Scientific American Supplement, No. 312, December 24, 1881 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 122 pages of information about Scientific American Supplement, No. 312, December 24, 1881.

If the current from a pile, P, traverses all these disks, through the connections that we have just mentioned, and passes through the primary helix (through the wire, I) of an induction coil H H’ (Fig. 2), located beneath the apparatus, and if the secondary current from this bobbin corresponds, through the wire I, with a telephone line in which there is interposed a telephone or a speaking condenser, there will be set up an inverse induced current, which, being reversed as a consequence of the crosswise connections of the disks, will continue the action of the first or increase its duration, and, consequently, its force, through the telephone receiver.

The results of this system are very good; but Dr. Herz has endeavored to simplify it still further, and with this object in view has experimented on several arrangements.  For example, to obtain inversion a contact was simply placed on each side of the vibrating plate.  Although the movements of this latter are not, as we know, of the nature of ordinary sonorous vibrations, it was thought that they might prove to be in opposite directions on the two sides of the plate, and that one of the contacts might be compressed while the other was free.  So notwithstanding the advantages of this arrangement, it was thought necessary to place the plate vertically in order to give the same regulation to the two contacts which it is essential should be identical.  But it became difficult to regulate by weight; and even to succeed in regulating at all, it became necessary to employ two parallel diaphragms, vibrating in unison, and each carrying its contact, but in opposite directions.  Afterwards, the horizontal arrangement was again adopted; but, by a clever combination, the two principles applied by Dr. Herz—­derivation and inversion—­were united.  The current is then led to a double contact, where it divides.  This contact is arranged under the plate in such a way that its two points of variable resistance act in opposite directions to each other, or, in some apparatus, so that one of the points has no variation, while the other is in action.  The result that occurs may be easily imagined.  The system has been experimented with under different forms; in one case the derivation is simple, that is, a single one of the currents being sent into the line, while in another case it is double, each of the branches being provided with a bobbin and communicating with the receiver.  In the latter case the result is remarkably good, but the apparatus is not free from a certain amount of complication, and demands, moreover, particular care in its construction, experience having shown that the induction coils must not be equal, but that they must present resistances combined according to the circuit doing duty.  It should be added that researches have been continued as to the bodies proper to be employed as microphonic contact, with the result of bringing out the important fact that the number of substances that can be put to this use is almost unlimited.  The contacts of the Herz apparatus are now being made of conducting bodies (metals for example) reduced to powder and conglomerated by chemical means with a sort of non-conductive cement.  The proportion of the elements depends upon the conductivity of the materials employed, and it alone determines the microphonic value of the compound, the nature of the elements apparently having scarcely any influence.

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Scientific American Supplement, No. 312, December 24, 1881 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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