Thursday, February 20, 2014

Howard's Homemade 5 Tube A.M. Superhet

Howard's  Homemade 5 Tube A.M. Superhet


This little project was a lot fun to construct. I spend many hours at night listening to it as well now.  It is not a kit, I designed it based on early sets, and made a few modifications to get it to perform much better.   It took me a good 6 months just to scrounge up many of the parts  needed to complete it.  It is a true old school Superheterodyne table model radio set.  Patterned its circuitry design upon several table model sets which were refined and  based on Edward Howard Armstrong type circuits as they existed from the late 1940's until the early 1950's.  Armstrong Invented the original Superheterodyne radio set back in mid to late 1900's. By the 1920's he had developed Frequency Modulation or "FM" Technology. Some of the parts in my set have been on the shelves of stores for over 60 years.  I had to adjust and align my set without enlisting the aid of any sort sophisticated test apparatus. This was the result of my having suffered the lost of the bulk of my test instruments, when I became a victim of identity theft. I lost my home and  it's entire contents.  A lifetime of my acquisitions of things I had owned since I was a  young boy are now history. I had to rely on my many years of technical experience as an electronics specialist to get my set to work properly. I literally had to tweak and align it by ear, a rather daunting task I might add. However the payoff of my patience and relentless spirit of attitude was substantial. Now it out performs any radio set I currently own.  My little AM 5 Tube Superhet really comes to life at nightfall.  That is because the reflective lower region of the highly energized Ionosphere, diminishes when solar particle disbursement no longer sustains the lower regional charged activity layer. Radio signals in the AM Band now freely bounce further off at a much higher and steeper reflection angle than they do during the daylight hours, thus causing signals to be heard over much vaster distances than normal at night. couple that fact with a hyper sensitive receiver, that sniffs out radio signals in like fashion to a bloodhound tracking down faint scents with acute accuracy, and you have a combination that can not be beat for long distance radio signal broadcast reception.  The set was purposely designed to look as though it was homemade, because in fact is it. I did not want it to look at all store bought. The chassis is a piece of balsa wood which accommodate the tubes and all components, trimmed in a bed slack for support. The tuning knob is comprised of 2 "Power Aid" drink caps glued together, and the tuning pointer is a "Well Done" stick I had left over from a steak I ate at one of my favorite dining places.  The volume knob is fashioned from a "5 hour Energy" bottle cap, if memory serves me correctly. I am now working on what I believe will be my: "Ultimate FM Set".  At some point I will put together another "Short Wave receive" also.  The 100% Solid State Regenerative All Wave Receiver Set I constructed back while attending: Lamarque High School, took first place at the V.I.C.A. District 10 State Competition from 1974-1975 school years.  I will post my new FM set  for all to see upon it's completion. At some point I plan to do a series of video's on my radio sets. The video's will enable everyone the opportunity to can see and hear how well they work.  I hope that my little set will inspire others to get into the hobby of radio building. There is nothing like getting something you build to work well, and making it perform exactly the way you want it to do so.  That provides a real thrill for any true do it yourself type of individual that is in a word priceless.  There is nothing quite like a vacuum tube radio set.  Nothing else matches their unique sensitivity, and sound quality. I am working on a book to show just about anyone how to build radio sets from scratch.  Everyone who has seen my radio asks me to build one for them.  I do not have the time to do that for everyone unfortunately.  So I decided to write a book to teach others how to do it for themselves.  When it is finished, I will provide information as to how to obtain a copy of it.  Until the next blog, Take care for now my friends.

Foot note;  

A.M.  Stands for Amplitude Modulation 

F.M.  Stands for Frequency Modulation.


Professor; Howard Daniel Rollins III
Inventor, and Scientist.