The Nic Nac Tic Tac Crystal Radio Set

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

Crystal radios have been around for over 100 years and exist in many different shapes, sizes and complexities. Some are definitely better than others, but wired correctly and connected to a good Antenna and Ground wire system, this simple little AM radio receiver should pull in at least one strong local radio signal for you to listen in to. In dia

The Nic Nac Tic Tac Crystal Radio Set
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gram 1 you can see the basic layout of the `crystal set`. They are called crystal sets, as the original designs used a special material called galena or pyrite, as the detector element, which picks out the sound wave from the radio wave. These crystals have been replaced with a modern component called a diode, and we`ll get to use one of those as we put this kit together. Signals from your local AM radio stations are traveling through the atmosphere at the speed of light, and they pass through just about everything. These signals hit your antenna wire and induce a small signal current that flows down into the radio`s tuned circuit, and out through the ground wire, to Earth. The coil, L1 and fixed capacitor, C1, form the `tuned circuit` in our project, in conjunction with the antenna/ground wire system, which enables the receiver to select one station`s frequency and reject the rest. This may seem like a limitation on the radio, but once you`ve got this simple receiver going, you can add one or two more parts in order to make a `tunable` version that can tune across part or all of the AM radio band, for just a couple of dollars more. All you have to do is swap several parts of differing values around, (included in your kit, ) until you receive a reasonably strong local AM radio station! Experimenting is half of the fun with these circuits. The frequency selected by this process is comprised of two parts - the `carrier wave`...

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