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Crystal radio kits

Before the s and the dawn of television, people would gather in their homes with family and friends around the radio—just as we do with our TVs today—to listen to sports, music, news, and entertainment programs. Then, as now, the radio acted as a gateway to the world. But what exactly is a radio and how does it work?

A radio is an electrical device that receives an invisible signal, or radio wavefrom a radio station and converts the signal into sound that we hear and understand.

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A radio wave is a type of electromagnetic radiation that can be used to convey audio information. Radio waves have energy associated with them. The number of cycles per second is called frequency. The unit for frequency is the hertz Hz. Figure 1. Top A 1-cycle wave, and bottom a 3-cycle wave.

Radio stations send out waves, and the radios in our homes receive those waves. But how do our radios turn these waves into sounds and how do stations transmit different sounds? Waves have both a frequency and an amplitudewhich is the height of the wave.

If someone yells at you from across a room, the amplitude of the sound wave is high. But if someone whispers to you from across the room, the amplitude of that sound wave is very low. It is important to note that a sound wave is different from an electromagnetic wave; radio stations send electromagnetic waves, which are then converted into sound waves by your radio.

When radio stations transmit electromagnetic waves, they can vary or modulate the amplitude of the wave and that is one way we hear the different levels and frequencies of sound. Stations that transmit signals via a mplitude m odulation are called AM radio stations as opposed to FM stations, which use f requency m odulation, but these will not be discussed in this science project.

Figure 2. A diagram of the various parts of an early crystal radio. In the early days of radio, the detector was literally a "crystal. A crystal radio is a very simple radio that was popular in the early history of radios. It is an electrical circuit that can pick up and play sound from AM radio stations. Rather than rely on outside electrical sources, like a batteries or plugs, crystal radios get their power directly from the radio waves.

The diagram in Figure 2, shows the parts of a crystal radio: antenna, tuning coil, diode labeled as "detector"earphones, and a connection to an electrical "ground. Figure 3. AM radio stations transmit signals via amplitude-modulated AM waves. The antenna of the crystal radio converts these waves to alternating current shown in A.

crystal radio kits

In order for the current to be converted into sound, the current is rectified by the diode so that only the positive halves of the waves get through. This rectified current shown in B is known as direct current.

In this science project, you will build your own crystal radio from scratch, and make adjustments to tune in to as many stations as possible.

Build Your Own Crystal Radio

The circuit you will build in this science project also includes a capacitor. A capacitor is a circuit component that can store electrical charge. The old-fashioned crystal radio in Figure 2 just relied on the capacitance of the antenna itself, but adding a separate capacitor allows for better tuning.

The tuner coil in the circuit is also called an inductor.

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When a capacitor and an inductor are combined in a circuit, it is called an LC circuit for short. This is because L is the mathematical symbol for inductance, which has units of henries Hand C is the mathematical symbol for capacitance, which has units of farads F. An LC circuit has a resonant frequency, fdefined by the following equation:. In the circuit you will build, the capacitor has a fixed value, but when you move the tuner along the receiver coil, you change the inductance of the coil, and thus the resonant frequency of the circuit.Complete kit including all parts and easy to follow instructions:.

You will need our PayPal address. Our PayPal address is wb5rex earthlink. Alfred P.

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Morgan was a prolific early writer of books on the subjects of electricity, wireless telegraphy, and radio. His works were written for young people and the average man who was not an expert in mathematics and physics.

Many young people who built Morgan's projects later became engineers and scientists. This great little antenna tuner is named after Alfred P. Morgan for his influence on the lives and careers of many people. In the early days of wireless, very low frequency, very long wavelength signals were used.

These extremely long wavelengths required exceptionally long antennas in order to be resonant. It was impractical to have antennas that were thousands of feet long, so early designers found a way around this problem by using "loading coils" to artificially lengthen their antennas. These loading coils were adjustable coils of wire, or Inductors. A variable capacitor was often added in parallel with the loading coils to "fine tune" their shorter antennas to the resonance of a much longer antenna.

During the s, amateur radio experimenters discovered that shorter wavelength signals would "skip" off the Ionosphere and thus allowed very long distance communications using low transmitter power on the "Short Wave" bands. Many antennas were too long to resonate at these shorter wavelengths. The designers found that a variable capacitor connected in-series with the antenna allowed it to be tuned to resonance at the higher frequency short wavelengths.

Because we like to operate on multiple frequencies, loading coils with parallel-connected variable capacitors and series capacitors were combined into one circuit and were then called "Antenna Tuners.

By tuning your antenna to resonance, it will transfer the energy from the received radio wave to your set more efficiently. This will result in a louder signal that will allow weaker "DX" stations to be heard that were not audible before.

This antenna tuner can also be used to increase the selectivity of simple receivers. This feature helps to separate the faint DX stations from the strong locals. Building this antenna tuner is accomplished using simple assembly techniques and high quality parts. This is an improved version of that antenna tuner. Clip-leads are used for the coil tap connections and for shorting the series capacitor when it is not in use.

