price ? ", and
"Did you check this company
door to get in, the light inside comes with the Retter
Bureau ?"
us 1- 800 -543 -4330
on. But after you close the door, when
you need the light the most, to find the In Ohio, call 1- 800-762 -4315
ignition switch, etc., the light goes out, In Alaska or Hawaii, call 1- 800 - 858 -1849
leaving you in the dark. The circuit
shown in Fig. 3 keeps the courtesy light MCM ELECTRONICS
on for 30 seconds after you close the 858 PARK OR.
CENTERVILLE. OH 45459 -4072
door. A PREMIER Company
The lead from the door switch is re-
moved and connected to the 555 cir- Source No. HO -2'

- -1

10052 '



R3 L_ --J

S1 \ S2
C2 Cl 01
DOOR 0.1 '447 2N3053

$ = _ /GROUND
Fig 3. The Courteous Courtesy Light circuit -built around a 555 (configured
as monostable multis'ihrator) that's controlled by the auto's door switches-
Discover keeps the courtesy light on for 30 seconds after the door is closed.
one of most
incredible bons of
electricity and electron- cuit. The 555 is arranged in a connected in its equal mark /space
ics books to come along
in years. You'll find scores monostable mode, and is triggered by mode. The frequency is controlled by
of high quality new books the door switches. The output drives Q1, potentiometer R2 and capacitor C1.
and reprints of rare old
books on building and which is connected across the interior Resistor R3 controls the output level
collecting old time radios light switch. The interior light is turned with the output AC coupled through
including spark -gap
transmitters, crystal sets. on for 30 seconds after the door is C3.
regenerative and other

,- .. antique receivers, early opened. If the door(s) are held open To prevent stray radiation from get-
telephony and television. for longer than 30 seconds, it will not ting into the circuit, it should be housed
> and more! reset until after the doors are closed. In in a metal box and the output fed
Tesla Coils! that case, the lights go out imme- through a length of coaxial cable.
Build Tesla cuils, induction coils. Winishurst diately. Since the current drain is small, the unit
and other lightning bolt generators! Rewind One additional advantage also be- should run for months (depending on
and repair motors! Design and build electri-
cal generators! Get high power from auto al- comes apparent. Door switches often use) with a nine -volt transistor-radio
ternators! You'll find quality books on these
topics and much more! fail because of dirt, which can cause battery.
You'll find plans and info on all types of the lights to go dim or flicker. This circuit -Frank Pierce, Sioux Falls, SD
unusual equipment from lasers to century-
old induction coils! Build equipment your needs only the shortest momentary
friends haven't even heard o0 Thanks to you, Frank. This is exactly
contact to operate, meaning that it the sort of thing we're looking for. Sim-
Fringe works even with dirty door switches.
And with a bit of careful designing, the
ple, short, and sweet -and useful.
Science! circuit can be made small enough to
You'll even discover a
strange collection of fit inside most interior car -light fixtures. Si
books on 'Fringe Sci-
ence lost continents, -Fred Mullins, Madison, WI '4.'0'. Vcc 19V)
perpetual motion, un-
usual phenomena recorded throughout the Good thinking Fred! Keep on the
centuries, and much more. Explore the lookout for your copy of the Fips book.
strange world that lies between fact & fiction!
It's on the way.
New CataloaI
Write for your copy bf C3
Lindsay's new Electrical Signal Injector. In the early days of 1

Books catalog and see for

yourself what you've been radio, it was customary to simply put a
missing! Send $1.00 (US finger on the grid caps of the tubes in a R3
& Canada) or $3.00 for- 50012
eign airmail. We'll send receiver. That way, you could hear the LEVEL
your catalog immediately' 60 -cycle hum. As the circuit in Fig. 4
Write today? GND

r lndsay's Electrical Books,

indicates, we've come a long way,

jPO Box 12 -WF2, Bradley IL 60915

I Name
Enclosed is $1.00. Send m^ a copy of
Lindsay's Electrical Books catalog via first
class mail!

The unit is great for checking ampli-
fiers of all sorts. It provides a square -
wave output that is rich in harmonic
content. The circuit's output frequency
can be varied from 50 Hz to 15 kHz. The
Fig. 4. The Signal Injector, although
rather basic in design, is one of the
most useful troubleshooting aids. When
used in conjunction with an voltmeter
or oscilloscope, it makes short work
of troubleshooting circuits down to
City St Zip heart of the circuit is a 555 astable the component level.

5V Coin Tosser. Sure, you could sit there

t R1
4.7 K
flicking a coin into the air then catch-
ing it and slapping it on your wrist -
that's the traditional way. But this is an
R2 S R4 05 age where we live on the cuffing edge
1K 47052 47052 of technology. The box in which the



4 U2
circuit is built has a pair of LED's la-
belled HEADS and TAILS. There's also a
555 1K 7474 push- button switch (see Fig. 5) la-
6 belled TOSS. When you press the Toss
button, one of the two lights randomly
lights, indicating heads or tails.
Integrated U1 is a 555 configured as
a free -running oscillator. The oscillator
TOSS S1 is enabled or inhibited by S1, the Toss
NC switch, which is connected to the reset
GND terminal of Ut at pin 4. The frequency is
0 T.0033 set for about 100 kHz, so that in the 0.5
second that the button may be
SK3444 pressed, about 50,000 pulses are pro-
Those pulses are fed to U2, a 7474 J-
K master -slave flip -flop, with comple-
mentary outputs. Connected as
shown, it becomes a divide -by-two
counter, so one and only one of its out-
puts will be at binary 1; the other at
binary 0. Which output is at binary 1

Fig. 5-The Coin Tosser consists of a 555 oscillator /timer feeding a 7474 dual depends on whether the number of
J-K master! slave flip flop that's configured as a divide -he -two counter. (Continued from page 103)

CATALOG ITT MDPL series. 3/4" X
Murata Erie O PKBB -4A0
Mrnecr p Sm 2" gray rectangular key
cap S.P.S.T.N.0. Push to
High pitched audible alarm
Operates on
r close.
3 20 Vdc @ 20 ma
,.:.. ' i. Rated: 0.1 amp

J : i. Rated: n g. .
1" high x 7/8" dia.
P C board mount.
' 0 25 amp carry CATO PBZ -84 $1 75 each
current. P C. mount.
. CATO PB -8 65c each XENON TUBE
-I. . '0 'or $6 00


Intermittent duty cycle 240 ohm coil Mounting flange
An ETCHED is 11/8" wide. Solenoid body 11/2" X 1/2" X 1/2".
_.-",, CATO SOL -34 $1 00 each
1" long Ilashtube prepped
with 3 1/2" red and black

circuit board 10 for $8 50 100 for $75 00

Large Quantify Available
leads. Ideal for electronic
flash or strobe projects.
CATO FLT -3 2 for $1 00
in just 3 Hours
CONTROL :5 5 - 10 Vdc
IRF -511 TO -220 case
( will operate 3- 32Vdc)
LOAD: 10 Am
Amp @ 240 Vac - -j Nool $1.00 each
2 1!4" X
7/8" 1 3/4" X
10 for $9.00
CATO SSRLY -10B $9 50 each
10 for $85.00 25 for $175.00 AVAILABLE
50 for $300.00 100 for $500 00
The ER -4 PHOTO ETCH KIT gives you the tools. materials and chemicals
to make your own printed circuit boards The patented Pos -Neg" process
copies artwork from magazines like this one without damaging the page MAIL ORDERS TO: ORDER TOLL FREE
Use the circuit patterns, tapes and drafting film to make your own 1X
artwork Or try the Direct Etch" system (also included). to make single
ALL ELECTRONICS 800- 826 -5432
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VAN NUYS, CA 91408
ER -4 PHOTO ETCH KIT (NJ and CA residents add sales tax)
DATAK'S COMPLETE CATALOG lists hundreds of printed circuit products
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The DATAK Corporation 3117 Paterson Plank Road SHIPPING. NO C.O.D. J
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Illuminate your Yuletide celebration

with this light -controller circuit


If you are looking for that special decoration to adorn your

humble home this holiday season. then look no farthr! With
this easy -to -build project -the Holiday Light Setiuencer-
you can transform your standard Christmas lights into an
exciting display that will rival even the most expeAsive
commercial systems!
The Holiday LightSequencer is so -named because it
interfaces a digital sequencing circuit with four 117...
volt AC (household- current) sockets. The Se-
auenoer consists of a variable- frequency pulse
generator and four D -type flip- flops. The circuit UM

produces several different selectable se -'

quences that are fed to the four AC sockets via
optoisalator /coupliers (with triac - driver out- w
puts) and power triacs.
To see how the circuit operates, refer to the
schematic diagram of the Holiday Light Se-
quencer circuit shown in Fig. 1. Inte-
grated circuit U1 (a 555 osciltator/timer)
is wired as a conventional pulse generator.
The frequency of the pulse generator is
controlled by potentiometer R11. Resistor
R2 puts a reasonable limit on the high-
est speed attainable. rI.r.
The output of the pulse generator is 1 l Ij
fed to the common clock input of U2, a

74C175 quad D -type flip -flop.

Each flip -flop is configured so that a
s Q output is coupled to the D /i_._
input of the subsequent flip -flop (as
shown in Fig. 2).
D1 04


= NE1
/m 6A )1+


6 5 3.3

100K +

R2 = 6
74C175 14 A
11 15
7 13 8

12 10

L U5
5 MOC3010 5 2 MOC3010 5 MOC3010 5
R7 R8 IR9
18052 7 18052 1802
S R3 R4 R5
?? 1.8K .T 1.BK 1.8K

6A 6A
400V 400V


SO2 S03


Fig. I--The Holiday Light Sequencer circuit consists of a 555 oscillatoritimer (configured as a pulse generator). feeding
a 74C/75 quad D -ope flip flop. The finer flip - /lops. in turn, drive four MO(30 /0 optoisolatorlcouplers which are used to
trigger four triacs to provide power to the four strings of lamps.

Information on the D input of each and others where the sequence of Interface. Each output of the se-
flip -flop is transferred to the Q (and Q) events is difficult to determine. quencing circuit is connected to an
outputs on the leading edge of each However, if S2 is switched to position M003010 optoisolatoncoupler (U3-
clock pulse. Switch S2 allows you to B while all outputs are high or all are U6), which contains an infrared -emit-
invert the information on the D input of low, which seldom occurs, the se- ting diode with an infrared -sensitive
the first flip -flop at any time during the quence stops and the outputs remain diac (triac driver or trigger) in close
cycle. That allows you to create a either all on or all off. If that happens, proximity. (See Fig 3.) The diac is used
number of different sequences, which you only need to switch back to posi- as a trigger for the triac, which carries
are determined by the state of the CO tion A for at least one pulse duration, the 117 -volts AC.
output at the time of the switching. and then back to position B again. Each time the infrared -emitting di-
Some of the possible sequences Likewise, S2 should be in position A ode receives a logic 1, it turns on, caus-
are: (pin 4 connected to pin 14) each time ing the diac to conduct. With the
1 through 4 on, through 4 off;
1 the power is turned on. That's because optoisolator /coupler's internal diac
1 of 4 on sequence; the data on pin 4 must be a logic in 1 conducting, the triac turns on, and
1 of 4 off sequence; order to start a sequence; otherwise all power is supplied to whatever load is
2 of 4 on sequence; outputs remain at logic 0 regardless of plugged into the corresponding AC
1 and 3 on to 2 and 4 off; the clock pulses. socket. So the sequencing circuit and

tant. The lamps are kept in their proper
positions by wire ties or electrical tape
around the wires.
D a D D D D The plugs should be marked with the
S2 letters A, B, C, and D so that they can
1/4 74C175 1/4 74C175 1/4 74C175 1/4 74C175 be plugged into the corresponding
14 sockets on the Holiday Light Se-
quencer. 1f your lights are the "flashing"
type, locate the flasher bulb and re-
place it with an ordinary one.

Warning. Always keep in mind that
household current (117 -volts AC) can
be lethal! Never turn on the power un-
Fig. 2 -Shown here is a ju nctional diagram illustrating the actual configuration
of the four flip - /lops in the Holiday Light Sequencer circuit.

Fig. 3 -TI is block diagram shun s the
inner workings o/the MOC3010 opto-
is'olatorlcoupler. Its output element
is a iliac or triac driver.
O OO 1117 SO
the 117 -volt AC outputs are "optically
coupled" and are effectively isolated
from each other.
Power for the sequencing circuit is
provided by a 6.3 -volt miniature trans-
former. The output of the transformer is
rectified by a four -diode bridge cir-
cuit, the output of which is filtered by Cl
(a 1000 -F electrolytic capacitor). Ca-
pacitor C3 is added at the supply pin
of U2 to suppress transients. F
Fig. 4-Shown here is a full -.si:e foil pattern for the Holiday Light Sequencer's printed-
Construction. of all, you abso-
First circuit hoard.
lutely must break off the links between nents, using Fig. 5 as a guide. Note less the circuit is completely enclosed.
the terminals on the duplex sockets from the diagram that R2 is not Never try to make repairs or modifica-
(SO1 -SO4), so that each socket can be mounted on the PC board, but is sol- tions to the circuit without first unplug-
controlled 'ndividually. That is very im- dered directly to potentiometer R11. ging the unit. The AC fuse must not be
portant! Do it before anything else so Use #18 insulated wire (or heavier) for omitted from the circuit. The fuse as-
you can't forget later. Next, mark the all 117 -volt AC connections. Use a cop- sures that the project won't be
locations of all the components that per or aluminum heat sink for the four damaged in the event of a wiring error.
are to be mounted to the front and rear triacs if you plan on using high -wat- The Holiday Light Sequencer is in-
panels of the enclosure. tage lamps. Mount the circuit board tended for indoor use only. Do not use it
Drill and cut holes in the metal en- on insulating spacers, making sure that outdoors, unless you can completely
closure for the panel- mounted corn - none of the connections on the foil side shield it from all forms of precipitation.
ponents. The holes for the sockets are a touch the metal case. Make sure that
little hard to make. However, you can the AC ground is connected to the ap- Troubleshooting. After checking
use a wall plate (socket cover) as a propriate terminal on all the sockets your wiring several times, put the cover
template to mark the holes, and then and to the metal enclosure. Secure the on, plug in the Holiday Light Se-
drill with the largest size bit available power cord with a suitable connector quencer, and plug the four sets of lights
(without going oversize). The socket or strain relief. into the corresponding sockets. (You
holes can Then be shaped and /or en- should check all the lights beforehand
larged as needed with a small file or The Lights. For the Holiday Light Se- by plugging them into a household
grinding wheel. quencer to produce the aforemen- wall socket).
The author's prototype was built on tioned sequences, the lights must be With 1211 set at mid -position and S2 to
printed- circuit board, the foil pattern arranged in sequence also. Figure 6 position A, flip on the power switch, S1. If
for which is shown in Fig. 4. Once the shows how that's done. No wires are nothing happens after several sec-
board is etched and drilled, begin in- shown in the diagram because it is the onds, you should set S2 to the other
stalling the board -mounted compo- positioning of the lights that is impor- position. If the lights now start to se-
UI -555 oscillator /timer, integrated
F 1
U2- 74C175 or 40175B quad D -type
NEI 1111F- flip -flop, integrated circuit
U3 U6- MOC3010 optoisolator /coupler
(Radio Shack 276 -134 or similar).
integrated circuit
TRI TR4 -6 -amp, 400 -volt triac (Radio
Shack 276 -1000 or similar)
DI D4-- IN40)1 (or similar) I -amp. 50-
Ply, silicon rectifier diode
(All resistors are 1/44-watt, 5c4 units,
unless otherwise noted.)
RI, R2- 22,000 -ohm
R3 -R6-1800-ohm
R7 -R I0- 180 -ohnm
RI1- 100,000 -ohm potentiometer
CI- 1000 -1F, 16-WVDC (or better)
16 -WVDC (or better).
U ENCLOSURE Tantalum or radial -lead electrolytic
C3- 3.3-F. I6 -WVDC (or better)
m Tantalum or radial -lead electrolytic
big. 5 -Shown here is the parts -placement diagram fur the Holiday Light Sequencer. When
installing the parts, pay strict attention to the orientation of the components.
TI-117-volt primary. 6.3 -volt secondary,
Also it is a good idea to use sockets for the six ICs.
miniature power transformer
TR1-TR4 Fl-6-amp fuse 3AG
SOI-SO4 SI- Single -pole, single -throw, rocker
S2- Single -pole, double -throw,
miniature toggle or slide switch
NEI- 117 -volt snap-in neon lamp
PLI -117 -volt AC molded 3- conductor
plug with power cord
SOI SO4 -117 -volt AC sockets
Printed circuit or perfboard materials.
metal enclosure (Radio Shack 270-272
or similar). IC sockets, fuse holder,
hookup wire, solder, hardware, etc.

the circuit is followed very closely,

there should be no problem in getting
the Holiday Light Sequencer to work.

Operation. While the sequencer is

working properly with S2 in position A,
try switching to position B at various
times during, the cycle to create an
Ti U3 -U6 U2 u1 cl D1-D4 amazing variety of sequences. Sev-
Here is the finished project prior to being sealed into its enclosure. Note that eral other sequences are obtainable
SOl SO4 consist of two duplex sockets, which come with a shorting bar between by plugging set B into the c socket and
the two individual sockets. It is necessary to sever the shorting bar between vice versa. Adjust potentiometer R11 for
the sockets to allow the strings of lamps to he controlled individually. the desired rate and just sit back and
enjoy the show!
quence, then either the wires to S2 bridges are another possible problem. And when the Yuletide season is
should be reversed (with the unit un- For instance, solder bridges on the tri - over, don't pack the Holiday Light Se-
plugged of course), or that setting can acs may cause the corresponding quencer away with the rest of the dec-
be marked as position A. socket(s) to stay on constantly. orations. Try plugging in a 150 -watt
If nothing happens with S2 in either Improper orientation of the IC(s), floodlamp (to any socket) for wild
position, check the fuse. If it is blown, missing jumper wires, or poor solder strobe -type lighting effects! Or maybe
then unplug the unit and look for a connections can also cause prob- you can do something with your patio
short in the 117 -volt AC wiring. Solder lems. But, if the schematic diagram of lanterns.

here is a complex, crystalline, sili-
cate mineral called tourmaline
that, when heated, attracts small bits
of various materials. The powers of
tourmaline have been known in Eu-
rope since the early 18th century. That's
when the crystals were first brought
over from Ceylon by Dutch merchants,
and thus the name "Ceylon magnet."
An electrical characteristic of tour-
maline was established in 1756 by
Franz Ulrich Theodor Aepinus (1724 --
Learn about the
1802). Aepinus found that hot tour-
maline crystals become polarized
negative at one end and positive at
- piezoelectric
the other. That polarization was ob-
served in other crystalline substances effect, ex-
and, in 1824, received the general
designation pyroelectricity-literally, pertinent
electricity from fire.
Pyroelectricity should not be con- with it,
fused with thermoelectricity, which re-
fers to a voltage created by the and build
difference in thermal energy between
dissimilar metals joined together in a an interest-
The modern understanding of the ing conversa-
pyroelectric effect, and its relevance
to crystal physics, can be traced to tion piece, too.
Pierre Curie (1859 -1906). The structure of
crystals persuaded Pierre Curie, along
with his brother Paul- Jacques
(1855- 1941), to explain pyroelectricity in
mechanical terms. They decided that
the pyroelectric effect was due not,
strictly speaking, to heat, but to ther-
mal stress caused by the heat. That led
to the discovery in 1880 of what we now
call piezoelectricity, literally, elec- BY STAN CZARNIK
tricity from squeezing or pressing.
The Curie brothers found that many
sorts of crystals exhibit the
piezoelectric effect, including sodium
chlorate, calamine, topaz, tartaric
acid, Rochelle salts, quartz, and even
cane sugar.

How It Happens. Piezoelectricity is

not the easiest thing to understand. It
has, in fact, been called one of the
most complicated branches of crystal
physics. The following should be con-
sidered a very simplified explanation.
Imagine a crystal of barium titanate,
a common piezoelectric material.
Barium -titanate crystals have a rough-
ly cubic structure. The word "roughly" is
necessary because the positively
charged titanium ions (cations) are
slightly off -center. Thus, the crystal is
polarized. In the presence of an elec-
tric field, the titanium ions are shifted
towards the negatively charged elec-

flashes brightly. The experiment works
best in a darkened room.
That simple set -up allows you to
show that the piezoelectric disc will not
only generate a voltage when pres-
sure is applied, but also when pressure
is removed. Place the disc on a hard
surface, and depress the center of the
disc firmly with your finger and watch
the lamp closely. The neon gas around
one electrode will glow. When the
pressure is released, the neon around
the other electrode will glow. That hap-
pens because the two voltages are
moving in opposite directions from
one another. Current flows only when
the pressure is changing.
Here are a couple of piezoelectric discs from Jerr Co Inc. mounted in plastic frames. Two Note: The preceding works best with
types of the discs are available, one with and one without wire leads. piezoelectric discs that come
mounted in a plastic frame. If you pur-
order of $10.00 and there is a flat $3.00 chase the unmounted variety, you may
fee for shipping and handling. In addi- need to support the edges of the disc
tion, Illinois residents must add 7% on a couple of wooden matchsticks or
sales tax. something similar. That way, the disc is
The piezoelectric disc is about 11/4 free to bend.
inch in diameter and, in most cases, Another way of illustrating the
comes mounted in a plastic frame that piezoelectric action of the discs be-
measures about 2 by 2//a inches. It's gins with connecting two of them to-
available with or without wire leads.
Without leads, the piezoelectric discs
are $2.25 for a package of three (cat-
This piezoelectric spark button. r ;nlr alog number 6793). With 6 -inch wire
31/2-inches long. ,generates enough leads, the discs are $3.00 for a pack-
electricity to throw a small spark The
age of two (catalog number 6790).
spark button conies complete with a
plastic nut for mounting.
I recommend ordering discs corn -
plete with wire leads. Soldering your
trode. That happens, of course, be- own hook -up wire to the discs can be
cause opposite charges are attracted difficult. Also, you may want to order
to each other. As the orientation of the several discs. The piezoelectric ce-
ions changes, so does the shape of the ramic material is fairly brittle and that This piezoelectric disc has been
crystal. means it can break. connected to an NE2 neon lamp. Rap the
The reverse effect, which happens The high -voltage sparker is a black - disc, and the lamp will flush.
to be the original piezoelectric effect, plastic cylindrical object about 3Y2-
can be understood in the same -erms. inches long. It has a red button on one
If the barium -titanate crystal is sub- end, a high -voltage terminal on the
jected to mechanical stress. it be- other end, and a grounding tab in the
comes electrically charged. In cther middle. One spark button costs $3.75
words, pressure on the crystal means a (catalog number 3261). The sparker is
displacement of ions which. in turn, meant to be the ignition device for
means that opposite faces of the crys- gas -fired barbecues; in fact, it may be
tal take on opposite electrical possible to pick one up locally at
charges. larger hardware /houseware stores.

Piezoelectric Parts. You don't need The Disc. A quick, sharp rap on the
crystals of tourmaline or barium tita- piezoelectric disc with your finger pro-
nate to experiment with piezoe ec- duces an abrupt electrical transient,
tricity. A couple of terrific piezoelectric otherwise known as a spike. The best
The circuit can be used to demonstrate
devices can be ordered from a sci- way to examine that spike is with an
the reversal of piezoelectric polarity.
ence surplus house called Jei yCo, oscilloscope. But not everybody has Press the piezoelectric disc slowly, but
Inc. (601 Linden Place, Evanston, II an oscilloscope. There are at least a firmly, and only one neon electrode will
60202). Among them are a couple of alternatives. glow. Release the pressure. and the same
piezoelectric disc and a high voltage
- One alternative involves attaching a will occur al the other electrode. That
piezoelectric spark button. Note that piezoelectric disc to an NE2 neon happens because the two voltages are of
the company requires a minimum lamp. When the disc is hit, the lamp the opposite sign.

