Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fireside 'Type A' Crystal Radio

Unbeknownst to me, last year my dad gave his cousin Ben a bottle of wine that I'd made (Olcese Family Reserve -- I named it after my Great-great grandmother's married name (she came over from Italy to California in the 1860's)). Not much later I received a box in the mail from Ben with a nice thank you note (for the wine) and this radio. Headphones were included, too!

Apparently it had been sitting around his house for some time, andI guess he must have learned that I like old radios. Anyway -- it was an unexpected gift, and I very much appreciate him sending it to me.

I immediately hooked it up to a long wire, put on the headphones, worked!!!

It's a Fireside (Type A) crystal radio. I haven't been able to discover any information about it. But here are some more pictures...

Simplicity itself, eh?

(By the way, it should be fairly obvious that the radio has had some mods/repairs made to it sometime during its life. The insulated white wire is one giveaway, as is the shoulder screw holding the detector's bracket to the front panel (the detector under the round metal cover at the left.)

And another clue is the replacement of the cat-whisker with a modern diode (I don't know if it's a silicon diode or germanium) -- you can still see the crystal embedded in a blob of solder, but now there's a diode connected from the blob to the other screw.

1 comment:

Les WB6ORZ said...

Nice blog, Jeff! Tnx for the swell shack tour. As far as the crystal set goes, leave the solder blob alone, it adds authenticity to the rig's provenance (and gives us a chance to use that word.) Yes, the LTV was a commissioned 51S-1 upgrade to be used on Mil Intelligence planes. Nice panel to see in the cockpit!