MAKE:TNT Tools 'n' Tips

Crystal Radio Kit for the Modern Era

by Joseph Pasquini

Tool photo.

In today’s modern world of radio communications, it’s easy to dismiss radio kit building as a remnant of the past. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Thanks to the efforts of the family-owned and operated Xtal Set Society, kit enthusiasts can once again put solder to the pad and enjoy a great--not to mention functional and educational--radio build.

Their Big Brother XS404 Crystal Radio Kit has molded coils as well as the option to wind your own, an antenna tuner, variable capacitance diode for station tuning, and a transistor amplifier for the included ear piece. Unlike the frustrations often associated with the simple crystal receivers we all grew up with, the XS404’s tuner aids in suppressing nearby signals while the PN2222 transistor serves to boost weaker ones.