Jim’s “Round Table” headphones brought to you by….

todayJune 6, 2023 24 7

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Regular listeners to our J and J Midday show know that every other week, Justin and I  exchange positions in the studio, one taking the seat at the controls, the other at the round table.  (literally the “round table.”)   This keeps both of us polished in operating the station and dealing with multi-tasking the three computers, on-air phones, text inbox, emails, and everything that makes up our show.

This week, it’s my turn at the round table.  Just a few feet away is a working replica of the “crystal” radio I owned as a young geek in about 1974/1975.  I used to order these exact radios from a company originally in Michigan called, “Johnson Smith” of Mt. Clemens.  It’s called a crystal radio because years ago, before we had diodes, a real “crystal” (usually Galena) was used with a small wire called a “cat’s whisker” as the detector of signals from AM stations received on longwire antennas.  With just a few other small parts, like a coil, headphones, and a piece of metal to electrically tune the band,  when properly assembled, you have a “no power” radio.  Literally the sound you hear in headphones comes from the energy received.  No amplifier. No batteries. No AC, No solar, no wind-up.  

This radio, with it’s close proximity to our backyard 4.7kw signal powers a pair of 1970’s pro headphones wonderfully, with volume comparable to what our broadcast console’s ‘phones would sound like, and…with no coloration of the sound, it’s crystal-clear (mono) AM! 

Our Popeye John mounted my radio to a wooden base and extended the wires out of the base so the radio could fit under a plastic cover (saved from a security camera retail package) and…we added a vintage  multi-headphone adapter.  Even through a vintage coiled headphone extension the volume is excellent.

So, my monitoring is “green!”  No batteries, No AC, no power!  I’m doing my part…(lol)

Just a bit of fun…from behind the scenes at America’s Biggest Little Radio station (and radio museum)…..WION!


Written by: Jim Carlyle

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