1930 Four Tube Shortwave Receiver

1935PM4tube

85 years ago, the September and October 1930 issues of Popular Mechanics showed how to build this four tube shortwave receiver which tuned 15 to 195 meters “without plug-in coils. Instead, it had a four-position band switch, which made it “no longer necessary to shut off the set and take it apart in order to change from one wave band to the other.” The regenerative receiver employed two 224 tubes in the RF section, followed by a two stage audio amplifier using a 201-A and a 112-A. It was set up for headphone use, although provisions were made for adding an external loudspeaker. In addition to the band switch on the left, the front panel had tuning and regeneration controls. The chassis was made of brass, with a bakelite front panel.

The author's lovely assistant makes some finishing touches to the cabinet.

The author’s lovely assistant makes some finishing touches to the cabinet.

The author reported that the set was tested in Chicago, and pulled in over the course of a few hours numerous amateur stations, including the seventh, fourth, fifth, sixth, second, and ninth call districts. Due to “unfavorable atmospheric conditions” during the test, no foreign stations were received, but it did pick up broadcasts from WGY.

The author was Frank L. Brittin, W9DCX, who was with the magazine from 1920 until his death in 1955. From Springfield, Illinois, he ws first licensed in 1915 and was an early member of the ARRL. His death is noted in the magazine’s July 1955 issue.

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