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radio designed for the third world





fuzzkaizer
anyone ever mentioned Papanek in the amazing forum?
ocalhoun
How does it convert the heat into usable energy?
likeabreeze
9 cents?
Too cheap to be true.
coolclay
I've been digging around for more info on this design, but besides this photo and some credits haven't come up with any details.
ocalhoun
Sounds like a fake to me...
If only because I'm pretty sure there's no way you can directly convert heat into electricity using only a tin can.
*be right back, raiding the recycling bin so I can power my house using burnt garbage*

Also, a non-selective receiver? That would be really useful if there's only one radio transmission channel anywhere in range. But I'm pretty sure there's nowhere in the world where that's the case.
You'll be picking up a jumble of all kinds of transmissions, as well as interference from all sorts of natural sources. Which means... if it somehow does work, it'll spout out a nice burst of static and unintelligible garble, perhaps mixed in with the electronic beeps of some digital signals.
If it was used in the US, I'm guessing the main thing you'd hear would be a nice 60hz humming that you pick up from all the 60hz power lines all over the country.

For that matter...
*looks at picture*
Where's the speaker? How does it produce sound?
Or perhaps it functions like a telegraph in morse code?
coolclay
My guess was that it used some type of simple homemade battery (zinc/copper/lemon juice?) that may be heated for more power output by the flame. It looks as if it has a little lamp on the ground, which my guess is the output, so instead of actual audio it just blinks when it receives a signal, telegraph style.

But your right except for a grid down, end of the world situation I don't think it would be very practical.

While it does state that it is non-selective, it looks as if the nail on the right side and the stack next to it could be a primitive resister and capable of "tuning" into different frequencies.
fuzzkaizer
... well you might have discovered that it's all fake, because the photography doesn't give us a clue how it could work.
on the other hand, we don't even know to what exactly the foto is related. so we are confronted with the pure statement of an idea, in the end?

i have not too much ideas of electronics, but maybe this is just the electric power section? if it drives a bulb, it certainly will drive a little emitter or receiver, and the cost of such a small electronic part is also quite cheap... what you will need in the end, is the batteries, in the Sahara of the 70ies for example. Still the idea is not so bad, then.

anyway, the guy seems really to have existed not only in the internet, though there are his traces:
in wikipedia:http://papanek.org/about/victor-j-papanek/ and even in facebook... (which admittedly doesn't mean too much, yes)
also there's a Papanek Foundation: http://papanek.org/about/victor-j-papanek/
if one asked them kindly, maybe they'd be able to explain the secret of that radio?

doing a short research, other interesting ideas pop up, also very nice: Table set for the severely handicapped
http://dip.mak.at/detail_product.php?search=%2Fsearchresult_product.php%3Fdesigner_id%3D1844&object_id=8360&designer_id=1844
coolclay
Seems like a smart guy, that actually existed. But nothing much more info other that has made it to the age of the internet. It must not have been that good of an idea, or proved very useful or I would think they would be more common!
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