Tantalum - Caution!

John Dilks, K2TQN oldradio at WORLDNET.ATT.NET
Thu Nov 22 08:28:01 EST 2001

At 10:28 PM 11/21/2001 -0800, H. W. Petersen wrote:
>I'm probably 75 years too late to be asking this, but does anyone know
>where I can get some tantalum?
>I'm restoring a  c1924 Balkite battery charger that needs a stripof
>tantalum as one electrode in the rectifier (which also uses an aluminum
>electrode and sulfuric acid.). My hope is to use the Balkite to charge
>wet cell A batteries to provide filament power to a 3 dial TRF set, as
>was done in the mid 1920s.  I already have everying to finish the
>project, including a Willard B power unit, except the tantalum. I've
>tried to find it locally but everywhere I go people act like I'm a crazy
>man that should be reported to security.
>Your help will be greatly appreciated.
>Pete Petersen

Hi Pete,

I don't have my books handy, but I remember reading about these.  I know
other materials were also used for liquid rectifiers.  Perhaps someone my
remember the other metal's names?

When you get this running, be very careful about the fumes.  Both breathing
and explosive!  (Homes were not sealed tight like today, they were
drafty.)  Perhaps you might just put water in there for looks and hide a
diode+resistor somewhere so it works with the correct current.

Be careful!

73' John Dilks, K2TQN

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