Crystal Radio

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I have received a number of emails regarding schematics for crystal radios. After about the third email, I figured that I may as well put one on my page. So here it is. The circuit is very simple with only 5 parts, but performs very nicely when used with the right size antenna.


This is the schematic of the Crystal Radio


Total Qty.
C11Tuning Capacitor (See Notes)
D111N34 Germanium Diode
L11Loopstick Antenna (See Notes)
SPKR11Crystal Earphone
MISC1Wire, Board, Wire For Antenna, Knob For C1


  1. C1 and L1 can be bought, or salvaged from an old AM radio (which is where I got mine). You may need to experiment with the connections on L1 in order to get the best (or any) signal.
  2. You may or may not need the ground connection. I never use it and the radio usually works fine without it.
  3. The bigger the antenna, the more stations you pick up and the louder you hear them. On my radio, I get about 10 stations, 3 of which are very loud in the earphone. Of course, not everyone has room for a 60' antenna...
  4. A 47K resistor in parallel with the earphone will help properly load the detector (This suggestion from

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Crystal Radio
Friday, August 31, 2012 5:39:44 PM
Tony B (old timer)
Crystal Radio
Thursday, September 30, 2010 4:08:11 AM
If you live in a city, you probably dont need the earth connection, as you will get a strong signal friom local stations, but in the countryside the earth becomes essential to receive anything in some locations. It only needs to be a metal rod, preferably copper, about 1-2 metres long, buried in the ground.A lead water supply pipe will do nicely.
Crystal Radio
Friday, March 26, 2010 6:15:56 PM
I built this radio exactly as shown in 1969 and was AMAZED it worked...I was only 8 yrs old. I substitued the diode with a transistor, using only two of its three leads and wound the coil on an oatmeal tube carton with a copper strip as my 'tuner' the cap was from an old radio. BTW, I hate oatmeal.
Crystal Radio
Friday, November 06, 2009 2:37:33 PM
This is a great hobby. One of my first xtal radios was this same circuit!. I even had a radio that was just a diode and an earpiece! If you live close to a radio station and have a good antenna and ground you will either get one station or several at once. My main crysatal radio when I was a kid was a variable loopstick + a 1N60 diode (similar to a 1N34) and a crystal earpiece. I also biult a couple radios that had a razorblade touched by a pencil lead as a detector instead of the diode. I recently just got my first DX on an AM crystal set. The circuit is similar to yours, but with a tapped coil on PVC pipe instead of a ferrite loopstick. NOTE TO NEWCOMERS: A regular earphone will not work. You need a crystal earphone (also called piezo electric).
Crystal Radio
Thursday, October 15, 2009 6:04:48 AM
Is there any kind of inductor or rheostat is needed.......Loop stick anteena has only one terminal ..How to connect both +ve and ground ...Plzzzz reply soon
Crystal Radio
Wednesday, September 02, 2009 9:16:41 AM
There is NO FM radios on that page.
Crystal Radio
Wednesday, September 02, 2009 9:13:52 AM
Can a loudspeaker be used for the circuit instead of the crystal earphone????????
Crystal Radio
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 4:59:35 AM
can we use this device to make light flickers by changing the speaker to LED
Crystal Radio
Friday, May 08, 2009 8:20:19 PM
If this radio is able to use the energy from the radio waves interacting with the antenna coil for power, is there a way to use this as a free energy device too? Turn this into a small charger for example

(Editor's notes: We're only talking a few microamps here.)

Crystal Radio
Sunday, February 15, 2009 3:56:23 AM
Where is the battery or power or it is of without battery?
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