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Friday, September 30, 2011

Oscillating Light Bulbs

Oh man, this is some fascinating stuff: old light bulbs found to be oscillating at VHF! Wayne, VA7AT, stumbled upon this phenomenon at age 13 while engaged in Knack activities. Now Joe Sousa explains the physics behind the emissions that caused Wayne's light bulb to interfere with the broadcast of baseball games. How long until AA1TJ has one of these bulbs on the air, making contacts? There is much in this that would appeal to Michael: light bulbs, weird physics, translations from German... You gotta love the BNC connector plugged directly into the bulb. Check it out the radio museum article here.

Hi Bill
There was a question posted on Antennex E-mail discussion group talking about how a vacuum type light bulb will oscillate and radiate RF at about 100MHZ. This answered the question I had since I was a boy of 13 experimenting with a light bulb in series with an electrolysis bath (aluminum electrodes with table salt dissolved in water) and 117vac. The bulb dimmed with the electrodes apart and at a certain position the radio I had on blanked out with fissing sound. I had to shut down the experiment quickly because the neighbors were listening on their favorite baseball game and cussed loudly .

I now know what happened on that fateful day. Here is a site I found about the oscillating light bulb http://www.radiomuseum.org/forum/rustika_lightbulb_fm_measurements.html
Wayne VA7AT

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