Just as the inverter excited the glow
strips, it can also excite your
piezoelectric discs. Connect a MATERIALS LIST
piezoelectric disc to the output of the
inverter, apply 6 -volts DC to the input, Automobile battery clip
and your efforts will be rewarded with Binding post (or functional equivalent)
Decorative neon flame lamp (see text)
a moderately loud high -pitched buzz.
NE2 neon lamp (Radio Shack 272 -1102
or equivalent)
The Spark Button. Without any al- piezoelectric discs (3 or more)
terations whatsoever, the piezoelectric piezoelectric spark button
spark button is already an interesting Porcelain lamp socket
and entertaining device. Every press Project box (31/2 or 4- inches deep, sec
off the button delivers a weak, but text)
clearly visible Y4 -inch spark. Hardware, hook-up wire, solder,
Hold the spark button in your fist so soldering lugs, etc.
that your little finger touches the
grounding tab in the middle of the cyl-
inder. With your other hand, bring chine that operates without batteries
some small metal object (such as a cr house current.
nail) close to the high-voltage end of Apart from the sparker, the major
the sparker. Press the button and a thin components are a project box, a por-
spark will jump between the two me- celain lamp socket, and a decorative
tallic points. If you are holding both the neon flame bulb. The project box
nail and the grounding tab firmly, you should be at least 3Y2 or 4 inches deep
will feel only a very slight shock. to accommodate the length of the
Clearly, that high -voltage gener- piezoelectric device. It should also be
This might be called a pie_oelectric ator, like any high -voltage device, fair y strong. Thin plastic or thin wood
communicator. Hold one disc close to your can be misused. You will want to exer- tends to bend when the spark button is
ear and tap the other gently against a
cise good judgment and a lot of good pressed. Other than that, the size and
table top. The electrical impulses
taste. Above all, keep the spark button shape of the box are not too important.
generated in one disc will he converted
back to mechanical vibrations in the
away from small children who may not Any kind of lamp socket may be
other disc. If you happen to have a small understand the power of such a small used. like the kind that fits flush against

tuning fork, the system will pick up and and unfamiliar object. e surface with the electrical connec-
transmit the musical tone. tions made through the hardware for
A High-Voltage Neon Ionizer. The mounting. A socket of that type con-
gether. Two or three feet of flexible high -voltage potential of the tributes to a neat, uncluttered ap-
hook -up wire between the two discs piezoelectric spark button makes it pearance when the project is com-
makes that arrangement more inter- possible to build an ionization ma- plete.
esting. Hold one of the discs to your ear
or have a friend do the same. Then
scratch the other disc with your finger-
nail or knock it gently against the side
of a table. The noises you hear are
created by the electrical impulses
from the first disc being converted into
mechanical vibrations in the second
disc. That illustrates what is sometimes
called the converse or reciprocal
piezoelectric effect.
A small warning: If you happen to
hold the second disc too close to your
ear, you are liable to receive a tiny
electric shock, so be careful.
Getting a continuous tone from the
piezoelectric discs seems to require a
fairly strong high -frequency signal. If
you happen to have he elec-
troluminescent glow strip textured in
the August 1988 issue of Wands -on
Electronics, you already ;possess a
device capable of producing the
necessary waveform. That device is
the voltage inverter, the output of Soldering lugs attached to terminals on the spark button and lamp socket makes
which is about 140 volts at 400 Hz. wiring a lot easier. Keep all wires as short as possible.

I have been unable to find out for
certain whether large neon -flame
lamps are still being manufactured.
The one used is about 4 inches in

diameter. It's been lying around my

shop for at least five or six years, and
frankly, can't remember where it

came from! What do know is that


smaller versions, such as flame -lamp

No. 03660 from the Abco Corporation,
are available at many large hardware
stores and lighting -supply companies.
A smaller bulb will work just as well as a
large one, although the effect may not
be quite as dramatic.
Prepare the top of the project box by
drilling holes for the lamp socket and a
t3A6 -inch hole for the spark button.

Make sure the sparker does indeed

wind up on the top of the box, and not
on the side. That prevents the box from
moving when you press the button.
Mount the lamp socket and secure the
spark button with the large plastic nut
provided with the unit.
Attach the lamp socket terminals to-
gether with a short piece of heavy
stranded wire. Then run another piece
of wire from the high -voltage end of
the spark button to one of the lamp -
socket terminals.
To ensure proper operation, the sys-
tem should be grounded. Run another
piece of wire from the grounding tab
on the spark button to a binding post,
banana jack, or some other sort of
connecting device located on the
outside of the cabinet. Make sure that
the wires coming off the spark button
are as far away from each other as
possible. They must remain at least f-
inch apart after you close the box. If
the wires get too close or make elec-
trical contact, the unit may perform
very poorly or not at all.
The ground wire may be any 3- or 4- The high - voltage piezoelectric ionizer will look something like this when you're
foot piece of flexible cable. The piece finished. The ionizer makes a unique and educational conversation piece.
I used came from a length of ordinary
lamp cord. Attach an automobile bat-
tery clip to one end of the ground wire. the neon bulb into the lamp socket area inside the bulb just next to your
A large alligator clip works too. Screw and the project is complete. hand will turn to bright orange neon
plasma. Touch the bLlb with a single
Operating the Ionizer. Connect the fingertip and then push the spark but-
grourd wire to a grounded object, ton again A -hick shat of ionized gas
such as a water pipe or water faucet. w,ll leap between your finger and the
Place the ionizer on a hard, flat sur- electrodes within the bulb.
face. Now turn off most of the room For more experiments and demon-
lights or, better yet, darken the room strations with piezoelectricity, see
completely. Grasp the neon bulb Nature's Electricity, written by Charles
gently with one hand so that the palm K. Adams (published by Tab 3ooks,

of your hand is visible through the glass Blue Ridge Summit, PA) and Crystals
This is the grounding system. The large
automobile buttery clip permits bulb. Press The spark button with your and Crystal Growing, written by Alan
connection to large grounded objects, other hand. A quick, sharp, firm push of Holden and Phylis Singer, (published
like water pipes. the button seems to work best. The by Anchor Books, Garden City, NY).

The Sliding -Bar Crystal Radio is stock (called the main bar)
is placed
nothing new to real old timers, who above the coils and between the
started building those radio sets after wooden supports for the tuning coil
World War Despite Their antiquity, a
Take a trip into the past (see photos). The two pointers (cut from
sliding -bar assembly helps to sepa- the 1/4-inch stock) slide upon it to tune
rate and tune in The broadcast band with our sliding -bar the coils.
well. The receiver contains two coils When you are cutting a piece, it is
that can be adjusted by moving point- best to have it secured in a vise rather
ers (brushes) back and forth along an radio, and bring some than just holding it. Be careful not to
exposed portion of their surfaces. By squeeze the piece out of shape when
tuning the radio in that fashion, even using a vise. Start by cutting a 7 -1 -inch
strong local stations can be sepa- solid state with you for section of 3if6-inch stock for use as the
rated. main bar (see Fig. 1). Drill holes in the
ends for mounting screws used later.
Sliding -Bar Construction. The slid- an up -to -date twist! Cut two pieces -1/2- inches long from

ing-bar assembly is made from square the 1/4-inch stock. Those pieces (sliders)
tubes found at most popular hobby will actually ride back and forth on the
stores. The small square brass tubes sell main bar. They will carry the pointers,
for about 99 -cents each. You will need which actually make contact with the
two different stocks (sizes): 3/46-inch BY HOMER L. DAVIDSON coils.
square and 1/4-inch square. The 3/46 To make the pointers you must cut
square tubes fit snuggly into 1/4,-inch two 3/4-inch pieces from the larger
square tubes. A long section of 3A6-inch stock to form sleeves, and two 3/4-inch

TURNED ning with a pair of holes close to one
OVER LIP end, thread some of the wire for LI
through one hole, back out the other,
LIP and loop it back through the first hole
T leaving about 6 inches of wire inside




the pipe. All coil ends are to be pre-
pared that way with some portion of
the wire left inside the tube until they
ASSEMBLED are to be wired. Now wind 65 turns
without gaps between the strands
(close wound). Slip a piece of cel-
r-i v2--1 TWO SLIDING
lophane or masking tape over the coil
winding to keep it from unwinding as
you terminate the coil, in the same way
it began, at the next set of holes.
Now begin the main coil, L2, at the
ALL DIMENSIONS IN INCHES holes Y4-inch from the end of L1, and
wind 145 turns of No. 22 or 24 enam-
Fig. I. The .sliding bar is made up of the larger- 1/4 ira lh .stock so the slider bars will eled wire, but leave a 10 -inch piece
ride or float outside the larger piece. A brush is. firmed on the end of the pointer inside. If your fingers get cramped or

pieces of the smaller stock to make GROUND

into brushes. Use a hacksaw to cut out POST
a lip about 3/8 -inch tall in the two brush SLIDING
sections. The lips are to be used as AREA SANDED
contact points so they must be gently
folded back toward the tubes to form
smooth curved surfaces. Be sure the
lips completely cover the openings so
they can hold the springs in place.
Sand the curved tips of the brushes
for good contact against the coils.
Good contact must be made be-
tween the outside of the main bar and
the inside of the sliding bars, and be-
tween the inside of the sleeves and the
outside of the brushes. So sand or use
steel wool to shine up and remove any
coating on the brass tubes so the tubes
will have no resistance between them. A close -upof the entire sliding -bar tuning -coil assembly showing how the coils are placed
Square up all the ends of the pieces and the pointers in position ready for action.
cut and remove any burrs.
The brass tubes solder up nicely with Coil Winding. The prototype's coils tired while winding the large coil,
a 150 -watt soldering gun. Tin the mid- were wound on a 7-Y2-inch long x1-Y2- place a piece of tape over the wind-
dle of a slider on one side. Mount the inch inside -diameter, PVC pipe. The ing to hold it in place so you can flex
square edge of a sleeve against it outside of the pipe is almost 2 inches your fingers.
there and apply solder on each side. across. Any non -magnetic coil form Wind the last coil, L3, with 45 turns,
That makes a strong bond between with approximately the same outer di- using the remaining holes to terminate
the two pieces. If the two pieces are ameter and length will do. The main its ends, leaving about 8 inches on
not perfectly perpendicular, re -melt coil, L2, is wound with 145 turns of No. 22 each end for hookup.
the solder and try it again. or 24 enameled wire, while L1 and L3
The brushes must be able to slide in have 65 and 45 turns, respectively, of Coil Preparation. On the side of the
and out of the sleeves freely, so clean No. 24 or 26 enameled wire. Re- pipe, opposite the coil holes, place
them further if necessary. Locate a member while you're making them, two strips of cellophane or masking
couple of small springs and place that the coils must be tightly wound so tape on each side of a Y2-inch wide
them inside the sleeves. Place the that when the pointer moves over the area. You will remove the enamel in-
brushes inside the sleeves and make turns, they will not spread apart. sulation from the wire in that area. Do
sure the springs push the brushes out. If Drill two small %b -inch holes lb-inch not use a knife or razor blade; instead
the springs are not long enough, just from one end of the pipe (see Fig. 2), slowly rub a piece of sandpaper on
carefully pull them apart to the desired and about 1/4-inch apart from each the exposed area between the strips of
length. You may wish to perform that other. Follow that procedure when dril- tape, working back and forth in the
procedure again after the main bar ling the rest of the holes in the tube direction of the windings. The insula-
and coil are in position on the frame to using Fig. 2 as a guide. tion comes off really easy that way.
adjust the force they will apply. Now you can start winding L1. Begin- The coil windings may be held in
451 1451 65T
#24 #22 or 24 #24 or 36
Sand down the boards and bevel all
edges if a bench sander is handy.
14-1/2 -010-1
1/4 L2


11/2 1/2 -, Make sure all pencil and pen marks

are sanded away. Spray a couple of
clear coats of lacquer or gloss spray
over the wood (or stain if you wish) be-
fore putting the pieces together. Now
sand down the finish with steel wool.
00 Once finished, attach one support
to the base with screws through the
holes made previously, put the tube in
2 IN. PLASTIC PVC PIPE position up against the support, and
secure the other support to the base
1/16 HOLES with a screw. Place screws through the
ALL DIMENSIONS IN INCHES holes at the ends of the PVC tubing to
Fig. 2. Here's a drawing of the three coils placed on the pipe and the dimensions of the secure it to the side supports with the
PVC pipe itself. Mark and drill the holes before winding the roils. sanded surface facing away from the
place with coil dope or plastic -model screws to attach the left and right sup- Mount binding posts to the top of the
cement. Even a light coat of rubber port pieces to the board. The holes side supports and run the ground and
silicone will do. Place a light layer on must be a little over 7 inches apart; the antenna wires to their respective posts
each side of the scraped area to keep actual distance will depend on the and connect them.
the wire from shifting. Likewise, place thickness of the side supports you Now mount the center panel. After
the adhesive on the first and last turns make. all the wooden pieces have been as-
of each coil to help keep them from The dimensions of the two prototype sembled, cover the exposed surface
unwinding. supports are 3 x 7 inches and were cut of the coils with tape, and carefully
Drill a Y/ -inch hole at each end of the from a piece of oak. Pieces of walnut spray on two more coats of finish.
tubing adjacent to the sanded area. and oak are very hard to work with, but When dry, remove the tape.
Screws through those holes will hold when finished appear nice and solid.
the coil form to the wooden end sup- Glue and nail two round circles of soft
ports. Make a small hole close to each wood to each support -1/s inches from

mounting hole to be used to pass the top to hold the coils in position. Be
some hookup wires through. sure that the pieces you use are small
Connect one terminal from each enough to fit inside the tube. Drill two
coil together and solder them to a holes in each board at a slant to be
piece of hookup wire. That wire will be used to attach the center panel (see
used to connect the coils to ground, so photo). Be mindful of the clearance
you may tuck the three leads back into needed for the coils when determining
the tube. Allow the wire to stick out of the angle and elevation of the board
the small hole on the side of the coil you desire.
where L3 is located. Connect the other Cut the center (slanted) piece 7 -'/2-
terminals of L2 and L3 together and inches long x 3- inches wide. Drill two
solder them to a piece of hookup wire, 3/a -inch holes in the slanted panel for
which will be used to connect them to mounting the volume control and vari-
the tuning capacitor. Thread the wire able capacitor. Drill a Y4 -inch hole in This is a close up of how the oak
through one of the prepared holes at the board to mount the earphone jack. supports are tied to the panel.
either end. Take the remaining lead 7 1/2
from L1 and solder it to some hookup The Amplifier Board. The circuit itself
wire also. Since the wire will be running
to the antenna, it should run out the

3/8-IN i is really just a crystal radio with ampli-

fied output (see Fig. 4). The antenna is
small hole on the side of the tube op- tuned by L1. The tank circuit consists of
posite the ground wire. Mark the wires L2 and L3 both in parallel with the tun-
for easy identification when the coil - ing capacitor, Cl. Any variable ca-
assembly ends will be covered. pacitor around 365 -pF will do for Cl.
r You may even use one section of a
Wood Work. The main board mea- T dual miniature capacitor. Some of
sures 5 -Y2 x12 inches (see Fig. 3). The those capacitors can still be found at
5.1 2
prototype has a discarded piece of certain electronic -parts stores. The
walnut purchased from a souvenir tank -circuit output is demodulated
store as a base. Scrap wood pieces (rectified) by diode D1. Capacitor, C2
may be found at hobby stores if you Fig. 3. These are the dimensions of both provides an AC path to ground for the
haven't any yourself, and, of course, wooden supports, the panel, and the incoming audio, which is picked off of
any type of wood will do. Drill two Y8- chassis. They are to be predrilled the VOLUME control, Ri, for the amplifier,
inch holes into it to accommodate according to the text. U. The output of the amplifier is then

ANTENNA between the ground terminal and the
o brass sliding bar.
l Connect capacitor C2 across the
LI two far terminals of R1. Connect the
01 wiper terminal to the hookup wire from
1N34 pin 3 on the perfboard. Solder one of
the ground wires coming off the circuit
4 3 2

L2 Cl C2 10K
board to one of the outside terminals
14'5T 365pf .001
+1 C3
of R1.
Connect the black lead of the bat-
tery clip to S1 (the switch on R1), and the
other terminal of S1 to one of the
V) ground -hookup wires from the circuit
.047 C6 board. Run a wire from that same ter-
L3 EARPHONE minal to the ground binding post.
R2 JACK Connect the remaining terminal
1052 from the coil (the one attached to L3
B1 and L2) to the stator of C1. Connect the
other side of CI to the grounded termi-
= C4
nal on R1. Mount R1 and CI in the panel
220 and connect D1 between the stator of
CI and the ungrounded side of RI.
GNO Connect the wire from C6 to the ear-
Fig. 4. In this schematic diagram of the Sliding -Bar Receiver, the section marked A is phone jack, and the remaining termi-
actually the sliding-bar tuning -coil assembly itself. The section marked C is the hookup nal from the jack to the grounded side
wire from the coil assembly, and section B is the diode. of C1. Install the jack and attach the
perfboard to the underside of the pan-
AC coupled to the earphone jack for el. Your unit is ready for testing.
To start circuit -board construction, Testing. Connect an antenna wire to
cut off a Y2 x 2-Y2-inch piece of perf- C1- 365 -pF, variable the antenna terminal, and a cold-
board from a larger piece. Mount the C2- .001 F, 50 -WVDC, ceramic -disc water ground to the ground post. Plug
IC socket in the center of the board. C3, C6 -l0
-R 35 -WVDC, electrolytic in the earphones, and turn the switch
Place C4 close to socket pin 6 and C4- 220 -F. 35 -WVDC, electrolytic on. You should hear some sound in the
solder its positive lead to that pin. Wire CS- .047 -F, 50 -WVDC, ceramic -disc earphones. Rotate the tuning capaci-
C3 across pins and 8. 1 tor to tune in local broadcast stations.
Solder a piece of bare hookup wire Dl -1N34 crystal diode Stations at the lower end of the dial will
on pin 2, loop it around pin 3 and sol- .I-Earphone jack tune in with the slider towards the
der it to pin 4. It will be used as the 12, 13-Binding posts grounded end of L2. Slide the antenna
ground wire for the board, so make the Rl- 10,000-ohm potentiometer with tuner, LI, to separate close stations. By
loop large enough for several other SPST switch using the two sliders and the tuning
components to be connected to it. Sol- R2 -10 -ohm, 1/4-watt resistor capacitor, most stations can be sepa-
der the minus side of C4 to the ground Sl -SPST switch (part of RI) rated.
wire, and solder C5 and the positive Ul -LM386 audio -amplifier integrated
If nothing is received, check the
side of C6 to pin 5. Connect R2 be- small amplifier circuit. If a VOM or
tween C5 and the ground wire. 2" OD x 7 -1/2" PVC -plastic pipe; 8- to DMM is handy, check the circuit volt-
Solder a 6 -inch piece of hookup 38 -ohm earphone or equivalent ages, in particular those at pins 5 and
wire to pin 3 to be used to connect the headphone; 9-volt battery; 9 -volt 6 of O. If there's little voltage at pin 6
resistor -wiper connection. Bring an- battery clip; number 22 or 24 wire,
instead of the near 9 -volts and the bat-
and number 26 enameled wires for
other 5 -inch piece of wire from the tery and switch check out okay, then
coils; oak -, walnut-, or pine -wood
minus side of C6 to be used to connect pieces for chassis and supports; test for excessive current by inserting
it to the earphone jack. Connect a 6- hookup wire; IC socket; solder, wood the milliampere meter between one
inch hookup wire to pin 6 for connec- screws, etc. battery terminal and the clip. Suspect
tion to B +. Run three wires from the a leaky IC or improper connections if
ground wire to connect it to the VOLUME the main bar so that the brushes are the current is above 20 milliamps.
control, switch S1, and the tuning ca- directly over the sanded area of the If pin 6 is fine, but pin 5 has no output,
pacitor. coils, and secure it to the supports with measure the diode for possible leak-
screws through the holes made in the age with a low- resistance measure-
Final Assembly. Slide the pointers bar. Remove the tape. Each slider ment and reversed test leads. If that
onto the main bar and push the springs should be placed over either L1 or L2. A fails to turn up anything, recheck the
and brushes into their sleeves. Tape drop of solder should be placed on circuit for poor wiring connections.
them in place for now. Place the slid- the square bar near the ends of L1 and Once everything is working, you are
ing -bar assembly over the coil and rest L2 so that the pointers can not slide off ready to have some old- fashioned fun,
its ends on the side supports. Position the coil's useful area. Connect a wire with a modem twist. Happy listening.

ack in 1951 the Federal Communi-
catiors Commission had a neat
idea: let people who wanted to be-
come ham radio operators get on the
air after passing minimal tests in morse
code and theory, and learn by doing.
The idea was a great one and the
fifties was a period of rapid growth for
ham radio. Manufacturers responded
with transmitters for the new novices
that were easy to operate and would
stand the abuse of the inexperienced
new hams-in short, they were just
about indestructable.

In the Beginning. Novice -type trans-

mitters were mode by many compa-
nies during the fifties, but among the
most popular were those made by
Heath, Johnson, and World Radio Lab-
oratories. They are still encountered in
large numbers at hamfests.
Crystal control of the transmitter fre-
quency was mandatory; a separate
plug -in crystal was needed for each
frequency on which you wanted to
transmit. Consequently, all of the trans-
mitters described here could use crys-
A lot of great ham sets were introduced in

the fifties. If you know a little about them, your

next hamfest ould be a ham feast!

4 .__sSJ
tals, though some had built in variable-
frequency oscillators (VFOs, for short),
and most of the rest could use an exter-
nal VFO by simply flipping a switch.
The power limit was 75 -watts input to
the final stage for novices, but a few
transmitters would go a little beyond
Using the Morse Code was the most
popular communication mode, al-
though novices could use voice on two
meters until the 1960's. Some transmit-
ters had built -in modulators for AM
voice work for when the novice ad-
vanced to a higher -class license.
Recently, voice operating privileges

have been reinstated for novices, this
time allowing for single sideband on 10
meters, but more on that later.
Let's take a look at some of the fa-
mous "rigs" of the fifties. Many are still in
use, others are gathering dust but
could do a good job for a new gener- BY LARRY LISLE, K9KZT
ation of novices, if they knew about
them and how they worked.
;-7.- -


(Not quite the unit to casually drop on
your card table.)
I've found the DX -100 to be one of the
best rigs for novices to use, simply be-
cause I've never found another
novice -class transmitter that's as effec-
tive for making contacts using Morse
Code. Maybe it's my imagination, but
network" output circuit. That was a car-
ry-over from the DX -100, and an im-
provement on the AT -1. The pi- network
had two great advantages. First it
helped suppress harmonics and elimi-
nate TVI (TV interference). Second, it
meant that dam -near anything could
be used as an antenna. People used
when the DX-100 speaks, people do to kid about loading up a brass door-
tend to listen. Maybe you could call it knob, and they weren't far from right.
a novice rig after all. The DX -40 is my favorite "loaner" trans-
By the way, bought my DX -100 a few
I mitter for new novices because it will
years ago for $25, which is the most I give good service on 40 meters with
paid for any of the transmitters men- just 25 feet of wire strung around a
tioned here. They are still terrific bar- room as an antenna, if nothing better
--u_ gains today. can be set up. It's also extremely rug-
.2.5" March, 1956 saw the introduction of ged electrically. You really have to
HEATH COMPANY the DX-35 at a cost of $56.95. The work at it to damage a DX-35 or DX-40.
DX -35, and the improved DX -40, In December of 1956 Heath re-
The Heath Company really started
something in 1953 with the AT-I. A which replaced it in 1957, were "in -be- placed the AT -1 with the code -only
.sell - contained, banc/ -switching tween" transmitters. They would run 65- DX -20. The DX -20 retained the
transmitter Jar only $29.50, it helped a watts input for code transmission and simplicity and ease of construction of
lot of notices get on the air. the AT -1, but boosted the output with
more-efficient circuitry and a pi -net-
The Heath Company. By the early work output. At $35.95 it was a real buy.
1950's the Heath Company of Benton The output element was a television
Harbor, Michigan, had already been "sweep" tube, a 6DQ6A, which wasn't
making electronic kits for years, and quite as resistant to off-resonance op-
was well regarded in the ham ranks for eration as the 6L6 or the 614's used in
their test equipment. But it was a red - the DX -100, DX -35 and DX -40, but was
letter day in July,1953 when Heath an- much cheaper to replace if it became
nounced its first ham transmitter: the necessary.
famous AT-1. The last of the Heath DX series was
If the word classic means "often imi- The DX -100 was a big transmitter, but the DX-60, introduced in November,
tated" the AT -1 certainly deserves the it put out a signal to match. The "100" 1960 as a replacement for the DX -40.
title. The AT -1's tube line up of a 5U4G refers to its weight! Not a unit to The circuitry of the two was similar, but
casually drop on your card table. the DX -60 had a smaller cabinet and
rectifier, a 6AG7 oscillator-multiplier,
and a 6L6 final amplifier was typical of updated styling. It had a pi- network,
the period -with the 6L6 being known had a built -in modulator for voice output but, reflecting a trend that has
for its ruggedness and tolerance for work. The modulator was of the "con- continued until the present (unfortu-
the inexperienced. The great things trolled- carrier" type, which was not nate, think), it was only set up to

about the AT-1 were that it was easy to nearly as effective as plate modula- match 50- or 75 -ohm antennas.
build, easy to use, was entirely con- tion, but it was a lot cheaper and it The Heath Company is still very ac-
tained within an attractive cabinet, didn't require a heavy modulation tive in the amateur arena and has
could change bands with the flip of a transformer. plans for a dramatically expanded
switch, and, best of all, sold for just One of the important features of the product line in the near future. First up
$29.50! That was considerably less DX -35 and DX -40 was the use of a "pi- will be a new high- frequency, all-
than the cost of the parts if purchased
A year later, Heath introduced the
VF -1 VFO kit for only $19.50. Even allow-
ing for the greater purchasing power
of the dollar in those days, that was a
pretty inexpensive way for a new ham
to get on the air.
The next transmitter, introduced by
Heath in May, 1955 was at the other
end of the scale; the DX-100. Though
not really intended for novices (featur-
ing 200 -watts input, plate modulation,
and a built in VFO for $189.50), the
DX-100 was a heck of a transmitter. The Two more popular Heath transmitters, the DX -20 for code only and the DX -40
'100," by the way, refers to its weight! for code or voice. Both had a pi- network output circuit.

