Sunday, March 02, 2008

Carbon Composition Resistors

I'll be the first to admit that I have serious nostalgia issues. I like graphic design from earlier times, furniture from other eras, and all manner of objects from days gone by.

Lately I have been doing a lot of small electronics projects. Invariably, I have been designing housings for these projects that express some sort of retro feel. Speakers get vintage grille cloth or metal screen, knobs are old or classic in style, and enclosures if not made of beautiful woods or aluminum might get painted with a hammered or wrinkle finish.

Well, today I found some antique-looking carbon composition resistors, you know the kind in the cylindrical bakelite packages (as opposed to the shiny, hour-glass looking ones that you find today) and I had to buy a handful. It struck me that maybe I should extend the classic feel of my next electronics project right on into the circuitry itself!

Perhaps I'll try building a little radio transceiver or theremin using only "antique" and obsolete components. In this day where even homebrew projects sport printed circuit boards and surface mount compontents, I find something attractive about building a board using only these old resistors, metal-canned germanium transistors and diodes, and grain of wheat lamps with jewel lenses in place of LEDs.

Like I said, I have issues.

Link to the Transistor Museum Store