August 1956 Popular Electronics
Table of Contents
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
published October 1954 - April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
Carl & Jerry adventure tales are the adventures of two teenage neighbors
who share an interest in Ham radio and electronics in general. They have a
reputation as amateur detectives - and sometimes pranksters. Carl Anderson and
are the creation of John T. Frye, who published monthly episodes in Popular
Electronics magazine. Mr. Frye is also the author of the
Mac's Radio Service Shop series of instructional stories
that ran in Radio & Television News magazine. This adventure, whose
title surely is a takeoff on the old adage that says, "every dog has his day," is quite
a digression from the typical storyline in that the boys actually engage in a bit
of deceit in order to save face based on a bet made on how their dog (a mutt) could
beat the other guy's dog (full-breed bird dog) at finding a scented decoy. A homebrew
transmitter and receiver is involved in keeping with the overarching Carl &
Jerry theme, but in the end the boys never disclose their "secret" to the challenger
after defeating him - and letting him eat his hat!
Carl & Jerry: Bosco Has His Day
By John T. Frye
It was evening, and the boys were sitting on
the back steps of Jerry's house. Carl had Bosco, his dog, firmly clamped between
his knees and was wooling the dog's ears affectionately while Bosco growled in mock
protest at this treatment that he actually loved.
"You stupid, no-account, dumb mutt," Carl muttered softly, as he looked morosely
out at the long shadows creeping across the back lawn.
"What's Bosco done now?" Jerry wanted to know.
"It's what he hasn't done - or won't do," Carl replied. "A couple of days ago,
as I was riding home on my bike after swimming, I ran across a fellow about our
age working with a bird dog in a field out at the edge of town. He would hide a
little cloth-covered ball that he called a 'bird' and send the dog in search of
it. In nothing flat that dog would sniff out the bird and come trotting back to
the guy with it in his mouth. This was interesting, and I was enjoying talking with
the joker, but all at once he sort of looked down his nose at Bosco and wanted to
know what kind of a dog that was.
"I said Bosco was just a plain dog, which seemed to strike him as real hilarious.
Anyway, he. gave out with a nasty laugh, and started a lot of
about how he had papers for his dog, called Golden Arrow III, and that unless a
dog had breeding you couldn't expect him to amount to much .
"Well, I got my back up at this, and remarked that it took more than a few sheets
of paper to make a dog smart. I should have stopped there, but I got carried away
and went on to say that if I couldn't teach Bosco to do everything Golden Arrow
III was doing within a couple of weeks I'd eat my beanie. This character, whose
name is Merrill, promptly took me up on it and said that if Bosco could equal Golden
Arrow's performance he would eat his beanie."
"Well, how's it look?"
"Let me put it this way: do you think white or red sauce would go best with my
beanie? I still believe old Bosco here is as smart as any dog that ever chased a
cat, but I learn to my sorrow that he has a serious physical defect: he can't smell."
"Can't smell! I thought all dogs had a keen scent."
When Uncle Milford gave the signal, Carl flipped the hidden switch
in Bosco's cap with results that were truly galvanic...
"So did I, but you can take my word for it that Bosco couldn't follow the trail
of a ten-pound limburger cheese dragged over the ground 30 seconds before. By actual
scientific tests, I have found that the absolute limit of his sense of smell is
sniffing out a dog biscuit at a distance of two feet. Beyond that - nothing! I don't
mind losing the bet so much, but I do hate to have poor Bosco made to look like
a dummy simply because he can't smell so hot."
"Maybe you could teach him to locate the bird by sight."
"Not a chance. I have to hide the bird for Golden Arrow, and Merrill will hide
it for Bosco. I know from watching him that he'll hide the bird down under leaves
and stuff so it can't be seen. And, anyway, I can't make Bosco want to find that
little cloth-covered ball. He's too smart to work for nothing and displays about
as much interest in locating that artificial bird as I show in helping Mom find
the castor oil bottle when I'm not feeling well."
"Let's not give up too easy," Jerry said, as his interest in the problem began
to mount. "Maybe we can appeal to one of Bosco's baser instincts. What does he like?"
"That's easy. Bosco's interested in just one thing, twenty-four hours a day:
food! He's a real glutton."
