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Friday, November 24, 2023

A FREE Book from the Early Days of Ham Projects with Transistors: The CK722 -- The Device that Got Pete Juliano Started in Homebrew

Pete N6QW sent this amazing book to me this morning.  Pete wrote: 

"The book was the size of a Notebook and had a gray cover. I built some of the projects like the CPO. If you had a CK722 then you were there."

You can get the book for free here: 


The impact of the CK722 on Pete Juliano, on ham radio, and eventually on SolderSmoke was quite profound. Back in 2015,  I wrote about this on the blog

I knew Pete had a lot of experience with transistors, but I didn't realize just how far back this experience reaches.  Pete writes, "The March 2015 issue of QST  had an article about a 1953 transistor transmitter project which was really advanced technology since the transistor was only invented about 5 years before that time...  About 1953 at the age of 11, I built my first solid state audio amplifier using the venerable CK722 from Raytheon. The transistor did look a bit strange in that cool blue cube shape with a red dot on the side to identify the collector. What a joy and surprise to me that it worked the first time power was applied...  It  was the CK722 that in large measure started me on a life’s work and engagement in a wonderful hobby. That CK722 path also led me to designing and building a QRP solid state version of the Collins KWM2 which I call the KWM-4."  I asked Pete why an 11 year-old kid in 1953 felt compelled to build a solid state audio amp.   The answer is very cool:  Pete's father had introduced him to crystal radios at age 8.  Pete wanted an amplifier for his crystal set, but his dad was worried about him building high voltage tube gear.  So that's how Pete got his VERY early start with transistors.

We are really lucky to have Pete Juliano sharing his vast tribal knowledge with us.


You can see a complete set of SolderSmoke posts about the CK722 here: 

Wikipedia has a nice article on the CK722.  The design contest Raytheon sponsored would be the kind of contest we could really get into!  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CK722

Thanks Pete.  And thank you Raytheon! 


  1. Great Book, Bill. I was wondering what was the year of publication for the Raytheon Transistor Manual? Raytheon was ahead of the pack with the CK722 for the experimenter market. Others followed like GE with the "Top-Hat" 2N107. ---73!

  2. Mike: Wikipedia has a great article about the CK722. They say it was introduced in early 1953. So the book couldn't be prior that. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CK722
    73 Bill


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