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Chapter 4_ Radio3

Chapter 4_ Radio3

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Published by pythagorus_ban
Chapter 4_ Radio3
Chapter 4_ Radio3

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Published by: pythagorus_ban on Feb 07, 2013
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Building a Three-Penny Radio.
 A crystal radio is nice becau
se it needs no power, and the m
aterials canall be hom
ade or at least f 
ound aroun
d the house. Bu
t the crystalrad
io n
s a big
a, an
d a good ground
, an
d so is not very portable. To get away
with usin
g a m
aller, portable antenna, we will needto amplif 
y the tiny signal it receives. T
his requires a portable power suppl
y, such as a battery. Ou
r next toy is a portable radio. It can be powered f 
a tin
y 1.5 volt battery
, or f 
rom a battery
ade f 
rom copper wire and alum
oilsitting in a glass of 
lemonade, a sof 
t drink, or a beer, or by a f 
ew sm
allcommercial solar cells. The heart of 
the radio is a special 10 tran
sistor integrated circu
it in atin
y th
ree-legged bit of 
 plastic. T
his circuit com
es ready-made withsev
eral am
iers, the detector, and an Au
tomatic G
ain Control circuitthat boosts th
e lev
el of 
aint station
s to match
the strong ones, so n
e con
trol is needed. T
inal radio has excellent perf 
ormance, pulling in weak stations, and preven
ting nearby stron
g station
s f 
romoverwhelming the weak ones n
ext to them
on the dial. We call the radio a "
hree Pen
y" radio because we use three shiny pennies as an
chors f 
or the variou
s parts th
e radio needs. T
is makesthe construction very
easy. If 
ou have never soldered any
ore, th
is is a g
reat pro
 ject tostart with. It is very f 
the type of 
soldering usu
ally done by beginners, and all th
e parts are widely separated, m
aking the job m
ucheasier than
with other circuits. Soldering irons an
d solder areinexpensive tools you can
ind at a local electronics store such as R 
adioShack. The three-penn
y radio needs these parts: (We carry a bu
ndle of 
all thenecessary parts in our catalog
Three shiny pennies
You can clean them up with polish, or you can use brand newones.
A tuning coil
You can wind one by hand, but in this project we use a muchsmaller coil with a ferrite rod inside, from our catalog
. T
e coil inthe photos has on
ly two wires. T
he on
e we ship in the catalog isthe im
 proved coil with
our wires th
at we u
sed in the 10 minuteradio.
An MK484-1 AM Radio Integrated Circuit
This is the heart of the radio. We carry it in our catalog
A Piezoelectric earphone
Also in our catalog
A tuning capacitor
We use a variable capacitor, from 0 to 160 picofarads. We haveit in our catalog
A 100,000 ohm resistor
This resistor will have four colored bands on it. The colors will be brown, black, yellow, and gold.
A 1,000 ohm resistor
This resistor will also have four colored bands on it. The colorswill be brown, black, red, and gold.
A 0.01 microfarad capacitor
This capacitor will be marked something like ".01M" or "103".
Two 0.1 microfarad capacitors
These capacitors will be marked something like ".1M" or "104".
A 1.5 volt battery(optional) A 1.5 volt battery holder
Click on photo f 
or a larger picture
 We start by placing the three shiny
 pennies on
an old board where wewill work. An old board will n
ot be missed if 
a hot solderin
g iron burnsa black spot in it. Don't work on a nice tabletop. The pennies should be clean
and bright. T
his will help the solder stick to them
d f 
low onto th
eir surf 
ace. Solder will not stick to a dirty penny
. I used
clean relatively new penn
ies that I didn't have to clean or  polish. Old pennies can be cleaned with brass polish
or by sim
in a mix
ture of 
vinegar and
salt f 
or a half 
our or so. We are going
to build the radio "
, so that all of 
g will be n
eatly h
view when
we turn the radio over when we are f 
inished. Select which side of 
e pen
y you want to bevisible, and place that side f 
ace down
. I chose "
s" to be visible, sothe "tails" side is f 
acing u
 p in the next photo. The f 
irst th
we will do is ben
d the wires of 
the integrated circuit sothe outside wires stick ou
t like the arm
s of 
a scarecrow. This m
akes thesolderin
g m
uch easier, sin
ce the wires are not close together. The integrated circu
it has a f 
lat side and a rounded side. The f 
lat sidewill f 
ace u
 p when we are done, so we make it f 
ace down while we build our radio upside-down. T
he orien
this part is im

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