“Friedrichs shows you how to build vacuum tubes, transistors, transformers, and other homebrewed amplifying devices. The 297-page book is also crammed with lots of basic electronics background, history, theory, and build tips. I can’t recommend (his) books highly enough.” – Gareth Branwyn, Make Magazine.
“Instruments of Amplification is superbly written. For the technical-minded, it’s a gem. For the non-technical it’s a good read. Even if you do not attempt building any of his devices, you will never again look at problem-solving in your accustomed manner after reading this. The author admonishes, ‘You have never read a book like this…’ He’s right.”- Brian Hope, Bisbee Wireless Apparatus Co.
“Instruments of Amplification isn’t a slick commercial book with professional illustrations, but the writing is top-notch. Even if you don’t end up assembling your own tubes and transistors, just reading about the author’s efforts is educational and entertaining. When I was first learning electronics in high school, no one bothered to illustrate the importance of a vacuum-tube vacuum this way. I would have grasped it in an instant if I had a copy of Instruments of Amplification at hand. Not only are the explanations of basic amplifiers enlightening, the projects used to illustrate the explanations are astonishing, at least to 21st century sensibilities. Friedrichs doesn’t just talk about mechanical, vacuum tube and solid-state amplifiers, he builds them out of component parts.” – Steve Ford, QST Magazine
“Earlier I said that this book was revolutionary. I make that claim because Friedrichs has given us a glimpse of how far we can push existing technology and find ourselves doing and building things that were thought to be beyond the scope of amateur scientists. Making a vacuum triode out of an ashtray and a votive candle holder qualifies, I think, as pushing the envelope. This is truly an inspiring, instructive, delightful book.” – Sheldon Greaves, SAS
About Instruments Of Amplification
Are you interested in building sensitive audio amplifiers from magnets, a shoe-polish tin and a couple of carbon rods? How about a working triode vacuum tube built from candle holders and old glass ashtrays? Perhaps you’d like to construct your own transistor from plumber’s fittings, glass beads, and a tiny crystal. If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Instruments of Amplification, written and illustrated by H. P. Friedrichs, is jam-packed with nearly 300 pages of history, science background, basic theory, and hard-to-find hands-on details pertaining to the construction of an amazing array of homebrew amplifying devices.
Rooted in the same “build-it-from-scratch” philosophy that made his first book, The Voice of the Crystal, a success, Instruments of Amplification reduces complex devices to their essential elements and then shows how they can be constructed from commonly available materials.
In the process of building, you’ll also learn secrets that will find application to other projects. Learn to drill a hole in glass, generate high voltages, or create and measure a high vacuum. Learn how to dismantle a lightbulb, harvest carbon from old batteries, or deposit a layer of metal onto glass so thin that it is transparent! How about creating your own primitive semiconductor materials from garden-shed chemicals? The list goes on and on!
The wealth of information contained in Instruments of Amplification is augmented by 150 photos, illustrations, and engravings, in addition to numerous charts, tables, and formulas. Readers interested in further exploration will appreciate the 120+ references to period books, magazines, CDROMs and Web sites.
ISBN 0-9671905-1-7 Copyright 2003
Instruments Of Amplification – Table Of Contents
Introduction * Basic Tools * Safety First * What Is An Amplifier? * The Microphonic Relay * The Balance Beam Amplifier * The Needle Box Transformer * The Vacuum Tube * Vacuum Basics * Experiments With Glow Tubes And Diodes * The Bell Jar Audion * Votive Triodes * Semiconductor Basics * The Plumber’s Point Contact Transistor * The Cuprous Oxide Transistor * More Semiconductor Ideas * Parting Thoughts * Appendix I – High-Voltage Supplies * Appendix II – A Variable Plate Supply * Appendix III – A Simple Curve Tracer * Appendix IV – Specifications for a Point-Contact Transistor