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Therapeutic Radio, by Marek Klemes
Kirt's Cogitations™ #282

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Therapeutic Radio, by Marek Klemes - RF CafeIs this an über-cool homebuilt radio or what?

Proud Canadian and RF Cafe contributor Dr. Marek Klemes wrote to me a couple weeks ago regarding a quotation I had posted a while back. At the end of our communications, he casually made a comment about needing to engage in an electronics project that would be free of the rigors of his professional pursuits. Being a trained notable quote recognizer myself, I instantly realized that his statement was itself worthy of being quoted widely. He granted permission to post it here (with adornment of the original).

Per Marek in part:

"Phase one of my therapeutic, funky one-tube radio project is basically done. Although it is more funk than function, it just needs some "optimization." It is also still a little touch-sensitive. I am building this 1-tube SW (Short Wave) radio as a therapy for my frayed nerves caused by recent "upgrades" of "smart"-phone and company computer SW (Software) that have been foisted on me against my will, in the name of progress and efficiency.

This radio will:

  • Not have a USB or Ethernet port
  • Will have a real on/off switch
  • Will not be capable of self-updating
  • 1-Tube Therapeutic Radio, by Marek Klemes - RF CafWill not siphon money out of my bank account
  • Will be compatible with all past and present versions of all software ever to be conceived, as it won't use any
  • Will be immune to hacking
  • Will not do what I don't tell it to do
  • Will not be touch-sensitive
  • Will have all parts visible and no invisible functions
  • Will not send information to anyone
  • Will not have non-standard pentalobe or triangular-slot screws (only Philips and Robertson ... proudly Canadian)
  • Will glow and warm my hands and soul like a real radio should*.

(* The quote was adapted from from a 2006 blog post in EE Times by Ed Mustoe.)

As much as I enjoy my scientific work in high-tech, I am endlessly frustrated by how the technology is presented to the users. It is configured for purposes of marketing and data-mining accessibility and taking control away from users, especially frustrating knowing that the technology can do much better but it's all buggered up by greedy non-technical humans.

Best regards, Marek Klemes."

ARRL "How to Become a Radio Amateur" - RF Cafe

Dig the amazing 1930s vintage Magnavox gramophone speaker bearing a manufacturing location of Oakland, California, and the Canadian Brandes Ltd headphones of the same era. A hand-drawn schematic / wiring diagram can be seen in the lower photo*. The oscillator appears to be a simple Hartley tapped coil type, and the antenna is a section of 300-ohm twin lead feeding a folded dipole. A 3A4 pentode vacuum tube is the lone amplification / detection device, which uses two series-connected 'D' cells to light the heater. The mounting platform is a teak cutting board. As Sherlock Holmes would say to Dr. Watson, "It is simplicity itself!"

Well done, Mr. Klemes!. Messrs. Marconi and Bell would be proud!

* Circuit design is Marek's variation of a regenerative receiver presented by James Tobola (KC5LDO), who in turn modified it from an article in the September 1995 issue of CQ magazine (p. 48), "Red Hot Radio Returns." That article's author credits the original design to an article appearing in Boys' Life magazine and in the ARRL's "How to Become a Radio Amateur" booklet during the early-to-mid 1950s (it used a 3S4 tube). That's quite a provenance.



Posted March 23, 2017

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    Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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