Further on in "The Boys' Third Book of Radio
and Electronics" is this receiver. It was off to Ree Electronics for a coil
and a transistor. They didn't have a CK722. The CK722 was designed for
hobbyists and Ree was an electronics retail and repair outfit. You
wouldn't find a CK722 in any piece of consumer electronics. They sold me
a Germanium equivalent.
By the way, the CK722 became the most popular transistor in the world,
but inside every one was a REJECT from the hearing aid industry. In the
early 1950s Raytheon was producing tens of thousands of transistors a
month, but only half of them met specifications. If the rejects worked
up to a certain point for gain and noise, they were repackaged as a
I didn't have a socket, so the transistor
would be mounted like this. I realized that by adding three Fahnestock
clips for the transistor, I wouldn't have to move any of the others. The
diode connections could become the battery
connections. Antenna, ground and phone connections could all remain the
The set was wired according to this drawing. This is
important later in the story.
Here is the recreation.
The transistor is a CK722 / NTE102 Germanium equivalent. The battery
is an AAA skinned with a printed vintage wrapper. I am quite
impressed with this. This radio has ONE active component and a
battery. The selectivity is very good and our local station, WNPV
came in with plenty of volume.
If this radio works so
well, why are there so many other holes in the old base?
before you read on, so that the
violin is playing.
In spite of my efforts in
1966, the radio didn't work. Why didn't it work? I didn't
have an actual CK722 transistor, so maybe those guys at Ree
Electronics sold me the wrong part. And you probably need that
socket. The socket must have something in it that makes the radio
work. In other words, I didn't build it EXACTLY like the drawing, so
it didn't work.
Also, notice in the drawings that one of the connections
going to ground ends in a black dot. I don't know why Morgan drew it
this way. I think the wire goes under the base and comes back up
behind the variable capacitor. So maybe it didn't work because of
that. Maybe the wire had to be under the base for the radio to work.
Actually, there is a MISTAKE in both drawings. The red dot in
the top picture is supposed to be on the Collector, not the Emitter. The Base and
Emitter connections are swapped in the other drawing. The schematic
is correct. I may have fixed the radio by reading
the text and looking at the schematic, but I don't remember. It
wouldn't have made any difference at the time.
The main reason the radio didn't work was because no
current flows through the transistor until you plug in the
headphones. The headphones complete the circuit, and are the on/off
switch. I didn't have headphones. I had a crystal earplug. The
crystal earplug didn't conduct direct current through it, so the set
was never "on". It may have worked perfectly but I never knew it.
I could have dropped a 10K resistor across the headphone
clips, but I didn't know that! My sole source of radio
knowledge came from the Alfred P. Morgan books.
So apparently the set was partially dismantled and used for
other radio experiments. I still have the transistor I got from Ree
Electronics. I plugged it into the set, and it still works. It is so
beat up that I didn't use it for the picture.
That music is so sad.
Is that violin music still playing? On the next page
are two more crystal sets that didn't work at first.