mottleyfool (mottleyfool) wrote in little_details,

Reversable Sabotage of antique radio telegraph?

My story is set on a private island in the UK in the early 1930's. There is a mix of the latest/greatest technology (for the bosses) and run-of-the-mill/slightly out of date technology (for the support staff).

A wrongdoer is disabling their communications systems in order to control the flow of information to the authorities. One of these systems is a wireless telegraph. I would like to have the wrongdoer steal an important component, which can be easily hidden and replaced later.

It appears from my reading that taking the moveable contact of a Perikon detector would do the job, and it would be fairly quick and easy to steal and replace. But:

1) would a commercial-grade (not homemade) system from, say, the mid-20's to early 30's have a Perikon detector, or would it be some other kind of crystal system, or perhaps most likely to be a vacuum tube?
2) Would a crystal contact or vacuum tube have to be handled very delicately, or could you carry it around in your pocket?

Google search terms:
antique radio components
History of telegraphy
antique radio components crystal
1930 wireless crystal
1930 wireless telegraph crystal
perikon detector
history of perikon detector
commercial radio telegraph 1930
commercial wireless telegraph 1930
Tags: 1920-1929, 1930-1939, ~radio, ~technology (misc)

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