Join The Crystal Set Society
By James Grahame
The Xtal Set Society was founded in 1991. Although the name evokes a 1980s synth band, they're actually a bunch of radio geeks who experiment with electronics - especially crystal radios.
Because components are sometimes hard to find, the Society offers an inventory of kits and parts for the discerning radio experimenter. The My Marconi 2106 Crystal Radio Kit ($59.95) includes everything you need to build a double-tuned crystal radio set that can pull in the full AM radio band. A lexan front panel with printed graphics and a cabinet enclosure kit are also available to protect your radiophonic masterpiece.
As a kid, I played for hours with my dad's Grundig shortwave. It picked up all manner of weird and wonderful transmissions from around the globe. The memory of those late night listening sessions drew me to the My Marconi Shortwave Crystal Set. It's related to the AM kit, but features a single-tuned front end followed by a shockingly modern dual transistor audio amplifier. The $59.95 kit includes a 10 mil Lexan front panel with professionally screened graphics.
For budget builders, there's a $12.95 oat box radio kit that provides everything you need to build an ultra-affordable radio around an (empty) Quaker Oats box. If you're a real skinflint, just download the plans and manual. We'll still love you.
PS: Check out MidnightScience Ultrasonics, an offshoot of the Society dedicated to all manner of ultrasonic experimentation.