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Old 4th April 2008, 03:25 AM   #1
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Default What to do with my germanium transistors

Helloes.

I once gutted an old amplifier, and now I have some germanium transistors sitting around. I know that they have low voltage drop/breakover, but I'm not sure what germanium transistors are good for nowadays, and the only thing I see them used for by means of google are guitar distortion units, which I doubt I'll be building any time soon in relation to other more interesting things (to me at least) like coilguns, tesla coils, battleships...

At any rate, my part numbers are four 2SB415s, two 2SB56s, and four 2SB54s.

I managed to find fragmented datasheet information here

Thanks for your input,

- keantoken
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Old 4th April 2008, 05:04 AM   #2
fizzard is offline fizzard  Canada
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Guitar effects is probably all they're good for. They're noisy, they leak, low hfe, extremely poor tolerance. (A lot of this holds from silicon from that vintage too though.) I have a few kicking around I've been wanting to make a pedal with. I whipped one up on a breadboard, but never put made it permanent.
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Old 4th April 2008, 01:17 PM   #3
oshifis is offline oshifis  Hungary
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You can bias the collector-base diode with a few milliamperes and it is a perfect white noise generator...
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Old 4th April 2008, 01:38 PM   #4
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Sell 'em on ebay- someone is probably trying to fix an old radio and can't find them so they'll pay top dollar.

I_F
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Old 4th April 2008, 03:21 PM   #5
Minion is offline Minion  Canada
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You could also probably sell them over at DIYStompboxes.com as there are a Lot of poeple building germanium effects pedals these days and germaniums are sometimes hard to find...

I have built a couple Booster and fuzz curcuits with them and they do definately have a different sound than silicon....

Cheers
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Old 4th April 2008, 07:07 PM   #6
fizzard is offline fizzard  Canada
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Freeze them in liquid nitrogen and they're worth 20x as much!
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Old 4th April 2008, 09:35 PM   #7
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Liquid nitrogen...? Why? Does it improve their electrical characteristics?

What about switching characteristics? As in what if I tried to use them in the PUT Oscillator here?

- keantoken
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Old 6th April 2008, 05:05 AM   #8
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Liquid nitrogen makes them rally, really cold. They become "cooler", so people will pay more for them.

I_F
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