The last of the Heath DX series was the
DX -60. It rias essentially the DX -40 in a
stylish cabinet with basic frills.

mode transceiver with nine -band

transmit capability and general -
coverage receiver, dual VFOs, and all These are two novice transmitters from Johnson, the Adventurer and the Challenger. The
the bells and whistles. Early in 1989 Adventurer iras a cute little transmitter, but boasted a rugged 807 final amplifier. The
Heath plans to announce a novice Challenger iras similar, but would also operate voice.
transceiver for 10 -meter single side -
band. Eventually Heath will be offering Johnson's entry into the novice mar- and an 807 final amplifier. The 807 has
new transceivers for all the new novice ket was the Viking Adventurer, which been described as a 6L6 with a thyroid
frequencies. made its debut in November,1954. The condition. It was just as tough as its little
Adventurer was practically a cube of brother, but gave almost twice the out-
Johnson Viking. The E.F. Johnson eight inches by eight inches by ten put. The Adventurer offered one -switch
Company of Waseca, Minnesota, was inches -just the right size for easy as- band changing and pi- network out-
the creation of Ed Johnson, 9ALF, in sembly and good ventilation. The Ad- put coupling for loading almost any
1923. (In those days ham calls didn't venturer was a cute little transmitter antenna. The only drawback was the
have country- identifying prefixes.) that didn't take up much room on a price of $54.95 (in kit form only).
Johnson ham gear came to be known table. The next Johnson transmitter for the
for high quality, great styling, and rela- The tube line up consisted of a 54G novice operator was the Viking Chal-
tively high prices. rectifier, a 6AG7 oscillator- multiplier, lenger, introduced in December,1958.
Like the Adventurer, the Challenger
was a band- switching transmitter with
a pi- network output circuit. However
the Challenger could run up to 120 -
watts input, and had a built -in con-
trolled- carrier modulator, features that
would be of interest when the novice
went on to get his or her general -class
license. The Challenger was a good
transmitter, but expensive at $114.75 in
kit form, or $154.75 wired and tested.
Two other Johnson transmitters
should be mentioned, not so much be-
cause they were used by novices, but
because we all wanted them so
badly -the Ranger and the
The Johnson Viking Ranger should
be listed among the all -time classic
ham transmitters. It had a 6146 final
amplifier and a pi- network output that
would match an antenna impedance
from 25 to 2000 ohms! It had a super-
stable VFO and timed -sequence key-
ing so you could operate "break -in"
with no chirp. The five-tube audio and
modulator system was practically flat
They don't make there like this anymore. This is an inside view of the Johnson Ranger. from 250 to 3000 Hz for broadcast -

The Ranger had practically broadcast- quality modulation, an output circuit that could quality sound.
load up a brass doorknob as an antenna, and many other features. It ssas priced to match There was a "clamp" tube to protect
its performance. the final amplifier, and three separate

would really churn out the watts. It was
a great buy for $49.95 as a kit or $64.95
wired. Sadly, World Radio Laborato-
ries has ceased operations.
There were many other novice trans-
mitters manufactured during the fifties:
Knight made a ton of them, as did
Eico, Hallicrafters, and others, and
many hams built their own. The ones
presented here were very popular,
and, in the case of the Johnson units, at
least, among the most sought after.
The Johnson Navigator and the Ranger weren t novice transmitters. but we The question might be asked,
all Hunted thein. The Ranger Nus one of the best medium -power voice operation "Weren't you under a terrific handicap
transmitters ever. while the Navigator was a code -only model. back in the fifties, having to use crystal
control and less than 75 -watts input ?"
The answer is no. Crystal control
wasn't a problem because all novices
were "rock bound" so when someone
called "CQ" (a general call to any sta-
tion) they would tune around and listen
for a reply up and down the band from
another crystal -controlled station.
Even today it's not difficult to make
contacts if you have a few crystals.
Likewise, everybody was limited to
75 -watts input, so there was no need
for higher power.
The top of the line models, such as
World Radio Laboratories sold a ton of novice transmitters. The code -only the Collins 75A -4, the Hammarlund
Globe Chief and the code or voice Globe Scout were very popular rigs in the fifties. HQ -170, and the Hallicrafters SX -101 will
compare favorably with those in use
power supplies. In addition, each and was the brainchild of Leo I. Meyerson, today, but most of us couldn't afford
every lead out of the transmitter -even WFGQ. Shortly after the war WRL be- them and had to make do with medi-
those to pilot lights or the accessory gan building ham transmitters, includ- um- or low- priced units with little selec-
socket -was bypassed and filtered to ing the famous Globe Scout. The Scout tivity or stability.
prevent TVI. went through a number of changes You can find a good novice -type
In short, Johnson simply set out to through the late forties and fifties with- transmitter at almost any hamfest for a
build the best medium -power trans- out a change in name (so be sure your very low price if you'd care to try one.
mitter they possibly could, and they instruction book matches your trans- Instruction books for practically all of
built it with style. The Ranger has to be mitter.) them can be had from HI Manuals, P.O.
one of the best -looking ham transmit- The best seller was probably the Box 802, Council Bluffs, IA 51502; their
ters ever manufactured. Globe Scout 680 from 1957. It con- catalog is $2.
Of course the Johnson people ex- tained a 6V6 oscillator- multiplier driv- If you do decide to try one on the air,
pected to be paid for their efforts. ing a 6146 final amplifier to output on remember that tube sets used volt-
When brought on the market in June, all bands from 80 to 6 meters. That was ages that can be lethal. Be careful if
1954, the Ranger could be had for great for technician -class operators you're used to low-voltage transistor
$179.50 as a kit and $258.00 wired and who could use six -meter voice opera- circuitry. Don't touch anything under
tested. The wired price was well over tion. The Scout was plate modulated the chassis or behind the panel when
$300 before the end of the decade. I by a 6L6GB (though not quite to 100 %) the transmitter is plugged in, and short
bought the one in the photo for $25 at and the audio amplifier used a couple out the filter capacitors after you've
a hamfest. of small printed circuits -a
fore- unplugged it. Also, put the key in a
The Navigator was a code -only ver- shadowing of what was to come. plastic bag when operating. Some
sion of the Ranger and was priced at The price of the Scout was $89.95 as transmitters had a lot of voltage across
$149.50 per kit, or $199.50 wired, in a kit or $99.95 wired. the key terminals. Finally, be sure to
November, 1957. It was a good rig, and in addition to protect the input of a solid -state re-
The E.F. Johnson Company is still very the usual pi- network, it had an "L" net- ceiver, if you use one.
much in business, but hasn't manufac- work that could be switched in. The If any of those safety tips aren't clear,
tured ham gear for many years. While Scout would load "any reasonable an- please ask an experienced ham to
they did though, they set a high stan- tenna," and a lot of unreasonable help you. Old rigs are safe, easy, and
dard for others to aim at. ones too! fun to use if you're careful. But then
The Globe Chief was announced in again, grew up with them. Don't be

World Radio Laboratories. World Ra- August of 1956. A CW -only transmitter, it afraid to ask for help in getting one on
dio Laboratories of Council Bluffs, Iowa had a pair of 807s in the final that the air.


Capsela Construction System . pg 1

Panasonic Combination VCR pg 2

Toshiba Stereo -Radio Cassette -
Recorder pg 3

Sharp Vacuum Cleaner pg 4

Gizmo, Bytes
CD Cleaning Fluid P9 5

Coin Telephone P9 5
Key 'N Keyless Lock System ... pg 6
PhotoTouch Telephone ....... pg 6

Shockproof Extension Cord P9 6

Wet Dry CD Cleaning System P9 6
Audio Environment Processor P9 7
"Bozo" One -Piece Telephone. P9 7
Sonance In -Wall Speaker P9 7
Wizard Electronic Organizer. P9 7
Robo Remote interchangeable parts and gear capsules.
Available in a number of configurations.
Aiwa Auto Cassette Receiver. ranging from a 36 -part "starter set" to a
P9 8
CAPSELA COMPUTER REMOTE I08 -part "expert set," the heart of the
Hitachi Home Bakery P9 8 CONTROL CONSTRUCTION SYS- Capsela system is its namesake feature.
SSangyong Color TV TEM. Manufactured by: Play Jour The system is built around a series of trans-
P9 8
International, Ltd.. 200 Fifth Ave., parent plastic capsules, each encasing a
Yachica 8mm Camcorder P9 8 Rm. 1024, New York, NY 10010. Price: mechanical function: a motor, worm gear.
Automotive CD Changer $140. crown wheel, or power transmission. Con-
P9 9
When we were kids, two of the toys nector components -a small octagonal
ProGolf Electronic Golf P9 9 which made a big impact on us were "Rob- sleeve-link the capsules and their battery
JBL Loudspeaker System bie the Robot" and the venerable Erector power source, allowing the play -time engi-
P9 9
Set. Robbie, inspired by one of the era's neer to build a variety of electro- mechan-
Wireless Joystick P9 9 science fiction movies, was very much the ical devices.
Executive Tool Kit mechanical man. A hand crank propelled With the attention to changing times
P9 10
him forward, while a small record con- that marks the toy industry, Play Jour has
Panasonic Video Telephone P9 10 cealed in his back gave him the power of updated the Capsela with the introduction
Remote Control Golf -Bag (limited) speech. The Erector Set needs no of what are called the "2000 Computer
Carrier 10 introduction to the generations of kids Control System" and a companion "5000
(and ex -kids) who have bolted and built Infrared Remote Control System." Ac-
Sanyo Stereo Receiver P9 10 using the toy's trademark girders. rods, cording to the firm, the "computer memo-
Video -Tape Storage Cabinet 10 and wheels. Nowadays, the Erector Set ry stores up to 94 commands and has 17
. .
has added "lasers," while Robbie is of different functions." Power comes from
Cellular Telephone P9 11 interest only to toy collectors. But a con- four "AA" batteries and one 9-volt battery.
Eight Cell Battery Charger 11
temporary product from Play Jour Interna- The same unit is part of the 5000 system,
tional, Ltd. combines some of the but that system also adds an infrared re-
Portable Printing Calculator P9 11 elements that made those two playthings mote control (the "Selectronic Transmit-
"Rap' Earphones 11
classics. ter") with a range of up to 25 feet. The
Called the Capsela Computer Remote expanded system requires eight "AA" bat-
Sharp Personal Stereo P9 11 Control Construction System. it's an up- teries and one nine -volt unit.
date of the company's intriguingly intri- In addition to the parts and components
cate Capsela system of interlocking, already mentioned. the Capsela systems

GIZMO Page 1 47
use an array of gears. axles, chains. reflec- the Capsela circuitry (simple enough in were sometimes difficult for the non -elee
tors, and wires. There are also lights and itself) beyond his skills and grasp. He only tronic brain to understand.
audio (the "laser lite" and "sonic sound - completed the set with the help of a friend The Capsela's ideal playmates would
er "). The resulting constructions are won - more conversant with circuity than he was. probably be a knowledgeable adult and an
derfully off-beat, looking like a combina- The profusion of parts also gave him eager and curious kid. The grown -up
tion of the electronic future and the pause, particularly as he tried (and some- could negotiate the intricacies of the con-
mechanical past. Completed and running. times failed) to recognize each one in the struction system's circuitry and mechan-
any of those sets would be a wonderful diagrams and illustrations in the Capsela ical linkage, at least at first, while the
spur to the imagination with which kids instruction booklet. Still, his finished youngster could use his or her imagination
are equipped. Capsela figure was a sight to behold, a to design the final assembly. After a feu
But completed and running can present wonderfully complicated collection of sessions, the junior partner would proba-
a problem. The Capsela kits are intricate components in motion, lights, and action. bly pick up on what he or she has seen dad
enough that we liave to wonder about the Learning to program the "command or mom do, learning in the most painless
age guidelines Play Jour provides. "Eight keyboard" of the remote added at least way possible. Handing a child a Capsella
wears old and up" seems a judgement another dimension of learning, and some- kit with the instructions and expecting him
that's overly optimistic about the ability of times frustration. The remote transmits or her to master it is a little like teaching a
youngsters to deal with the tedium of con - commands for execution to the system's youngster to swim by throwing the kid into
struction, carefully following instructions "computer," or it can send "instant de- the deep end of the pool. In both cases, the
and connecting wire "A" to component mand" commands, skipping the memory child is more likely to be overwhelmed
"C-I." storage stage. But as with grown -up com- than entranced. Science and mechanics
An adult we know, not particularly me- puters, the "Selectronic Computer's" can be fun, and fun to learn, but not if the
chanically or electrically inclined, found command programming and responses student is in over his head.

(diagonally measured) screen TV is a stan-

dard Panasonic set, with the addition of a
compact VCR mounted topside.
Compact and lightweight, the PV-
M2028 is 20 1/46- inches wide, 209/16- inches
tall, and 191/2- inches deep, and weighs a
not -excessive 53.6 pounds. The unit saves
space (and a fair piece of change) by using
the same quartz tuner for both the TV and
Although that voids one of home vid-
eo's drawing cards-the ability to watch
one program even as the VCR records an-
other-it seems a small trade -off. A cable -
service subscription also knocks out the
record- and -watch option for essentially
the same reason, a single tuner; in that case
the tuner is the one provided by the cable
The PV- M2028's two -head recorder is
programmed using the remote control,
with on -screen graphics providing step -
by -step instructions for timer functions.
clock and calendar setting, etc. There's
also double -speed playback, automatic re-
wind, eject and power off, and an ex-
CIRCLE 41 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD panded "one- touch" record capability.
Timer functions include one- month /four-
event recording and a 30/60/90- minute au-
The suspicion that such combo units tomatic power off feature. An "auto re-
Double Play might be less than the sum of their parts
may have had some justification when they
peat" function will play a cassette
continuously, automatically rewinding
first came onto the market a few years ago. and beginning the tape again until another
PANASONIC COMBINATION VCR But with more manufacturers offering the of the unit's functions is engaged. Inputs
(PV- M2028). Manufactured by: Pan-
product, the combination TV /VCR shows are provided for dubbing from a second
asonic Co.. One Panasonic Way, signs of coming of age. VCR, along with the usual instruction -
Secaucus, NJ 07094. Price: S780. Panasonic's Combination VCR, the re- manual phrases warning about "un-
At first glance, the combination TV/ mote control equipped PV-M2028 offers authorized copying of copyrighted record-
VCR appears to be the TV /hi -fi console of video recording capabilities and features ings." Panasonic also provides UHF and
the "home entertainment center" era. that not too long ago were available only VHF antennas.
Scorned by video aficionados as a suspect on deluxe, stand -alone video recorders. The combination of on -screen cues and
and probably inferior combining of com- Among its high end -style features is a logically designed remote- control panel
ponents, in reality the TV /VCR has a good "HQ" circuitry and on- screen program- makes timer programming easy to ex-
deal in its favor. ming instructions and cues. The 20 -inch ecute. We were also impressed when we

48 Page 2 GIZMO
hooked the PV- M2028 to the cable con- end time) while retaining the convenience already noted, includes three play speeds,
nection and the picture was immediately of single -touch recording. If, for example, pause and still picture (although with the
sharp and clear. An electronic component a viewer just misses capturing some key video noise that's typical of two -head
that works right out of the box is always moment in a televised sports event, stand- units), and the usual forward -and- reverse
impressive. At least some of the credit for by keeps the one -touch record function at picture search.
the immediate picture belongs to Pan- the ready while waiting for the inevitable For consumers with limited space, the
asonic's "colorpilot control," an automat- instant replay. Panasonic Combination VCR might be an
ic system that monitors and controls color Another useful convenience is the TV ideal product. Likewise, as an unobtrusive
and tint. "Sharpness," "bright," and set's automatic tuning. The PV -M2028 second VCR in a bedroom or small den,
manual color and tint controls are mounted tuner fine tunes and sequentially orders all the PV -M2028 would fill the bill in many
below the TV screen, along with the "col - available channels, with unused frequen- households.
orpilot" button. Panasonic also includes a cies automatically deleted. If a new station Neither the TV's or the VCR's perfor-
"Panabrite control," which the instruc- comes on -line, a press of the "auto -set" mance appears to have been compromised
tions say "adjusts the intensity of the pic- button adds it to the set's memory in the by this marriage of consumer con-
ture by adjusting contrast and color level in correct numerical order. Anyone who's venience, while the neatness factor (one
the proper balance." gone through the hunt -and -peck of manual less component, one less set of connec-
The unit's "one-touch" recording fea- station presetting should appreciate that tions and cords) will likely win some con-
ture includes a standby function that ex- feature. sumers over to the combo alternative. In
pands the flexibility of that popular ca- The VCR half of the PV-M2028 is also this, the age of the couch potato and the
pability. The button labeled "standby" clearly no stripped -down recorder. It has video lifestyle, a VCR/TV combination
allows the viewer to delay recording start the features and capabilities of a stand- makes a heck of a lot more sense than the
time (or continue recording past a preset alone VCR which, in addition to those old TV /hi -fi console ever did.

Double Entry
ufactured by: Toshiba America. Inc..
82 Totowa Rd.. Wayne. NJ 07470).
Price: $189.95.
The unsung genius who dreamed up the
boom box deserves a medal, from both the
audio industry and the consumer. Those
portable, comparatively low- priced units
have put quality audio (again, com-
paratively) within reach of an extremely
broad market. And thanks to those porta-
ble audio systems, securing a music
source is no longer a consumer decision CIRCLE 42 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD
fraught with the kind of peril associated
with buying a car or taking out a mort-
gage. The versatile tape decks were our favorite noted that the unit is outfitted with a power
There are, of course, trade -offs. But at aspect of the unit. Besides allowing re- indicator light.
this stage of boom box development, what cording from other sources (the back of the The radio's electronic- tuning system,
you see is usually what you hear. The unit includes stereo inputs for connection which includes station pre-set and auto -
speakers furnished with most of those to an another component), the dual system tuning capabilities, was fast, and despite
units won't be mistaken for those in a can be set for continuous play, and a dub- limitations, did a usually adequate job
concert-hall sound system, but the way bing function allows either normal or pulling in the strongest signal (even if the
most boom -boxes are used, detailed sound high -speed tape duplication. display didn't always exactly correspond
would be beside the point. Throughout, the combination of to the station's frequency). The LCD digits
All of that, and more, occurs to us after RT-7066 features made it a pleasure to use. are large enough to be easily read, al-
having tried out a Toshiba Stereo Radio Outside, for example, we didn't have to though the display can be difficult to see
Cassette Recorder (RT-7066). As lifelong annoy others with our selection of music. under some lighting situations. Also, the
music listeners, we had gotten by with the The unit includes a front -panel input for only way to check the progress of a cas-
usual home stereo system. Boom boxes, headphone listening. sette behind the unit's doors is with a flash-
we half figured, were for kids. Besides, Power is supplied via the standard AC/ light. The combination of slightly tinted
their sound reproduction couldn't be very DC system. A removable cord allows the plastic, and the cassette's own casing
good, at least if a couple of generations of unit to be powered from a wall outlet, and 8 makes for near zero visibility.
stereo sales people were to be believed. "D" batteries are used to power the unit At the top of the front panel is the
Where were the oiled mahogany cases for for fully portable use. Because of the RT-7066's elaborate radio tuning system.
the speakers? RT- 7066's radio -station memory func- Band (FM /AM) selection, function selec-
What we found is that even around the tions, two "AA "batteries are also required tion, volume, and speaker balance are
house, the RT-7066 added a new for "memory back -up." According to grouped at either side of the unit's five -
portability to listening. And away from the Toshiba, those should last about a year. band graphic equalizer. Dubbing speed,
house, its dual cassette system put an hour The instructions don't venture a figure for "FM mode," and "AM Sensor" all share
of uninterrupted music at our disposal. the life of the main -power batteries. hut we the same control. "FM mode" selects he-

GIZMO Page 3 49
tween stereo and mono, while the AM graphic equalizer works on the monitor share of abuse. Further, the tape deck's
system offers "DX" ( "for normal AM se- tone in recording, but does not affect the rather flimsy push -down controls (though
lection") or "local," to be used when "re- content of recording." If automatic con- no flimsier than those used in many com-
ception is very strong and the sound tends trol is good enough for recording-fidelity peting models) seem like breakage waiting
to be distorted." purposes, it's probably good enough for to happen. And the design of various other
Much of this, however, is subverted by listening. Besides, "tone" and "bass" controls also are not a tribute to durability.
the unit's telescoping antenna. In an urban controls take up less space than the equal- The combination dub- speed /reception-
environment, radio reception depends as izer's sliders and indicators do; that's an mode control and FM /AM selector seem
much on the strength of the signal received important consideration. especially vulnerable to early destruction.
as on the RT- 7066's reception system. Taping directly from the unit's own ra- But, we suppose that it is better that cost
Which is to say, some stations came in dio produced cassettes of exceptional clar- cutting take place in the cosmetics and
splendidly, while others were a lost cause. ity (provided, of course, the signal was casing of the unit than in its electronic and
The same performance we'd expect from a clear and strong). Recording from records audio components.
budget -priced clock radio. Although man- or even CDs, at least using our beat -up Although grown -up enough in its audio
ufacturers probably know more about how office stereo, produced tapes of slightly performance, the boom box remains a
those units are used than we do, it still less fidelity. The least satisfactory copies, younger (and more fragile) sibling to
seems that giving some extended attention although certainly listenable, were dubs of home and auto stereo. While portable,
to the problem of radio reception would tapes. We could not detect any flutter (tape their cases tend to be less than fortified.
give some brand an advantage over its speed variation) in our test unit (which was Likewise, being on the move can shake up
competitors. brand new from the Toshiba warehouse). and potentially damage the tape system
Although the graphic equalizer clearly Cheaper systems, especially those with and various other features and functions.
made a difference in how music sounded considerable mileage on them, often suf- But if the consumer is aware of their lim-
via the RT-7066, we still have to wonder fer from that problem. its, portable audio systems can fulfill a real
about that feature. Pretensions to audio With proper care, the RT -7066 would function. But given the near ubiquity of
engineering aside, when it comes to re- give years of use. Of course, portable units these systems today, that's something cam
cording the instructions reveal, "the are often subjected to more than their fair sumers realized long ago.

(EC- 8530). Manufacturer: Sharp
Electronics, Inc., Sharp Plaza, Mah-
wah, NJ 07430. Price: $369.95.
The parallels between two otherwise
unrelated industries, automobiles and vac-
uum cleaners, are kind of curious. Both
became "consumer products" at about the
same time-the turn-of-the- century -and
both industries were soon dominated by a
few well -known manufacturers. Over the
years, car makers and vacuum moguls
came to depend as much on salesmanship
as product innovation and the vacuum
cleaner and the car is each a symbol of
American consumerism.
In recent years the parallels have con-
tinued: After years of having the market
very much to themselves, American vac-
uum manufacturers suddenly were con-
fronted with overseas competition estab-
lishing itself in the U.S. The newcomers
changed the rules, both in design and mar-
keting, and a general scramble ensued
among makers of that humble home ap-
Among the newer brand names in the
field is Sharp Electronics and the top of its

Gizmo is published by Gemsback Publica-

tions, Inc., 500 -B Bi -County Blvd., Farm-
ingdale, NY 11735. Senior Writer: George
Arthur. Contributor to this issue: Thomas
Reinhart. Gizmo is a registered trademark.
Copyright 1988 by Gernsback Publications.
All rights reserved.

50 Page 4 GIZMO
vacuum -cleaner line is the EC -8530. visibility in dark corners and under the thing out of a Defense Department testing
Among its electronic refinements is reg- furniture." A rocker switch adjusts the laboratory.
ulation of suction power and a sensor that head for floor or carpet cleaning. Set for But it does work. and in our month -long
automatically registers when the ma- rugs, an agitation brush rolls, pulling the test it worked quite well. In terms of its
chine's disposable dust bag is full. suction head along at a brisk clip. It also electronic dust sensor, too well. After our
A canister-style cleaner. the unit fea- means that the operator is fighting the first week or so of use, the sensor light
tures a powered "suction nozzle" at the power action if the familiar back-and -forth would come on, indicating a full bag. any
end of the usual hose and two metal tubes. motion of pre- electronic vacuum cleaning time we had the machine adjusted to max-
Our first impression of the EC -8530 out of is used. Again, it helps to have a large imum suction power. Turning the machine
the box was that from the tip of its suction enough room that the machine can turn off, opening the dust -bag chamber, and
nozzle to the built -in tool compartment in and double back. A spinning gauge (actu- shaking the bag would usually disengage
the rear of the wheeled canister. this was ally that's simply the end of the agitation the sensor for a time, and putting the unit
truly a Cadillac of vacuum cleaners. roller, which has been marked barber pole - on low power would keep the warning light
Unfortunately. it also seemed to be style) indicates if for some reason the off. Even installing a new dust bag
about as long as a Volkswagen. Even its power roller isn't spinning. wouldn't alleviate the constant (and there-
"180 degree" hose swivel didn't allow for The power-suction nozzle assembly in- fore useless) electronic- sensor warning.
much maneuverability in smaller rooms or cludes a cord that clips to the underside of In contrast to some other home ap-
alcoves. This is definitely the machine for the connecting tubes and hose, plugging pliances made from plastic. the EC -8530
people with acres of carpet and floor to into the handle and the canister mounted seems a sturdy enough unit. although the
keep manicured. motor ( "a thousand watts of cleaning plastic housing likely demands more
The cleaner's "auto power -control" power, "Sharp says). With the suction head maintenance to keep it clean than the met-
LED turned out to be something like a removed, the cleaner's attachments can be al vacuum-cleaner bodies of the past. On
graphic equalizer. Red indicator lights fitted onto the end of the metal tubing. the plus side, it doesn't weigh as much as
trace the upward curve of suction power They stow neatly, and for once, logically, those behemoths of yore; just a trim II
over a graph -like wedge. A trio of "varia- in the built -in tool compartment. The pounds in the case of the canister. The
ble- power switches" offers "high," unit's power cord is spring loaded, so it too electronics of the cleaner seem rather sec-
"low," and automatic power-levels. The disappears for storage. ondary to its strengths. although we can't
last leaves judgement of cleaning condi- Getting down to the nitty- gritty, the say we didn't enjoy the control panel effect
tions and appropriate power to the vacuum EC -8530 displayed superior suction power of the LED "power display."
cleaner's sensors, which is at least one less under a variety of cleaning conditions. Using the vacuum was something like
thing the home -cleaning engineer guiding Enormous amounts of unseen dust and dirt taking a high-powered automobile for a
the EC -8530 will have to worry about. were pulled in by the machine. Although test spin. While appreciating its virtues,
Because, as they say, there's more. the chamber housing the paper dust bag we doubted it would fit in our garage, and
They weren't kidding about the suction was dirtied up in the course of cleaning, smaller Sharp vacuum cleaners do not of-
head being powered. Fabricated of plastic leakage from the EC -8530 was not detec- fer the allure of electronics. If Sharp really
and metal, the business end of the table. A "triple micron filter system" in- wants to revolutionize the vacuum cleaner
EC -8530 features a wrap -around headlight cludes an "electrostatically -charged mi- field electronically, it ought to develop a
that would do many smaller cars proud. cron filter" and a second filter located in remote -control model. That would mark a
Powerful enough to read the instruction the motor exhaust. An illustration of that really new era in the 20th Century saga ,,t
booklet by. Sharp promises "increased used by Sharp makes it look like some- vacuum cleanine.

