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It uses absolutely no energy, doesn't have any electromagnetic emission and can be built with scrap metal. The crystal radio is one of the very first designs in radio receivers and was the only way the early stations could be heard. An early tube set often cost several months pay. You can build a set to pick up Am as well as SW. The circuits aren't that complicated and as a matter of fact I built my first one when I was 10 years old. There is a lot of information on the web and the parts are relatively cheap. I just had my combo AM/SW set with me on a several week expedition to southeast Arizona. I picked up all kinds of good stuff late in the evening. The hardest part was driving my ground rod into the caliche.:) It may be an idea for at least hearing whats going on when energy is scarce. By the way I loaded a bunch of articles here for free download; Crystal Radio-free radio
 

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BillM
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You are

It uses absolutely no energy, doesn't have any electromagnetic emission and can be built with scrap metal. The crystal radio is one of the very first designs in radio receivers and was the only way the early stations could be heard. An early tube set often cost several months pay. You can build a set to pick up Am as well as SW. The circuits aren't that complicated and as a matter of fact I built my first one when I was 10 years old. There is a lot of information on the web and the parts are relatively cheap. I just had my combo AM/SW set with me on a several week expedition to southeast Arizona. I picked up all kinds of good stuff late in the evening. The hardest part was driving my ground rod into the caliche.:) It may be an idea for at least hearing whats going on when energy is scarce. By the way I loaded a bunch of articles here for free download; Crystal Radio-free radio
You are giving away your age !
 

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Mountainron, you've dredged up a childhood memory of finding my dads crystal radio, never did figure out how it worked only had part of it. Also went to Radioshack 2 years ago looking for a Heathkit SW Radio they don't sell kits anymore. In this age of instant gratification you just get a cheap transister one and plug it in.:scratch Thanks for the up load sites.
 

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Your post brought back fond memories of my late father teaching me how to build one as a kid in the 60's. Thanks for the memories... :wave:
 

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Wow, well my dad learned to build his in the 50's. Then he tought me in the 80's. Guess it runs in the family. (We did both, of course, graduate to much larger rigs, lol)
 

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Mountainron, you've dredged up a childhood memory of finding my dads crystal radio, never did figure out how it worked only had part of it. Also went to Radioshack 2 years ago looking for a Heathkit SW Radio they don't sell kits anymore. In this age of instant gratification you just get a cheap transister one and plug it in.:scratch Thanks for the up load sites.
Heath was a separate operation from Radio Shack. You could order from their catalog, or go to one of their retail stores. I built several of their kits and found them to be a good value for the money spent, easy to assemble, and of nearly indestructible construction. They went out of business years ago, probably due to the influx of cheap microprocessor-based electronics. Much of the Heathkits were based on the older, but reliable, tube-based technology.

If you want to pick up some of the Heath equipment, check out the Amateur Radio "Hamfests" that are held around the country. Lots of good, reasonably priced equipment available, both tube-based and semiconductor-based gear.
 
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