Dave's Homemade Crystal Set Page

This is an archival copy from 2002.
For the up to date site please visit

Welcome to Dave's homemade radio pages.

These radios were built by myself in 2002, except for the top center which I restored and the bottom which is a german "peoples radio". As you flip through my crystal set and tube radio pages, you will see that I am in serious need of more shelf space, and perhaps should have my head examined. On the latter, please keep your comments to yourself.

On this site I will show you the more than a dozen crystal radios and half dozen tube radios that I have built. Also there are pages about components that I have built. Most of these sets are very reproduce able but a few use very hard to find parts.

Please note that the radios that I have built and are featured on this site are made without regard to any solid scientific basis. They are built from the mind, the gut and what I find in my junk box or on ebay!

The fifth crystal set contest has been announced at Owen Pool's site.

I am planning on entering, are you?

Hello crystal radio fans. Glad you stopped by. I always like telling my story. For those that have passed 50, this story will most likely sound familiar. That is, we are yearning to relive our childhood. Well, for a small sum of money I was able to do the same. Above you see the results.

A "crystal set" is a radio receiver that requires no batteries, or household electric current to operate. It has no apparent power supply. I will tell you at the end of this article how this radio gets it's power.

The crystal set was the first radio for broadcast reception. Back then, these radios used a galena crystal (a piece of rock that acted as a semiconductor to recover the audio from radio frequency waves). Since then, the semiconductor diode has replaced the galena in most designs as it is one less thing that the user has to fiddle around with.

Since the crystal set is self powered, headphones are required for listening. This ain't your son's ghetto blaster. The sound is quite faint but still easy to hear.

About a month ago (March 2002) I had several customers coming in where I work expressing a desire to build a crystal set. One was for a school science project. Another was teaching a class in electronics to adults and thought a crystal set might be a good teaching tool. A university customer ordered parts to build over 50 crystal sets. This is all it took for me to get started.

I decided that I wanted to build a series of crystal sets. I wanted to start with a basic model and work my way up the performance ladder. I had built several crystal sets in my teenage years. I used parts that were laying around the house. Having grown up in a "ham radio family", coils, capacitors and diodes were easy to find. This time around, I decided that I would research this and use the best components that I could find.

So, have you figured how this radio gets it's power? No batteries, no ac power plug. The radio stations themselves provide the power to a crystal set.

My Sets
#1  #2  #3  #4  #5  #6  #7  #8  #9  #10  #11  #12  #13  #14  #15  #16  #17  #18 

Crystal Radio Links

Gollum's Crystal Receiver World  The best crystal radio site on the web!
MWS Wire  Litz wire available here. Great service too!
Wumpus Old Radio World   Crystal set information and history.
Crystal sets from down under   Nice sets.
Modified Mystery Crystal Set Page The basis of my third crystal set.
Brian Smith Wireless Workshop  in Australia
Yahoo Crystal Radio Club
Wuggy's Crystal Set Site  with contest pages.
Clarion.org Crystal sets from Australia
Boydhouse Tons of great crystal set info on this site.
Radio Animation Not crystal sets but cool!
Play Things Of Past Lots of old radio parts.
Peebles Originals Mike has a good site.
Midnightscience  The Xtal Set Society
Ben Tongue  explains how these things work.
Radio Museum from France
Old german crystal sets Has a lot of nice pictures.
Radio Museum Rottenburg Crystal sets in Germany
Radiostation.com  Radio station database
Tubepad This is how I now draw the schematics (#8 and later).
Scott's crystal set site, and headphone information.

I am looking for more links that my visitors would enjoy. If you know of a non commercial or a commercial site with useful content, please e-mail me. I know that the bills have to be paid. I welcome people to link to my site too. Please use this page for the link. Thanks.

I have decided that I would offer my crystal sets for sale. Please check my sale page. Get them while they are hot! Thanks.

Comments and questions may be e-mailed to me at .

This page updated last on 12/01/2002 18:00:00
by(c) by David Schmarder