The clip-leads simplify construction and eliminate the signal-robbing losses that result from the use of a rotary switch and its many leads.

Very good results can be expected with this antenna tuner. It has been used with antique radios and commercial communications receivers. In addition to this, it can be used with low power "QRP" amateur radio transmitters with an output below 10 watts to match the transmitter's output impedance to an end-fed wire antenna.Skip to main content Crystal Radio Set.

See All Buying Options. Maxitronix Short Wave Radio Kit. Since I am over fifty a review of this kit should sound adult.

The book that comes with the kit does not actually describe the radio theory; it does mention the frequencies it is capable of tuning. The book does not actually describe what each part does. It does a good job of detailing the assembly of the kit. I used an Ohmmeter not in the book to "scope" out the resistors as a double check. The book does mention that a bigger antenna and ground can help receive more stations but the ground spot is not shown either in the schematic or on the board.

I did get 2 stations with the antenna they supplied. Bottom line - there is a little building of the radio there is the circuit you don't build; check the upper Good exercise for Grandfather and kids to work on together. Absolutely love this thing. Compared to a spark: this thing is smaller when folded up, has a much better camera, and longer flight time. Compared to a mavic pro: this thing is smaller when folded up, the bag they give you with the combo package looks less dorky, and i personally think the camera quality is better.

Also, it has sensors in the front AND back where the mavic pro only has em in the front. Less inclined to run into something.

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Compared to the p4p: it is much much much smaller, the camera is not as good as the camera's sensors are smaller and only half the fps as that of the p4p.

Fine Spec 2. It works as expected. I only wish they would pair it with the RC car in the first place. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get free delivery with Amazon Prime.I have, for some unknown reason, always been interested in ancient technology, mainly electronics and mechanical things and I have always wanted to make a true old fashioned style crystal radio. A crystal radio, or crystal set as it is sometimes called, is a radio that only uses the power of the radio waves picked up by the antenna to generate the sound heard in the head phones.

The reason it is called a crystal set is because they use a mineral crystal as a diode for the detector in the circuit. Quite a few years ago I found a book in the library called "Radios That Work for Free" by K E Edwards and found a set of plans for a radio that I just had to make, unfortunately I did not have the resources to build it at the time so I made a photo copy of the pages from the book for future reference. Well I was poking around on the net the other day and found a site that sells copies of that old book, along with various other electronics books and parts related to crystal radios and decided to order a copy for myself along with two pf variable capacitors needed for the circuit I copied from the book.

The radio that I am going to build is the second one shown in the book but I am going to make some changes to the original set. The three changes I am going to make to the set are that I am going to build the set into a box instead of just having the control panel attached to a base board. I am also going to make an antique style "Cats Whisker" style detector instead of using a Germanium diode and use a matching transformer so I can use a set of modern headphones instead of trying to find an antique high impedance set or a crappy little crystal earplug.

I have written this instructable assuming the reader has basic wood working and electronics skills like making boxes and soldering, explaining the more involved and specific tasks in detail, as in winding the coil. Here is a scan of the circuit from the book. Without getting into the rather intensive math involved, I have taken classes on this stuff, here is in a nutshell how it all works. AM radio waves are actually composed of two waves combined together, one is a high frequency wave called the carrier wave and the other is the lower frequency sound waves being transmitted.

The carrier wave is on the order of to kHz. The way it works is that the two waves are added together, or modulated, producing a signal that is of the same frequency as the carrier wave but its amplitude is determined by the sound wave see second picture.

The way a crystal radio actually works is pretty ingenious, it uses the coil L and variable tuning capacitor C1 as a low pass filter to only allow frequencies at the desired frequency of the carrier wave to be passed to the detector D.

The detector then demodulates the signal by only letting the low frequency part of the signal to pass, ie the sound wave, to the headphones where they are then turned back into sound. There are no batteries, no transistors or amplifiers of any kind, the sound is produced solely by the energy of the filtered radio wave.

The tap switch can be replaced with a 10 position rotary switch and the detector can be replaced with a 1N34 Germanium diode, both of which are available from Radio Shack.

I made them on mine because I wanted to make the set as authentic looking as possible, mind you the modern substitutes would be more reliable and quicker.

crystal radio kits

The hardest part is to keep the windings tight and even. These loops well become the taps in the coil in the finished circuit. In this step we well make the pieces for the tap switch. If you decide you do not want to make the tap switch from scratch you can use a rotary switch instead. Also in the next step I am going to show how to make the cats whisker detector, this was one of the first types of detectors invented for use in radios, it uses a piece of mineral, like galena or in my case iron pyrite, and a fine wire to act as a simple diode.

