Vacuum Tube Radio Hat

Computers & Mobile Craft & Design
Vacuum Tube Radio Hat


I totally want one of these vacuum tube radio hats. It’s a complete two tube radio system, built into a hat!

[thanks, Dave!]

18 thoughts on “Vacuum Tube Radio Hat

  1. Dave says:

    “I totally want one of these vacuum tube radio hats!”

    I think you have your priorities mixed up.
    Just sayin’…

    1. Matt Mets says:

      Point taken. Stylish hat though, you have to admit!

      1. Simon says:

        That’s not just a hat. That’s a pith helmet. I have one of those. And a few old tubes about. Hmmmm……

  2. StefanJ says:

    . . . the 20 lbs. of batteries strapped to her waist!

    Hugo Gernsback, Editor!

    1. Matt Mets says:

      Sure, how else is one to generate the high plate voltages that are presumably required to operate such a beast? Still, I really want a stylish version of it to install in my top hat!

    2. volkemon says:

      From the 1949 article- Thanks Dave!

      “Power is supplied by a tiny 8-ounce battery pack that fits into a pocket and connects to the set through a 36-inch length of thin 3-conductor wire.”

  3. Michael Black says:

    Tubes don’t need heavy batteries for their high voltage. They run at high voltage but low current. There have been various tube projects in recent years that use 9v “transistor” batteries, putting them in series to get the needed high voltage. Tubes use a lot of current on the filaments, that’s where the heavy batteries would be.

    Note that there were portable radios, even shortwave, and hearing aids and even walkie-talkies, that used tubes, yet were reasonably sized and not too heavy. They weren’t in plastic cases either, but then neither were the earliest transistor radios. But many of these used subminiature tubes, which not only took up less space, but were better
    designed for portable use, including lower current requirements for
    the filaments (and sometimes less need to warm up those filaments).

    A fairly early project in “Popular Electronics” was converting a
    tube hearing aid (about the size of an MP3 player today with a decent LCD screen) into a radio by adding a diode detector, in essence a “Crystal radio” with an audio amplifier after it. That was about 1954.


  4. Dave says:

    The sweetheart in the pic is actress Hope Lange, and the tender age of 15. Now I *do* feel old!

    You could but the hat new, for $7.95:

    Wiki article, *with schematic!

    1. Dave says:

      Much more complete article, from the original 1949 Radio Electronics:

      Also included is a page on a “New and Improved Transistor”, coincidentally with the recent Lost Knowledge posting!

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