Making Transistors out of Iron Pyrite

Science Technology
Making Transistors out of Iron Pyrite

Ryan Jordan‘s Derelict Electronics workshop helps participants create amplifiers out of rocks:

COTM_AugustTransistorIn this workshop we will use a mesh of point contacts connecting to chalcopyrite and iron pyrite to make crude amplifiers out of rocks. When an electric current is sent through the rocks sporadic noise bursts from the speakers. With some fine tuning these rocks begin to behave like microphones, amplifying howling feedback and detecting subtle scratches and disturbances in their surrounding environment. Occasionally the circuit exhibits visual output coinciding with the audible in the form of small sparks and minute explosions occurring where the copper point contacts meet the surface of the rock.

This crude amplifier is based on the Adams Crystal Amplifier 1933, a precursor to the modern transistor.

The second session involves creating a DIY solar cell out of copper and copper oxide.

Another Derelict Electronics workshop will be held the 24th and 25th of August in London. [via BLDG Blog]

2 thoughts on “Making Transistors out of Iron Pyrite

  1. tim dolan says:

    Take a look at Nyle Steiner’s site. Google Spark Bang Buzz. Many do it yourself projects. Also check out Peter Friedrichs Book Instruments of Amplification for similar projects.


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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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