Posted on Saturday, February 5, 2011 • Category: FM Radio / Receivers
Traditionally, in a crystal detector radio tuned circuits, a mechanical type variable capacitor is used. For those of you who would like to eliminate this mechanical component, here is a modern version of the classic detector set. This radio, as shown on Figure 1, uses a varactor diode instead of the usual mechanical rotary device. The varactor is also known as a variable capacitance or a varicap diode. It provides an electrically controllable capacitance, which can be used in many different circuits. Varactors are small and inexpensive, which makes their use advantageous in many applications. Its disadvantages are a lower Q (quality), nonlinearity, lower voltage rating and a more limited capacitance range. A tuned circuit with a higher Q has a narrow pass-band that makes it better able to pick out a station of many equally strong. A lower Q tuned circuit has a wider pass band. It allows more neighbor stations through and makes listening to either radio stations frustrating. Frequency change with a varactor diode equipped tuned circuit is as simple as a voltage change.
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