A beauty of a crystal radio

This past weekend during Hammeeting – the largest Ham rally in Norway – I met Per LA9DTA.

He showed me his beautiful crystal radio. It can be seen in the center of the table, with some close-ups below. The design has a printed coil and the whole design is made on a PCB which was shaped as shown in the image. It has a bandswitch and a Ge diode.

I fell for his design, but with the lack of longwave and medium wave transmitters here I am not sure if I would have much use for it. That is unless I set up one of my transmitter projects to support a radio like this.

I was demonstrating WSPR with my Ultimate 3 transmitter. It can be seen on the right hand side of the table. I wanted some fresh spots as I was giving a presentation later that day entitled “WSPR, JT65, JT9: Digital modes by Nobel laureates K1JT for HF DX with simple equipment“. As I was spotted both on 40 m and 80 m I was happy with the performance. Per had also brought his Ultimate 3. Not the modified 11-band version, but just a plain one this time.

Sverre Holm, LA3ZA, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Norway. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “A beauty of a crystal radio”

  • Chad KJ4VYI:

    Cool concept on the xtal radio – this would be really neat for a kit looks like it would be around 20 bucks in parts and pc board ( that would be the most cost of the items ) but this is really cool
    wish there was some more close up of the pics of this thing


  • w3fis, paul:

    Use a piece of PVC pipe for the coil form. Tuning caps and other stuff on line. There are a couple of web sites dedicated to xtal radios. Biased Shotky diodes make really good detectors. Also, look into matching xformers, so you don’t have to use a piezo headphone. Tap the diode down on the coil to get a better Z match.

    73 /paul W3FIS

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