Compact-Disc "I C --'-g Fluid Gizmo/Bytes

It's a sure bet that the compact -disc market has established itself when Disc-
washer, Inc. (4310 Transworld Rd., Schiller Park, IL 60176) decides to market a
large economy -size container of the firm's popular CD -I Cleaning Fluid. The new
6 -ounce refill bottle comes with its own premeasured application spray-top, while
the fluid inside is "specially formulated to lift and suspend contaminants from
CDs," leaving "virtually no residue behind." So what's next, a quart bottle?
Price: $10.95

Coin Telephone
This may be just what parents of teen -agers have been looking for, the TY -006
Coin Telephone. Besides accepting only quarters, the unit is outfitted with a
lockable coin box and will make calls only locally. It can limit call time, either 3
or 9 minutes, or can offer limitless calling and can be converted to a regular phone
with a special "owner's key." It will also accept incoming calls and allow coinless
calls to emergency numbers and the operator. Its distributor, Data & Voice
Communications Plus, Ltd. (219 -03 Northern Blvd.. New York, NY 11361) also
offers the instrument in other service configurations (long -distance call capability
for example) and in a second, slightly more expensive model that allows calls to
two area codes. Price: $349.95.

GIZMO/Page 5 51
PhotoTouch Telephone
A new telephone offered by Northwest Bell Phones (9394 W. Dodge Rd.. Suite
100, Omaha, NE 68144) isn't hard to picture. Dubbed the PhotoTouch Telephone,
the instrument features a flat, large -key dialing pad that "doubles as a photo
collage." Users can insert photos of friends or relatives into the "window memory
keys" and then insert their respective phone numbers into the nine -entry, two -step
memory. Instead of photos. symbol cards for numbers like police, fire, or
emergency services can be used with the appropriate telephone number pro-
grammed into the PhotoTouch memory. Northwest Bell Phones says that other
big -number telephones tend to be bulky. this one features a "slim, streamlined
design" for use at home or office, either mounted on the wall or sitting on a
surface. Other features include last -number redial, adjustable ringer volume, a 14-
foot line cord, a 10 -foot spring-coiled handset cord, and tone /pulse switchability.
The instrument is sold with a set of symbol cards and is hearing -aid compatible.
Price: $69.99.
PhotoTouch Telephone

Shockproof Extension Cord

Electrical safety begins at home and there's no better place to start than with the
Shockproof Extension Cord offered by Hammacher Schlemmer (147 E. 57th St.,
New York, NY 10022). The 6 -foot cord, rated at 15 amps, features a built -in circuit
interrupter that monitors and automatically discontinues the current flow within
1/40 of a second if a variance of over five milliamps is detected. The interrupter
housing has a protective snap-shut cover and Hammacher Schlemmer says its
safety feature is "the same type required by government regulatory agencies on
construction sites." Price: $42.50.
Shockproof Extension Cord

Key 'N Keyless Lock System

Besides being a new wrinkle in hone security, the Key N' Keyless Lock and
Deadbolt System may be a big favorite with those among us who can't seem to
hold onto their keys. From Schlage Lock Co. (P.O. Box 3324, San Francisco, CA
94119), the system features a heavy-duty knob lockset. At the top of the lockset
panel is an electronic display for identification and entry of a personal access code
(for which there are ten thousand possible choices). Codes are entered by turning
the knob to the left or right and entering the correct digits as they pass the
illuminated display. Power comes from four "AAA" batteries and a single 9 -volt
battery; when not in use, the lock's illuminated display turns off. The Key N'
Keyless system includes a low- battery warning signal and a key override feature.
When the correct code is entered, the display shows the letter "U." The lock also
"sends a wireless infrared signal to the deadbolt allowing it to be retracted using
the rotating security ring. The same ring can also be used to extend the bolt to
locked position when leaving the home." For security, the lock recloses imme-
diately after operation. Finally. Schlage offers a local -alarm option that gives pre -
entry warning of tampering with the lock or multiple attempts to break the user
code. The lock can be operated with two separate access codes. Price: $84.

Wet Dry CD Cleaning System

Key 'N Keyless Lock System
Keeping those compact discs pristine and spotless seems to have become a
growth industry. Signet (4701 Hudson Dr., Stow, OH 44224) has just introduced
an Automatic Wet/Dry CD Cleaning System (SK3 /5), which, besides mimicking
the appearance of a portable disc player, "combines the benefits of wet and dry
cleaning" in about 40- seconds time. A few drops of the supplied cleaning fluid are
applied to a wet -cleaning pad and a CD is inserted into the mechanism. A touch of
a button activates "radial -like cleaning motion created by dual rotation of the disc
and pad." After 15 seconds. the wet pad automatically retracts and a "dry-
cleaning chamois-type pad" moves into position, rotating in the opposite direc-
tion of the wet treatment, for about 25 seconds. Power for that radial -like cleaning
motion is supplied by four "AA" batteries (included). Price: $60.
Wet Dry CD Cleaning System

52 Page 6 GIZMO
Sonance In -Wall Speaker
Built -in stereo systems are kind of the ultimate in home listening, at least if, like
so many consumers, you resent the miles of cords and wires surrounding most
home entertainment systems. Sonance (32992 Calle Perfecto, San Juan Cap-
istrano, CA 92675) which calls itself "the world's largest manufacturer of in -wall
high -fidelity speaker systems" has just introduced the firm's "smallest two -way
speaker system" ever for built -in installation. The In-Wall Speaker (M -30) uses a
4 -inch woofer and a I -inch "proprietary polycarbonate tweeter." The company
calls the product ideal for locations such as bathrooms, saunas, showers, and
kitchens. The M -30 is sold with either retrofit or new construction brackets and the
speaker can be oriented either vertically or horizontally and installed "in less than
15 minutes from the time a hole is cut." Speakers are available with either a cloth
or metal grill. Price (per pair): $300--$400.

"Bozo" One -Piece Telephone Sonance In -Wall Speaker

Direct from a featured appearance at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show
and the label of Capitol Records for many years, it's Bozo the Clown, only this
time he's a One -Piece Telephone. The instrument's merchandiser, Kash 'N Gold
Ltd. (360 Smith St., Farmingdale, NY 11735) call it "the first laughing tele-
phone" in that it guffaws instead of ringing (although an alternative, conventional
ringer is available). The unit also features tone/pulse switch and last number
redial. Finally, when the phone rings, Bozo's nose lights up. We can't help but
think this might inspire a certain amount of clownish behavior on the phone. Price:

Digital Audio Environment Processor

Not only can music listeners hear music reproduced with rigorous fidelity in the
privacy of their own homes, but thanks to digital technology, they're now offered
the chance to hear music as if it were being performed in a specific environment. "Bozo" One -Fiece Telephone
Lexicon. Inc. (100 Beaver St., Waltham, MA 02154- 8425), a long- established
manufacturer of professional and studio components, has entered the consumer
market with its Digital Audio Environment Processor (CP -I). Lexicon says it
offers "a wide variety of acoustic spaces such as concert halls, small clubs, or
arenas" replicated for the home listener. In addition, the CP-I "provides reference-
quality Pro Logic decoding of Dolby Surround videotapes." Which means that
CP-I owners will "be able to create multi -channel surround-sound in the home
that rivals the listening experience in the best movie theaters." The unit's dozen
programs generate "reverberation, ambience, panorama, and surround -process
ing." The Processor can be used with a conventional two -speaker system or with Digital Audio Environment Processor
up to 6 additional speakers. Price: $1200

Wizard Electronic Organizer

Hie contest to put an office full of electronic equipment into the consumer's
pocket continues. The latest entry in this product sweepstakes comes from Sharp
Electronics Corp. (Sharp Plaza, Mahwah NJ 07430). Designated the Wizard
Electronic Organizer, the unit integrates such functions as appointment diary,
personal computer, calendar, phone directory, notepad, calculator, and world
clock into one 4- by 6 -inch unit, weighing 8 ounces. A hard -wire computer link-
up accessory enables users to load schedules, phone listings, etc. from a personal
computer or move information from the Wizard into a PC. Memory capacity is
32K and the display is either a large 16- character /8 -line or 10- character /4 -line
panel. Optional IC (integrated circuit) software cards can transform the Wizard
into a dedicated machine. Scheduled for an October market introduction, IC cards
available include a time management system, a thesaurus /dictionary, and an eight
language translator, with others slated for later development by Sharp. Price:
Wizard Electronic Organizer

GIZMO/Page 7 53
Color TV with On- Screen Graphics
On -screen "programming" as a television feature sort of came in through the
back door with the video recorder. Now the capability is being offered as one of the
features of a "moderately priced set" from SSangvong (USA) Inc. (601 16th St..
Carlstadt, NJ 07072). The tabletop cable-ready Color TV with On- Screen Graph-
ics (CT- 1940R) is a I9 -inch screen model with remote control. The screen displa
shows the television's functions when they're engaged; volume level, mute.
channel indicator, clock, sleep and on/off timer, TV /CATV, and TV /video. The
sleep timer allows the somnambulant viewer to set the tube to go off. Similarly, the
on /off timer assures that a favorite TV program (provided you have one) need never
be missed again. The 22 -key remote allows reception of up to 139 channels. Other
features include audio/video input terminals, auto fine -tuning, a quick -start pic-
ture tube, peak automatic gain control, and a dot -matrix screen. A companion
model, the CT-1340R offers the same features with a 13 inch screen. Price: $399.
Color TV with On- Screen Graphics

Two -Title Superimposing 8mm Camcorder

Camcorders appear to be evolving towards the point where users will soon he
carrying a miniature production facility on their shoulders. The newest camcorder
from Yashica (100 Randolph Rd., CN 6700, Somerset, NJ 08873) is the
Finemovie Two -Title Superimposing 8mm Camcorder (KD- 17000). The unit
offers digital superimposing of two titles in any of eight colors during video
recording. The titles can be written by hand or "even copied from magazines or
other sources." According to Yashica, the KD-17000 offers "more video play-
back and recording function (up to two hours) than most VCRs." Other cam-
corder features include a 6 x power zoom, date and time recording, and fully
automatic operation. Price: $1.695.
Two -Title Superimposing 8mm Camcorder

Auto - Reverse Cassette Receiver

A new car Auto -Reverse Cassette Receiver (CT-X5600) from Aiwa America.
Inc. would seem to have a number of attractive audio and playback features.
including its namesake auto -reverse cassette deck, quartz-synthesized tuning, a
CD jack for portable units, and something dubbed "Auto Tuning Reception
Control" for "improved FM reception in all signal conditions." We also liked the
"tape- ready" tuner monitor that enables the radio to play during fast forward and
rewind operations, and which automatically activates the tape -play mode after the
tape has finished winding. And that doesn't even take into account the CT-
Auto -Reverse Cassette Receiver X5600's five -band graphic equalizer and three-way fader control. So what did
Aiwa highlight in its product release on this new product? The receiver's security
aspects. A sign of the times, we guess. The unit is described as "completely theft -
proof" in that it features the company's "STOP" design. STOP is the "stereo total
operation panel" that "folds right up into the chassis...blending in with the car's
dashboard as well as keeping dust -and thieves out." The CT-X5600 can also
be removed quickly by the owner for storage or to be carried away "in a
customized Aiwa carrying case." Price: $500.

Hitachi Home Bakery

Consumers considering the purchase of an automatic home bread maker now
have a choice of makes. The Panasonic Co.'s Bread Bakery (GIZMO, August
1988) has been joined in the marketplace by the Home Bakery (HB -A101) from
Hitachi Sales Corp. of America (401 W. Artesia Blvd., Compton CA 90220). The
Home Bakery mixes, kneads, rises, and bakes in three hours and 50 minutes,
cutting a whopping 10 minutes off the Bread Bakery's preparation time for a loaf.
The HB -A101 offers timer functions, an automatic convection cool -down feature,
and a window on the top of the unit that "permits easy viewing of the whole
process." Lights and a buzzer keep the home bread maker in touch with each
phase of the process. Price: $329.95.

54 Page 8 GIZMO
ProGolf Electronic Golf
I)un think that the ProGolf Electronic Golf game
t is just any ordinary elec-
tronic amusement device. According to Hammacher Schlemmer (147 E. 57th St..
New York. NY 1002) the device can "actually sharpen your golfing instincts." A
computer-animated I8 -hole course offers fairways, doglegs, water hazards, and
sand traps, with the unit's "large liquid crystal screen vividly simulating the
terrain and action of real golf." The player has a selection of a dozen clubs to chose
from against an audio backdrop of "realistic sound effects." As the club nears the
ball on screen, the user presses a button at the moment of impact. Press the button
too late and it's a hook shot, press too soon and the golfer slices. After each shot or
putt. ProGolf displays the distance remaining and the screen changes to show the
new position of the ball. An electronic scorecard automatically keeps score for a
single player, two -player stroke games, and two -player match games. The unit is
pocket -size and will run for approximately 200 hours on two calculator batteries
(included). Fore! Price: $69.

Freedom Stick Wireless, Infrared Joystick ProGclf Electronic Golf

President Franklin Roosevelt wasn't thinking of video games when he outlined
his famed "four freedoms" a generation ago. Regardless, Camerica, Ltd. (230
Fifth Ave., Suite /100, New York, NY /0001) has latched on to the "four freedoms"
tag in introducing its Freedom Stick Wireless Infrared Joystick. Tne unit, claimed
as both "the first wireless infrared joystick" and "compatible with Ninetendo,
Sega, Atari, and Commodore video -game systems," offers the "freedoms" of
"playability, movement, competitiveness, and choice." The unit's range allows
play from a distance of over 20 feet from the video screen and offers players the
choice of auto rapid fire or manual action. Available nationally since July, the
Freedom Stick sounds like a new deal in home video games. Price: $69.95.

Wireless Video Game Joystick

JBL Cascade Loudspeaker System
JBL (240 Crossways Pk. W., Woodbury, NY 11797) has introduced a "radically
innovative speaker design" with the Cascade Loudspeaker System. According to
the product announcement: "The new system uniquely employs four three -inch,
edge- driven, pure- titanium dome midrange transducers in a vertical array teamed
with revolutionary crossover technology." The result is midrange sound reproduc-
tion of clarity, power, and dynamic range that overcomes the audio compromises
JBL says have always been involved in "reproduction in the critical midrange."
The Cascade Loudspeaker is a floor-standing model that's five -feet tall. Price:

Automotive CD Changer
Listening to music in the car has become part of the American "automotive
experience," and now Kenwood U.S.A. Corp. (160 Newport Center Dr., Suite 21,
Newport Beach. CA 92660) has a new product custom tailored for the long -
distance driver. It's the company's first Automotive CD Changer (KDC- C100).
With a 10 -disc capacity, the KDC-C100 is equipped with the obligatory anti -theft
design and has several features specifically tailored for vehicular use. A system
called "Optimum Servo Control" is said to eliminate the "common skipping and Cascade LoLdspeaker System
repeating caused by dust, fingerprints, and scratches," surprising problems for
those who recall CDs being introduced as virtually indestructible only a few years
ago. Further, Kenwood's "Multi -Point Mechanism Insulator" anti -vibration sys-
tem blocks "any chance of laser mis- tracking under severe road conditions. " In its
changing functions, the KDC -C100 offers random shuffle play, program play
(selection of up to ten tracks from any of the changer-loaded discs) and the usual
music search. Large volume controls are controlled electronically and their
positions indicated by the unit's LED. There's also a mute button as well as stereo -
balance, speaker- fader, and separate bass and treble controls. Price: $1.199.

GIZMO Page9 55
izmo/Bytes 88 Milano Executive Tool Kit
Weren't sleek, uncluttered surfaces the design rule among the executive desk -
set not too many seasons ago? That would appear to be decor history if Plus
U.S.A. Corp. (10 Reuten Dr., Closter, NJ 07624) has anything to do with it. The
firm's newest product introduction is the 88 Milano Executive Tool Kit. Looking
like a shiny red sports car, the 88 Milano holds a complete set of writing, drawing,
and drafting tools inside various compartments that pop up, eject, or flip open.
There's also a built -in flashlight, which does double duty as the car's headlamp.
Drawing and drafting tools include magnifying glass, lead sharpener, eight mini
templates for numbers, letters, circles, and other shapes, an eraser, ruler, ballpoint
pen, and mechanical pencil. The 88 Milano uses two "AA" batteries. Price:

Video Tape Storage Cabinet

Although designed for trade and retail use, the stackable Alpha -Stack Video
Tape Storage Cabinet from Nieman Design Systems. Inc. (P.O. Box 888, Mt.
Prospect, IL 60056) are probably of interest to the dedicated home -VCR enthusi-
ast. Each unit can hold 180 VHS tapes, 60 in each of its three drawers. Dimensions
of the standard three drawer unit are 371/2 inches long by 201/2 inches high and 20-
inches deep. A master-drawer locking system is optional. Price: $319.

Remote Control Golf Bag Carrier

Do you know somebody who is the ultimate long-distance golfer? They might
want to know about the Shedda Remote Control Golf Bag Carrier (LG). A robot
caddy, the unit is controlled with a small transmitter clipped to the golfer's waist,
in back. The Shedda (a translation of the Scottish word for "shadow "), using two
antennas, follows its user's movements. When the transmitter -equipped golfer
turns, the Shedda follows at a top speed of about 4.5 mph. According to Getting
Engineering & Manufacturing Co. (One Streamside Pl. E., Spring Mills, PA
16875 -0085) the unit utilizes six circuit boards and more than 500 electrical
components. The Shedda LG draws power from a 24 -volt battery (which should be
charged every 18 holes) and carries a full load of 100 pounds. Its maximum range
when fully charged is given as 27 plus holes. Price: $2.350.

Remote Control AM /FM Stereo Receiver

Let's face it, your basic stereo receiver is not the most exotic piece of technology
Remote Control Golf Bag Carrier on the home -audio front. Everybody knows about receivers, they've been around
since phonographs began breaking up into stereo systems. Still, change occurs.
Last summer Sanyo Fisher (USA) Corp. (21350 Lassen St., Chatsworth, CA
91311 -2529) introduced three new units, including a new AM /FM Stereo Receiver
with remote control (RS -615). Rated at 60.watts per channel, the RS -615 features a
quartz digitally synthesized tuner with "Autoscan," random -access, and 24-
station (18 FM and six AM) preset tuning. A motorized volume control can be
operated manually or with the receiver's 15- function wireless infrared remote
control, which also includes four functions for Fisher's separately sold AD -724
CD player. Price: $349.95
Remote Control AM FM Stereo Receiver

Video Telephone
telephone videography marches forward: Panasonic Co. (One Panasonic Way,
Secaucus, NJ 07094) is bringing to market its new Video Telephone (KX- TVIO).
That unit features a four-inch diagonal screen and integrated telephone featuring
speakerphone function, speed dialing, and last- number redial. The KX -TVIO
video components include a black- and -white CCD camera outfitted with a 2.8-
mm lens. Still- picture transmission is at two rates, 5.7 seconds and 9.4 seconds.
The slower time "offers a more vivid picture. " The KX -TV IO's companion model
is a monitor (WG -R2), minus the handset, which plugs directly into a standard
telephone. It retails for a hundred dollars less than the more elaborate KX -TV IO.
Price: $499.95

56 Page10 GIZMO
Eight Cell Battery Charger
Been feeling that your household is in what Panasonic Industrial Co. (Two
Panasonic Way, Secaucus. NJ 07094) calls the "heavy -use, heavy -drain catego-
ry?" That would be owners of portable stereos, radios, toys, photo flashes.
telephones, and calculators, all of which eat up batteries at a sometimes alarming
rate. Panasonic Industrial researched the situation thoroughly and says it dis-
covered that "young people and married couples with children" are among the
nation's heaviest battery consumers. All of which was in preparation for the
introduction of a new Eight -Cell Battery Charger (BQ -88). The unit will re-
vitalize up to eight "AA," "AAA." "C," or "D" batteries, and as many as four 9-
volt batteries without the use of any adaptors. There's also an LED indicator to
show when recharging is taking place. Price: $23.99.
Eight Cell Battery Charger

Portable Printing Calculator

Everything's conducted on the go today, even in business. So naturally, elec-
tronic manufacturers are trying to respond to this market on the move. Canon
U.S.A., Inc. (One Canon Plaza, Lake Success, NY 11042) has introduced a new
Portable Printing Calculator (MPID), another in the firm's popular "palm
printer" series. Besides providing a 21/4-inch plain -paper printout, the MPID has
an LCD display (angled for easy reading) and features an AC /DC power source, an
algebraic operation system. and a 10 -digit serial impact -type printer. Power comes
from four "AA" batteries or Canon's optional AC adaptor Price: 529.95

Personal Headphone Stereo . i '

('an't hear the bass as you bop around wearing your miniaturized music
playback system? Sharp Electronics Corp. (Sharp Plaza, Mahwah. NJ 07430) has
- ,-
designed a new Personal Headphone Stereo (JC -KISG/ to address just that audio
problem. Special circuitry compensates for the small headphones and low wattage
of those small units. The auto- reverse cassette player incorporates Dolby-B noise
reduction, metal -tape capability, and an LED power-on indicator. Power is sup-
plied by two "AA" batteries and the unit is sold with a pair of lightweight inner-
ear headphones. Finally, the unit is incased in "Durasilk." which Sharp says is a Portable Printing Calculator
"smooth, smudge -proof surface." available in black. blue. or gray. Price:

Compact "Rap" Earphones

Don't ask us what makes this item especially designed for "the current rap-
music revolution," but according to Ora Electronics (20120 Plummer St., P.O.
Box 4029, Chatsworth, CA 91313) its new Compact Earphones (GHI6RP) has
some special quality that makes them the earphones to use in rap. Besides this and
a mention of the phone's in -ear design, Ora doesn't offer much information. Also
in the product's favor is its exceptionally low price. Price: $2.99

Mobile Cellular Telephone

tHie cellular resolution in mobile telephoning seems to be rolling along, at least
judging by how often we have seen some driver with one hand on the wheel and the
other grasping a handset. Nokia -Mobira, Inc. (2300 Tall Pines Dr.. Suite 100,
Largo. FL 34641) imports and merchandises a new Mobile Cellular Telephone +
(M-/0) from Finland and says it's an "economically priced unit" with "all the
quality and reliability" of more expensive Mobira instruments. The M -10 features
832 -channel capacity, standard hands -free operation, and A/B system select. An
inexpensive transceiver -mounting kit allows the system to be easily transferred
from one vehicle to another. Convenience features include call timer, backlit
keypad. scratch-pad memory, single keystroke redial. unanswered call indicator.
and touch -tone compatibility. Price: $895.
CIRCLE 71 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD Mobile Cellular Telephone

GIZMO Page 11 57
Build Your Own

You own one of those fully auto- may be prevented from positioning
matic cameras with built -in a flash gun exactly where you want
automatic focus, strobe, automatic it because the cable isn't long
film loader, clock, LCD program enough. Cables are also a nui-
display, and a host of other good- sance-they're easy to trip over,
ies; yet your indoor flash pictures they get in the way, and they're
leave much to be desired: Close - often unreliable.
up faces are washed out with too A far better method is to use an
much light because the back- electronic slave -flash trigger such
ground is too dark. Group shots are as the unit described in this article.
ruined because of unsightly shad- That device automatically triggers
ows. Wedding photos are disap- a slave flash -gun whenever it de-
pointing because the camera's tects high -intensity light from the pri-
flash buries the subtle lighting mary flash -gun. That eliminates
effects stained -glass windows pro- trailing cords, which means that
vide. you can place the slave flash gun
Most of those problems come anywhere you want.
about because the scene is illumi- Commercial slave -flash triggers
nated by only a single source -your are expensive, so you can save
flash gun. While a single flash gun money if you build one yourself. As
may be adequate in some situa- you'll see from the Parts List, only a
tions, often photographs suffer from handful of parts are required to as-
harsh shadows. Alternatively the semble the Slave -Flash Trigger',
photograph can appear to lack and the unit will only take an hour or
contrast and depth, particularly if so to put together. The performance
all the light is coming directly from of our "homebrew" unit is on a par
the front. with expensive commercial units; it
The best way around those prob- has excellent sensitivity and will not
lems is to use a second flash gun. By false trigger.
correctly positioning and aiming
that second flash, you can fill in How it Works. Take a look now at Fig.
any shadows that would other- 1.The circuit is really very simple. It uses
wise be created and greatly a phototransistor (01), an SCR
improve the "depth" of your (C106D1), three resistors, and a 9 -volt
photographs. You can also use battery.
a second (or even a third or The SCR takes the place of the cam-
fourth) flash to light the back- era contacts and is wired across the
ground scenery behind a sub- trigger circuit of the flash gun. Nor-
ject. mally, the SCR is off, so the flash gun is
Of course, for that to work the multi- able to charge to its trigger voltage.
ple flash units must be made to fire at Phototransistor Qt is used to monitor
the same time. That can be done by the light level. When a high- intensity
simply connecting them in parallel flash occurs, Q1 briefly conducts and
with the camera's flash socket via a When triggered properly, a supplies gate current to the SCR. That
multi -way adapter cable. Although slave flash can give your causes the SCR to turn on, which then
that technique generally works okay, triggers the slave flash -gun via the hot -
cable- connected flash guns do have photographs a professional shoe adapter terminals. Once the flash
their limitations. For example you gun has triggered, the SCR quickly
look. turns off again. That happens because
This story first appeared in Silicon Chip
Australia (Apri11988); reprinted with permis the current in circuit quickly falls below
Sion. BY JOHN CLARKE AND GREG SNAIN the SCR's holding current.

