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A demo of the radio. Sloppily tuned. I was trying to tune everything and nothing just to show what it is capable of.
The antenna is 100' of hook-up wire going up to the attic. An outside antenna would work better.

In conclusion, the Ozark Patrol is a great little regen kit that performs well with headphones or an added amplifier for speaker operation.

A few tips

   Tip 1: The instructions say to connect an antenna to the radio. What kind of antenna? It's just a piece of wire! How long should it be? 65 feet is a good length for reasons we won't go into here. If this isn't practical, just try to get as much wire in the air as possible, preferably outside.

   Tip 2: This radio needs an earth ground to work properly. Without the earth ground the signals are weak. If you can't easily connect to a ground you can pick one up using an old computer or printer cord. Cut the blades off with a hacksaw, leaving the ground prong. Make sure you have the correct color wire, and cut off the other two wires. Now just plug it in, and you have a ground wire.

   Tip 3: You've just finished the radio, you've turned it on and you hear... nothing. Or, you hear one station, and that's it. Look out the window. Is the sun up? Some of the shortwave bands are basically stone dead at certain times of the day. Try again around 7PM.

   Tip 4: You tune in a station, move your hands off the knobs and, "Vweerp!" the station vanishes. You put your hands near the radio and "Vwoop!", it comes back. This is caused by "hand capacitance." Basically, the radio is emanating an electrical field and your hands are disturbing it. I was able to cure this by putting a small value capacitor between the antenna and ground lugs. I don't know why this works, but it does. The value I used was 100 pF.

  This older radio just happens to have a pine base that is almost the exact same size as the one on the Ozark Patrol. Notice it has warped. It was sitting on a shelf. Air couldn't get under it, but the top side was free to absorb moisture from the humidity in the air, causing it to warp.
   Tip 5: Consider putting some feet on your Ozark patrol so that air can circulate under it. This may sound like a crazy reason for adding feet but you'll be glad you did years from now, when you find it stashed on a shelf and the base hasn't warped.

   Tip 6: If you're assembling the kit and see that one of the knobs arrived with a big scratch on the front, don't fret. The silver inserts on the knobs have a clear piece of protective plastic covering them. The scratch is in the plastic. Just peel it off.

   Tip 7: Don't use DURACELL AA alkaline batteries. They leak. The company knows they leak, and has known for years but won't fix them. These DURACELL batteries in the photo above ruined a remote control Abrams tank.
   Tip 7a: I use RAYOVAC batteries but all you really need for this radio are those "Sunbeam" batteries from the dollar store, and you get eight in a pack for a buck.

   Tip 8: There are several types of LM386 amplifier kits on ebay, as well as some that are already assembled. If you get the type above, the jack is the INPUT. You don't need the jack, you can hardwire it. I initially got the input and speaker connections backwards. After using the headphones with the Ozark Patrol I assumed it was a headphone jack.

    Bonus Tip: You can brighten up old capacitors by simmering them in a pint of water with two ounces of liquid fabric softener added. The pot must be ceramic coated, otherwise the pot will get shiny instead of the capacitors. Simmer about ten minutes. The result is more dramatic than these pictures show.   

   Photo of the 1942 two tube Ocean Hopper on the previous page is courtesy of Rob Cascisa, RMC Engineering Service, LLC