Popular Electronics Magazine


Popular Electronics was started by Ziff-Davis in October 1954 as a magazine for students and experimenters. It became the "World's Largest-Selling Electronics Magazine" and proudly listed the circulation figure on the Contents page, (240,151 in April 1957 .) In later years this data was in the back of each years January issue. In 1965 Popular Electronics had a monthly paid circulation of 410,000. In Janurary1972 Electronics World was merged into Popular Electronics.

The 1980s saw the electronics hobbyist market change from building projects from transistors and integrated circuits into one of plugging in computer boards. In November 1982 the magazine became Computers & Electronics and that title stopped publication in April 1985. Many of the editors and authors moved to a new magazine, Modern Electronics.

The title Popular Electronics was sold to Gernsback Publications and their Hands-on Electronics magazine was renamed to Popular Electronics in February 1989. This version was published until it was merged with Electronics Now to become Poptronics in January 2000. In late 2002 Gernsback Publications went out of business and the January 2003 Poptronics was the last issue.

Popular Electronics was aimed at the electronics hobbyist and each issue had several construction articles. Authors were paid a few hundred dollars for the article but the real money was from selling a kit of parts. By the mid 1960s companies like Southwest Technical Products Corp (SWTPC) wrote articles and offered complete kits. You could build the projects without ordering the kit but smart authors designed their project to use at least one hard to find part to ensure kit sales.

In the five year period between 1967 and 1971, Southwest Technical Products published over 50 articles in Popular Electronics written by Daniel Meyer, Don Lancaster, Lou Garner and others. In 1967 alone they had 7 cover stories. Around 1971 there were some editorial changes at Popular Electronics that caused Daniel Meyer and Don Lancaster to start writing for Radio-Electronics. Authors such as John  Simonton of PAiA Electronics (Music Synthesizers) wrote for both magazines.

Popular Electronics, January 1975, SWTPC and Altair 8800The early 1970s saw heated competition in projects between Radio-Electronics and Popular Electronics. In July 1974, Radio-Electronics published Jon Titus's "Mark 8 Personal Minicomputer". However Popular Electronics published its most famous project in January 1975 with the MITS Altair 8800 computer.

The copyrights for Popular Electronics and Radio-Electronics are owned by Poptronix Inc
email: PoptronixInc at AOL dot COM

Popular Electronics, April 1955 1955

Popular Electronics, January 1972

Popular Electronics, January 1990

Popular Electronics Issues By Covers
    1955 1963-1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
    1970 1971 1972-1985 1988-1990