410K Box 677, Thief River Falls, MN 56701)
and others.
The hot -shoe adaptor is a pho-
tographic accessory that is available
from most photographic supply stores.

Assembly. We made up two versions

of the Slave-Flash Trigger-one on a
small printed- circuit board and the
other on Veroboard-a pre- etched,
pre -punched board that is quite
handy. The Veroboard layout, shown in
Fig. 2, can also be used by those read- of!oct,
ers who wish to use ordinary perforated
construction board and point -to-point
wiring. Figure 3 shows the template for
Imo 04
K B1 POWER the printed -circuit board, while the Fig. 3. Here is the full -.size
- 1 ce printed- circuit layout is shown in Fig. 4. template fur the printed- circuit
SCR1 When building the printed- circuit version of the project.

Fig. I. The circuit uses u photo - version, mount Q1 upright, about Ys- TO
transistor (QI). u .silicon con - inch above the surface of the board. 9V
trolled rectifier (SCRI). and u few The body of the SCR should be
resistors. When a high -intensity mounted flat against the board, with
flash occursfrom u nearby strobe the leads bent 90 to mate with the
or flashbulb, QI conducts and appropriate holes.
turns on SCRI. which triggers The assembly details of the Ver-
the slat, e flashgun ria the hot -
oboard version are similar. You can
shoe adapter terminals.
make the required cuts in copper

The resistor at the base of Q1 (R1)

tracks with an oversized drill bit. As al-
I 11 R2
determines the sensitivity of the circuit. PARTS LIST K G
If you wish, you can reduce the sen- FOR THE SLAVE FLASH A

sitivity simply by reducing the value of TRIGGER O1

the resistor from that shown. The 1K re- SCRI- CII61)I or TIWDI silicon Si
sistor between the gate and cathode contnmlled rectifier
of the SCR (R3) prevents the SCR from QI -FPT 100 phototransistor (or
equivalent. see text)
Fig. 4. Wiring diagram Jim the
false triggering if high voltages are ap- printed- circuit board version. The
RI- -470,01)(1 -ultra, 1/4-watt resistor
plied between the anode and the R2, R3- 1000 -ohm, 1/4-watt resistor SCR is mounted flat against the
cathode. RI -9 -volt transistor -radio battery
board while the phototransistor
.should stand about 1/2- inch
Power for the Slave -Flash Trigger is Plastic case 431/4 x 21/4 x 1:'x in.).
derived from a 9 -volt transistor-radio above the hourd.
printed-circuit hoard materials or
battery. Switch S1 disconnects power Veroboard (see text), hot -shoe adaptor.
when the Slave -Flash Trigger is not in photographic shielded cable with ways, be careful when working with
use. connector. RTV cement. battery clip. Veroboard; mistakes are easy to
Let's discuss parts availability for a wire, solder, hardware. etc.
make but are difficult to correct.
moment before we get to the actual We mounted the completed board
assembly. The unit specified for SCR1 is assembly in a small plastic case; the
a GE C106D1. Many electronics -parts one we used measured about 3Y4(L) x
retailers carry an equivalent unit made 2Y8(W) X 1Ys(H) inches. The case is
by Teccor. That unit, the T106D1, can be used upside down, with the lid becom-
used with no problems. ing the base. The hot -shoe adaptor is
The phototransistor presents more of secured to the top of the case using a
a problem. The Fairchild FPT -100 used screw, while the on /off switch is
in the original project is no longer man- mounted at one end.
ufactured, although it may still be R2 ADAPTOR A third hole is drilled at the other end
available from a number of surplus 1 TO of the case to accept a mounting
sources. However, thanks to the sen- 9V bezel for the phototransistor. The board
sitivity of the 0106 and its equivalent, is then supported vertically in the case
the phototransistor required by the when the phototransistor is clipped
project is not critical and almost any into the bezel. You might want to use a
reasonably fast (switching time less bit of RTV cement to hold the board
than about 10 s) substitute can be Si securely.
used. One possibility is the GE L14G2, Fig. 2. Parts layout Jim the Note that some flash guns do not
which is available from Digi -Key (PO Veroboard version of the project. (Continued on page 103)
Build Your Own

Make SCR testing a snap

with this simple,
easy -to- build, and
easy-to -use tester. Use it to
test Triacs, LEDs, and diodes, too!


A few months ago, a man who had

a handful of what looked like tran-
very effective test instrument. In addi-
tion to testing SCRs, it is useful for
plifier. Further, it can be used as a rec-
tifying device since it will pass current
sistors came into the school shop. He checking Triacs, diodes, and LEDs. The only in one direction.
said the parts were off of a marine entire tester can be built for about SCRs offer some important advan-
engine and he could not locate re- $5.00 or for about $1.00 if you have a tages over transistors and other de-
placements. We tried to reference the well -stocked junkbox. vices in certain applications. That's
because the device is either on (con-
part numbers, but to no avail. When
the plastic, TO- 220 -cased parts were
tested to see if they were indeed de-
SCR's and Transistors. The SCR
invented by General Electric in 1957
-- ducting) or off (not conducting).
Though they too can be used as on -off
fective, they failed. But that's because is a versatile and useful semiconductor switches, transistors, in contrast, can
everyone had assumed that the de- device. It can be used as a fast -acting be more-closely likened to variable re-
vices were transistors. latching switch and as a sensitive am- sistors.
Then a thought occured to us: Be- The SCR is turned on by applying
cause they were off a gasoline engine, S2 power momentarily to its gate termi-
maybe the devices were SCRs (silicon RESET nal. Afferthat, as long as the forward or
controlled rectifiers). An SCR checker latching current remains above a cer-
wasn't immediately available, so one tain threshold, the device remains in
was rigged up using a power supply, a conduction, regardless of the pres-
current meter, and a couple of re- ence or absence of a signal at the
sistors. Sure enough, the mysterious gate terminal. In contrast, transistors
parts were SCRs, one of which was de- need a continuous current through
fective. their base to remain on.
Since then, microwaves, TV sets,
and other pieces of electronic equip- Testing SCRs. The easiest way to test
ment that use SCRs have come to the a positively- triggered SCR is to mo-
school shop for service. Rigging up a mentarily trigger the gate on with a
makeshift tester every time a few SCRs positive voltage; that should latch the
showed up was awkward and incon- Fig. I. Testing an SCR is a relatively
device on. (While negatively -trig-
venient. Because of that, the SCR tester simple matter that is made even easier gered SCR's exist, the vast majority of
described in this article was built. with this SCR tester. It uses just a devices that you are likely to encoun-
The SCR tester has proven to be a handful of easily found components. ter as a hobbyist will be positively trig-

current to hold (latch) the SCR on; sistor R3 limits the current through the
PARTS LIST that's important, since a key test for LED to about 20 mA, which, with the
FOR THE SCR TESTER determining the condition of an SCR is current through R2, results in a latching
that the unit should remain latched un- current of about 110 mA.
BI -9 -volt transistor-radio battery til the latching current is interrupted. The LED is used to monitor the latch-
LEDI -Jumbo red LED, (Radio Shack In many cases, SCRs require a latch- ing current. If the DUT is good, once the
276 -068A or equivalent)
ing current of 50 to 100 mA; generally, gate is triggered with S1 the LED will
RI, R2 -100 -ohm resistors
the larger the SCR (that is, the greater remain lit, indicating that the device is
R3 -390-ohm resistor
SI -SPST, momentary- contact, normally
its current -carrying capacity), the conducting. To end the test, turn off the
open switch, (Radio Shack 215 -1547 more latch current required. Our SCR device by interrupting the latching -
or equivalent) tester supplies enough latch and gate current flow using switch S2. The LED
S2 -SPST, momentary -contact, current to test most SCRs and Triacs should turn off and remain off.
normally closed switch, (Radio Shack used in consumer -electronics circuits. The preceding procedure will work
215 -1548 or equivalent) with SCRs and Triacs. To check LED's
Experimenters box (Radio Shack and other diodes, connect the anode
270 -230 or equivalent), battery holder The Circuit. The schematic diagram and cathode leads to the anode and
(Radio Shack 270 -236 or equivalent), of the SCR tester is shown in Fig. 1. As
battery clip, insulated alligator clips,
cathode of the diode; LED1 should
you can see, the circuit is extremely light. When the leads are reversed, the
wire, solder, lettering for case, etc. simple. The device -under -test's (DUT) LED should remain off.
cathode, anode, and gate are con-
gered. This tester will test only positively nected to the unit's K, A, and G termi- Construction. The tester can be built
triggered SCRs.) nals, respectively. Pressing switch S1 in about an hour and will fit into a 2 x
The difficulty with checking SCRs feeds a gate current to the DUT, which 3-Y8-inch cabinet.
with typical analog or digital ohm- triggers it on. Resistor R1 limits the gate
Begin construction by preparing the
meters is that they don't supply enough current to the appropriate level. Re- box. First, drill three small holes in the
side of the box. The test leads will pass
through those holes when the project is
1/2 assembled. Those holes should be just
small enough for the wire to go
through, but not a strain -relief knot.
Next, drill the holes for the switches and
7/8 the LED. A front -panel template for the
box is shown in Fig. 2. The holes should
19/16 1 9/16 be no farther than Y2 -inch from the edge
of the box so that there will be enough
room inside the box for the battery.

Assemble the circuit on the front
panel using Fig. 3 as a rough wiring
guide. About the only critical factor in
assembling the circuit is identifying the
LED leads. Often, but not always, the
short lead is the anode. Be sure which
lead is which before doing the wiring.
3 1/8 We suggest using color -coded wires
for the test leads as indicated in the
figures. Use wire lengths that are long
Fig. 2. The .SCR tester can be assembled within a small e.rperbnenters bat. If you use the
boy specified in the article, use this template when preparing the .front panel. enough to allow for easy use of the
tester. Tie strain -relief knots in each of
the leads and thread them through the

1M three side holes. Terminate each lead
with an insulated alligator clip. To
VN keep the battery from bouncing
around, use a 9 -volt battery holder
and secure the holder to the bottom of
the box using screws or glue. Place the
wired front panel on the box, insert and
tighten the screws, and you are done.
Well, almost. It's a good idea to la-
bel the switch and lead functions using
press-type or any other technique that
suits you. Not only does that give the
tester a more finished or "professional
Fig. 3. The circuit is simple enough to be pct together using point -w -point wiring. We appearance," but it can save some
.suggest using color -coded wires for the test leads. as .c /unrn here. to avoid conlusia,. head scratching later on.

And this is the picture of Mars at
mid century: a small planet
which three- fourths is cold des-
ert, viith the rest covered with a sort of
plant life (most likely lichen) That our
biological knowledge cannot encom-
pass...Mars is not the dead planet...but
neither can it be inhabited by the kind
of intelligent beings that many people
dreamed of in 1900" (The Exploration
of Mars by Werner von Braun, Willy Ley
and C. Bonestell, 1956).

Introduction. At 8 p.m. on June 20th,

1957, in the Ballroom of the Hotel Diplo-
mat in New York City, a meeting was
held to coordinate an expected visit
by 'the Space People" to Earth. The
meeting was planned by three peo-
ple: George Van Tassel, author of I
Rode a Flying Saucer; George King,
telepathic contactee with the extrater-
restrials and editor of Cosmic Force;
anc Margaret Storm, author of an oc-
cult- oriented biography of Nikola
Tesl o entitled Return of the Dove, a
book whose "transcripts (were) re-
ceived on the Tesla set, a radio -type
machine invented by Tesla in 1938 for
interplanetary communication." By
July 1, was assured, the "Martians"
would have "full scale operations" in
Washington D.C., New York and "gen-
eral North American areas." It was also

Througout his life,

inventor Nikola Tesla
was convinced that he
had received a
message from
beyond the Earth.
z Was he right?
-J revealed that "Tesla was a Venusian,
w brought to this planet as a baby in
1856, and left in a remote mountain

NIK0LA TESLA: province in what is now Yogoslavia

in attendance at that meeting was a
man who preferred to remain un-

noticed. He was an FBI agent assigned
to continue the growing file on the
enigmatic Serbo. Croatian inventor,

Communicator? Nikola Tesla. The Interplanetary Ses-
sions Newsletter from which the pre-
ceding information was taken came
from the Tesla FBI file released to me
through the Freedom of Information

From his same dossier it is clear that Schemes and apparatus for an in- industrial realities and he was her -
Tesla had been watched in his waning terplanetary communicator for the oc- o'ded the time for his brilliance. Re-
years by J. Edgar Hoover, who wrote, togenarian, however, were anything rember that when you see a jewel -lit
on January 21, 1943, during the height but new. For instance, in a 1907 New city and surrounding network of il-
of World War II, "A review of the Bureau York Times editorial, Tesla said "My umed suburbia some night, it is a
files reveals considerable information magnifying transmitter...can easily T onumert to the Serbian Aladdin who
concerning Nikola Tesla and his inven- bridge the gulf which separates us oelieved n interplanetary communi-
tions." It was just two weeks after the from Mars." Many years later (1Q21), oation.
inventor's death, and Hoover feared Tesla published a short article h the After changing the course of history
that Tesla's creations, including his well Electrical World entitled "Interplane- 'rom a future envisioned by Edison
publicized "death ray," could get into tary Communication." There, he re- backers. which would have required a
the hands of "the Axis Powers" or the stated that he had received impulses power station every square mile across
Soviet Union as Tesla's nephew, Sava stemming from Mars in 189Q anc that the civ lizec continents, to one con-
Kosanovibh, ambassador to the newly since that time had developed "nu- ic ping just a small number of mighty
created Communist country of merous designs...(fcr) thoroughly prac- transmitting sources, Tesla decided to
Yugoslavia was demanding that his tical apparatus." go one better. In 1893 he pieced the
Jncle's estate oe shipped to a mu- wireless puzzle together from his own
seum that was being erected there in Tesla: Cosmic Star of the Gilded experiments in cordless vacuum
nis honor. Hoover wrote that Age. Kings of Belgium and Serbia, lamps and from research by Sir
'Kcsanovich might possibly make cer- and upper eche.ons in England, William Crookes, Sir Oliver Lodge,
tain material available to the enemy." France, Germany. Austro- Hungary, Heinreicr Hertz, and Sir William
Italy, and Russia knew the eleclrkal F'reece. Tesla discovered that the Earth
The Testascope. Margaret Storm's genius intimately. Tesla was an interna- i'self could be used to transmit energy.
opposition that Tesla was born from tional figure wno moved among the Thus, the need for constructing hun-
another planet to give our world such very pinnacle of social circ,es. At the dreds al thousands of miles of transmis-
devices as the induction motor, fluo- turn of the century, his American son lines was unnecessary, for proper
rescent and neon lights, remote con - friends, enerr ies, and associates in- apparatus could transport huge
t-ol, robots, the radio, and also our cluded: Col. John Jacob Astor, per- amounts o' energy from one point on
entire electric -power distribution sys- haps the greatest landowner in IVew the- globe to another without any wires.
tem, stemmed from a colorful history of York City and builder of the Wa dorf The inventor's scheme was actually
the inventor's ties to the group -fantasy Astoria, Tesla's lodg ng for over a de- cute simple. Tesla realized that this
that life on Mars was a virtual certainty. cade; industrialists George West- Giant elect-omagnet called Earth has
Storm was also influenced by the times inghouse and John Hays Hammond: resonart f-equencies (which today
(e g., the mid- 1950's interest in UFO's; financiers Henry Clcy Frick, builder of are known as telluric currents). By
the general state of paranoia fueled the Frick Museum, Equitable Insurance building giant broadcasting towers to
by the fear of communist infiltration, director Thomas Forune Rycn, J. Pier - pump large voltages into the earth
i.e., the McCarthy period), her read- pont Morgan, invesor in many Tesla and ambient medium, and by build-
ings in Theosophical literature which products and schemes and most ing identically designed receiving sta-
linked Testa to the so- called sixth -root powerful economic `orce on the plan- tions, both in exact mathematical
race, (the new species of human that et, and banker Jacob Schiff; editors relationships to the size of the Earth
was evolving on the planet), and also Robert Underwood Johnson of The and its period of frequency, terrestrial
to her frierdship with Arthur Matthews, Century, T.C. Martin of Electrical W,-Id carrier waves would abolish the need
o bizarre electrician, who as far as I who was the compiler of the first Tesla for -ransmission lines. Once power was
know is still alive and still contends that collected works and a biocraphd of "jumped" that way from, say, a water-
he and his employer, Tesla, had trav- Edison, and Joseph 2ollier of Collier's fall to a distant city (i.e., from tower to
eled many times to nearby planets Magazine; artists such as composer tower) and converted to more useable
aboard a Venusan spacecraft. Dvorak and writers Rudyard Kip ing frequencies, energy could be trans -
Storm's choice of 1938 as the date for and Mark Twain; and. of course, inven- ported .ccally by means of con-
th:e invention of the interplanetary tors such as O:iver Lodge, Guglielmo ventiona wre transmission lines or via
communicator appears to be a year Marconi, Elihu Tnomson. ana Thomas resonant receiving devices such as re-
off. On Tesla's 81st birthday, he an- Edison- Tesla's employer from mote controlled clocks, telephones,
nounced -he invention of what has 1884-85 and arch -enemy/competitor te+etyoe, and lighting fixtures. At the
come to be called the "teslascope." for the next 35 'dears. scme time, Tesla reasoned, even
An article in the July t1,1937 New York Tesla's invention of the irduction greater charges set up in such a way
Times quo-ed Tesla: "I have devoted motor and alternating-current poly- as io amplify the naturally flowing
much of my time during the last year to phase system, sold to Westing louse as Earth currert could transmit a signifi-
the perfecting of a new small and a 40- patent package for $85,000, plus cant Empuls from this planet to an-
compact apparatus by which energy royalties, in 1883. chcnged the couse other.
in considerable amounts can now be of history in a dramctic and intima-e
flashed through interstellar space to way. The elect-ical genius had con- Interplanetary Communication. To
any distance without the slightest dis- ceived a mears of sending e ectricity prove his wi-eless scheme and begin
persion." more than one mile. plans for inauguration of his World
Tne article went on to describe "a Before Tesla, that was abort the ex- Te egraphy System, in 1899, Tesla
new form of tube" able to produce tent of the budding electric -utility h- moved his operations to Colorado
potentials in excess of 18 million volts. "It dustry's ability to transport energy, and Sp"ings where he constructed a labo-
is of ideal s mplicity...lt will carry heavy then only to illuminate lightbubs. Ater ratory and 230 foot transmission tower
currents, transform any amount of en- Tesla, power to run factories could be with plans of circumscribing the globe
ergy within practical limits, and per- transported hurdreds of miles- for e<- with eectrical impulses. One summer
mits easy control and regulation of the ample, from Niagara Falis to New Yolk night, wh le in his wireless laboratory
same." City. Tesla made impossible dreams high in the Rockies, Tesla was en-

(No Yodel.) 4 8IIeete-BDeot the idea that he may have intercepted
N. TESLA. a mere earthly message from such
ELEOTRIOAL TRANSMISSION OF POWER. wireless colleagues as Professor Mar-
ble in Connecticut, Dr. Riccia in
No. 382,280. Patented May 1, 1888. France, Professor D'Azar in Rome, or
rival Guglielmo Marconi who two
years later sent "3 fairy taps" across the
Atlantic Ocean to capture the imag-
ination of the world with the first trans-
atlantic wireless message.
During the very months Tesla was
perfecting long -range wireless trans-
mission and radar tracking devices,
Marconi was experimenting with pi-
rated Tesla oscillators in broadcasting
the Morse code for the letter S (i.e., dot -
dot -dot) over hundreds of miles in Eu-
rope and across the English Channel.
Modifying the extraterrestrial encoun-
ter, recent biographers such as Hunt
and Draper, and Cheney, have sug-
gested that Tesla may have picked up
the vibrations from a stellar quasar. In
either case, however, Tesla was per-
ceived as returning to New York City
and his home at the Waldorf, having
F/y /4 received messages from outer space.
A few years later, the awful truth
Fig /.5- dawned upon Tesla: he had received
the electromagnetic echo of Mar -
coni's experiments; however, that real-
ization was too painful and Tesla
defended vehemently against it in a
classic psychoanalytic way: he ra-
tionalized by seeking alternative hy-
potheses and regressing to a more -
primitive belief structure. In a 1921 arti-
cle, Tesla admitted as much but dis-
guises it as a denial:
"I was naturally very much interested
in reports given out about two years
ago that...these supposed planetary
signals were nothing else than interfer-
ing undertones of wireless transmitters,
and since announced that fact other

experts have apparently taken the

same view. These disturbances ob- I

served for the first time from 1906 to

M/1NE88E8: INrEM1.OR.
1907. At that time they occurred rarely,
33 .N but subsequently they increased in fre-
tJHH-14142,, quency. Every transmitter emits under-
r.swndw4 C.i4n.Gc.e
tones, and these give by interference
long beats, the wavelength being
anything from 50 miles to 300 or 400
Tesla's invention of the induction motor and the AC polyphase system changed the course To further support the claim that
of world history. His inventions made it possible to transmit electrical power over wires for Tesla's reception of so- called Martian
long distances. Previously, the maximum distance possible v. is limited to about one mile. signals was based upon self -delusion,
it is clear that for at least seven years
gaged in tracking thunderstorms with- can never forget the first sensations I prior to 1899, Tesla desired to transmit
in a radius of 1200 miles with sensitive experienced wnen it dawned upon and receive impulses with nearby
electrical devices. During that time he me that had observed something
I planets. For instance, in 1896, fully
received "three fairy taps" on that possibly of incalculable consequen- three years before Tesla's alleged ET
radar-like apparatus. He speculated ces to mankind...the feeling is con- encounter, the New York Sun published
in a series of articles, one in 1901 in stantly growing in me that had been
I a Tesla interview under the spec-
Colliers Magazine, that those impulses the first to hear the greeting of one tacular title "Tesla May Signal to Mars."
probably originated from intelligent planet to another." The inventor said: "If there are intel-
sources exterior to the Earth such as Stating in the same article that he ligent inhabitants of Mars or any other
from Venus or Mars. "could feel the pulse of the globe as it planet, it seems to me that we can do
In the Colliers article, Tesla said "I were," the electric sorcerer rejected something to attract their attention."

