...and now three minutes of the Russian Buzzer

Dose the light in the fridge stay on even after you shut the door? If you scream in outer space, can anybody hear you? The chicken or the egg? Why are doors rectangles and not round?Is the secrete ingredient of Coke a Cola cocaine?

 We only hope questions like these can be answered by someone or ourselfs as we journey through this mysterious life. But some questions are just so unanswered that they might as well continue to be mysteries. In 1982, one such mystery  came to being literary out of nowhere. It manifested in the form of a  radio station.

  "The Russian Buzzer" as it's know throughout the shortwave community, is a mysterious radio station with no known purpose. Speculations has it that it's located somewhere in Russia. This unknown station transmits repeated buzzing sounds best described as the same sound a door buzzer makes and it does this twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week on the frequency of 4625 khz. To this day no one knows what it's real purpose is or where it's exact location is. Amidst all of the buzz surrounding this station (Ha, Ha), there is another creeper aspect about this station. Once in a great while the repetitive buzzing tones are broken, silents, after of which an eery mechanical sounding male or female voice reads off names and numbers which last only one minute from which the mass-produced assembly line of buzzed tone are continued.    

  This audio file is of a recording I made here in Detroit of the Russian Buzzer on the morning of February 4, 2013  at 0300 UTC.

Introducing...The Ionosonde Crystal Set Receiver

  During the month of December of 2012 I built a high performance crystal set receiver out of an old TRF (tuned radio frequency) radio chassis. In the summer of last year I acquired this chassis from one of Michigan's antique radio flea markets. Twenty dollars was the sum I paid for this dust covered electromagnetic apparatus. Bring it home, I quickly (like all things in my life) stored it away somewhere were it wouldn't obstruct anyone's working space. The warm weather months past by and the snow started to roll in. Finding myself bored one day in early December, I decisively started work on the crystal set.

   First order of business was to construct the three spider web coils. With one hour of man work per coil (winding wire round and round, tying them all together and finally carefully removing them from the winding jig) took almost a half of a day, a lot of patience and surgical dexterity. I decided to employ a pulley mechanism to vary the space between the coils (mutual coupling). Thankfully I had a box of silver plated radio hardware that I bought at a electronics flea market here in Detroit. It was chock full of small pulleys, just what I need for this crystal set receiver project. After shaping my unique movable coil mounts, I commenced to string dial cord. But before I could do that, I had to machine my own dial chord drive pulleys. They're made out of poly-vinyl plastic which were mounted on reostat shafts. Disguarding the guts from those reostats, I maintained the natural front panel appearance of this antique radio.

  The TRF chassis already came with tuning capacitors, so I didn't have to worry about those. The only thing left was to give the receiver a day of beauty. With a quick scrubbing of laundry soap I was ready to pimp out this ride with some boss looking graphics. I chose to use custom transfers (decals)to give this radio a genuine look. Using my own graphic of the ionosonde logo, I gave this piece the look of a big corporation rather then a lone home builder.