"Then we'll start with that. I'm getting an idea. Remember that description of
the transistorized golf ball in Popular Electronics some months back? You'll recall
that the golf ball had a tiny transistor transmitter built right into it which sent
out a continuous signal. This signal was picked up on a transistor-type receiver
and led the owner of the ball right to it, no matter how well it was hidden."
"What's that got to do with making a bird dog out of Bosco?"
"Suppose we build a tiny transmitter into the artificial 'bird' you hide from
Bosco. Then we'll fit him with a hidden receiver that will pick up the signal from
the transmitter. In a short time, he should learn that when the signal gets stronger
he must be getting closer - that is, he should be able to learn it if he's as smart
as you say he is."
"Oh, he can learn that all right if he wants to, but what's going to make him
"We'll 'condition' him to expect food as a reward for finding the bird and bringing
it to you," Jerry explained. "After he gets used to wearing the receiver, which
we'll conceal in some sort of headgear, we turn on the receiver and let him hear
the sound of the hidden bird. Then we drag him to the bird, put it into his mouth,
clamp the mouth shut, and drag him back to where you're standing. The instant you
take the bird out of his mouth, you replace it with a dog biscuit. After we do this
a few dozen times, he should get the idea and go find the bird by himself."
"So let's get going!" Carl exclaimed, as he slapped his hands on his knees and
rose to his feet. "I'm willing to try anything, even an idea as crazy as that."
With the enthusiasm of youth that enables it to undertake blithely something
an older and wiser person - fully appreciating the difficulties - would never start,
the two boys dashed down into Jerry's basement laboratory and immediately started
building up the electronic equipment designed to convert Bosco from a biscuit dog
to a bird dog.
Carl built the small one-transistor transmitter according to a plan for an i.f.
signal alignment generator. This tiny little unit delivered an r.f. signal, tone-modulated,
on a frequency that could be adjusted from about 400 to 500 kilocycles. Two extra-small
penlite batteries furnished the power, and the whole thing fitted neatly into a
safety match box that in turn was mounted inside a cloth-covered little plastic
box selected to serve as the body of the artificial bird.
Jerry had the harder job of building a fixed-tuned receiver for picking up the
weak signal from the tiny transmitter. In order to keep size to a minimum, he used
a circuit employing two transistors and a crystal diode in a regenerative circuit.
Careful planning and layout, dispensing with sockets and soldering leads directly,
employing the smallest of miniature parts ... and similar space-conserving measures
... produced a receiver on a very tiny flat fiberboard chassis. This chassis was
sewn into the crown of a boldly checked "Sherlock Holmes" type of hat the boys cajoled
Carl's mother into making for them. Bosco was then made to wear this hat in a rather
unconventional manner. The normal fore-and-aft projections were pulled down tightly
over his ears and fastened under his chin, and a dynamic earphone was concealed
in one of the flaps so that it would be held close to the dog's ear.
Do not think that all this was done overnight and that everything worked perfectly
as soon as it was put together. Designing electronic equipment just doesn't work
that way, not even in commercial laboratories where the finest engineers work with
the best equipment. There is always a period of de-bugging, adjusting, and peaking.
It took the boys a full three days to build up the two pieces of equipment, to squeeze
the last microwatt of power out of the little transmitter, and to peak up the receiver
for maximum stable sensitivity. Finally, though, the receiver was capable of picking
up the transmitter over the restricted radius that Carl said would be more than
adequate for the test that was planned.
Then the equipment was introduced to Bosco, and it certainly was not a case of
love at first sight. He spent the first half hour after the cap was fastened on
him in a determined effort to shake it off, rub it off on the ground or the trunks
of trees, and - finally - to claw it off with all four paws. But the boys had anticipated
this, and the cap stayed firmly in place. Finally Bosco gave up and stared at his
masters with a hurt look that said plainly, "How can you guys do this to me?"
The boys promptly started his training along the lines Jerry had outlined. It
was quickly apparent that Jerry's estimate of "a few dozen" times being needed to
show Bosco what was expected of him was highly optimistic. By the time he began
to show some faint interest whenever the hidden switch in his cap turned on the
receiver and let him hear the signal from the concealed transmitter, the sod of
Jerry's backyard was deeply furrowed with hundreds of tracks made by Bosco's stubbornly
braced legs as he was dragged back and forth, and both boys were worn to a frazzle.
But they stuck at it. Finally, on the last evening before the test, things looked
pretty good; and as Jerry wearily took leave of his friend, he said:
"That's about all we can do. Don't feed Bosco tomorrow morning, for we really
want him eager."
