Amateur Radio Quiz: Amateur Archaeology
Times change and so does terminology. Some of the old terms were quite colorful and convey a sense of hands-on adventure in those early days of experimentation. You may not consider today’s language as evocative, but just wait a few decades to see what future generations think!
1) Which type of component was referred to as a “grid leak”?
d. This referred to a gassy vacuum tube
2) If you used a “basket weave” style in construction, what did you construct?
a. Transmission line
c. Headphone covers
3) What function was performed by a “slop jar”?
c. Storing charge from a grid-leak
4. What was the earliest type of condenser?
a. Tesla coil
c. Leyden jar
d. Voltaic pile
5) What part of early stations was often constructed as a “cage”?
a. Transmitter shield
c. Entire shack
d. Power supply
6) A “getter” performed what function?
a. Tuning tool
b. Gas adsorption
c. Filament rejuvenation
d. Connections to open-wire transmission line
7) What construction technique was (and still is!) called a “Western Union”?
a. Rack-and-panel enclosures
b. Breadboard and Fahnstock clips
d. Wire splicing
8) What does “TRF” stand for?
a. Tuned Receive Feedback
c. Tuned Radio Frequency
d. Transmit-Receive Feeder
9) What type of equipment was referred to as a “rush box”?
10) Which of these is not a type of oscillator circuit?
Bonus -- What did a “tickler coil” tickle?
1) b -- Grid current through the resistor developed a self-biasing voltage.
2) b -- The basket-weave style minimized inter-turn capacitance.
3) a -- Early rectifiers used a somewhat-caustic electrolytic solution (the “slop”) in glass jars.
4) c -- A Leyden jar is a simple capacitor that stores a sizeable amount of charge at high voltage!
5) b -- A cage antenna consists of several parallel wires in a circular arrangement.
6) b -- The getter was an unpowered vacuum tube element that captured unwanted gas molecules.
7) d -- The telegraph system’s standard splicing technique.
8) c -- The TRF receiver required each amplifying stage to be tuned separately.
9) a -- The rushing sound from a regenerative receiver on the edge of oscillation gave it the name.
10) c -- All the others are different oscillator configurations.
Bonus -- In a regenerative receiver stage, a carefully adjusted tickler coil coupled some of the output signal back to the input, “tickling” it into near oscillation.