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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passenger.k wrote 01/24/2019 at 14:13 point

I hope that wax caps are fake :D

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Dr. Cockroach wrote 01/18/2019 at 12:06 point

Great looking build. I have worked with vintage radios from the 20's on up but never had tried a Compactron. Looks fantastic :-)

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brettengelaz wrote 01/17/2019 at 18:35 point

I love the construction! looks like sculpture!

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rvalente wrote 01/17/2019 at 17:39 point

Great project, please share the schematic and other construction detais!

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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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