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Compactron Tube AM Radio

This is an AM radio made out of a Compactron tube, which contains two triodes and a pentode.

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When the first chips came out, General Electric fired back and introduced the Compactron in 1961. This was a vacuum tube containing multiple elements--like two triodes and one pentode--in a single glass envelope.

I have a few 15BD11 Compactrons, so I decided to build a radio. Turns out someone else already designed one with this very tube, and with a few light modifications, I got their circuit working quite well.

The design is a regenerative receiver, which means that part of the received signal is fed back to the input, greatly increasing the amplification and narrowing the bandwidth. This is done by adding a "tickler" coil in proximity to the main LC tank coil. In the pictures, you can see the tickler coil nestled underneath the Compactron.

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Ken Yap wrote 01/08/2019 at 09:42 point

OMG, I think I actually remember the naming scheme.

15: heater voltage, rounded

BD: unique code for this tube

11: total number of electrodes

I feel ancient.

Very pretty retro, especially the tank coil.

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