Jeri Ellsworth Tours A Radio And Tech Museum

Crystal radios from Jeri Ellsworth's museum tour

[Jeri Ellsworth] has done some YouTubing again (yes, that’s a word, just like YouTuber) after a four-year hiatus. She’s recently uploaded a very enjoyable four-part series touring the Museum of Radio and Technology in Huntington, West Virginia.

Part one contains radios spanning the ages, starting with a spark gap transmitter, some wonderful crystal sets, pocket radios from the 1940s, commercially available amateur radio transmitters and receivers from the 1930s to the 1950s, and more. There’s even a lovely hack of a transmitter built into an old refrigerator. Part two contains educational toys, three covers television sets and cameras, and four is about all types of record players and hi-fi. Each contains equipment as old as the spark gap transmitters in part one.

You may know of [Jeri] as co-founder of castAR, an augmented reality startup that recently shut its doors, but before that she was famous among hackers for her numerous projects ranging from a flexible electroluminescent display,  a centimeter wave scanner using hacked feed horns, to yours truly’s personal favorite, a Commodore 64 bass keytar.

So nuke some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the tour following the break.

Let us know in the comments if you have a favorite hack of Jeri’s, or something you saw of hers that taught or inspired you. Drawing once again from personal experience, this TEA laser resulted from seeing her own efforts at making one in one of her videos.

12 thoughts on “Jeri Ellsworth Tours A Radio And Tech Museum

  1. I know that Hack-A-Day is at the VCF East events. But did all of you visit the museum behind it? Besides the computers who live there, (and are not happy!) there’s also an excellent technology one discussing the wonders of what Marconi thought he created. And of course an excellent history space on what else the place did then……

  2. I still have to go to the museum there in Huntington (45 miles from my house). I donated some TV equipment that my workplace was throwing out. Now, if they want to tour a TV Transmitter halfway to Charleston…or even the studios in the capitol city, I’m their guy. Hey Jeri…I know you said if I were in the Bay Area you, Amy and I could go out for coffee. The offer stands on this end of the world too. :)

  3. Cool. Jeri used to come to the UPCHUG Commodore Amiga club occasionally. I’ve got a couple of the C64 DTV Joystick that she designed.

    She put pads on it so you can wire it up as a Commodore 64, complete with C64 serial port, a second joystick port, and connections that accept a PS2 keyboard. When you jiggle the joystick and tap the buttons correctly, it boots up into C64 mode instead of the game menu. She black box reverse engineered the C64, so it has all bugs and quirks in place, with is vitally important so all games and programs, written to work around those quirks, will work correctly.

    Truly a work of art.

    My intent is to build a C64 laptop with it.

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