Introduction: Glowbugs - Homebrew Tube Amateur Radio Transmitters and Receivers

Picture of Glowbugs - Homebrew Tube Amateur Radio Transmitters and Receivers

Glowbugs - homebrew (DIY) tube gadgets, receivers and transmitters, dedicated to the Golden Era of Amateur Radio. Generally, any small, home-built tube-type transmitter or receiver may be referred to as a glowbug. The majority of glowbug transmitters are designed to be used in the CW radiotelegraphy mode.


wd4nka (author)2013-07-07

Andy, your stuff is always so awesome. One day, I need to print up some vintage Letterpress QSL cards for you, to go with your vintage station. Hey! I just came across the carcass of an old Grundig Majestic. Perhaps I can salvage the transformer and filter choke, toss a few filter caps, a 5U4, and rig up a 6AG7 / 6L6 MOPA to couple with my HRO-5 that I hope to re-cap.

perfectsleeper (author)2015-07-06


russ_hensel (author)2015-03-16

Just a note to let you know I have added this ( a year ago ) to the instructable:

Comprehensive Guide to Electronic Breadboards: A Meta Instructable


Take a look at a bunch of ideas for using breadboards.

Johenix (author)2012-12-01

Andy, UU1CC, I assume that is your call sign?
I have a small interest in Glowbugs.
I found an old "QST" article about a home brew, two band Reciever (80 & 40 M) from April 1941. Principle seems sound even though it uses a "C Battery" for bias- 6V AC for filaments.
I would like to rebuild it or something similar using a 1U5 and a 1R5 so I could be completely battery powered. I probably would use a "B Battery" of AA pen light cells.
Worst kit I have found from the 1950's was a ONE TUBE ham station offered (for about $15) by a one man company in Kearney, Nebraska. It was 1/2 triode oscilator transmitter, 1/2 triode Regenerative reciever. You were lucky to be heard across town. A PI network to match it to the antenna might have helped it to get out better.
I was thinking of using a tube like that double triode as a push/pull crystal oscilator transmitter.
I also have plans for an early 1950's camper's 2 tube superhet reciever ( 1U5, 1R5) from "Popular Mechanics" magazine.

Oh, yes, my call is KC0KBG.

M0HIZ (author)2012-01-30

Very nice - there should be more ham radio stuff on Instructables.

RangerJ (author)M0HIZ2012-08-17

Amen. It seems like a perfect place for ham projects.

welder guy (author)2011-08-31

I like it! This is the true spirit of HAM radio! I have to make one of these soon!


shobanaelango (author)2010-08-25

can any body tell me how to make a fm radio????????

wa2qcj (author)shobanaelango2011-03-18

The biggest issue for a FM receiver is the detector stage, and a limiter. The limiter stage is simply an amplifier that is followed by a diode clipper stage. Insertion of these 2 stages into an AM radio will net you a FM receiver. Schematics for FM detectors, and limiters abound on the Internet, so a google search should net you what you need. If you can follow a schematic, then you should do quite well with this project.
IC versions of these radios are also very common, and readily available.

shobanaelango (author)wa2qcj2011-03-19

thanks for the reply

robot797 (author)2011-01-12


electricfan (author)2010-06-04

what tubes do you use? I'm preaty sure there is a 6l6 there

Andy UU1CC (author)electricfan2010-06-04

You're right - it is early Russian 6L6-GB's clone - 6P3

me (author)2010-02-22

nice, it has a steampunk look to it, I like it, you should really post a how to...

Andy UU1CC (author)me2010-02-22

Thank you, but I'm so unfamiliar with all these "howtos" - I'm Instructable newbie, just second day here. Take a look at and

Phil B (author)2010-02-21

Did you use published circuits, or design your own?

Andy UU1CC (author)Phil B2010-02-21

Hi there. Using my own - it is The Main Rule :-)

About This Instructable




Bio: Partido Geozentrista de los Martianos Intruderz
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