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Build Your Own Transistor Radios

Book Description

A DIY guide to designing and building transistor radios

Create sophisticated transistor radios that are inexpensive yet highly efficient. Build Your Own Transistor Radios: A Hobbyist’s Guide to High-Performance and Low-Powered Radio Circuits offers complete projects with detailed schematics and insights on how the radios were designed. Learn how to choose components, construct the different types of radios, and troubleshoot your work. Digging deeper, this practical resource shows you how to engineer innovative devices by experimenting with and radically improving existing designs.

Build Your Own Transistor Radios covers:

  • Calibration tools and test generators
  • TRF, regenerative, and reflex radios
  • Basic and advanced superheterodyne radios
  • Coil-less and software-defined radios
  • Transistor and differential-pair oscillators
  • Filter and amplifier design techniques
  • Sampling theory and sampling mixers
  • In-phase, quadrature, and AM broadcast signals
  • Resonant, detector, and AVC circuits
  • Image rejection and noise analysis methods

This is the perfect guide for electronics hobbyists and students who want to delve deeper into the topic of radio.

Make Great Stuff!
TAB, an imprint of McGraw-Hill Professional, is a leading publisher of DIY technology books for makers, hackers, and electronics hobbyists.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Build Your Own Transistor Radios: A Hobbyist's Guide to High-Performance and Low-Powered Radio Circuits
  3. Copyright Page
  4. About the Author
  5. Contents at a Glance
  6. Contents
  7. Preface
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. CHAPTER 1 Introduction
    1. Tuned Radio-Frequency (TRF) Radios
      1. Block Diagram of a TRF Radio
      2. Circuit Description of a TRF Radio
    2. Regenerative Radio
      1. Block Diagram of a Regenerative Radio
      2. Circuit Description of a Regenerative Radio
    3. Reflex Radio
      1. Block Diagram of a Reflex Radio
      2. Circuit Description of a Reflex Radio
    4. Superheterodyne Radio
      1. Block Diagram of a Superheterodyne Radio
      2. Circuit Description of a Superheterodyne Radio
    5. Software-Defined Radio Front-End Circuits
      1. Block Diagram of a Software-Defined Radio Front End
      2. Description of Front-End Circuits for a Software-Defined Radio System
    6. Comparison of the Types of Radios
  10. CHAPTER 2 Calibration Tools and Generators for Testing
    1. Alignment Tools
    2. Test Generators
    3. Inductance Meter
    4. Capacitance Meter
    5. Oscilloscopes
    6. Radio Frequency (RF) Spectrum Analyzers
    7. Where to Buy the Tools and Test Equipment
  11. CHAPTER 3 Components and Hacking/Modifying Parts for Radio Circuits
    1. Antenna Coils
    2. Variable Capacitors
    3. Transistors
    4. Earphones
    5. Speakers
    6. Passive Components
    7. Vector and Perforated Boards
    8. Hardware
    9. Parts Suppliers
  12. CHAPTER 4 Building Simple Test Oscillators and Modulators
    1. The Continuous-Wave Signal
    2. The Amplitude-Modulated Signal
    3. First Project: A CW RF Test Oscillator
    4. Modulator Circuit for the CW Generator
      1. Parts List
    5. Alternate Circuits
      1. Parts List
  13. CHAPTER 5 Low-Power Tuned Radio-Frequency Radios
    1. Design Considerations for TRF Radios
    2. Improving Sensitivity and/or Selectivity via Antenna Coils or Circuits
    3. First Design of TRF Radio
      1. Parts List
      2. Circuit Description
    4. Variation of the Design (Alternate Design of the TRF Radio)
      1. Parts List
    5. Author’s Earlier TRF Designs
  14. CHAPTER 6 Transistor Reflex Radios
    1. Motivation Behind Amplifying Both Radio-Frequency and Audio-Frequency Signals
    2. One-Transistor TRF Reflex Radio
      1. Parts List
    3. Multiple-Transistor Reflex Radio Circuit
      1. Parts List
  15. CHAPTER 7 A Low-Power Regenerative Radio
    1. Improving Sensitivity by Regeneration
    2. Improving Selectivity by Q Multiplication via Regeneration
    3. Design Considerations for a Regenerative Radio
      1. Parts List
      2. Parts List
      3. Parts List
  16. CHAPTER 8 Superheterodyne Radios
    1. Commercially Made Transistorized Superheterodyne Radios
    2. A Four-Transistor Radio Schematic
      1. Parts List
    3. An Eight-Transistor Radio
      1. Parts List
    4. Alternative Oscillator and Antenna Coil Circuit
    5. An Item to Note