If you do not want to make the detector by hand you can use a common 1N34 germanium diode available from Radio Shack instead. See forth picture. Using a small drop of super glue, glue the pointer to the dowel and thread the nut onto the screw and tighten the nut. As mentioned you can omit this step in favor of a modern Germanium Diode instead, I have decided to make the detector from scratch to make the set more authentic.

I well probably install a set of terminals so that I can use a diode as well if I do not want to fiddle with the Whisker.

I actually got the plans for this detector from the book, "The Boys first book of radio and electronics" by Alfred P. This is a really great old book with loads of information on this kind of stuff with numerous plans for crystal radios, a tube radio and tube amplifiers, I would highly recommend this and any other book by this author if you can find them. Fold the two ends up. Start by sticking a wide piece of masking tape, 1" is probably good enough, along the 7" long edge of one of the boards leaving it sticking out half way, see photo.

After the bottom half of the hinge is mounted pull the tape off and attach the upper half.

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If you are mounting the panel on top of the box make the panel 8" by 9", if you are mounting it inside of the box like I am cut the panel to 7" by 8". To do this you well need to collect all of your parts so that you know who big things are and how they well have to be in relationship to everything else.

It also helps to have the coil and tap switch close together making it easier to wire the two together and keep the wires short. Note: Plexiglas can be tricky to drill, don't run your drill at too high of speed as it well melt the plastic to much and also don't use too much downward force when drilling as that well cause cracking.

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It is also a good idea to practice on a small scrap before hand so you can get an idea of what works the best. Start by taking some fine sandpaper or a Scotchbrite pad and scuffing up the surface to be painted.Advanced Search Search Tips. Dunwoody received a patent for the carborundum crystal detector in This work paved the way for later crystal detector inventions. This fine crystal set kit was named after General Dunwoody for his contribution to the science of radio and electronics.

The circuit is based on a very selective and sensitive design that has been used since the very early wireless days. The air variable capacitor tuned parallel tank circuit is then adjusted to resonate at the desired frequency.

The combination of these two air variable capacitor tuned circuits makes this set perform far and away better than regular single-tuned, or slider-tuned crystal sets. The tapped coil circuit allows selection of frequencies from below the bottom of the A.

It is common to be able to hear real DX from short wave broadcast stations thousands of miles away when conditions are right. The performance on the AM Broadcast Band is also exceptional.

It is possible to hear AM stations hundreds of miles away when conditions are good. One inovation in this circuit is the Detector Tap Cliplead. This feature allow you to select the point on the coil where the signal level is highest for the crystal detector. This point varies with the frequency to which the set is tuned. Most crystal sets have a fixed detector connection that does not allow for this performance enhancing feature.

Highest quality parts are used throughout. COM from clear furniture grade pine that can be stained for an attractive vintage look. The pre-punched coil form is made from heavy cardboard shipping tubing like our other sets. Quality black bakelite tuning knobs contribute to the vintage appearance.

The 1N34A Germanium crystal detector is hand selected and tested for greatest sensitivity.If you have not received your order in 30 days for USPS or 10 days for UPS, please notify us so we can report the package as missing to the shipping provider. This process may take up to an additional 14 days.

So Adult Supervision is advised for younger builders. Learning how to build a Crystal Radio Receiver is a great way for anyone to get started in the electronic field. The Simple Crystal Diode Radio Sets we have for sale are a fun way for the family to spend time together. Most had no tuning capacitors. I had to tune in stations by sliding a ferrite rod in and out of the tuning coil. I would spend days trying different items to use as a detector instead of a diode, some worked but most did not.

Anyway I had fun learning. Buy one of our Crystal Radio Kits for hours of fun and learning. He says the kids loved it. This is just a simple way to mount the components I used a clear contact glue to glue the coil and Variable Capacitor in place I also put a little glue on the Ferrite Rod to keep it from falling out.

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I was able to solder the lower antenna tap to a fahnestock clip. You can use other means for an antenna connection. Instead of writing pages on how to build the Crystal Radio Kit I think if you are like me you assemble things from the pictures anyway before you read the directions. The thin wires from the coil are hard to see but look at the two prongs from the Variable Capacitor.

The wires from the coil are fairly long so I bunched them up and placed them under the coil leaving enough wire so that if one broke I could re solder it. All of the Crystal Radio Kits are the same except for the coil. Kit 1 has one tap on the bottom of the coil for connecting a antenna no need to wrap wire around the coil for a antenna connection.

The other Simple Crystal Radio Kit 2 has a tap towards the bottom and a center tap. The bottom connection is for the antenna and the Center connection gives better selectivity at a slight loss in volume. The top connection gives most volume but selectivity is reduced a little.

crystal radio kits

Crystal Radio Kit 3 has no taps on the coil. Crystal Radio Kit 1 quantity.Our new search experience requires JavaScript to be enabled. Please enable JavaScript on your browserthen try again. Save crystal radio kit to get e-mail alerts and updates on your eBay Feed.

Build Your Own Crystal Radio Kit

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