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Pilot also stipulated that only their own Pilotron tubes would perform correctly in the A. "Super-Wasp." Pilot plug-in coils are used for five tuning ranges covering 600kc up to 21.5mc.Shown to the left of the K-115 is the K-120 Audio Booster Unit, another Pilot module (though it is not called "Redi-Blox") for builders, that could be used if loud speaker volume was desired.By today's standards, the "Super-Wasp" is a very primitive shortwave/ham receiver but performance can be surprisingly good if the operator has patience and is willing to put in a few nights learning how the "Super-Wasp" works.All controls interact with each other making tuning sometimes tedious and demodulating SSB or CW signals requires the detector to be oscillating which increases the instability. "Super-Wasp" kit was available by late 1929 and sold for .50.There was a considerable design effort put into the A. Super-Wasp to eliminate hum since most operation was going to be using earphones.Hum reduction was one of the reasons for the RC coupled AF stage.The "Wasp" was introduced just as Shortwave Broadcasting was beginning to grow and everyone wanted to tune in to stations located in foreign countries.
David Grimes was a Contributing Editor for "Radio Design" - Pilot's magazine.
When everything is correct, the Pilot "Wasp" and "Super-Wasp" receivers are fine performers considering their vintage and a lot fun to use. started in business manufacturing toys and parts in 1914 (as the National Toy Co.) By the mid-twenties, National Co., Inc.
had long ago dropped the "toy" from their name and was supplying parts for the Browning-Drake BC receiver kit and also started producing radio parts.
However, patience will be rewarded and it is fun to use a 1929 battery-operated receiver to monitor one of the many AM ham nets on 80 meters, especially when running the audio to a vintage horn speaker - talk about "broadcast quality audio" - well, 1929 style anyway! The tubes used were a type 24A cathode and screen grid tube for the RF amplifier, a cathode type 27 for the regenerative detector and two 27s for the AF amplifier.
All of the tubes operated on 2.5vac at 7 amps for the heaters and the K-111 power pack supplied all of the A and B voltages required.
Since these were kits though, build quality was highly variable and dependent on the assembler's experience.