Build your own radio kit

Build Your Own Crystal Radio
May 6, 2022 – 12:00 pm
How to Build Your Own Internet Radio Player, AKA Pandora s Box

Our staff scientists worked long and hard to develop a crystal radio kit that will make your project successful and avoid the many problems of the “toy store” crystal radios. You will learn the basic circuit elements required for receiving radio signals, and you will be able to listen to AM radio broadcasts with something you made yourself!

What makes this crystal radio different from all of the others?

  • Easy-to-understand online instructions, with lots of pictures, ideal for beginners.
  • A pre-assembled amplifier/speaker unit and connecting cable, which enables you to hear stations much more easily than with the traditional ceramic earbud used in most kits. We tried many options and found the speaker allowed for easier set up of the antenna and testing of the radio.
  • Predrilled holes for easy assembly of clips to the wooden base.
  • A heavy duty coil form that will stand up to practically anything imaginable, so you can continue using your homemade crystal radio long after your project is completed.
  • Pre-punched holes in the coil form make it extremely easy to wind the wire.
  • Professional-quality, nickel-plated brass clips for all connections, making them secure without the need for soldering.
  • Wire for the outdoor antenna, which many others charge extra for.

Follow the detailed instructions in the Science Buddies project Build a Crystal Radio, then experiment to see how many AM stations you can receive, how far they are from your location, and the radio frequency they are broadcasting on. Learn by building a high-quality, durable crystal radio that you can actually use for years to come!

Each kit contains:

1N34A germanium diode
120 picofarad ceramic disc capacitor
82kΩ, 5% ¼-watt carbon resistor
105 feet 22 AWG enamel-coated magnet wire
Cardboard tube, 2 ⅛ inches diameter, 4 inches long
#6 nickel-plated Fahnestock clips
#6 x ½ inch screws
#6 washer
#8 x ¾ inch screw
#8 washers
⅛ inch inner diameter black plastic knob
Brass rod, ⅛ inch diameter, 7 inch long
Mono audio cable
Mini audio amplifier
Wooden mounting board
2" square sandpaper, fine grit

Instructions for this kit are available online, see Additional Information for links to the instructions and more.

You will also need from home:

- Philips head screwdriver
- Metal grounding rod; this can be an exposed metal water pipe, metal fence, or a 3 foot length of copper pipe from the hardware store
- Plastic zip ties
- Wire cutters or a strong pair of scissors
- Double sided tape
- 9V battery
- Masking tape
- Permanent marker
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