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In the 50’s and 60’s John T. Frye, W9EGV / Popular Electronics published a series of fiction stories called “The Carl and Jerry stories” – In each story the pair acquired new skills, got their ham radio licenses and used their knowledge of electronics to get out of a jam or solve a mystery – there isn’t a complete collection of all the stories that I know of, but there are some scans / text online…

In this exciting tale from Popular Electronics August 1962, Carl & Jerry help Chief Morton and a Federal agency foil some dastardly plot by making a bulk electronic eraser… Here’s an excerpt…

“Let’s try to construct a portable, battery-operated bulk eraser. As you know, a bulk eraser is simply a strong electromagnet with 60-cycle a.c. going through its coil. As a reel of tape is subjected to this strong reversing field and then gradually withdrawn, the little magnetic particJes of the tape are first jerked violently in unison out of their recorded pattern and then are subjected to weaker and weaker pushing and tugging forces that eventually leave them lying in the unpatterned disarray of virgin tape.”

“Don’t you think it’s going to be a little difficult to get a.c. out of your batteries -or are you going to use a.c. batteries?”

“Don’t be cute. We can get a first cousin of a.c., pulsing d.c., simply by using an interrupter between the batteries and our coil,” Jerry retorted. “Suppose you see what you can do about converting this old 6-volt auto radio vibrator into a simple interrupter while I get started winding a magnet.”

Read the rest! Carl & Jerry – Adventure in electronics: Electronic Eraser – Link.

Related:
More Carl & Jerry stories – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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