"Okay, but Bosco the Bottomless Pit would be eager anyway. I'll see you tomorrow."
When the boys and Bosco arrived at the little field in which the test was to
take place, Merrill, Golden Arrow, and a gentleman with a stopwatch prominently
displayed in his hand were already there.
"Boys, I thought we should have an impartial judge for this test; so I brought
along my Uncle Milford. He's known all over the country for his work with bird dogs,"
"Thank you, Nephew," Uncle Milford said, with a fond smile. "Now I suppose we
may as well get on with this. To be fair, I think the winner should be the dog that
finds his bird quickest in three times out of five trials. You can hide the bird
for Golden Arrow, boy, and Merrill can hide it for - for - what on earth is that
on your animal's head?" he exclaimed to Carl as he took a good look at Bosco jauntily
wearing his ludicrous cap.
"Bosco is a dog of many parts," Carl explained glibly, "and he likes to dress
for each role he plays. Since he feels he's playing a sort of detective right now,
he insisted on wearing his Sherlock Holmes cap this morning."
Uncle Milford looked strangely at Carl as he muttered, "I see," in tones that
clearly indicated he didn't. "Well, you hide Arrow's bird and we'll start."
Carl tucked the artificial bird Merrill handed him beneath a bush some 75 feet
away, and then Merrill sent Golden Arrow in search of it with a wave of his hand.
Instantly the dog started quartering the ground in a methodical manner that was
beautiful to watch, and in a short time his body stiffened as he caught the scent
of the hidden bird; then at a command from Merrill he moved forward, picked it up
in his mouth, and returned it to his master.
"Forty-seven seconds!" Uncle Milford announced triumphantly. "Now let's see what
the other dog can do."
Merrill tucked Bosco's bird under a lump of leaves about the same distance away
that Golden Arrow's had been. Bosco gave a whimper of eagerness as he stood straight
up on his hind legs and waltzed crazily about. Then he dropped to all fours and
went dashing madly about the place without apparent rhyme or reason, but in an amazingly
short time he rooted down through the leaves to the hidden bird and came galloping
back to Carl with slobbers of anticipation dripping from his mouth.
...When Uncle Milford gave the signal, stopwatch in hand, Carl flipped the hidden
switch in Bosco's cap with results that were truly galvanic ...
"Fourteen seconds!" Uncle Milford said, in an awed voice. "It doesn't seem possible.
I've never seen anything like it. It must have been an accident."
But it was no accident, as the next two trials quickly proved. Golden Arrow III,
displaying the same beautifully consistent method and form, turned in times very
close to forty-five seconds on both occasions; but Bosco, using his own crazy system
that sent him dashing full tilt, only to come to such an abrupt halt that he often
went rolling end over end before he scrambled up and took off on a tangent, located
his second bird in twenty-two seconds and his third in the astounding time of six
Well, Merrill, I guess there's no question about the winner," Uncle Milford said,
with a stunned look. "I've never seen anything like the way that dog performs. Very
unorthodox! Very! Would you consider entering him in some field trials, boy?"
"Aw, no," Carl said casually, as he unfastened the cap from Bosco's head and
let the dog give himself an ear-slapping shake. "Bosco doesn't mind putting on a
little show like this now and then, just for relaxation, but he's got much more
serious things on his mind than fiddling around with anything so silly as hunting
There was a long pause, and then Uncle Milford inquired timidly: "May I ask what
sort of things?"
Carl looked cautiously around before he answered in hushed tones: "All I'm allowed
to tell you is that it's top-secret research in the commissary department. And speaking
of eating, Merrill, as soon as you've decided how you're going to prepare your beanie,
let Jerry and me know and we'll be glad to drop over to watch you eat it."
"All right, fellows," Merrill said weakly.
"I'll let you know."
Every Dog Has His Day
The origin of the phrase "every dog has his day" is uncertain, but it dates
back to at least the 16th century. One theory is that it comes from ancient
Greek philosophy, where the Stoic philosopher Diogenes is said to have used a
similar phrase, "even a dog gets his supper." The Latin version of the
proverb is "Canis diem suum habet", which means "The dog has his day". The
phrase was later translated into English and became a common expression.
