- Jan 1, 1970
Hank said:Ok, take a flight of imagination and say you were thrown back in time 3000 years
with absolutely nothing from modern times.
The first thing you could do to impress local rulers and establish a position of
power would be to introduce gunpowder and the projectile weapon (I guess if you
are anti-gun you are a bit screwed...sorry about that).
I would think a valuable piece of equipment would be a transmitter and reciever.
Do any of you think you could build something like this with the materials and
resources available at that time?
For the transmitter, I am guessing an inductor/spark gap device would be
possible, assuming you could extrude wire from copper and insulate it with
something (tree sap?). Batteries should not be *too* hard.
For the reciever, you might have to resort to something like the coherer thingy
that came about before diodes. Too lazy to go look it up, but IIRC it was a
tube with metal filings inside that was connected to a long antenna. The
filings would conduct when the antenna recieved a strong electromagnetic wave.
Something like that.
I am thinking that vacuum tubes would be very hard to make...you would need a
vacuum pump, glass (maybe not too hard...not sure I know how to make good glass,
heh heh), a tungsten filament (aren't they coated with thorium or something?),
and other stuff....I don't even know if I could make a vacuum tube today with
today's tools without consulting a book or three. Perhaps you could make a
germanium diode using the cat whisker technique?
Anyone know of a fictional book that deals with this situation? I think it
would be an interesting read.
To make things would take time and resources. Your first problem would
be surviving until you got those resources, made your device, and got
someone hooked with it. That might be tough in a place where you had
no local knowledge of the ways they used to survive with so little.
Also the general lawlessness would make a clueless arrival easy prey
to tricksters and the bored.
Its one thing to have special knowledge, but unless you show a good
level of general life knowledge in other areas you would simply be
laughed at. Imagine someone today who regularly displayed real
cluelessness telling you they had some great clever invention.
Low tech radios are known as foxhole radios, there are lots of sites
on them. Lots were made during the war (WW2). I think audio would be
much more useful than morse, though morse would certainly be useful
too. A carbon arc would give you negative resistance, capacitor and
inductor arent hard to make. Add a carbon microphone and you have a
One might use paper or something similar for insulation. Carbon rods
are just charred twigs. Coils would presumably be air cored.
If they didnt have paper back then, that would surely be a prime
invention: radios aka witchcraft might be prone to getting you killed.
No witchhunting then, but someone who can summon voices out of thin
air is to be feared, especially by those with power.