An Authentic Vintage Crystal Radio Circuit
There are Crystal Radio kits and there are Crystal Radio kits, but this is truly the ultimate kit.
The one thing all kits have in common (including our own very popular Crystal Radio kit) is that they include a modern diode as part of the radio circuit. Although this is great for radio performance and ease of assembly, it is not really authentic as they did not have modern Germanium diodes back when Crystal Radios were developed.
Our new Ultimate Crystal Radio kit comes with an authentic 'Cat's Whisker' diode - which is what was used in the original Crystal Radio sets. A Cat's Whisker diode is the 'old time' version of a modern semiconductor diode. It consists of a crystal of absolutely pure Germanium in a small holder - with a spring loaded pin (the Cat's Whisker) to make electrical connection to it. Even small Germanium crystals are very expensive, but we've been able to locate a quantity of Germanium crystal for a reasonable price, making a true Cat's Whisker Crystal Radio kit affordable.
Close up view of Cat's Whisker diode
General Crystal Radio Info.
The Crystal Radio has been a favorite for beginners as well as those advanced in electronics. It is the simplest of radios and was popular in the early days of radio. Crystal Radios receive the AM broadcast band. The amazing thing about them is they require no power source. You heard right - no batteries or power source of any kind. The Crystal Radio gets its power from the radio signal itself. Because it deals with such small amounts of power, it cannot drive a speaker like modern radios can, but will power the included highly sensitive crystal earphone.
This is truly a Crystal Radio kit you'd be proud to own and have on display. Most Crystal Radio Kits you'll find are just plain ugly. They're either made from cardboard, a toilet paper roll and a nest of wires twisted about - not to mention being overpriced. If they have any wood or brass, it's usually a thin piece of cheap pine and flimsy brass clips. Not so with our kit!
Our kit is built around a hefty pre-drilled block of prime Red Oak. The wood block is machined to hide the variable capacitor, allowing the base to sit flat. A minimum of wire and components is visible in the completed kit giving it a nice un-cluttered look. The kit's hardware is heavy, solid brass.
Unlike kits you may find elsewhere, everything you need to assemble the kit is included. We include the adhesive, the stain, sandpaper, clear polyurethane and even the brush to give your completed radio a beautiful finish. When complete, your radio will look exactly like the one pictured. Easy to follow step by step instructions are included with large color pictures and clear descriptions. From 8 years old to 80 - you'll thoroughly enjoy assembling this kit and like it even more when you hear your first radio broadcast. You simply will not find a higher quality and more attractive Crystal Radio Kit for this price anywhere.
We also include a modern diode with all versions of the radio. This allows you to use the radio with either the 'old time' cat's whisker or modern diode and compare the differences in performance.
3 Versions Available!
Our Ultimate Crystal Radio Craftsman Kit.
Depending on the amount of work you'd like to put into building the radio, along with your level of knowledge and craftsmanship, we offer the Ultimate Crystal Radio in 3 versions:
Ultimate Crystal Radio - The Craftsman Kit: $99.99
(a little soldering and wire stripping is required)
Ultimate Crystal Radio - The Easy-Assembly Kit: $109.99
(no soldering or wire stripping - just a screw driver required)
Ultimate Crystal Radio - Fully Assembled Radio: $159.99
(no assembly required, just connect to an antenna & ground)