  17. CHAPTER 9 Low-Power Superheterodyne Radios
    1. Design Goals for Low Power
    2. Low-Power Oscillator, Mixer, and Intermediate-Frequency Circuits
    3. Low-Power Detector and Audio Circuits
    4. “First” Design of a Low-Power Superheterodyne Radio
      1. Parts List
    5. Alternative Low-Power Superheterodyne Radio Design
      1. Parts List
    6. Photos of Low-Power AM Superheterodyne Radios
  18. CHAPTER 10 Exotic or “Off the Wall” Superheterodyne Radios
    1. A One-Transistor Superheterodyne Radio
    2. Design Considerations for a One-Transistor Superheterodyne Radio
      1. Parts List
    3. A Two-Transistor Superheterodyne Radio
      1. Parts List
  19. CHAPTER 11 Inductor-less Circuits
    1. Ceramic Filters
      1. Parts List
    2. Gyrators (aka Simulated or Active Inductors)
    3. Inductor-less (aka Coil-less) Superheterodyne Radio
      1. Parts List
  20. CHAPTER 12 Introduction to Software-Defined Radios (SDRs)
    1. SDR Front-End Circuits, Filters, and Mixers
    2. Phasing Circuits for 0- and 90-Degree Outputs for I and Q Signals
    3. Multipliers for Generating 0- and 90-Degree Phases
    4. Example Radio Circuits for Software-Defined Radios
      1. Parts List
    5. Second SDR Front-End Circuit for the 40-Meter Amateur Radio Band
      1. Parts List
  21. CHAPTER 13 Oscillator Circuits
    1. One-Transistor Oscillator
    2. Differential Pair Oscillator
    3. References
  22. CHAPTER 14 Mixer Circuits and Harmonic Mixers
    1. Adding Circuits Versus Mixing Circuits
    2. Distortion Can Be a Good Thing (for Mixing)
    3. Single-Bipolar-Transistor Distortion
    4. Simple Transistor Mixer and Its Conversion Transconductance
    5. Differential-Pair Mixer
    6. Harmonic Mixer Circuits
    7. Mixer Oscillator Circuits
    8. Conversion Gain
    9. References
  23. CHAPTER 15 Sampling Theory and Sampling Mixers
    1. Sampling Signals as a Form of Muliplication or Mixing
    2. Finite Pulse-Width Signals
    3. Aliasing Is a Mixing Effect
    4. Multiplexer Circuits as Balanced Mixers
    5. Tradeoffs in Performance of the Mixers
    6. References
  24. CHAPTER 16 In-phase and Quadrature (IQ) Signals
    1. Introduction to Suppressed-Carrier Amplitude Modulation
    2. How I and Q Signals Are Generated
    3. Demodulating I and Q Signals
    4. I and Q Signals Used in Software-Defined Radios (SDRs)
    5. References
  25. CHAPTER 17 Intermediate-Frequency Circuits
    1. IF Amplifiers
    2. Gain-Controlled IF Amplifiers
    3. Considerations of Distortion Effects on IF Amplifiers
    4. References
  26. CHAPTER 18 Detector/Automatic Volume Control Circuits
    1. Average Envelope Detectors
    2. Power Detectors
    3. Synchronous Detectors
    4. IQ Detectors for AM Broadcast Signals
    5. Measuring an Average Carrier or Providing Automatic Volume Control
    6. References
  27. CHAPTER 19 Amplifier Circuits
    1. Introduction to Operational Amplifiers
    2. Amplifier Characteristics
    3. Connecting Multiple Amplifiers for an Amplifier System
    4. Practical Considerations for Using Amplifiers
    5. References
  28. CHAPTER 20 Resonant Circuits
    1. Simple Parallel and Series Resonant Circuits
    2. Resonant Circuits in Oscillators
    3. Examples of Band-Pass and Band-Reject Filters
    4. References
  29. CHAPTER 21 Image Rejection
    1. What Is an Image Signal?
    2. Methods to Reduce the Amplitude of the Image Signal
    3. Analysis of an Image-Rejection Mixer Using I and Q Signals
    4. Analysis of the Image-Reject Mixer
    5. Consequences of an Imperfect 90-Degree Phase Shifter on Reducing the Image Signal
    6. References
  30. CHAPTER 22 Noise
    1. Sources of Random Electronic Noise and Some Basic Noise Theory
    2. Paralleling Transistors for Lower Noise
    3. Differential-Pair Amplifier Noise
    4. Cascode Amplifier Noise
    5. Selecting Op Amps
    6. References
  31. CHAPTER 23 Learning by Doing
    1. Update on the One-Transistor Superheterodyne Radio 41
    2. Comments on SDR 40-Meter Front-End Circuit
    3. Experimenting with Mixers and Using the Spectran Spectrum Analyzer Program
    4. Conducting Experiments on Op Amps and Amplifiers
    5. Experiments with a Resonant Circuit
    6. Thevenin-Equivalent Circuit
    7. Analyzing a Bridge Circuit
    8. Some Final Thoughts on the Book
    9. References
  32. APPENDIX 1 Parts Suppliers
  33. APPENDIX 2 Inductance Values of Oscillator Coils and Intermediate-Frequency (IF) Transformers
  34. APPENDIX 3 Short Alignment Procedure for Superheterodyne Radios
  35. Index