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 What do you do with a broken transistor?

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Join date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: What do you do with a broken transistor?   September 20th 2016, 8:11 pm

Cliff & I have been having a discussion on Xtal radio diodes (RE: My Doc Oc posting)
 So what does this have to do with transistors and Xtal radios?

Well, a lot actually.
As you know a transistor consists basically of 2 diodes with common cathode.
B-E & B-C.
 Back in the early days 1960ish, transistors were expensive (CK722 sold for 11-12.00! in 1960's currency.)
 Then came along the infamous Radio Shack and their "Surprise Packs"  scratch (Generally you were surprised at how much you paid for junk in them.)

 Loaded with all sorts of "supposedly useful" parts. Mismatched knobs, shorted & open mystery transistors, mostly germanium types, & diodes, and a lot of other useless garbage.

 Anyway some of these Xistors had one lead broken off them, or had B-E or B-C shorts. I hated to toss anything, as money was tight, I found an article in one of the magazines that showed how to  use a damaged Xistor as a diode in a Xtal radio.

   Cool! said I. And then proceeded to remove my trusty old cats whisker detector from the radio. (Boy, was my cat happy not to be attached to that radio anymore too! No wonder it never properly worked. All I could get was an oscillating or purring sound out of the radio.  cat ).

  I substituted a germanium transistor with an open junction and the radio worked fine. Not as sensitive as a Galena Xtal, IIRC, but it picked up stations. The silicon types didn't work worth a darn, but I did try them just to see. (Hey, it IS called experimentation for a reason.)
 Anywhoo- as long as the base of the transistor is good, and either the E or C is good, it will work. An open B won't work. I even tried just the C-E elements, but that didn't work well. That was long ago, but I think that the B-E junction worked a bit better than the B-C junction. I DO remember that one was worked better.

  Many of the transistors had leads that would break off if you almost looked at them, so they became radio detectors. Poor welds or poor lead tempering, I would guess. Many were gold plated too, with rust spots showing thru the plating.
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