Foxhole crystal radio

Building a foxhole radio is rewarding and the basic setup is very simple. It is, however, difficult to adjust, and it may take several attempts to find a proper razor blade for the detector. This is a project that requires patience and much trial and error, but it will pay off once it begins to work. It will help to be versed in the construction and operation of crystal sets before building one. It will be especially helpful to read the introductory notes about the coil, detector, antenna, and other components. These sets are extremely simple in construction, but tuning and modification require some basic understanding of theory, as well as practice.

All sets presented here are based on old articles, notes, and people's recollections. There are fairly major variations in design and materials among these plans. It must be remembered that these were improvised under often adverse conditions; there was no "standard" design. With this in mind, take this entire article as a whole, and use it a bit here, a bit there, to build towards a design that works best using modern materials. Refer to the schematic for wiring and connections. Wind the coil 100 turns around the tube. #22 AWG wire is recommended, but it is likely that whoever was in the field used whatever gauge was in the scrap coil, motor, or transformer they were cannibalizing. Spray / paint the coil with lacquer (or whatever is handy) to set it firmly. Scrape off whatever paint or varnish may be on the wire used for the tuner/slider. Spread the safety pin apart and bend the head 90 degrees to use it as a base for attaching the pin to the base. The pin should stick up from its bent head, then down to its point where the pencil lead is attached with some of the wire left from winding the coil. The sharpened pencil lead is the detector, which touches the razor blade, which is in turn attached to the base at one of its ends (through the hole) with a screw or tack. The tuner should be mounted so that it is free to pivot and slide across the coil (see the crystal radio page for basic construction tips). Use a scrap of paper...

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