ECE151_Lab_1 - Laboratory#1 Crystal Radio Autumn 2007...

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Laboratory #1 Crystal Radio Autumn 2007 1 Description: This week’s lab will provide you with an understanding of how to build and modify a crystal radio set. In addition to learning about this popular hobby, you will be introduced to one of the oldest specialties of electrical engineering (radio engineering). Finally, the lab is designed to help you learn the basic skills required to wire and test a simple electrical circuit. The procedures for this lab are relatively straightforward. First you will solder electronic components onto a small printed circuit board. When your circuit board is completed, you will insert it into a crystal radio set. Finally, you will evaluate the quality of your solder job by tuning the crystal set to different frequencies and listening for AM broadcasts. Requirements: All of the equipment and components required to build and test a crystal radio will be provided in the laboratory. As with all labs you are required to read this laboratory guide and complete the pre-lab portion of your notebook entry before coming to the lab. 1.0 Introduction Since the invention of radio over 90 years ago, designing, building and listening to crystal radios (or crystal sets) has been a popular hobby for many people. Without getting deep into electromagnetic theory, a crystal radio converts an electromagnetic signal (that is broadcast by a radio station) into sound. A particularly intriguing feature of a simple crystal radio is the fact that no batteries (or other power source) are required to make the crystal radio work. This curious phenomenon intrigued early inventors and continues to interest electronics hobbyists, amateur radio operators and engineers today 1 . In the 1920’s when broadcast radio became common, the detector in a crystal set was constructed using a natural piece of crystalline material (usually galena, PbS) and a very thin silver or bronze wire called a cat’s whisker. By touching the wire to the crystal and moving it around slowly, the hobbyist could (with considerable patience) find the rock’s “hot spot” (i.e. the position on the rock where the detection is the best so that the audio signal is the strongest) and listen to radio signals broadcast from all over the world. Over the years a wide variety of materials have been used to construct detectors.
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ECE151_Lab_1 - Laboratory#1 Crystal Radio Autumn 2007...

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