2018-12-02 How to Determine If Diodes Are Real Germanium

From comment left for Roger Kainka Labs video on YouTube

Another 100% accurate method of determining if it’s germanium is how sensitive the device is to changes in temperature. The leakage current of germanium is much more sensitive to temperature changes than silicon.

What angers me is that some circuits are designed with depending on the germanium diode’s leakage current to function. Some detector diodes charge a DC blocking capacitor and discharge the blocking capacitor through the diode’s leakage. These seem to be the problem circuits if low leakage Schottky diodes are used. It seems to me that a high value resistor to simulate the leakage would help the Schottky diode to work like the true gernamium diodes. I am speaking about detectors not used in crystal sets. The crystal sets may not work with a resistor because the resistor has a linear V-I characteristic, and the germanium’s leakage does not.

One thing that might help is to put many of the ‘fake germanium’ Schottky diodes in parallel to increase the leakage current. The fake diodes are so much cheaper than real germanium that a dozen or more of them could be paralleled. Or high current Schottky diode like the 1N5817 could be used to get high leakage current.

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