Another theory is that the phrase comes from English hunting culture, where
it was believed that even the worst hunting dog would eventually have a
The phrase gained wider use in the English language after it appeared in
William Shakespeare's play "Hamlet." In Act V, Scene 1, the character Hamlet
says, "Let Hercules himself do what he may, / The cat will mew and dog will have
Today, "every dog has his day" is often used to mean that even those who are
overlooked or underestimated will eventually have their moment of success or
Posted February 24, 2023
(updated from original
post on 3/4/2016)
Carl Anderson and Jerry Bishop were two teenage boys whose
love of electronics, Ham radio, and all things technical afforded them ample opportunities
to satisfy their own curiosities, assist law enforcement and neighbors with solving
problems, and impressing – and sometimes toying with - friends based on their proclivity
for serious undertakings as well as fun.
Carl & Jerry, by John T. Frye
Carl and Jerry Frye were fictional characters in a series of short stories that
were published in Popular Electronics magazine from the late 1950s to the early
1970s. The stories were written by John T. Frye, who used the pseudonym "John T.
Carroll," and they followed the adventures of two teenage boys, Carl Anderson and
Jerry Bishop, who were interested in electronics and amateur radio.
In each story, Carl and Jerry would encounter a problem or challenge related
to electronics, and they would use their knowledge and ingenuity to solve it. The
stories were notable for their accurate descriptions of electronic circuits and
devices, and they were popular with both amateur radio enthusiasts and young people
interested in science and technology.
The Carl and Jerry stories were also notable for their emphasis on safety and
responsible behavior when working with electronics. Each story included a cautionary
note reminding readers to follow proper procedures and safety guidelines when handling
Although the Carl and Jerry stories were fictional, they were based on the experiences
of the author and his own sons, who were also interested in electronics and amateur
radio. The stories continue to be popular among amateur radio enthusiasts and electronics
hobbyists, and they are considered an important part of the history of electronics
and technology education.
- Going Up
- March 1955
Shock - September 1955
- A Low Blow
- March 1961
- The Black
Beast - May 1960
Electronik, September 1958
- Pi in
the Sky and Big Twist, February 1964
Bell Bull Session, December 1961
Boogie, August 1958
- TV Picture,
Eraser, August 1962
Trap, March 1956
at Work, June 1956
Aweigh, July 1956
Has His Day, August 1956
- The Hand
of Selene, November 1960
or Not?, October 1956
Electronic Beach Buggy, September 1956
Extra Sensory Perception, December 1956
in a Chimney, January 1956
Performance, November 1958
of Judas, July 1961
- The Sucker,
New Year, January 1963
Snow Machine, December 1960
Extracurricular Education, July 1963
Slow Motion for Quick Action, April 1963
Sleuthing, August 1963
- TV Antennas,
a Soroban, March 1963
Fair --", September 1963
Worm Warming, May 1961
Operation Startled Starling - January 1955
- A Light
Subject - November 1954
Teaches Boy - February 1959
- Too Lucky
- August 1961
and Jeopardy - December 1963
Santa's Little Helpers - December 1955
Tough Customers - June 1960
Pocket Radio, TV Receivers
Yagi Antennas, May 1955
Stomping, March 1962
- The Blubber
Banisher, July 1959
- The Sparkling
Light, May 1962
Research Rewarded, June 1962
- A Hot Idea, March
- The Hot Dog
Case, December 1954
New Company is Launched, October 1956
the Mistletoe, December 1958
Eraser, August 1962
- "BBI", May 1959
Sound Waves, July 1955
- The River
Sniffer, July 1962
- Ham Radio,
Torero Electronico, April 1960
Wireless, January 1962
Electronic Shadow, September 1957
Induction, June 1963
- He Went
Detective, February 1958
an Instinct, December 1962
- Two Detectors,
with a Tachometer, July 1960
and the Pirates, April 1961
The Crazy Clock Caper, October 1960
Carl & Jerry: Their Complete Adventures is
now available. "From 1954 through 1964, Popular Electronics published 119 adventures
of Carl Anderson and Jerry Bishop, two teen boys with a passion for electronics
and a knack for getting into and out of trouble with haywire lash-ups built in Jerry's
basement. Better still, the boys explained how it all worked, and in doing so, launched
countless young people into careers in science and technology. Now, for the first
time ever, the full run of Carl and Jerry yarns by John T. Frye are available again,
in five authorized anthologies that include the full text and all illustrations."