Three years later when he arrived in
Colorado, after announcing to the re-
s,-. ,>r
.-,..-- .
porters once again that he could sig-
nal Mars, Tesla fulfilled his own oft -
stated boast by being the first human
to hear from the space people. Rather
than accept the more likely hypoth-
esis, that deep within himself he prob-
ably /possibly knew was the correct
one (i.e., undertone receptions from
Marconi), Tesla opted for the more ex-
otic scenario of space communica-
tions. With each succeeding year, the
event became slightly more exagger-
ated as it took on more and more sym-
bolic importance.
The reclusive Balkan inventor clung
to the extraterrestrial motif throughout
his life, repeating the speculation pub- Tesla's experimental
licly on many occasions such as in 1931 laboratory in Colorado
for a Time Magazine cover story cele- Springs, Colorado.
brating his 75 birthday: Here, while working on
"Nothing can be more important his theory of
than interplanetary communication. It worldwide power
will certainly come some day, and the transmission, he
certitude that there are other human received "three finny
beings in the universe working, suffer- raps" he felt were
ing like ourselves will produce a magic sent by intelligent
effect on mankind and will form the life on Mars or Venus.
foundation of a universal brotherhood
that will last as long as humanity itself." Speilberg's movie "ET" earned over ilarity to the Earth in size and position,
In no way was Tesla alone in his be- $300,000,000, and the phrase "ET but also because of the dynamic and
lief in the existence of extraterrestrial phone home" became embraced by changeable nature of its surface as
intelligence. The theme of space the public, Lucian of Samoa, a con- seen by the astronomers. For instance,
beings wishing to communicate with temporary of the Greek philosopher Mars has ice caps that grow and di-
Earthlings can be traced to biblical Plutarch, wrote The True History, a fable minish with the seasons.
tales of burning bushes, aerial wheels about a sailing ship that was hurled to The first attempts to create a map of
of electrum, cosmic commandments, the moon by a whirlwind. That theme Mars and delineate those lines can be
and bright stars traversing the sky to of planetary travel was also echoed traced back to Bernard de Fontana,
point out the birth of Christ; or to the by Bishop Goodwin in 1638 when he Christain Huyghens, and Mr. Cassini in
mythological gods of ancient Rome or authored a story about a man who the mid- 1600's. More detailed draw-
Greece such as Zeus, Thor, Hermes, was towed on a sleigh to the same ings were done by the discoverer of
Venus, and Apollo. However, it was heavenly body, and by Cyrano de- Uranus, the well -known astronomer Sir
modern "scientific" and literary fiction Bergerac 20 years later in his books John Herschel in 1830 and by numerous
that inspired the more apparent basis Empires of the Sun and Voyage to the other scientists such as Mr. Schmidt
for Tesla's suppositions. Moon. (1862), R.A. Proctor (1867) and Camille
In 1835, Richard Adams Locke, of the Flammarion (1873).
The Plurality of Worlds. As anyone New York Sun created a series of front The year 1877 was a watershed for
who has stared at the star-lit night sky page articles on astronomer Sir John Martian influence on Earthlings. During
knows, the belief that we are not alone Hershel and his alleged discovery of a particularly close pass to our planet
is a very plausible hypothesis. With mil- advanced life forms on the moon. that year, two fabulous discoveries
lions of galaxies each containing bil- Locke's hoax, which spread around were made: Mars had its own moons
lions of stars, there are virtually an the world before it was exposed, was and its surface was adorned with a
infinite number of potential star sys- predicated on the fact that Herschel matrix of symmetrical furrows.
tems with satellites similar to our own was in South Africa at the time, and The first discovery by Professor
probably capable of sustaining life. therefore out of contact with the press. Asaph Hall confirmed Kepler's sup-
This idea, called the plurality -of- worlds Hershel's supposed discoveries of uni- position of 1610 that two small satellites
hypothesis, is a concept that through corn-like animals and winged human- circled the "Planet of War." That find
the ages has counted numerous scien- oids were made via a marvelous (and was of particular importance be-
tists among its ranks. Early astronomers fictitious) telescope that weighed cause it also supported claims for two
such as Brano, Kepler, Newton, 15,000 pounds, was 150 feet long,
and Martian moons put forward by novel-
Laplace, and Herschel took that posi- could magnify the heavens 42,000 ists Voltaire and Johnathan Swift, the
tion, along with such modern-day as- times. former in a philosophical treatise on
trophysicists as Willy Ley, Werner von In 1865, Jules Verne reawakened the the Solar System and the latter in his
Braun and Carl Sagan. idea of journeying to the moon, but by classic tale Gulliver's Travels. In the De-
Naturally, at the same time, numer- the late 1870's, focus shifted to Mars. cember 1887 issue of Comhill Maga-
ous artists and authors also have That planet became the most likely zine, Astronomer Hall wrote dramat-
seized that notion and fashioned tales candidate for the home of higher ically that the path of one of the moons
of extraterrestrial travel and intrigue. beings for fiction writers and astrono- across the zodiac: "passes...the feet of
Two thousand years before Steven mers alike, not only because of its sim- the Herdsman, the body of the Ser-

pent...over the Bow of the Archer...the Bostonian Lowell family and brother of and destroy the Earth. George Lathrop,
head of the Crane, and along the the president of Harvard University, Per- son -in -law of gothic writer Nathaniel
Southern fish...Thence the Martian cival captured the front page of the Hawthorne, combatted the Red Plan-
moon passes athwart the Sea Monster New York Times with "Mars Inhabi- et's warriors on the pages of The New
and the River Eridanus...(and) very fated" headlines on a number of oc- York Journal in 1895 with disintegrating
near the celestial equator of the Mar- casions as he published the results death rays invented by the Wizard of
tian heavens." based upon his detailed Martian Menlo Park, Tom Edison.
The widely read monthly concluded maps in the prestigious science jour- Other scientists such as Lord Kelvin
that "Martian moonlight is but small in nals such as Nature, and in a magnifi- suggested that the light from New York
amount, and certainly can not go far cent text published by Macmillian City created a clear signal of progress
to compensate the Martians -as entitled The Canals of Mars: "Sug- to the Martians; Elihu Thomson of Gen-
compared with us terrestrials." How- gestive of a spider's web seen against eral Electric brought his telescope to
ever, no real evidence regarding the the grass of a spring morning, a mesh his factories in order to show his workers
prevailing theory of the plurality of of fine reticulated lines over - the canals of Mars with their own eyes!
worlds was obtained. spreads...the globe from one pole to
That theory was championed by the another...That Mars is inhabited by Tesla and the extraterrestrials.
flamboyant French astronomer and beings of some sort or other we may Quite naturally, Tesla, who like the
psychical researcher Camille Flam- consider as certain as it is uncertain others, had followed the interplane-
marion in his classic works The Plurality tary developments for decades, did
of Worlds and Mars and Its Inhabitants. not want to be eclipsed by such com-
Both "scientific treatises" were written petitors as Thomson or Edison. There-
after his more mystical tale, entitled fore, he proclaimed boldly that the
Stories of Infinity, about a conversation time finally arrived: communication
the author had with a comet named with our extraterrestrial neighbors had
Lumen was published. (probably) begun.
Flammarion's belief that Mars Perhaps due in part to a friendly
housed life stemmed not only from his sparring match of spectacular arti-
daily studies with his own telescope of cles, the brother -in -law of George
the mountains and craters of the plan- Lathrop, Philadelphia North American
et, but also from the more detailed columnist Julian Hawthorne came to
observation supplied by Italian star- Tesla's aid and authored a series of
gazer Giovanni Schiaparelli, who an- rather detailed treatises on the inven-
nounced to the world that the Red tor's philosophy, laboratory, and fabu-
Planet was etched with geometrical lous electronic experiments...and also
and parallel trails which he named his work in interplanetary communica-
"canali." Renamed "canals," instead tion.
of the more literal translation of "chan- In an article entitled, "And How Will
nel," Flammarion boldly suggested Tesla Reply To Those Signals From
that: "these canals may be natural...or Mars ?" Hawthorne wrote: "Mars, for ex-
they may be grooves excavated by ample, is several millions years older
the inhabitants for the distribution of than this little dot of an Earth of
water..." ours...How we stare at the Neanderthal
After discussing the size of the Located in Shoreham, NY, this tower was skull and try in vain to reconstruct for
oceans, (which were no larger than built by Tesla for experiments in world- ourselves a mode of existence the
the Mediterranean), the changing cli- wide telegraph). and power transmission. date of which in contrast with the supe-
mates, and a snowfall photographed The tower never became operational. riority in age of Mars over us, is but as
by Professor Pickering of Harvard in yesterday...Think what prophecies we
1890, Flammarion concluded "it is ob- what those beings may be...Girdling are hazarding as to the miracles we
vious...that the world of Mars is...vig- their globe and stretching from pole to will achieve before the year
orously alive." He also suggested that pole, the Martian canal system not 2000...Measuring against that stan-
due to the lightness of the atmosphere: only embraces their whole world, but it dard, then, to what height shall we
"the inhabitants of this planet may is an organized entity...the first thing have attained this day in a million
have received the privilege of flight... that is forced on us in conclusion is the years?...
May they not rather be like dragon- necessarily intelligent and non- belli- "The other day, there happened to
flies fluttering in the air above the lakes cose character of the community Mr. Tesla the most momentous experi-
and the canals ?" which could act as a unit throughout its ence that has ever visited a human
Influenced rather dramatically by globe." being on this Earth. Three soft impulses
those bold words and scientific obser- Not to be undone, novelists and travelling with the speed of light were
vations, which appeared in Review of newspaper columnists embraced this received by Tesla in Colorado from
Reviews and North American Review, group fantasy with ardor, In 1896, some Tesla on the planet Mars!
the Time Magazine and Saturday Eve- George duMaurier, grandfather of "...No thoughtful man can have
ning Posts of the Gay Nineties, the hy- Daphne, wrote the novel The Martian much doubt then, that little as we are
pothesis that Mars was inhabited by in which he described the telepathic aware of it, we must for many ages
an advanced civilization was given winged beings 'that descends from have been subjected to the direct in-
further observational corroboration by no monkey," but are able to excavate, spection and familiar approach of the
Percival Lowell, discoverer (30 years adorn with marble statues, and irri- men of Mars and of the other older
later) of the planet Pluto, and builder gate the entire planet. H.G. Wells went planets. They visit us and look us
of a magnificent telescope in one better with in his serialized 1897 over...year after year; and report at
Flagstaff, Arizona. horror story War of the Worlds, when he home: They're not ready yet! But at
A descendant of the prestigious had terrible extraterrestrials invade (Continued on page 102)

o matter how many times you
have watched the news on TV,
you may never have noticed the small
microphone clipped to the tie or lapel
of the newscaster. Those microphones
are about the diameter of a pencil,
and are less than an inch long. Often,
two of the tiny microphones are worn
side by side in case one fails during a
broadcast. Fifty years ago, if you were
even able to fit two high -quality micro-
phones on your lapels the odds are
that they would have ripped the lapels
off your suit Over the years, research
has reduced the size and increased
the performance of microphones, but
the principles for converting sound
waves to electrical signals have re-
mained the same.
You can use the sound waves striking
a thin diaphragm to alter inductance,
capacitance, or resistance, or com-
press a crystal to accomplish that con-
version. Further, there are enclosure -
design modifications that will make
the microphone directional or non -
directional. And there are micro-
phones with a variety of output
impedances and output levels. With-
out getting bogged down in the tech-
nical aspects of all the variations, let's
look at some of the basic methods
used to convert sound waves into elec-
trical signals.

Variable Resistance. One of the ear-

liest conversion methods used was to
vary a resistance. That method was
used in the design of he carbon mi-
crophone; see Fig. 1. Carbon micro-
phones are very rugged, which is why
they were used for telephone and mili-
tary communications well into the 50's.
The theory of their operation is sim- BY WALTER W. SCHOPP
ple: As the sound waves impinge on
the diaphragm, causing it to vibrate,
the carbon granules behind the di-
aphragm are compressed. As the
pressure on the carbon particles is in- What are resistive,
creased and decreased, the resis- crystal, dynamic, velocity,
tance across the granules changes,
and the current through the carbon condenser, and electrostatic
varies with the audio.
One of the idiosyncrasies of that microphones you ask?
type of microphone is that occasion- Here we cover them all!
ally the granules will compress and
stick together. When that happens, the
microphone suddenly becomes insen-
sitive and can only be fixed by sharply
rapping it against a solid object to jar
the granules apart.
As a further inconvenience, since
those microphone do not generate an
electrical signal, they require a power


_?'a0 o e

ci D

Fig. 3. A dynamic microphone works by
inducing a current in a vibrating coil
around a stationary magnet.

BATTERY in 1934 and represented a great im-

provement in frequency response over
other microphones of that era. The mi-
crophone uses a thin, corrugated -alu-
1 minum ribbon suspended between
the two poles of a magnet, see Fig. 4.
Fig. I. The carboi microphone is one of the oldest audio-to- electric conversion
When sound waves cause the ribbon
devices around. It was developed by Thomas A. Edison.
to vibrate, the ribbon cuts through the
source that they can modulate to pro- magnetic field, causing a small cur-
duce an electrical signal. rent to be induced in the ribbon.
The physical arrangement of the
Crystal Microphones. has long
It SIGNAL parts making up the microphone ele-
been known that a Rochelle -salt crys- ment only allow sound to directly im-
tal will change voltage into mechan- SOUND pinge on the ribbon from the front or
ical movement or mechanical move- back side. That makes the element bi-
ment into voltage. A microphone can directional
be designed based on that The output impedance of the ribbon
piezoelectric effect of the crystal; see is very low and must be raised by using
Fig. 2. As the sound waves cause the a step -up transformer. The voltage pro-
diaphragm to vibrate, pressure is ap- duced by it is very small and must be
plied to the crystal. An alternating out- amplified to a usable value.
put voltage is produced that follows Fig. 2. In a crystal microphone, sound
the input sound waves. That type of waves push the diaphragm into a Condenser Microphones. Another
microphone needs no external power piezoelectric crystal to produce type of high-fidelity microphone is the
voltage, which is then amplified. condenser or capacitor type. That mi-
supply and will produce a hefty output
in the millivolt range. Crystals have a field is attached to the diaphragm. As crophone uses a diaphragm as one
disadvantage because their output is the coil moves in the magnetic field, it plate of a capacitor. Sound waves
affected by high temperature and cuts through magnetic lines of force, striking the diaphragm change the
moisture. However, research has found inducing a voltage in the coil winding. geometry of the plates, and hence the
that certain types of ceramic materials capacitance. See Fig. 5. The di-
The alternating voltage induced in the
also display the piezoelectric effect. coil follows the sound waves in both aphragm is a tightly stretched metal or
Those can be used for making micro- intensity and direction (forward move- metalized plastic film. Behind the di-
phone elements that are not affected ment /positive current; reverse move- aphragm is a metalic "button" that
by temperature and humidity. ment /negative current). When built acts as the other capacitor plate.
The capacitor is polarized by apply-
with the proper materials, that type of
Dynamic Microphones. The dynam- microphone is fairly rugged and insen- ing 100 -200 volts DC through a very-
ic microphone uses the same principle sitive to heat and humidity. Dynamic
high resistance. As the diaphragm vi-
as the loudspeaker, but in reverse. A microphones are inherently low -im- brates, capacitance changes ap-
loudspeaker will not only change an pedance devices, but their output im- pear as voltage changes when taken
audio voltage into sound, but it will from the top of the load resistor in Fig. 5.
pedance can be matched to any
also change sound into an audio volt- Used with that circuit configuration, the
desired impedance by using a match-
age; see Fig. 3. As the sound waves ing amplifier or transformer. microphone will directly convert ca-
strike the diaphragm of the micro- pacitance variations into a varying
phone, the diaphragm moves in and Velocity Types. The ribbon or velocity audio -signal voltage.
out. A small coil located in a magnetic microphone was originally introduced The polarizing voltage can be re-

aphragm has a thickness of .0025 to
.005 inches. A gold conductive sur-
face around 200 -angstroms thick is
evaporated onto one side of the plas-
tic film. An angstrom is one -hundred
millionths of a centimeter, and a cen-
timeter is .3937 of an inch. It is obvious
that the metallic coating is very thin.
The plastic film is then sandwiched
between two metal plates charged
II with high voltage. Those plates are
heated to a temperature just less than
the melting temperature of the plastic
and then cooled. When the plastic is
cooled, the molecules in the plastic
are permanently rearranged so that
the plastic film retains a static charge.
That makes a polarizing high voltage
ALUMINUM becomes unnecessary.
RIBBON In operation, the capacitive
Fig. 4. Velocity microphones are rather interesting devices that are somewhat changes are introduced between the
similar to dynamic microphones. However, the voltage is induced in a vibrating charged film and a field -effect tran-
corrugated strip of aluminum instead of the windings of a moving coil. sistor gate (see Fig. 7) just as they are in
the conventional condenser micro-
moved and the element connected phone. The output is taken from the top
as one of the resonant LC components of a source resistor. That configuration
of an oscillator circuit (see Fig. 6). That lowers the high impedance of the ca-
type of circuit will produce a frequen- pacitor element to a usable value de-
cy- modulated output that will deviate termined by the value of the source
with the sound wave input. When used
SOUND /IVA in such a configuration, frequency drift
resistance. The diaphragm can be
made quite small in diameter and the
must be minimized to prevent FET can be an intricate part of the ele-
100MEG changes in sensitivity.

Electrostatic Units. Originally de- ELECTROSTATIC

100.200V veloped in 1935, the electrostatic ca- V+
pacitive microphone is not new. But it
1 I
Fig. 5. The condenser microphone has a
gained popularity slowly due to tech-
nical problems and production costs.
Today, modem plastics and solid -state
diaphragm that is one plate of a developments have made it a very
capacitor whose value varies with the economical choice.
sound waves striking it. The plastic film used for the di-


Fig. 7. Electra static microphones are

really hi -tech condenser mien phones
with one capacitor plate made of a
metalized plastic sheet.

ment housing. That method of con-

cvy struction accounts for the small
physical size of that microphone.
Future microphone research may or
may not turn up any radically new
methods of converting sound into volt-

age. Research will surely continue to

1 improve frequency responses, de-
v+ velop more predictable directional
Fig. 6. When a condenser microphone is used as part of a tank circuit, it can use audio traits, and reduce susceptibility to ad-
signals to frequency modulate a carrier directly. verse conditions.

Isolate Yourself
andStay Alive!
Few people see line gets to a point
electronics as a close to your home it
potentially dan- is connected to a
gerous hobby on a step -down trans-
par with, say, motor- former (called a
cycle racing or "pole pig ") with a
watching a British so- center- tapped sec-
ccer match; but ondary that pro-
there is danger ap- duces about 240
lenty for the the un- VAC across the two
aware or careless extreme ends, and
hobbyist. The 110 -volt 117VAC between the
alternating current grounded center -
from an AC -power tap and either ex-
socket can wrench treme end. That is

your life away from the reason why the

you wihtout much power company
ado. brings three lines into your home: neu-
And don't believe a lot of "old wives tral (which is grounded at some point),
tales" about it being current that kills,
Our hobby is fun, but it is HOT1, and HOT2.
not the voltage, whatever That is in- Those lines are distributed to the
tended to mean. A 117 -VAC line is darn easy to make a mistake that branch circuits in your home through
dangerous and will kill you. Unfor- an electrical box (or fuse box). Each
117 -VAC line consists of at least two
tunately even physicians believe such could do you harm. wires: a hot line and the neutral. Most
misinformation (sigh). For almost eight
years worked in the bioelectronics modem outlets also have a ground

laboratory of a major east -coast med-

Our Isolator prevents line that is connected to the electrical
ical center. One day overheard an
box at the service entrance.
intern stating with annoying authority: problems so you can avoid So, where's the trouble? If you are
"They told us in medical school that it's barefoot, or are wearing conductive
not the voltage that kills, but the cur- shoes (such exist!), or have canvas,
cures. rubber or leather soles that are soaking
rent; so don't worry about the 117 volts
from the wall socket-it's safe." wet, then you are effectively
Ilooked across the table at him and BY JOSEPH J. CARR grounded. Accidental contact with
asked in a semi -sarcastic tone: "Have the117 -VAC hot line will allow current to
you ever heard of Ohm's law, Doctor?" for all shops to have a few people pass through your body, setting off ven-
What the young doctor was un- trained in CPR. Also, families in which a tricular fibrillation -leading to death.
knowingly referring to is the fact that member works with electronics would There are a number of dangerous
the presence of high current density in do well to have another member scenarios that can lead to injury for an
a certain region of the heart is what trained in CPR. electronics hobbyist: frayed power
causes death by electrocution. The cords on power supplies or tools; trou-
mechanism of death is ventricular Source of the Danger. Figure shows
1 bleshooting live equipment without
fibrillation (irregular and uncoordi- a simplified schematic of the standard paying careful attention to where the
nated heart action), which leads to residential -power system used in the AC snake is coiled; plugging in a proj-
death in minutes if no one initiates car- United States. The power company ect that is not ready to receive power
diopulmonary resuscitation (com- distributes electrical power in the form safely; and the list goes on.
monly called CPR) and gets the victim of high -voltage alternating current
to the hospital immediately. Since im- (denoted HVAC). That form of current The Solution. The best solution to the
mediate CPR treatment is the only sup- can be more efficiently transmitted problem is to "lift" the AC power line off
port mechanism that will get the victim than low-voltage current because the ground through a floating -AC power
to the emergency room alive, it is wise ohmic losses are less. When the power system. Figure 2 shows a transformer-

many major electronic -parts suppliers.
They can also be bought from elec-
HOT 1 tronics- surplus outlets, or local elec-
tronics parts stores. bought an

G industrial -surplus transformer at a local

HVAC N shop and built the bench isolator
shown in the photos.
G Figure 3 shows the circuit for the iso-
H lator box that built. The transformer

has three 117 -VAC windings. The trans-

former mentioned in the Parts List is
rated at115 volts, so keep that in mind if
you build your Isolator with that unit.
Fig. I. Unlike what you may have imagined, two hot lines enter your house at the The primary winding is connected to
same time: each of them carries 117 volts potential to ground (also used as neutral). an AC power switch, S1, and a fuse, F1.

isolated AC power system. The trans- F1 Si

former has a 1:1 turns ratio so 117 VAC
can be "converted" to floating 117
VAC. The important thing to note is that
the primary circuit is ground refer-
enced because the AC power line is GROUND
grounded through the neutral, but the
secondary is completely floating
neither line is connected to ground.
The isolation -transformer idea is an
old one, and one you should take ad- Fig. 3. The dots above the .econdary coils for the Isolator b dicate their
vantage of if you work on live circuits or phasing. Be sure they are in phase before completing the wiring of the unit.
in building DC power supplies. In a
hospital, it is common practice to use It receives power from the AC line
an isolated power supply in each op- PARTS LIST FOR THE through a standard computer cord.
ISOLATOR The size of the fuse depends on the size
erating room for patient safety. In fact,
if you are unfortunate enough to have FI-6-amp fuse (based on transformer of the transformer. The transformer used
surgery, take note of the stainless -steel value: see text.) in the prototype was a 650 volt -am-
alarm panel on which the clock is MI -150-VAC meter pere unit, so by 650- VA417 -V we know
mounted. Behind that panel is a 5 -,10-, PLI -Three contact AC -line computer that it will produce a little more than 5
or 20 -KVA isolation transformer and plug amperes. That is more than the unit
SI-AC -power switch, wall -mount type specified in the Parts List will produce,
various monitoring devices to keep the
or equivalent. so select a more powerful (read that:
system safe. SOI -AC- outlet type socket
Television- and audio -service tech- more expensive) unit if you require it.
T1-115-VAC, isolation transformer
nicians also use isolation transformers. (The supplier mentioned in the Parts List
One of the photos shows a typical ser- Computer power cord, cabinet, face plate offers a wide variety of appropiate
vice- person's isolation transformer. (if needed: see text). fuse holder. units.) selected a 6- ampere slow -

grounding lugs, locknuts, screws,

Such devices allow the service techni- blow fuse accordingly.
solder. wire, etc.
cian to adjust the voltage level to the Note from the photo that the AC
A 115 -volt, 0.2 -amp per secondary
specified value (e.g. 117 VAC) even transformer, Type PPC-29, (stock no.
outlet and the power switch are part of
though the actual line voltage is any- 44F2392) is available from Newark the same assembly, mounted behind
thing between 105 and 125 VAC. Electronics; Tel. 312/989 -7800 for the an outlet cover plate. Both the cover
Alternatively, the technician might branch nearest you. plate and the switch/outlet were pur-
want to set the voltage either lower or chased at a local hardware store. The
higher to check some particular as- tronics, and other sensitive instruments output meter is a 0-150 -VAC meter
pect of the device under test. (see photo). It not only provides neces- bought at a local electronics supply
Another form of isolation transformer sary isolation, but also noise suppres- house for about $16. The cabinet is a
is for use with computers, digital elec- sion. The author has seen those standard hobbyist -grade metal cab-
H transformers solve a lot of odd intermit- inet. The fuse holder and power socket
1:1 tent problems in computer installa- are mounted on the rear panel of the
117 VAC 111 VAC
tions. Power -line transients can disrupt unit.
digital circuits (of course including It is important that you connect the
computers), and the transformer sup- ground lead from the AC input socket
presses those transients. on the rear panel, and the ground
lead from the AC outlet on the front
Fig. 2. The 117 vv Its that is grounded Making Your Own Isolation Unit. panel, to the chassis. The paint should
on the primary (p Aver) side of the Isolation transformers can be bought be scraped off the chassis if necessary,
transformer, is lifted in the secondary. from any number of sources, including (Continued on page 101)

By Louis E. Frenzel

Norton's equivalents are not look- alikes from

The Honeymooners; they can help break any circuit
down into a current source and resistance

