Circuit Cellar

The Amazing Web Site by and for Doug and Karin - electronics page

Watch out! That soldering iron is HOT!

I got started in electronics back when I was in grade school, and got my Novice ham radio license (K8RFT) while in the 5th grade. I've never been very active on the air as a ham, but I've been involved with electronics ever since.

While taking electronics classes at the junior college, I worked as the electronics lab assistant. Then I worked in a radio/TV repair shop. Later on, while still attending JC, I worked full time second shift in the Electronic Test Department at a local major avionics plant, testing and troubleshooting circuit boards and completed assemblies. One was for the Lunar Exploration Module!

And the story goes on, through years in the Air Force and finally ending up designing control systems for industrial machinery.

I always have enjoyed repairing things, making them work again. Now, though, I make things work that never worked before! That's even more fun.

I've picked up lots of test equipment over the years, too. At least 3 oscilloscopes, several voltmeters, harmonic and intermodulation distortion analyzers, signal generators, even tube testers.

The tube testers are handy because of my interest in old radios. I have about a dozen general coverage short wave receivers and most of them are "boat-anchor" tube-type units. There are Collins, National, Hallicrafters, Hammarlund, Lafayette, Heathkit and Yaesu, and maybe more that I don't recall off hand. Guess I need to make an inventory list! And I should be selling off some of these. I never use them any more. If anyone is interested, e-mail me. Also check my "For Sale" page.

I built a nice stereo system from Dynaco kits, and have built some Heathkit test equipment.

I've recently rekindled my interest in hobby electronics and short-wave and medium-wave AM broadcast band listening. I started researching synchronous detectors and that led me into AM Stereo. The AM stereo decoder chips are also used for the synchronous AM detectors, such as in the Sony ICF-2010.

Now I've built a very simple but very worthwhile shielded loop antenna that works wonderfully on the AM broadcast band.

And also for the AM broadcast band I have a GE Superadio III and it works extremely well too. But I felt that it needed an IF alignment. And I think I want to try adding a synchronous detector and digital frequency readout to it. So I ordered the service manual from GE/Thomson. I only just received the manual and haven't assembled all my test equipment yet.

Now I'm hoping to add a page about the Superadio, although there are already a few on the Web. And possibly add an antenna page, even though there are already many on the web. I'll limit my pages to just my own information, like the loop I made.

Instead of just a Superadio page, I've started my "Short Wave Radio" page.

home -- or -- Radio & Scanner Links -------------------updated September 26, 1999