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Build Your Own Transistor Radios: A Hobbyist's Guide to High-Performance and Low-Powered Radio Circuits Paperback – 1 Jan 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Tab Electronics (1 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071799702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071799706
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 3 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 231,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Ronald Quan is a member of SMPTE, IEEE, and the AES. He worked on the design of wideband FM detectors for an HDTV tape recorder at Sony Corporation, and a twice-color subcarrier frequency (7.16 MHz) NTSC vector-scope for measuring differential phase and gain for Macrovision, where he was a Principal Engineer. Ronald currently holds at least 65 US patents in the areas of analog video processing, low noise audio and video amplifier design, low distortion voltage controlled amplifiers, wide band crystal VCOs, video monitors, audio and video IQ modulation, audio and video scrambling, bar code reader products, audio test equipment, and video copy protection.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A great book on 26 Aug 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very good book. Plenty of radio circuits to keep you busy. You won't regret buying it!
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By M. Davies on 30 Oct 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is rare to find such an in-depth study of transistor radios. Shame it does not cover FM radios though. AM radios of many types are covered very well.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 26 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A nice, interesting book for tinkerers 25 Feb 2013
By Paul M. Harden - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At first, I was a bit disappointed in the book, as the first few chapters were very elementary for the rank amateur or beginning hobbyist. However, the following chapters quickly delved into some good transistor radio projects, with the later chapters devoted to the theory (and math) of the receiver circuitry and the energy saving (low power) techniques. It was a good read, plenty of fodder for some future projects, and a nice reference book for my electronics library as well. Very well written and easy to read schematics. You will get something out of it and learn a few things regardless of your knowledge level.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Analog electronics education in a hobbyist book on transistor radios 15 Mar 2013
By S. Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I must admit that I came to this book somewhat math challenged.
I tend to be more interested in a historical perspective. But having said that, Mr. Quan has written a book that somehow manages to cover all bases here.

Using the AM radio as a context, starting with the most basic simple circuits, then building upon each concept, he manages to cover the history and development of the major types of circuits used for AM radio reception, and the math and theory behind each circuit building block, show plans and schematics with detailed parts lists and sources to not only construct several types of AM radios, but also to make your own test oscillators and modulators for developing and testing circuits under construction. He also has a section covering the details of other equipment needed, and some inexpensive ways to obtain it, to equip your "radio electronics experimentation lab".

He goes on to discuss improvements to circuits and trade-offs in further development between performance, cost and power consumption giving you the chance to improve designs previously constructed and measure the improvements.
All this is presented in a well illustrated, intuitive, entertaining, easy to grasp form, that actually manages to give a reasonably complete analog electronics education by covering the various building blocks of the humble AM transistor radio including power supplies, oscillators and amplifiers as well as everything else specific to an AM radio.

If you spend any time with this book you will not only learn to build and design your own AM radio circuits, but you will be well on your way to understanding a lot of the theory behind all analog electronic design. Well done !
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Good book for the novice to intermediate hobbyist 9 Feb 2013
By S Ulrich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author does a nice review of the basic types of AM radios. The projects use currently available parts and the plans all look workable. I particularly enjoyed the write up about SDR radios. For fun I ordered up the parts to build the superhet using the 455 KHz ceramic resonators. The parts I needed just showed up from Mouser who had them in stock. The plan looks sound and I'm expecting it to work. If you like to build electronic devices you will have fun with this book. Many of the designs can be easily reworked for other frequencies.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Build Your Own Transistor Radios 30 Jan 2013
By Ed Fong - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a very refreshing book with a unique approach to radio receiver design. Don't be fooled by the title, "Building Your Own Transistor Radios". This book is almost auto biographic. It takes many of the author's boyhood experiences with simple crystal radios and relives that experience. However, with 35 years in the industry and over 70 US patents, he can now gives a much more thorough analysis of how and why the simple crystal radio works and how to improve it.

The author then proceeds to improve the performance of a simple crystal radio. Covering the analysis of amplifiers, mixers, and filters and using these building blocks to construct his "super radios". A unique chapter is given on "Inductorless Radios". Using Gyrators as inductors, Mr. Quan shows several radio architectures using op amps to construct gyrators (and thus inductors) and build successful high performance radios. There is even a chapter on how to make your own signal generators for testing these circuits.

The book can be described as broken into two sections. The first section for the casual hobbyist who wants to improve his/her understanding of radio receiver design and a second section for the more advanced radio engineer. The second section on analysis of distortion and noise is more typically taught at the graduate level at most engineering schools.

The Chapters on Software Define (SDR) radios takes the reader from superheterodyne architecture to the present state of the art SDR radio using I and Q of a radio signal. He goes on the say, "With I and Q you can demodulate anything." Although one does not need to understand all the trigonometry involved in deriving many of the equations, Mr. Quan takes a step by step approach to the derivations. This approach is lacking in most radio text books.

Last, Mr. Quan covers a chapter on bipolar noise with real life examples and numerical calculations for common components and configurations.

This is a very refreshing book and most of it can be read not as rigorous college engineering text book but more like a "novel" for the radio hobbyist.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Don't be fooled by the title 14 Jun 2013
By jrl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is really an excellent laboratory manual suitable for beginners but sophisticated enough to be useful in a university electronics lab course. If you want to learn electronics the hands-on way – – which is the best way – – I recommend this book. It is devoted primarily to radio receivers and takes you from the very basics, to super heterodyne, and even touches on SDR.
If I had not heard an interview of the author on the podcast "The Amp Hour," I would not have considered this book just because of the title.
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