There are lots of different ways to rent sources that will supply a single With low output impedance, varying
analyze electronic circuits. In the current to a wide range of loads with load resistance has little or no effect on
past two issues, we have shown you little deviation. the output voltage.
how to use Thevenin's theorem and the Most electronic circuits are de- There are some applications in elec-
superposition theorem to convert cir- signed to be voltage sources. As you tronics that require a constant current
cuits into equivalent voltage sources. may recall from the last two articles of rather than a constant voltage. That is
Any complex circuit can be rear- the series, we defined a voltage where current sources become useful.
ranged so that it can be represented source as a generator that produces a With a constant output current, varying
by an equivalent voltage source in se- constant output voltage regardless of load resistances have little or no effect
ries with an internal resistance and the the load impedance. In order to on the output current.
load. With the circuit in that simplified achieve that kind of performance, a A current source is usually repre-
form, calculations regarding output voltage source must have zero internal sented by the symbol shown in Fig. 1A.
voltage and current for different load resistance. Such perfect voltage The arrow points in the direction of cur-
values can be quickly and easily per- sources do not exist, but many do have rent flow. If we were to observe elec-
formed. extremely low internal resistances, and tron flow (and we will for our
But not all circuits respond to such so closely approximate a perfect volt- discussion), the arrow points in the di-
treatment. Some circuits contain cur- age source. Batteries and electronic rection of the electron flow. If con-
rent sources rather than voltage power supplies are excellent voltage ventional current flow (the movement
sources. For those, other techniques sources. Any electronic circuit with a of holes) is assumed, the arrow would
must be used. For example, Norton's low output impedance (low internal point in the direction of that flow.
theorem can be used to convert a cir- resistance) is a good voltage source. Just as practical voltage sources
cuit into a simple parallel network con - have a finite internal resistance, so do
taining a current source and a current sources. A practical current
2 parallel -internal resistance. source is shunted by an internal resis-
p In this month's installment we are go- tance, designated R in Fig.1B. In a cur-
ing to introduce you to Norton's the-
() A
LL.1 orem and a method of circuit analysis INTERNAL RESISTANCE
w using it. Later, we will discuss practical CURRENT SOURCE

current-source circuits and some of

D their applications.

a Current Sources. A current source is

a generator that supplies a fixed cur-
rent to any value of load resistance B
connected to it. An ideal current CURRENT
w source will supply that fixed value of
w current into an open circuit or a short
circuit and any resistance value be-
Fig. I. The standard current source
d) tween the two. Of course, there are no (A) is really like an ideal current Fig. 2. The internal resistance of a
zperfect current sources. However, in source in parallel with its inherent practical voltage source steals some
= practice it is possible to construct cur- internal resistance (). of the current from the supply.

rent source, the internal resistance R1 R3 connected.) That is the Norton's-equiv-
12052 30052 A
appears in parallel with the source. A alent resistance, RN.
perfect current source will have an infi- A 7. Connect a current generator, IN, in
nite value of R. The internal resistance parallel with RN to form the complete
in a practical current source will not be Norton's equivalent.
infinite, but will instead be some finite 5052
8. Reconnect the load and make any
but usually high value. The higher the additional calculations.
internal resistance, the better the cur- Let's apply those steps to the circuit
rent source. in Fig. 3A. First, we remove the load
You can see why that is by simply RI R3 between terminals A and B. Then, we
looking at the current source in Fig. 2. If 12012 30052 A short terminals A and B. It is through that
it generates a fixed current, I, some of short that the Norton's-equivalent cur-
that current will pass through the inter- LOAD rent will flow. See Fig. 3B. The Norton's-
nal resistance, R. The current supplied REMOVED equivalent current, IN, then is the cur-
to the load, IL, will be less than the REPLACED
rent through R3 and the short. We can
current produced by the generator. In WITH A use Ohm's and Kirchhoff's laws in de-
Fig. 2: termining that current value.
To do that, we must first calculate the
II. = I - R1 R3 total circuit resistance. That is the par-
where IL is the load current, is the con-
12052 30052
allel combination of R2 and R3 in se-
stant current produced by the gener- ries with R1:
ator, and I; Is the current through the
internal resistance. A high value of in-
VOLTAGE R-1-=RI+R2R3/(R2+R3)
ternal resistance compared to the REPLACED 20052
R-= 120+2(0(30)021X1+3(X)1
BY A R-c_ = I'_0 + 60.(X)0/5(X)
load resistance, will only shunt away a SHORT
R.1-= 120 + 120=240 ohms
small amount of current so that most of
the current produced by the generator The total current drawn from the volt-
will pass through the load.
Fig. 3. The steps in calculating the age source is:
When no load is connected to the Norton's equivalent of a circuit (A)
current source, then all of the current -1 = Vs /R -= 24/240= . I amp
are reviewed diagramatically here.
produced by the generator will flow Drawing R displays the load replaced by That current produces a voltage
through the internal resistance. When a a short, and C .shows the source across R1 of:
load is connected, the current will be replaced by a short.
divided between the internal resis- V1= I.1R1= .1(120)=12 volts
tance and the load. There are two steps to determining Now, according to Kirchhoff's law, that
The primary reason for working with the Norton's equivalent of a circuit. The leaves:
a current source rather than a voltage first step is to calculate the Norton's-
source is because it is sometimes easi- equivalent current, IN. That is usually 24 -12=12 volts
er to analyze a network in terms of cur- referred to as the short- circuit current. across R2 and R3. The current in R3 is
rent. That is particularly true when the That is the amount of current that will the Norton's equivalent, which we can
circuit you are working with contains flow if the load is replaced with a short calculate by Ohm's law:
many parallel branches. If the circuit is circuit. It is also the current that a load
1N =12/300= .04 amp
primarily series, then it is usually better will see when connected to the Nor-
to use a voltage source and Thevenin's ton's- equivalent generator. Next we need to compute the Nor-
theorem for analysis. The other part of the calculation is to ton's- equivalent resistance, RN. To do
compute the equivalent internal resis- that, we remove the short from be-
Norton's Theorem. Norton's theorem tance, RN. That is the total resistance tween terminals A and B. Then we re-
states that any linear circuit can be appearing across the load terminals. place the battery with a short circuit.
replaced by an equivalent circuit con- Now, let's take a look at the pro- We can now compute the total resis-
sisting of a current source and its paral- cedures you use to calculate the Nor- tance of the network between termi-
lel internal resistance connected to the ton's- equivalent generator. nals A and B as shown in Fig. 3C. That is
load. Norton's theorem defines the The rules for determining the Nor- the resistance of R1 and R2 in parallel
mathematical procedures used to ton's- equivalent circuit can be sum- connected in series with R3. The resis-
compute the Norton's -equivalent cir- marized as follows: tance calculations are as follows:
cuit. The process is best illustrated with 1. Disconnect the load from the output.
RN= RI(R2) /(RI +R2) +R3
an example. 2. Short across the output (load) termi-
RN= 120(200)/(120 + 200)+3(X)
Refer to Fig. 3A. That network consists nals.
RN = 24,000/320 + 3(X)
of a battery plus a resistive network 3. Calculate the current in the short.
RN= 75 +3(x) =375 ohms
connected to a load. Our job is to con- That is the Norton's -equivalent current,
vert that circuit into its Norton's equiv- IN. Now, the total Norton's equivalent
alent. The battery plus the circuit 4. Remove short from output terminals. can be drawn. It is a current source
consisting of R1 through R3 will be trans- 5. Replace voltage source with a short. with a value of .04 Amp in parallel with
lated into an equivalent current source 6. Calculate resistance between the the Norton's- equivalent resistance, RN,
with its internal resistance. output terminals (with the load still dis- of 375 ohms. When the load is recon-

convert between the Thevenin's and a component in a linear circuit is the
Norton's equivalents. Let's consider algebraic sum of the currents (or volt-
how to do that. ages) produced by each current (or
In the previous example, we con- voltage) source acting indepen-
50S verted the circuit in Fig. 3A into its Nor- dently."
ton's equivalent shown in Fig. 4. To use the superposition theorem,
Suppose we want the Thevenin's you disable all but one source, then
B equivalent instead. We could go back calculate the various currents and
Fig. 4. Finally you will arrive at this to the original circuit and apply the voltages. Then, you repeat that with
Norton's equivalent of the circuit in Thevenin's conversion steps, but that is the other sources. Finally, you add up
Fig. 3 after you follow the steps. too time consuming. It's easier to use
some simple conversion formulas.
nected, the value IN will flow in the To convert the Norton's equivalent to RTh
load. See Fig. 4. The load voltage, VL, the Thevenin's equivalent, first remove

is then: the load and apply these formulas:

V, =1NRL
VL = .04(50)=2 volts Rib =RN = 15V
VT h 502
As you can see, a complex circuit Remember, VTh is the Thevenin's-
with a voltage source can be reduced equivalent voltage while RTh is the
to its Norton's equivalent containing a 1 B

Thevenin's -equivalent series resis-

current source. That allows you to tance. Fig. 6. This Thevenin's equivalent can
make current calculations in a parallel Using our previous example then: be generated from the Norton's
circuit. You can, of course, convert the equivalent in Fig. 5.
circuit to its Thevenin's equivalent and VTh = INRN
work with a voltage source and a se- VTh = .04(375) =15 volts
ries circuit. The choice is yours. In either RTT, = RN = 375 ohms r A
case, you simplify the original circuit to So, the Thevenin's equivalent of the Aq I

make analysis and design faster and circuit in Fig. 4 is given in Fig. 6. RTh
easier. You can also go the other way. As-
sume the Thevenin's equivalent in Fig. VTh=7.5V
7A. To get the Norton's equivalent, you
Exercise Problem. Now try the pro-
cedure yourself.
1.Convert the circuit in Fig. 5 into its
use these formulas:
IN= V.m /RT.h
i B

Norton's equivalent.
12.n, = RN J
Applying them with the values in Fig.
7A, we get: r-
1K A IN = VT iRTh = 7.5/100 = .075 amp
... _ R.l.h = RN = 100 ohms

1 The Norton's equivalent is shown in Fig.

7B. 5002
R1 R3 RL
VS= 12V
25052 1.5K 10K

Exercise Problems. Practice the

T concepts with these problems:
B 2. Change the Norton's -equivalent cir-
L_ J
Fig. 5. Remember to use what you've cuit you derived from Fig. 5 into its Fig. 7. The Thevenin's equivalent in A
learned to solve for this circuit. Thevenin's equivalent using the con- can be converted into a Norton's
version formulas. 3. Convert the circuit equivalent shown in B.
in Fig. 8 into its Norton's equivalent
Converting Thevenin to Norton. As using the conversion formulas. RTh
you saw in the previous example, a
circuit with a voltage source can be
converted into a Norton's equivalent Superposition with Current
10052 A

with a current source. You can also Sources. In the previous article, dis- I

take a circuit with a current source and cussed the superposition theorem. It is VTh= 36V 4.:

convert it into a Thevenin's equivalent extremely helpful in simplifying circuits 1 27552

with a voltage source. It all depends with two or more voltage sources. It
on the circuit and the kinds of calcula- can also be used on circuits with two or B

tions you want to make. You may wish more current sources.
to convert back and forth to make the The superposition theorem states Fig. 8. Use the handy formulas in the
optimum calculations on a given cir- that: text to convert this Thevenin's
cuit. The easiest way to do that is to "The current Through (or voltage across equivalent into a Norton's equivalent.

the currents and voltages to get their posite directions in R2, they oppose current -source resistance should be at
combined effect. Let's see how to do one another. So, the total current is the least 10,000 ohms. In the example, we
that in a circuit with two current difference between the two currents, use an internal resistance of 1

sources. or: megohms along with a voltage source

Refer to Fig. 9A. We want to find the .35- .2 =.15 amp of 15 volts.
voltage drop across R2. Note that cur- We can use Ohm's law to figure out
rent source I, produces current flow in The direction of current flow is in the what the constant current supplied by
one direction through R2, while source direction of the largest current. So in the current source is. The load current,
12 produces current in the opposite di-
Fig. 9, the composite current in R2 IL, is:
rection. flows from top to bottom.
Knowing the current in R2, we can 1= Vs /(RS +R, )

find the voltage drop with Ohm's law: Because k
is so much lower than Rs,
252 V, =1K,x R2 = .15 x 50= 7.5 volts
we can virtually ignore its effect. There-
fore, the current supplied is very nearly
equal to:
Exercise Problem. See how easy the IL= Vs /Rs =15/1,000,000
5s2 A process is by doing it yourself. =15 microamperes
4. Find the current in R3 in the circuit in
we should increase the load resis-
Fig. 10.
tance from 100 ohms up to 10,000
ohms, suddenly the load resistance
now becomes a much larger portion
R2 R4
1052 552 of the total- circuit resistance. There-
fore, its effect must be taken into con-
sideration. The total-circuit resistance
in that case is:
R2 B
J112=.35A = 7A
1,000,000+10,000=1,010,000 ohms
.35_Aj We can calculate the load current as
before with Ohm's law:
FiA. 10. Milk, use o s tperposition 1, =15/1,010,000 =14.85 microamperes
when anuly_ bug this circuit. As you can see, the current in the
load is less than the desired 15 micro-

Practical Current Sources. The amperes, however, it is very close. For

R2 c
5052 basic characteristics of a current most applications, that value would
source are a constant output current be adequate. In fact, the current is ac-
regardless of the load resistance, and tually 99% of the current with a zero
very high internal resistance. ohm load. A 1% error is tolerable in
Such a current source is difficult to most electronic circuits.
Fig. 9. When anah_ing the circuit i A
To maintain the current so that it is

use dite superposition theorem and realize with everyday electronic com-
ignore It (as in B) first and I, ponents. Therefore, we settle for a less 99 -100% of the constant current value,
(as in Cl second und sum due results. than ideal current source which, in simply be sure that the load resistance
is less than one-hundredth of the inter-
most cases, will do the job if we restrict
solve the problem, we first disable
To the range of loads over which the cur- nal resistance of the source. In Fig. 11,
disable a current source, you re- 1- megohm source, the max-
with a
I,. To rent source must work. In practical ap-
move it from the circuit and you leave plications, that is usually not a imum value of load resistance is
the circuit open at that point. That's like problem. With that in mind, we can 1,000,000/100= 10,000 ohms or 10,000
replacing the current source with an now take a look at some of the ways
infinite resistance. When working with that real -world current sources are im-
voltage sources, you disable them plemented.

with a short. You disable a current _A

source with an "open." Anyway, the Voltage Source with Resistance.

resulting equivalent circuit is shown in The easiest way to make a current i;-

Fig. 9B. Note that R1 is removed since it source is to connect a very large value I
is effectively not in the circuit. So the of resistance in series with a voltage 10052
current in R2 is .35 Amp. source as shown in Fig. 11. The value of
Now, we put I, and R1 back, and
disable 12. The resulting circuit is in Fig.
9C. The current in R2 then is .2 Amp, but
the resistance is made very high com-
pared to the load resistance. In order T
for the circuit to act like a current
in the opposite direction. source, the internal resistance, Rs, Fig. II. If the load is restricted to
The composite current in R2 is then should be at least one hundred times a certain range, a swhage source with
simply the algebraic sum of the two the load resistance. If we assume a a resistor can he used as a simple
currents. Since the currents flow in op- load resistance of 100 ohms, then the constant- current source.

ohms. For values of load between zero The way to set up a constant-current current gain. Because the circuit uses
and 10,000 ohms, the current will be source is simply to choose the voltage - heavy negative feedback by way of
within the 99 -100% of the constant cur- divider resistors R1 and R2 to provide the emitter resistor, the circuit charac-
rent value. the correct value of VB and select a teristics are strictly a function of the ex-
When designing a current source of value of emitter resistance that will ternal applied voltages and resistor
that type, the job is to select supply give the desired constant current with values.
voltages and series resistances that VE. The nice thing about designing The circuit in Fig. 12A acts as a cur-
will provide the desired amount of cur- constant- current sources like that, is rent source over a relatively wide
rent in the load. When very high values that you don't have to fool around with range of load- resistance values. In the
of current are required with high im- all of the transistor parameters such as circuit, the load can be any value from
pedance, it is often necessary to use zero up to approximately 4,000 ohms.
very high voltage values. That is usually By referring to the circuit, you can see
impractical since most solid -state cir- why that is so.
cuits use low -voltage power supplies. When current flows through the cir-
You can get the desired current by cuit, 5 volts is dropped across the emit-
using a lower value of resistance, but ter resistor, some voltage is dropped
often that resistance will be too low in across the emitter- collector connec-
value compared to the load to pro- tion of the transistor, while the remain-
vide the constant -current effect. When ing voltage is dropped across the
that happens, some other form of con- load. The total of the three voltages
stant- current source must be used. must add up to 15 volts to satisfy
Kirchhoff's law. As RE is made higher
Ic= 2.5mA
Bipolar-Transistor Current Source. and higher, the voltage redistributes
The simplest way to make a current itself and soon the relationship no lon-
source is to use a bipolar transistor as ger holds true. For example, if the load
shown in Fig. 12A. A voltage divider resistance is made 10,000 ohms, the
made up of R1 and R2 applies a volt- transistor would ordinarily try to force
age, VB, to the base of the transistor. 2.5 milliamperes through it. That, of
That forward biases the emitter-base B course, would produce a voltage of
junction causing the transistor to con- 25 volts across RE. Since the supply volt-
duct. Emitter current flows through re- age is limited to only 15 volts, naturally
sistor RE. The amount of voltage across the circuit won't work. So even though
the emitter resistor is VE. The value of VE you are limited to a narrow range of
is equal to the base voltage less the load- resistance values, again that is
voltage drop across the emitter -base usually not a problem in most elec-
junction, VBE. Since VBE is typically 0.7 tronic circuits.
volt in most silicon transistors, then VE One of the problems with the circuit
can be computed as follows: in Fig. 12A is that the load is floating.
That is, one end is connected to the
V1,= V -0.7 collector and the other end is con-
As an example, suppose voltage di- c nected to the positive terminal of the
vider R1 /R2 produces a base voltage supply voltage, Vcc. In many applica-
of 5.7 volts. The voltage across the tions, the load must be grounded. The
emitter resistor then is: problem can be corrected by simply
rearranging power supplies and
V1.= 5.7 -0.7 =5 volts
grounds in the circuit.
Now assume that the emitter- resistor A different version of the circuit is
value is 2000 ohms. The emitter current shown in Fig. 12B. Here, nothing has
then is: changed except that we have switch-
1, = Vi; /R1. = 5/2.000=2.5 mA
ed from a positive supply voltage to a
negative supply voltage connected to
The emitter current flows into the D
the emitter. The resistor values and the
emitter of the transistor, through the constant -current amplitude are the
base, and into the collector. It then same.
flows through the load resistance, RE, If you need a grounded load, but
to the supply. Remember in a high - the current must flow through the load
gain transistor, the collector current is Fig. /2. The current source in A leaves
in the opposite direction to that shown
the load floating. If the loud must he
very nearly equal to the emitter cur- in Fig. 12B, you can use the alternate
grounded, the circuit in B can he
rent. In most cases, the base current circuit shown in Fig. 12C. That circuit
used. If you also need the current to
that it uses up is extremely small and flow through the load in the opposite uses a PNP transistor, but otherwise all
can be ignored. So, the collector cur- direction you can use the circuit in the resistor values are the same. With
rent, being equal to the emitter cur- C. An improved current source with u that arrangement, current now flows
rent, provides a constant load current Zeiler diode is shown in D. The diode through the load in the opposite direc-
of 2.5 mA. sets the hase voltage. tion.

An improved current source is shown
in Fig. 12D. That circuit is similar to that
shown in Fig. 12B, but a Zener diode,
D1, is used to set the base voltage. Re-
sistor R1 sets the bias level through the
Fig. 14. Constant -current FET diodes
diode. In critical applications requir-
are depicted in either of the two ttuys
ing a very constant current, a Zener shown hefe. They are treated as diodes.
diode provides a stabilized voltage at
the base of the transistor. That ensures
that the output current remains con-
stant despite circuit variations. In tern -
perature- critical circuits, one or more
standard silicon diodes are usually
connected in series with the Zener di- loss
ode to provide temperature compen-
sation for both the Zener and the
emitter-base junction of the transistor.

FET Current Sources. Field -effect

transistors make ideal current sources
because the drain current remains
very constant with wide variations in
source -to -drain voltage. That means B

that you can connect a wide range of

load resistances to a basic FET circuit I < ID
and maintain a constant current
through it.
The basic FET constant -current
source is shown in Fig. 13A. Here, an N- Fig. 15. You can also use an 1C op -amp
channel FET is connected so that its as a current source as shown in A That
source and gate are shorted together. configuration is the familiar
The drain is connected to the load re- non-inverting amplifier circuit. If
sistance, RL. The supply voltage, VDD, you don't want the load to float then
completes the circuit. With that ar-
rangement, the constant current sup-
I the circuit in B is useful.

plied through the load is equal to the Fig. 13. FET current sources are sers amplifier circuit. Ordinarily an input
IDSS current value of the FET. Most FET's common now. Shown are the floating load voltage, V;, is applied to the non- inver-
have an loss value in the zero to 10 mA type (A), grounded load type (B). and a ting ( + ) input and the output is taken
range. By selecting an FET whose IDSs circuit that can he set depending on R. from the op -amp output and is desig-
value is the desired constant current, nated Vo. That circuit can be used as
then the simple circuit in Fig. 13A can Pre-packaged FET current sources a current source simply by connecting
be used. are also available. Those two- terminal the load resistance, RL, between the
Again, the circuit in Fig.13A contains devices are often referred to as con- output and the inverting ( - ) input as
a floating load. You can rearrange stant current diodes or current -reg- shown in Fig. 15A. Since the op-amp
that circuit as shown in Fig. 13B so that ulator diodes. They consist of an N- inputs draw little or no current, then the
the load is grounded. The gate and channel or P- channel junction FET with current through the load resistance is
source are still shorted together, but a the gate and source connected to- equal to the current through the input
negative -source supply, Vss, is used in- gether and /or with an appropriate resistor R1. Because of the feedback
stead of the positive-drain supply as in source resistor. They are available in a provided from the output of the op-
Fig. 13A. By using P- channel FET's and wide range of current values. Such a amp back to the inverting input by RL,
making other changes in the power component provides a convenient Vo in the Fig. 15A is a virtual' ground.
supplies, the direction of current flow means of obtaining a constant -current That means the voltage across R1 is
through the load can generally be source in a single two -lead package. essentially equal to V. Because of that,
anything desired. The schematic symbols often used to you can now calculate the amount of
Levels of constant current different represent constant current diodes are current supplied to the load. That is:
from the IDSS FET value can be ob- illustrated in Fig. 14. Simply connect
tained by connecting a resistance in one of the diodes in series with the load 1= Vi /RI
series with the source as shown in Fig. to the voltage source to provide the For example, if V; is 6 volts and R1 is
13C. With the resistor Rs inserted, the desired constant -current value. 4700 ohms, then the constant current
constant current supplied to the load through R1 is:
will be some value less than loss de- Op-amp Current Sources. You can
pending upon the value of Rs se- also use an IC op-amp as a current 1=6/4700=1.28 mA
lected. The higher the value of Rs, the source as shown in Fig. 15A. That con- That current will also flow through the
lower the constant current in the load. figuration is the familiar non -inverting load.
In that circuit, the load is floating. the transistor turns on and acts as a +VCC

Since that is often a disadvantage in very low value of resistance. It effec-

some circuits, some means is usually tively grounds the cathode of the LED,
required to use a grounded load. One turning it on. Resistor R1 is chosen to
arrangement is shown in Fig.15B. A PNP drop the supply voltage down to a
transistor is connected to the op -amp voltage suitable for the LED. However,
output. The load is connected be- in using a voltage source to provide a
tween the collector and ground. The particular LED voltage drop, LED's of
output current is still equal to the value the same type may have varying A
of the input voltage divided by R1. brightness levels because the current
Other arrangements of NPN transistors will be different in each, depending
and different power supply polarities upon the value of R1 selected. As an
will permit any desired output-current example, assume multiple LED's are
direction to be achieved. used to display a binary number. It is
So what do you do with a constant- esthetically pleasing for all LED's to
current source? There are lots of dif- have the same brightness. The circuit in
ferent applications, but there are Fig. 16A doesn't guarantee it.
some widely used ones with which you An improved method of driving an
should be familiar. LED is to use a current source as shown
in Fig. 16B. Whenever a positive volt-
LED Driver. Current sources are often age is applied to the base of a tran-
used as driver circuits for light- emitting sistor, a voltage is developed across
diodes. To cause an LED to turn on, it the emitter resistor, RE. That sets the
must be forward biased so that a cer- amount of current supplied to the LED.
tain level of current passes through it. When multiple circuits are used, the
The brightness is directly proportional current will be the same in each LED.
to the current value. When current While the voltage drops may vary, the
flows through the LED, a voltage ap- brightness will be consistent.
pears across it. For different LED's, that
voltage can vary from approximately Differential Amplifiers. A differential
1.7 volts to 2.5 volts for a single value of amplifier is an amplifier with two inputs
current. and a single output. The output volt-
One common way of driving an LED age is the difference between the two -VEE

is to use a transistor switch as shown in input voltages multiplied by the gain. Fig. differential amplifier such
17. A
Fig. 16A. Whenever a positive voltage A typical differential amplifier is shown as the one in A, can be improved if it
is applied to the base of the transistor, in Fig. 17A. Bias is provided to the emit- receives constant current from the
ter -base junctions by way of the emit- source. The circuit added to it in B
ter resistor, RE, and the emitter supply provides it with constant current.
voltage, - VEE.
In order for that circuit to perform
correctly, the current supplied by - VEE
and RE must be equally divided be-
tween transistors 671 and Q2. The cur-
rents are not always equal because of
differences between the emitter -base
voltage drops, transistor current gains,
and the driving impedances of the in-
puts V, and V2. Further, the input im- THIS PART OF CURVE
pedances of V, and V2 should be
+vcc made as high as possible. They are
dependent on the value of the emitter TIME

resistor. Fig. 18. As you can see, capacitors

The basic approach to achieving hardly charge in a linear fashion.
those goals is to make the negative-
supply voltage and the value of RE as current source as described p'
B large as possible. But in practical cir- viously. It is biased by a voltage div
cuits, there are limits. That is par- in that circuit, but a Zener diodt
ticularly true when differential ampli- other biasing arrangements may
fiers are made in integrated- circuit used in more critical applications
form as most of them are. any case, the constant -current sour
To overcome those problems, most greatly improves the performance of
Fig. 16. LED drivers such as voltage differential amplifiers use a constant - differential amplifier. Most differenti
drivers (A) and current drivers (B) current source in place of RE. That is amplifiers used in integrated -circi
can be made with one transistor. illustrated in Fig. 17B. Transistor Q3 is the (Continued on page 9

