Ye Olde Radio Project Articles

Scans and images by Mike Peebles

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Radio building as a hobby goes back to the earliest days of radio. Magazines sprang up left and right in attempt to fill this new radio hobby need. Some of the project articles were really great and some not so great.

Other web site owners have scanned articles and put them up for us newcomers to enjoy. However sometimes, the articles have errors, in particular, the schematics. It must have been frustrating for some kid, after spending his paper route money on a basket of parts, only to find out that the project was destined for doom. Somehow between the author and the publisher, something went wrong. I found that some of the authors just didn't know what the heck they were talking about. The magazines rarely checked out a project by having it submitted for review.

We are so lucky in the age of the internet. If I have a goof in one of my project articles, someone is likely to come along and send an e-mail pointing it out. It does happen, and when it does, quick corrective action is taken.

There are several other web sites that also post old magazine articles. I want to take this a step further. I will be the editor when someone sends me something to place here. That is, I won't just accept anything sent to me for posting here. If something is posted, it is going to have to look right. I will look over the circuits and descriptions.

The file sizes are large. Downloading is recommended. You can do this by placing the cursor over the link and right click. Select the Save Link As... and it will go to where you want it on your hard drive. If you are on dialup, you may want to just download the schematic first. If you download the article, you won't need the separate schematic.

The first section are my original graphics and words. After that is the old magazine articles. Enjoy ~ Mike Peebles

The * indicates the schematic.

Descriptions on this page are by Dave Schmarder


The Cyclops Page 1
The Cyclops Page 2
6E5 Info
6E5 Connections

The Cyclops

The Cyclops is a project that showed up in the May 1937 Radio-Craft Magazine, not too long after the 6E5 eye tube was developed. This is a one tube regenerative radio with the eye display to boot!

3T-SW Radio, Page 1
3T-SW Radio, Page 2 *
3T-SW Radio, Page 3
3T-SW Radio, Page 4
3T-SW Radio, Page 5
3T-SW Radio, Page 6
3T-SW Radio, Page 7
3T-SW Radio, Page 8
3T-SW Radio, Page 9
3T-SW Radio, Page 10

3 Tube SW Battery Radio

This 3 tube shortwave radio isn't for the beginner, but the design is very solid. Using a set of 1940's tubes, 1U4's and 3Q4 makes this a nice speaker driven regenerative set. This set uses screen grid voltage regeneration control. Also, the RF gain is controlled by grid bias set by a front panel pot. Plug in coils make up the bandswitching circuits. This radio has it all. The documentation is about the best that I have seen. Enjoy!

3tube SW box Radio Pg 1
3tube SW box Radio Pg 2,
3tube SW box Radio Pg 3 *
3tube SW box Radio Pg 4

3 Tube All Wave Tool Box SW Radio

Here is a radio that was probably built in the early 1930's. There are three tubes, a 34 as an untuned rf amplifier, a 32 regenerative detector and a 19 as a two stage amplifier. Because of the 135 volt plate supply, this set will drive a speaker. The RF stage offers better stability by keeping the antenna from directly affecting the detector.

1D8/3Q5 Radio, Page 1
1D8/3Q5 Radio, Page 2
1D8/3Q5 Radio, Large Schematics
1D8 Schematic
3Q5 Schematic

Loudspeaker 1D8GT Radio Project

Here is an interesting project using a 1D8GT tube. This is a three section tube. I made a shortwave radio myself using this tube. This radio is a TRF style set where the triode is operated as a reflex stage. The circuit is very interesting, but I would have done it differently. As a bonus, there is a schematic of a similar radio using a 3A5GT.

1S4 Radio, Page 1
1S4 Radio, Page 2
1S4 Radio, Page 3
Schematic only
Variocoupler Page 1
Variocoupler Page 2

1S4 Radio Project

This radio uses a single 1S4 tube with only 6 volts on the plate. Regeneration is controlled by using a variocoupler. A switch provides coverage from the bottom of the broadcast band through the 80 meter ham band. An optional speaker driven audio amplifier can be built. A high impedance speaker is required but a regular speaker and transformer may be substituted. Also included is the two page article showing how to build the variocoupler.

1 Tube Superhet, Page 1
1 Tube Superhet, Page 2
1 Tube Superhet, Page 3
1 Tube Superhet, Page 4
1 Tube Superhet, Page 5
Schematic only

1 Tube Superhet Project

A 6U8 tube makes this superhet go. Mike Peebles also sent this 1956 magazine article to me to evaluate. I thought it would be a good project do over 50 years later.

2 Tube Superhet, Page 1
2 Tube Superhet, Page 2
2 Tube Superhet, Page 3
Schematic only

2 Tube Superhet Project

Here is a two tube superhet using a 1R5 and 1U5 tube. This 2 tube set uses an external antenna and drives a set of high impedance headphones. This is an easy way to get into building superhet radios.

One tube reflex set, page 1
One tube reflex set, page 2
One tube reflex set, page 3
One tube reflex set, page 4
One tube reflex set, page 5
One tube reflex set, circuit only

1 Tube Reflex Radio

A one tube reflex radio is contained herein. This speaker output radio uses a single 6AU6. A short antenna is used. Longer antennas can be used if a coil is wound for the A-G connections, rather than connecting to the top of the tank.

A dual gang capacitor does the tuning. Selectivity is probably reasonable. A good 1950's project to consider building. These pages were

One Tube Wallop, page 1
One Tube Wallop, page 2
One Tube Wallop, page 3
One Tube Wallop, page 4
One Tube Wallop, circuit only

1 Tube Wallop

The One Tube Wallop probably does as the title says. The 1D8GT is a 3 section tube, including a triode and pentode. After the front end diode detection, there are two stages of amplification. I'm always a sucker for these 1D8 projects.

AM Superhet Tuner, page 1
AM Superhet Tuner, page 2
AM Superhet Tuner, page 3
AM Superhet Tuner, circuit only

AM Superhet Tuner

If you have an existing amplifier, this 2 tube might be the thing to build to pick up those Limbaugh programs. They obtain the power from another source, but you can build your own supply. The only part that I wouldn't recommend is one of their heater hookups. That involves a series string across the AC line. This could result in a "hot chassis". Rush is enough of a shock without doing this. Use the transformer method instead!

Two Tube BCB, page 1
Two Tube BCB, page 2
Two Tube BCB, page 3
Two Tube BCB, page 4
Two Tube BCB, circuit only

A Two Tube BCB Receiver

Back to those battery tube circuits that Mike likes so well. And it is a reflex set too! A 1U4 and a 3S4 makes this work. The circuit drawing could have been better, but it can be followed.

Unicorn Superhet Pg1
Unicorn Superhet Pg2
Unicorn Superhet Pg3
Unicorn Superhet Pg4
Unicorn Superhet Pg5
Unicorn Superhet, circuit only

Unicorn Superhet

A single tube superhet using a 6M11 tube. This radio has 3 active stages, a mixer, IF Amp and audio output. For your designers there might be room for improvement, but the circuit looks nice and should make a fun project you can use around the shop or home.

Thank you for your visit to my old radio articles page. I am a major seller of crystal and tube radio kits that I have designed. I also sell radio accessories in kit form. I have radio parts available too. Please visit my main page, and my radio kits page. Thanks!