SWTPC in Popular Electronics

Title Author Date Pages
Ultrasonic Sniffer Daniel Meyer Mar-63 Cover, 41-44, 116
An Adjustable Speech Filter Daniel Meyer May-64 49-52
Experimenting with sonar Daniel Meyer Sep-64 Cover, 41-45, 102
Bargain page amplifier Daniel Meyer Oct-64 Cover, 69-72
Build a Miniature R/Ceiver Daniel Meyer Apr-65 Cover, 39-41, 94
FM Wireless Microphone Daniel Meyer May-65 Cover, 35-38
R/C Transmitter Daniel Meyer Jun-65 67-70
Super-Sens (electronic relay) Louis E. Garner Jr. Nov-65 57-62, 110-111
Reverb for your car Daniel Meyer Feb-66 Cover, 50-53, 98
Build the Ultrasonic Omni-Alarm Daniel Meyer Apr-66 Cover, 41-45, 82
It's the Jinniflash (slave strobe) Louis E. Garner Jr. Jun-66 56-59
Build the Musette Color Organ Don Lancaster Jul-66 56-62, 98-99
Update to Solid State (Phono Amplifier) Louis E. Garner Jr. Sep-66 Cover, 41-44
IC-67 Metal Locator Don Lancaster Jan-67 Cover, 41-48, 94-99
The "Brute 70" (power amplifier) E. G. Louis Feb-67 Cover, 41-46, 86, 92
CB "Audio Leveler" Daniel Meyer Feb-67 55-58, 100
The Supertrol Don Lancaster Mar-67 Cover, 41-44, 94
"Mule Box" (Outboard converter for CB radio) Daniel Meyer Mar-67 45-50, 95
"Two-By-Two" Stereo Preamplifier Daniel Meyer Mar-67 69-72, 98, 100
Build the "Mini-Verb" (audio reverberation) Daniel Meyer May-67 41-46, 86, 92
Build the "Beachcomber" (metal locator) Daniel Meyer Jul-67 Cover, 27-32,84
Spots Before Your Eyes (Electronic Dice) Don Lancaster Sep-67 Cover, 29-34
Direct Readout IC Frequency Meter Don Lancaster Oct-67 53-56, 98
Music a la Theremin Louis E. Garner Jr. Nov-67 Cover, 29-33, 102-103
Police Special II George J. Whelan Nov-67 41-48, 92-95
L'il Tiger Stereo Power Amplifier Daniel Meyer Dec-67 Cover, 29-33, 98
Build an Electronic Reverb-b-b Adapter Daniel Meyer Jan-68 41-44
Low-Cost Counting Unit Don Lancaster Feb-68 Cover, 27-32
Experimenter's Short-Proof Power Supply James W. Cuccia Feb-68 53-56
Build ultra-fast electronic stopwatch. Don Lancaster Mar-68 Cover, 27-34
The FERRET Drags Them In (Short-wave) George J. Whelan Mar-68 41-44, 105, 110
Universal strobe goes psychedelic. James W. Cuccia Mar-68 45-48, 98
Build the M/M/M Instrument Amplifier Daniel Meyer Apr-68 43-47, 99
Build the Sonolite. Daniel Meyer May-68 Cover, 27-33
Build the M/M/M Instrument Amplifier (Part 2) Daniel Meyer May-68 31-35, 40
The Amazing People Detector Louis E. Garner Jr. Jun-68 Cover, 27-32, 93
Build the G-Whiz (accelerometer) George J. Whalen Sep-68 Cover, 29-40
Build a musical Pitch Reference Don Lancaster Sep-68 41-47, 103
Build the Sports Timer Don Lancaster Oct-68 31-41, 112-114
All-Purpose Nixie Readout Leslie Solomon and Alexander W. Burawa Nov-68 67-71
Build the Popular Electronics Digital Volt Ohmmeter Don Lancaster Dec-68 Cover, 29-40, 108
Top-Rated AM Tuner Jim Cuccia Jan-69 43-46, 112
Third-Generation DCU C. P. Troemel Feb-69 43-49
Build the Popular Electronics Universal Frequency Counter Don Lancaster Mar-69 33-47
Build the Popular Electronics Universal Frequency Counter (Part 2) Don Lancaster Apr-69 41-45
Build The FET Preamp Daniel Meyer May-69 Cover, 27-33
Tigers That Roar (Amplifier) Daniel Meyer Jul-69 51-63, 99
Psychedelia ! (color organ) Don Lancaster Sep-69 Cover, 27-44
Build the homesteader. Daniel Meyer Oct-69 71-73, 114
Two-Tone "Waverly" Alarm Don Lancaster Feb-70 Cover, 29-31
Build Numeric Glow Tube DCU Don Lancaster Feb-70 33-47
Security 1 (speech scrambler) J Pina Mar-70 Cover, 27-33
Build the No-Bounce Pushbutton Don Lancaster Mar-70 51-53
One-Step Motion Detector Daniel Meyer Mar-70 57-61, 104
Numitron Readout Vincent Wood Mar-70 73-75
Build the Digital Logic Microlab Don Lancaster Apr-70 Cover, 27-34, 40-41
Build the 100-kHz Standard Don Lancaster Apr-70 56-58, 105
Build a Shift Register Don Lancaster May-70 43-47
Build a Signal Injector Don Lancaster Jun-70 43-45
Assembling the Popular Electronics Mini-DVM Don Lancaster Sep-70 Cover, 35-52
Assembling a Universal Tiger Daniel Meyer Oct-70 31-45
Assemble a Digital Measurements Lab 20-MHz frequency counter module Daniel Meyer Nov-70 51-63, 96-98
Assemble the Digi-Vista (clock) Charles G. Kay and Daniel Meyer Dec-70 Cover, 25-32
Build an SCA Adapter of FM Reception Vincent Wood Dec-70 53-60
Time-Period Module for the Digital Measurements Lab Daniel Meyer Jan-71 63-67, 93
Assemble the Six-Digit Digi-Vista (clock) Charles G. Kay and Daniel Meyer Jan-71 71-74
Build the Psych-Tone Don Lancaster Feb-71 Cover, 25-35
Ultimate Decimal Counter Daniel Meyer Feb-71 45-48
Build a Digi-Viewer (IC Tester) Don Lancaster Mar-71 Cover, 41-46
The Princeps Puzzle James W. Cuccia May-71 26-32
Build the Five Forty Power Amplifier Daniel Meyer May-71 49-57
Digital Thermometer Module for the Digital Measurements Lab Daniel Meyer Jun-71 69-71, 96
The Plastic Tiger Audio Power Amplifier Daniel Meyer Oct-71 Cover, 27-34, 100
Heads and Tails (Electronic coin flipper) Jim Crawford Jan-72 35-37
Digital volt-ohmmeter plug-in module Daniel Meyer Mar-72 60-65
Build a 175-MHz prescaler. Daniel Meyer Apr-72 53-55
Four-Channel Synthesizer James Bongiorno May-72 32-35
Build a Distortionless Preamplifier James Bongiorno Jun-72 58-62
ASCII keyboard and encoder Don Lancaster Apr-74 Cover, 27-31
Build this nine-channel stereo equalizer Gary Kay May-74 Cover, 27-32
Build the CMOS microlab Don Lancaster Jun-74 40-44
Build Digiviewer II Don Lancaster Sep-74 63
High-Performance CD-4 Demodulator Louis Dorren Sep-75 39-45

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This page was last edited August 14, 2013