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Thursday, April 9, 2020

WB9IWT's Quarantine Mighty Mite and N3FJZ's "Hiram Percy Maxim Recognition Factor"

Leif WB9IWT has, during the emergency, been working on a Michigan Mighty Mite (See pictures above and below).  FB Leif.  

But also check out the very astute comment from Rick N3FJZ (below) .  I am, of course, all in favor of the HPMR Factor.  Almost all of my rigs would score quite high.    Others, I know, would seek a low score.  To each his own.  This is all for fun.  


Great work.  If a ham from the 1920's were to see this rig, they
probably wouldn't recognize the actual components right away (but
knowing hams, they would no doubt figure it out), but the breadboard
layout circuit flow would be immediately recognizable; e.g. the plug-in
crystal, the coil, binding post.  The transistor and variable capacitor
may baffle them at first, but seeing there are three leads on the
transistor would start to give them clues.

That's the cool part about analog discrete component radio, no matter
how many years go by, and the appearance and size of the actual
components change, the physics of what's going on at the electron level
stays the same (SDR not withstanding).

I guess this could be a litmus test for us analog radio builders.  It
could be called the "Hiram Percy Maxim Recognition Factor" or "HPMR
Factor" with a range of 0 to 1.  After you  build your rig, take a look
at it and pretend that you could present it to Mr. Maxim and the more he
could understand the circuits, components and circuit flow on his own,
the closer to a factor of 1 your radio would achieve.  For example, an
SDR might only achieve a factor of .1 or even maybe 0, where as your rig
may achieve a factor of .8, and one of your crystal receivers would
definitely get a 1.

Someone could even workout a check list or formula where you would add
or subtract some fractional numeric values for each component you used;
e.g. you would subtract some value for every IC chip, microprocessor or
LCD display you use, and add some fractional value for each hand wound
coil, vacuum tube/valve or open air variable capacitor, et cetera.

Fun to think about.

Keep building.

Rick - N3FJZ

1 comment:

  1. They said the same thing when CW replaced spark, and when ssb came along.

    Maxim died in 1936. Charles Lamb wrote about single signal selectivity in 1932, and it took a while to become common, and in commercial receivers (I think the first HRO was the first receiver with a good IF filter).

    So Maxim barely had time to take in the new concept before he died.

    1936 is 84 years ago, should we stick in that distant past? PLL synthesizers in ham radio started appearing in 1970, fifty years ago. Closer to Maxim's death than today. See Gilbert L. Boelke's article in the February 1970 issue of 73.

    If the new is "too foreign" it's likely due to improper explanations (easy now that so many ham and electronic magazines have disappeared)or people who dismiss the new because "it's not like 84 years ago".


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