• Bell's Variable Resistance Microphones :

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  • Bell from the beginning knew that he was going to need an external power source to drive his telephone system long distances.

  • So one of the first experiments after receiving his patent  was designing a variable resistance microphone.
    He used several variations and a whole range of resistive materials and tested their suitability for microphone work.

  • This was not his strong suit. Tedious experiments were hard for him to-do.

  •  In the end others (Edison) solved Bells technical problems using a carbon button resistive element.

  • In the beginning however Bells started with an acid cup and  a tuning fork arrangement as the sound generating device.

  • Its depth in the acid cup determined the current flowing thru the transmitter. So as the prong  of the fork varies up and down  the resistance varies and therefore the current from the battery which then passes through the receiver varies.

  • The receiver which is on the right of the drawing is one of Bells reed receivers tuned to the frequency  of the tuning fork

From Bell's  sketch book of his  an experiment with an acid cup transmitter.



Tuning Fork Transmitter

Resonate Reed Receiver

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Copyright 12/04/2004 Jim & Rhoda Morris