[Dino] celebrates the 131st anniversary of the Photophone

photophone_demonstration

[Dino Segovis] wrote in to share yet another installment of his Hack a Week series, though this one is quite timely.

It was 131 years ago today that [Alexander Graham Bell] unveiled the Photophone to the world. A precursor to fiber optic technology, [Bell’s] incredibly important invention can be easily replicated in your garage, as [Dino] shows us.

The original Photophone was constructed using a megaphone and crystalline selenium cells at the focal point of the receiver, however this version can be made with easy to obtain parts. [Dino] rigged his laptop up to a speaker on which he mounted a mirror, before setting it out in the sun. The vibrations of the mirror modulate the sunlight, reflecting it onto a solar cell positioned at the end of a long, black PVC tube. The solar cell’s leads are fed into an amplifier followed by a speaker, which broadcasts the audio.

The demonstration goes off without a hitch, and while some might be underwhelmed by the technolgy, imagine how incredible it would have looked 131 years ago!

24 thoughts on “[Dino] celebrates the 131st anniversary of the Photophone

  1. He didn’t invent the Bell
    I know lots of people with the surname Bell and none of them invented anything Bell related
    Maybe its just a coincidence?
    yep thought so get over it

  2. @pff – “I know lots of lots of people with the surname Bell and none of them invented anything Bell related”…

    Are you wearing a lab-coat and occasionally consulting notes on a clipboard whilst speaking in a flat Germanic monotone?

  3. Well, you diss me, I kick back! – Simples : )

    (My riposte was an allusion to the film cliche of the Logic-Driven Nazi Scientist who knows everything except humanity, kindness & humour – Yep – a bit extreme – din really mean it at all – jus kidding – all the best to you now!)

  4. @Dino Yes, it shows relevant patent but there are a bunch of those and with various dates and on various aspects of the concept, so a single link to a single patent would not do.
    And besides, it’s google that provides the patent reading interface so it’s google anyway if I did a direct link to a specific one.

  5. “He didn’t invent the Bell
    I know lots of people with the surname Bell and none of them invented anything Bell related
    Maybe its just a coincidence?
    yep thought so get over it”

    Last names usually indicate the family profession. His family most likely at some point made bells for a living, not that they invented them.

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