Saturday, May 15, 2010

The radio itself is done

Following plans I found at The Xtal Set Society Webpage, my son Joey and I built a very simple crystal radio out of a Quaker oatmeal box, some wire, a 1N34A diode, a 47K Ohm resistor and a 100 picoFarad capacitor. It works fairly well and we are able to pick up about six AM stations so far during the daytime. That may go up as we get into nighttime.

I helped Joey measure the wire for the coil and to wind it, and I did the soldering. I also made the holes where use of an X-acto knife was needed. Now we have to put it on some kind of display base and explain a little bit about the electromagnetic spectrum and how we can detect the other parts of it other than the visible light portion (a la' the crystal radio).

I am hoping that it will work in the school room for the Science Fair night coming up next Wednesday night. I have my reservations as the rooms are illuminated by fluorescent lights and they might wipe out any reception we are able to get. I am also wondering where we might be able to find a decent ground in the classroom.

Well, it worked real well in the shack, anyway!

72 de Larry W2LJ


  1. Perhaps you could record a wav file of reception in the shack, just in case.

  2. Anonymous9:56 PM

    This is so neat! many thanks for sharing! Built radios like this as a kid and hope to get mine to do same.



  3. Anonymous1:53 PM

    Did you get any night time stations?

  4. Yes. We were picking up some stations from upstate NY and KDKA out of Pittsburgh.