The history of Carborundum

There is a very good blog call Arcane Radio Trivia which publishes interesting tidbits of radio trivia, and a lot of stuff that a reader might not have heard before, hence the name.  A post put up last week, when I was out of town, deals with carborundum (Silicon carbide) which is one of the first semiconductors used to produce diodes, and thus detectors for radio.

Certain naturally-occurring minerals can be used to detect radio signals, including galena, zincite, silicon,bornite and others. Carborundum was unique among the early crystals because it was synthetic. It was durable, and at 9 mohs much harder than most available crystals. More here. Also interestingly it requires it requires a negative potential of 1 volt to be used as a diode. Carborundum was not created with this purpose in mind. It was created in the early search for artificial diamonds

Like many things in early radio, there are several plot twists in this story and if one is interested in radio history, it is work a click to read.  While you are there, check out “It’s 105 degrees and rising

Nautel YouTube channel

Nautel, Ltd., which always seems to be a forward thinking company, has their very own YouTube channel. Okay, that is not such a big deal, I have my own YouTube channel too.

There are lots of video on how to configure a NV transmitter, which, as I have said before, fancy GUIs are all well and good, I am more concerned with the MOSFETS generating the RF.  I would forgo the GUI in favor of more more reliability, but that’s just me.

I would put the DRM+ video up on the blog, but the embed function is disabled.  Anyway, I enjoyed watching many of these, you might too.