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Miscellaneous Interesting Projects

The G.W. Short 'Homodyne'

Simple, easy-to-build radios have always held a particular fascination for experimenters. It's hard to beat the performance of today's DSP-based, all-mode one-chip wonders, but achieving good reception with just a handful of common junkbox parts can prove most satisfying.  Check out this project based on a classic design from the UK.

A Stereo Cutterhead for Phonograph Disc Recording

This is the expansion of an article that appeared in the February, 2019 issue of audioXpress magazine.  It chronicles the development and hand-crafting of an experimental cutting head for making stereophonic phonograph records.  The background, design philosophy, material sources and construction hints given in this write-up should enable the advanced tinkerer to duplicate the quite satisfactory results obtained by the writer.  Links to digital files of actual sample recordings are included.

An Experiment in Sound Embossing

For the first half of the twentieth century, office dictating machines generally 'embossed' the speech waveform onto the surface of a revolving cylinder, disc or belt.  This project 're-purposes' one such dictating machine to record sound onto discarded CD and DVD discs.  This write-up decribes how the machine was adapted and optimized for best recorded sound quality.  A link to a digital file demonstrates the results.