Simple Smoggy Schematic

Even if your good old (Sony) Walkman  sees little use nowadays it would be a  shame to get rid of it altogether. The more  so when just removing the tape head  would allow the built-in audio amplifier  to become an outstanding electrosmog  detector for a variety of purposes. Looking at the schematic, readers with RF  experience will have no difficulty in recognising the diodes and coils of the two  detector-receivers, which serve to capture and demodulate RF signals. With its  coil of four turns (L2) one receiver covers the higher frequency range of the  electromagnetic waves, whilst the sec-ond detector takes care of the lower frequency range.

Simple Smoggy Circuit diagram:

Smoggy Circuit diagram

For this reason a coil with a  greater number of turns is required: L1 is  an RF choke of about 250 µH. The precise  value is not critical and it could equally be  220 µH or 330 µH. The outputs of both detector-receivers  are connected to the cables disconnected  previously from the tape heads, feeding the  right and left channel inputs to the Walk-man’s audio amplifier. Please note here that  the screening of the tape head cable does not  have to be absolutely identical to the ground connection of the amplifier circuitry. As  we are dealing with a stereo amplifier,  we are listening into both channels and  thus both RF ranges at the same time.

One channel of the amplifier can also be  used to demodulate low-frequency magnetic alternating fields  via a capacitor  (C3) bypassing diode D1 and connecting either a third coil (L3, for instance;  a telephone recording adapter) as the  pickup device or else a long piece of wire  for acquiring low frequency AC electrical fields. Sources like this are discernible mainly by a distinct 50 Hz (or 60 Hz)  humming in the earphones. Predicting what you may hear down to  the very last detail is difficult, since every  locality has its own, individual interference sources. Nevertheless, with practice  users will succeed in identifying these  interference sources by their particular  audio characteristics.

To sum up, four different ‘sensors’ can be  connected to the inputs of this circuit:  ANT1 (approx. 50 cm long whip antenna),  ANT2 (3.5 cm short stub antenna), ANT3  (approx. 1 m long wire antenna for low frequency electrical fields) and a coil for magnetic fields. Finally, two more tips:

Use only ‘good old’ germanium diodes for  D1 and D2. Sensitivity will be much reduced if  silicon diodes are used, as these have a higher  threshold voltage.
Smoggy does not provide an absolute indi-cation of field strength and even more so can-not provide any guidance whether anything  it detects might be harmful. Its function is to detect electromagnetic signals and compare  their relative magnitude.

Author : Tony Ruepp  - Copyright : Elektor 

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