Rocket Radios

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spongella

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May 12, 2012
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Central NJ
There are plenty of old-timers out there, so how many of you started out with one of these Rocket Radios that were popular in the late 50's and 60's? Bet it brings back memories. This was my first radio, purchased by Mom (God rest her kind soul) in the late 50's and was the seed that when planted started a lifetime hobby in radio for many of us.

You attached the alligator clip to a cold water pipe or the finger stop on a rotary phone, put the large earphone in your ear, and moved the tip in and out (this was actually a ferrite rod that moved in an out of a coil) until you heard a local radio station. The heart of the system was a germanium diode.

Maybe you had a similar crystal radio that you used? They were advertised in the back of comic books along with other sundries such as X-Ray eyeglasses, shrimp "eggs," the "Big Ear," and mail order monkeys/chihuahuas that fit in a cup.
 

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I remember the ads in the backs of comic books and such, never had the Rocket Radio though.

I did build a crystal radio though, when I was five or so. My Dad was a TV repairman, so parts and such were right on hand for me. Tuning in the first radio station was a lot like locking in on that first satellite.

My Dad had a shop in town and one at our house. I spent a lot of time in the one at our house, loved the electronic stuff even then. He had Ham radio stuff too. He died when I was eight, but glad for the few years he was there, definitely gave me a positive direction in life.

My brother ordered the shrimp a few times, the ads called them Seamonkeys, IIRC. :D
 
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