Give a Friend A "Hands -On"
Experience for Christmas.. .
Does fighting the crowds at Christmas short -circuit SAVE MONEY ... A great gift to receive, Hands -
your holiday fun? Don't blow a fuse this year ...
for On Electronics is also a great gift for you to give! The

electronics -
the friend who shares your love of project-oriented
or a youngster who may need only a
spark to ignite a life -long interest- give a gift
Special Holiday Rate saves you $11.00 off the
newsstand price on each gift. You can save another
$11.00 when you start or extend your own
subscription to Hands -On Electronics! subscription at the same time. It's our "thank -you"
for sharing the Hands -On experience with a friend
this Christmas.
... Because when you give him Hands -On Electronics,
you're giving him valuable "Hands -On" experience:

month after month of challenging construction projects
including complete plans for testing equipment,
electronic worksavers for home and car, add -ons and
Send no money, unless you prefer. We'll be glad to bill
you in January, Next Year. Just take a brief moment to
modifications for hi -fi, computers, radio and TV. go over your gift list and make sure you haven't
forgotten anyone who might appreciate the "Hands -On"
experience. Then write the names on the attached Gift
He'll get all the how -to he needs to build exciting, Certificate and mail it back in the postage -paid reply
useful projects like these ... a touch light dimmer .. . envelope ... we'll take it from there!
a traveler's theft alarm ... an economy NiCd battery
charger ... a voice synthesizer... a wave form
generator ... the ultimate burglar alarm ...a stereo Your friends will receive a handsome gift announcement
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all through the new year they'll remember and
appreciate your thoughtful gift of "Hands -On"
PLUS ... testbench tips and techniques ...
circuit experience!
design ... electronics fundamentals ...
book reviews
and new product news including our new 12 -page
"Gizmo" section ... regular columns on computers,
scanners, dx'ing, ham and antique radio ...
the list So don't blow a fuse ...
take it easy and enjoy the
goes on and on! holidays. Give Christmas gifts of Hands -On Electronics!

solid -state replacement used in our

Circuit circuits.
Note: The circuit shown in Figs.1 and
2 are not designed for radio reception,
but instead are designed to serve as

([1:v Circus RF power cells. Granted the output ob-

tained from a single RF cell won't
cause the local power company to
shudder, but it doesn't send out bills.
Here's how the something -for-
By Charles D. Rakes
nothing circuit works. A long -wire an-
CRYSTAL DIODE DETECTORS tenna and an earth ground are con-
nected to a parallel tuned circuit
Ican't think of a more nostalgic time level that would allow several people
of the year than the present (when to enjoy the program without wearing 1 N34
mother nature is tuning up for her coup earphones.
de grace and the jolly old geezer in his Those crystal sets also did not re-
red undies is about to play chimney quire an off/on switch, because all op-
sweep) to go back in time and remi- erating power came in on the antenna L1
0-365pF 0.1
nisce about the good old days when from the station's transmitter, free to the
all soldering was done with an Amer- listener. The majority of the stations in
ican Beauty iron and batteries only the early years were low powered and
came in A, B, and C sizes. And if the would not offer much volume to the
term solid -state was used at all, it was crystal set user. However, today the air 1N34A
in reference the stature of a prominent is saturated with a hodgepodge of en- J
citizen. ergy spread throughout the entire RF
No, wouldn't think of going back
I spectrum.
technically to the good old days, but it The simple circuits shown in Figs. 1 L2

could be adventurous to enter a spe- and 2 are designed to take advan- (SEE TEXT)

cial "time machine" and apply our tage of that abundance of free power.
present day know -how to a popular The circuit in Fig.1 is nothing more than
subject of yesterday. As a youth, when a modern -day version of a vintage
the cold winds of winter howled out- crystal set with the tedious cat's -whis-
side, could really enjoy settling down
I ker detector, of Grandpa's day re- Fig. 2 -The single power cell of Fig. /
to building the latest -published AM- placed with a modern 1N34A ger- can be connected in .series. u.s shown
broadcast receiver (BC) circuit and manium diode. If you have ever tried here. to increase the output voltage. A
stay up all hours of the night to see how to keep a cat's whisker detector in ad- higher current can he obtained by con -
well it would pull in those distant sta- justment, you're sure to appreciate the necting two cells in parallel.
tions. 50 TURNS
Of course, now you can purchase a
super- sensitive AM /FM radio for less 10 TURNS
than a "Hamilton" and pick up Cuba NO. 18 ENAMELED
and Canada almost any night. But,
even in today's fast -paced world,
there's still an- itch -that can only be
scratched by the performance of a 1 N34
self-made project.
I'm sure you've noticed fewer things
are free today, and getting something
for nothing legally is a rare occurrence
indeed, but with a smidgen of elec-
e C2
OUTPUT 3.1/2

tronic wisdom and a few inexpensive 0-365pF

parts it can happen.

RF Power Cell. Our first circuit turns
back the hands of time to an era when
v2- 14-- 2.2
the crystal -diode detector -better 4
known as a crystal set-was in vogue, ALL DIMENSIONS
and listening to KDKA was the norm. IN INCHES

Those very early diode detectors re- A e

quired no battery power and when Fig. /- Shown Itere modern-day version of a vintage crystal set with the
Is u
operated close to a strong station, rat's- whisker detector replaced by u /N34A germanium diode. The circuit is
they could drive a horn speaker to a designed to serve u.s un RE power cell.

(consisting of LI and C1) that's tuned to
the strongest local AM broadcast sta- PARTS LIST FOR THE
tion in the area. RF POWER CELL
DI -IN34A germanium diode 01
The RF energy is converted (or rec-
tified) to DC by DI. Capacitor C2 re-
CI- 365 -pF, variable capacitor D1

C2- O.1 -F ceramic disc capacitor

moves any RF ripple from the output. If LI- See text C3
a powerful station is close by, it's possi- Wire, solder, hardware, etc. 0.02
ble to obtain a 1- to 3 -volt output at a L3
current of several milliamps. The out- PARTS LIST FOR THE DUAL (SEE

put voltage won't blow your socks off, RF POWER CELL TEXT)
R1 C2
but it can power a variety of con- DI, D2 -IN34A germanium diode 10K 100

servative electronic circuits. CI, C2- 365 -pF, variable capacitor

The dual cell shown in Fig. 2 is C3, C4- 0.I -11F, ceramic disc capacitor
LI, L2-See text
nothing more than two of the tuned
Wire, solder, hardware. etc.
circuits connected together with their
outputs in series to increase the output INPUT FROM
voltage. For a higher current output, Stick with the 1N34A or a similar ger- RF CELLS

the two cells can be connected in par- manium diode for D1, because using a Fig. 3 -The Single- runsi.ctor B(' Radio
allel. If you are a dedicated experi- silicon diode here requires about circuit cun he powered by the RI percer
menter, that's an area where an twice the threshold voltage for forward celle presented in Fig. I. and the
conduction and will produce a lower input ra the receiver connected (via u
unlimited number of circuit arrange-
sonal/ irimnu'r capacitor) to the
ments can be tried to obtain the max- output voltage. Of course, if you live in
antenna that drives the power ce /Lc.
imum power output. a real RF hot spot, just about any type
First, some real hands -on chores of rectifier suitable for RF will produce
must be completed before testing can an output. PARTS LIST FOR THE
begin, such as winding three identical With a good antenna and ground SINGLE -TRANSISTOR BC
coils; see the winding details in Fig. 1B. connected to the cell, hook either a RADIO
As shown, a 4 -inch length of 31/2-inch sensitive ammeter or voltmeter across QI- 2N1305 general- purpose PNP
diameter PVC tubing is used as a coil the output and tune Cl for the greatest germanium transistor
form. About 50 turns of #18 enamel - output. Here's a chance to travel back DI -IN34A germanium diode
coated copper wire is wound (in sole- in time by connecting a high- imped- CI- 365 -pF, variable capacitor
noid fashion) on the form, leaving at ance set of headphones across the
C2- 100 -F, 16-WVDC, electrolytic
least six inches of wire at each end. output, and listen to the radio like C3-O.02 -F, ceramic-disc capacitor
Leaving a space of about a quarter Gramps did years ago. RI- 10,000-ohm potentiometer
inch, wind a second coil of about 10 The output of two cells can be tied in L3-See text
turns in the same direction. Leave at paralleled;
series, as shown in Fig. 2, or Printed circuit or periboard materials,
least six inches of wire at each end. whichever configuration best meets enclosure, high -impedance
At the beginning and end of each the load requirement. If only one strong headphones (2000 -ohms or better),
winding, drill two holes slightly larger radio station is available, separate an- wire, solder, hardware, etc
than the wire size to loop the ends tennas can be used with individual
through to keep the winding in place. cells to increase the power output able signal level found at the anten-
Use 100 -grit sandpaper to remove the even more. That's an area that's wide na(s) terminal.
enameled coating from each end of open for experimentation. VHF and Resistor R1 should be adjusted to
the four wires, and then tin the ends. UHF signals are another area where an produce the maximum audio volume,
It's best to start off with a single RF enormous amount of RF energy is just while maintaining the best sound qual-
cell to see how much power is avail- waiting to be tapped. ity. That adjustment controls the tran-
able in your area. The antenna should sistor bias, which is derived from the
be as high and as long as possible to Single Transistor BC Radio. The incoming RF signal. If the receiver of-
pull in the maximum RF signal. A good Single Transistor BC Radio circuit fers ample sensitivity, but falls short in
earth ground should be used to com- shown in Fig. 3 is an ideal test circuit for the selectivity department, try tapping
plete the RF path. the RF cells. The RF cells and the tran- L3 at its mid point and connecting D1 to
Although a 365-pF variable capaci- sistor radio can be built in a nostalgic the tap. That's just another area that's
tor is specified for Cl, almost any sal- fashion on a 12 -inch square piece of ideal for trying various schemes to get
vaged broadcast tuning capacitor wood, or for a more modern ap- the best overall circuit operation.
will do. The exact capacitor value isn't proach use perfboard and pins. In any
too critical, so try what you have on case, the circuit is non -critical, so build SSBC Reciver. Figure 4 shows the
hand. If new tuning capacitors are to suit. schematic diagram of a Super-Sen-
needed, try one of the poly -film RF tun- The antenna input to the transistor sitive BC Receiver, which is built
ing capacitors available from a few of receiver can be connected to the around a Ferranti ZN414 TRF (tuned ra-
the mail order houses for about two same antenna that drives the RF cells dio- frequency) amplifier. With the
bucks each. If you want to be old fash- through a small trimmer capacitor SSBC receiver, you should be able to
ioned and stick with the all -metal vari- (say, about 10 to 50 pF), or operated pull in stations with a three -foot anten-
ables, be ready to spend about 10 from a separate antenna. But the best na just about anywhere in the U.S.
dollars each. method to use depends on the avail- (Continued on page 99)
Stacking Up. Obviously, SmartKey is a
software package that remains resi-
dent in the computer, and all would be

Computer fine if that's all used. But over the years


have added other memory- resident

programs, such as Blank 3, which

Bits blanks the screen if the keyboard is

unused for 3- minutes. Also memory res-
ident, have a printer spooler, a cal-

culator, and the Panasonic software

that allows my computer to function as
By Herb Friedman a FAX even as use the computer for

something else, such as writing this col-

MACRO ADD -ON umn. Before even start to load my

word processor, of my computer's 640K

here is rarely an easy way to use computer to switch to boldface; the of RAM, less than 400K is available for
software. Whether it's a word pro- + r tell the typesetter to return to the the applications program-and 400K
cessor, a spread sheet, a database, or type that was originally specified for is no great amount of RAM when run-
whatever, it often takes what seems this column. ning my XyWrite ///word -processor with
like endless keystrokes to do the sim- Now have to use almost 50 typeset-
I all its bells and whistles, or when using
plest of things. And if you must enter a ting codes, of which some 15 are en- Lotus 1 -2 -3 or dBase /11.
substantial number of the same key- tered repeatedly. also have about 20
I But notwithstanding my reduced
strokes over and over, the process can commands for my word processor that free RAM, my memory- resident pro-
seem like a new version of the old Chi- are also repeatedly used, as well as grams worked well -until recently. I

nese water torture. complete text paragraphs, such as often need more free RAM than is
For example, every month send out
I those asking for the loan of software or available, and when try to unload I

about 20-30 letters asking for review equipment. simplify everything by

I one or more resident programs they
loans of hardware and software that at using a program called SmartKey, get in each other's way because they
first glance appear to be something which allows me to program almost must be removed LIFO (last in, first out).
that Popular Electronics readers any key for anything. For example, Unfortunately, if the one want to un- I

might be interested in knowing about. pressing ALT-L (L for "letter ") keys in a load is in the middle or at the top of the
Except for the item itself, and maybe two- paragraph request for the loan of memory stack it can't be done-PC-
for a line or two of additional com- software or equipment, while CTRL -L DOS does not allow any holes from the
ments, the letters are identical. If had I keys in the rest of the letter -right top of memory down.
to type each letter individually, would
I through "Yours very truly,"-after key- I

probably be climbing the walls after board -enter the name of software or Titans Clash. Also, started to run into I

the fifth version. the equipment want to borrow.

I the problem of an application pro-
Of course, many of you are shaking gram trying to use the same addresses
your head and saying "Aha! Why as a resident program -which results
doesn't he use my word processor, in everything crashing, or the comput-
which has a dynamite mail merge ?" I er simply locking up.
don't use what you use because don't I
For those times when needed all I

want to compile address lists before I

the free RAM could get-or when an

type a letter. find a merge without an

I TLE applications program clashed with
automatic pull -up after a keyboard TITLE M
the resident software -1 needed
40 TO

entry is more trouble than it's worth; TITLE

something that could synthesize mem-
and don't want to wait while the pro-
I CELE TE RCW ory- resident macros without actually
gram tries to append or merge from a ROOMS using any memory .

disk file.
I found what I needed in a PCXT
keyboard peripheral called an
In The Keys. do my mail by preload -
I 01 /MOW Echobox Smart Keypad (Inmar, Inc.,
ing my keyboard with macros, a mac- 121 1223 Peoples Ave., Troy, NY 12180. Tel.
ro being a string of characters or o1DRW/ No. 518 -271 -6692). Basically, the smart
graphics that is unleashed by pressing keypad is a microcomputer con-
a single key, or a combination of keys, taining enough memory to store 950
such as ALT -1 or CTRL -T. For example, keystrokes. (A model for the PC AT and
some writers for, and all editors at Pop- PS/2 computers stores 650 keystrokes.)
ular Electronics, must include the It has a single cable, with male and
codes for the typesetting computer in female connectors, that connects in
their copy. For example, look at the series between the keyboard and the
Tivehve keysand a double-width shift allow
boldface we use for the name of this 24 individual macros to he programmed computer. The device gets its power
magazine. You see it as Popular Elec- into the Edwina. You can change the from the computer. When the comput-
tronics. write it as "+ bPopular Elec-
I programming even while running an er is off, an internal long -life battery
tronics + r." The + b tells the typesetting applications program. (Continued on page 94)

Where can I I
There is a way to get help when you
teed it. The American Home Satellite
Association. An organization created
exclusively to protect and enhance your

turn for help?" enjoyment of your satellite TV system.

Take our toll free "Helpline; for example.
From locating satellite signals to locating
a reputable dealer, help is just a phone
call away. MISA provides educational
videotapes and informative books, too. At
very special member prices.
Plus, 10 times a year, AHSA's official
newsletter, Sky Report, will bring you the
latest word on products, legislation,
programming, and more. Not to mention
reviews of new products and services. And
that's not all AHSA has in store for you.
Programming shouldn't cost a fortune.
With AHSA's group buying power,
you can save on premium services,
superstations and basic programming
services. Enjoy savings on accessories,
equipment, and programming guides, too.
You're not alone anymore!
With your voice behind us, AHSA is
promoting legislation to guarantee fair
access at reasonable prices. Addressing
zoning and piracy issues. Even sending
expert witnesses to Congressional
hearings. Join other dish owners around
the nation, and become a force to be
reckoned with.

Rush my free information kit.



City State Zip

Sign me up right away and send

my complete membership Mt.
Check enclosed for $36 (made out to AHSA)
Bill my VISA MasterCard
Card "
Exp. Date
Authorized Signature
:30 -day Money Back Guarantee
Return completed coupon to:
American Home
Satellite Association, Inc.,
Suite 800, 500108th Ave. NE,
Bellevue, WA 98004 -5560
American Home
Or call Toll Free
Satellite Association 1-800- 321 -AHSA (2472).
be less favorable as the lowest usable
i.iwcaINM. DX frequencies climb as well.
But, overall, the next couple of years
should be a great time to be SWLing!

VIPIWAFA7 Listening Receiver Reviews. Eleven years ago,

Larry Magne originated the systematic
laboratory and "hands -on" evaluation
of shortwave radios and SWLing ac-
By Don Jensen
cessories. For several years, those re-
THE SUNSPOT CYCLE views have appeared in print in Radio
Database International's annual
Mother Nature has slipped us a sur- count is going up. But not only is it Passport To World Band Radio and on
prise: The sunspot count is climb- ahead of the previous cycle's rate -of- the air monthly on Radio Canada In-
ing much faster than expected. What climb, the data is quite similar to that of ternational's SWL Digest, where they
that could mean for shortwave lis- the historic "Cycle 19" of the 1950's! have gained a considerable following
teners is some of the best reception The early phase of the sunspot cycle among those who want the lowdown
conditions ever during the next few tends to be a gauge for the entire on the equipment market.
years! period. And so far, the data suggests Now the broadcast reports also are
Sunspots are those periodic and vio- that the current cycle will peak sooner carried monthly on Radio Japan's DX
lent eruptions on the surface of the Sun, and reach a higher maximum than ex- Corner program. The program is
which have a major effect on distant perts were predicting as recently as broadcast to North America, Europe,
radio reception. two years ago. We could see the high- and the Middle East at 1525 UTC, Sun-
Sunspots have been observed as est sunspot totals since radio was de- day on 9,505, 9,695, 11,815 and 21,700
black areas on the Sun's surface since veloped! kHz. There is a repeat to the Americas
the development of the telescope in From a practical standpoint, we as at 0125 UTC on Mondays (remember
the early 1600's. Listening enthusiasts, SWLs can probably look forward to that's actually Sunday night in North
particularly since the 1930's, have two to four years of truly excellent re- America) on 5,960, 15,195, 17,810, and
been aware of the sun's effects on ception, particularly on the shortwave 17,845 kHz.
long- distance radio reception. frequencies from about 10,000 to
Sunspot activity peaks approxi- 30,000 kHz. Feedback. This is the place for your
mately every 11 years. The high points in Correspondingly however, down at letters, with questions and comments
the sunspot cycles that occurred in the bottom end of the shortwave on shortwave, and the highlights of
1936 and 1947 offered excellent short- range (particularly the 60 -, 90- and some of your own DX listening. So why
wave reception, radio monitors noted.
At such times, the shortwave bands
120 -meter bands, where the lower
powered, domestic "tropical- band"
not join us?
It's easy to join in. Send your letters
photos, too, if you would like to see you
open up, particularly on the higher fre- stations lurk) conditions probably will
quencies, as the maximum usable fre-
quency (MUF) moves upward.
Sunspots, of course, can cause re-
ception problems in the short run. Mas-
sive solar flares -as some of you
probably have noted already -can
cause short-term blackouts of short-
wave reception. But, basically, recep-
tion conditions improve significantly
during the high sunspot-count years.
As good as SW reception was dur-
ing the peak years of the mid- 1930's
and 1940's, the granddaddy of them
all was the legendary "Cycle 19"-the
19th cycle since man formally began
studying that natural phenomenon-
which topped out in the late 1950's.
During those years, the sunspot
count hit an all -time high of 201.3 in
March 1958. Compare that with the up-
per -end numbers during the peak of
Cycle 18, about 160 in early 1947, and
the maximum of about 110 during Cy- Pittsburgh UXer Larry Yunrnn is introducing his young son to the fascinating world o/
cle 20 in the early part of 1968, .shortwave listening. Larry wasn't too much older when he became an SWL himself
Now, as we near the end of 1988, buck in /969. He does his listening today on an ICOM R7/ receiver and enjoys
Cycle 22 is underway and the sunspot tuning the Asian and African stations.

and your "radio shack" featured in this on this frequency between 0100 and r 1
column -to Jensen on DXing, Popu- 0200 hours UTC with easy listening mu- NEW FROM ETT
lar Electronics, 500 Bi- County Blvd., sic and English language ID as the
Farmingdale, NY 11735. "National Service." [ ] RATCHET
Our first letter is from Alvin Mirabal, El Salvador-3,470 kHz. Radio Ven-
KIT $10.00. Includes re-
Cupey, Puerto Rico who writes "I found ceremos, a clandestine broadcaster versible ratchet handle, ex-
tension bar, six bits, two
your column quite by accident and directing its Spanish language pro- precision screwdrivers, and
found it very interesting. Because am I gramming to listeners -in has been a cutter. Comes in fitted
case. Get one for your shop.
a very new SWL, I'm reading every- noted here with political talks and brief another for your car an-
thing can on the subject.
I bits of music around 0300 UTC. other for your tool kit.

So far, with my Panasonic RF -2200 Europe- 21,745 kHz. With the in-
receiver, can hear quite a few sta-
I creasing sunspot numbers, look for f!TOOL KIT -NINE-
tions, but most interesting is Radio more and more broadcasters on these PIECE TOOL KIT
59.50. Includes saw, bub-
Tirana in Spanish, from 0130 to 0200 high bands. One to start with is Radio ble level, three screw-
UTC." Free Europe (RFE), which has been drivers, torque multipier,
calipers for inside and out-
Alvin says that this could be of inter- noted on this frequency in Bulgarian at side measurements, nip-
pers, and a tape measure.
est to other SWLs because of "a little 1815 UTC. You can expect some jam-
weirdness" in the programming from ming here.
the Albanian station with its "most par- Germany -7,260 kHz. Sudwestfunk I BP233- ELECTRONIC
ticular pain; of view." is one of the lesser known shortwave .... 59.95. Provides an inex-
Besides enjoying SWLing, the 34- outlets of Germany, certainly not pensive single source of
easily located data that the
year -old listener also is a hardcore heard as regularly as the external ser- electronics enthusiast is
vice of Deutsche Welle, but still a rea- likely to need in his day-to-
free -diver, spearfisherman, and under- day hobby activiites. 8 Y 10
water photographer. sonably likely catch at around 0630 inches.
Another reader, J.N.M. Legate, says hours UTC. Pop music, plus ads and
he is 77 -years young and a relatively announcements in German, is the ,.e.,,,e
BP232- CONCISE IN- le Nf DOf
recent immigrant to Newfoundland, broadcast fare. TRODUCTION TO MS-
DOS 55.95. If you are a
Canada, from the United Kingdom. His Guatemala -4,800 kHz. Radio PC user and want to get the
interest in radio began back in the Buenas Nuevas is good news for lis- most out of your computer,
you must learn its MS PC-
1920's as a teenager when he built his teners looking for new SW catches in DOS operating system.
That's what this book shows
own receiving gear. Central America. This new religious you.
"I can remember when 2L0, the Lon- outlet in Guatemala has been logged
don transmitter, started up. And later, recently around 0000 hours (midnight) BP194- MODERN
Belfast was heard when was living in
ECTS 56.25. Provides a
Ireland, about 50 miles from that city. I Kampuchea -4,907 kHz. Exotic number of practical designs
that use opto-electronic de-
succeeded in hearing it at times on a sounding Southeast Asian music can vices such as fiber optics.
single -crystal detector and fairly con- be heard from the Voice of the Kam - LEDs. and passive IR de-
sistently after adding a tube audio puchean People (VKP), which has a lectors.

stage." parallel frequency of 6,090 kHz, at

Reader Legate says that after his around 1230 hours UTC. This is the gov- BP234- TRANSISTOR
teen years, he left radio, ending up as ernment station at Phnom Penh, Kam- 510.00. Prepared from a