Please scroll down for the photos
n 1951 I got a copy of Popular Mechanics Magazine and one issue had a
plan for a 4
tube regenerative receiver. Since I was a budding amateur radio operator at the time, I needed
a good receiver if I was ever going to get on the air. This receiver looked like the answer to my
wishes. I did get my novice amateur radio license in 1954.
Unfortunately the original receiver is gone and so was the magazine article to use for another
attempt at building one.
Well after 53 years I finally have my 4 tube regen set back. My wishes are for the original, but
that one is long gone forever.
Getting the original magazine article was a little difficult. I had no
clue what year or month the
article appeared in Popular Mechanics Magazine. I did add half of the 1950's to my PM collection
and finally found the article in the November 1951 issue.
The original receiver was a father/son project and I was about 14 years
old when it was built.
The original had a bent galvanized chassis and some very crude holes punched for the sockets.
I think that my dad used a cold chisel to outline the holes then used a rat tailed file to clean them
up. We bought the parts from Brill and Elmar in Oakland. Unfortunately when the project was
completed the radio didn't work.
It was a few years later when I got a little smarter to find the wiring errors.
One thing that my father did was to put a "machine finish"
on the front panel with an electric drill.
He used steel wool in the chuck to make the swirly marks. It was a tedious job.
When I built this one, it had to have a "machine finish" too,
but I cheated and used a drill press.
The chassis is all hand made, but out of a sheet of 16 gauge aluminum that was in the back yard
for 20 years. I used an orbital sander to clean it up. As you can see in the photo, the sides, top
and front panel were cut and a 1/2" aluminum angles were used to support the pieces, then the whole thing was screwed together
with 4-40 countersunk screws.
I tried to use as many vintage parts as I could. You can see the Thordarson
transformer that I got at the 2003 ARRL Pacificon Swap Meet.
The receiver performs pretty well and has good selectivity with the added
stage of tuned RF
amplification. The main problem seen is that the local broadcast stations have a tendency to
swamp it when I tune on 160 meters. I am going to have to build either a high pass filter or a
series wave trap of some kind. I did pick up WWV on 2.5 Mhz last night with it.
The wiring looks a lot better than the first version. My wiring techniques
have improved a little
since I was 14 years old, but I still wish I had the original with it's rats nest wiring.
The bottom line is, I'm in my second childhood and what was old is new again. Yippee!