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Instruments of Amplification

Fun With Homemade Tubes, Transistors, And More

This is the gateway to finding out anything you'd want to know about my second book, Instruments of Amplification. Scroll down for a  summary, for a table of contents, and for links to news, reviews, and a photo gallery of projects!

About Instruments Of Amplification

Are you interested in building sensitive audio amplifiers from magnets, a shoe-polish tin and a couple of carbon rods? How about a working triode vacuum tube built from candle holders and old glass ashtrays? Perhaps you'd like to construct your own transistor from plumber's fittings, glass beads, and a tiny crystal. If so, you've come to the right place.

Instruments of Amplification, written and illustrated by H. P. Friedrichs, is jam-packed with nearly 300 pages of history, science background, basic theory, and hard-to-find hands-on details pertaining to the construction of an amazing array of homebrew amplifying devices.

Rooted in the same "build-it-from-scratch" philosophy that made his first book, The Voice of the Crystal, a success, Instruments of Amplification reduces complex devices to their essential elements and then shows how they can be constructed from commonly available materials.

In the process of building, you'll also learn secrets that will find application to other projects. Learn to drill a hole in glass, generate high voltages, or create and measure a high vacuum. Learn how to dismantle a lightbulb, harvest carbon from old batteries, or deposit a layer of metal onto glass so thin that it is transparent! How about creating your own primitive semiconductor materials from garden-shed chemicals? The list goes on and on!

The wealth of information contained in Instruments of Amplification is augmented by 150 photos, illustrations, and engravings, in addition to numerous charts, tables, and formulas. Readers interested in further exploration will appreciate the 120+ references to period books, magazines, CDROMs and Web sites.

ISBN 0-9671905-1-7 Copyright 2003

Instruments Of Amplification - Table Of Contents

Introduction * Basic Tools * Safety First * What Is An Amplifier? * The Microphonic Relay * The Balance Beam Amplifier * The Needle Box Transformer * The Vacuum Tube * Vacuum Basics * Experiments With Glow Tubes And Diodes * The Bell Jar Audion * Votive Triodes * Semiconductor Basics * The Plumber's Point Contact Transistor * The Cuprous Oxide Transistor * More Semiconductor Ideas * Parting Thoughts * Appendix I - High-Voltage Supplies * Appendix II - A Variable Plate Supply * Appendix III - A Simple Curve Tracer * Appendix IV - Specifications for a Point-Contact Transistor


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Photo Gallery 1  Photo Gallery 2

Follow these links to view images of projects based on Instruments Of Amplification.


(revised - 11/03/2005)