Powder Puff And Petticoats

Crystal Radio

This is my latest effort at building radios after a long hiatus. I saw a little vintage set on eBay that was built in a round wooden box and thought 'I bet I can build one of those boxes easily!'. Every time I say something like that I wind up working my tail off forever trying to get it done and usually regret ever seeing the thing in question in the first place.

Well, it's done now and it really is gorgeous. I used mahogany with red-mahogany stain and then shaded it with tinted lacquer. I then finished it with multiple coats of lacquer that I flatten myself here in the shop.

The result is that it is the spitting image of those old powder boxes ladies used back in the 1920's and before. I like to think of some sexy thing using this little concealed radio in her spy operations during WWI or WWII. What class she must have had to own such a stunning accessory like this.

The box is 4" in diameter and is 4" tall to the tip of that fancy mahogany finial on top. I used Dave's schematic he made up for his #55 set and it runs like a dream. One can either take his chances with that expensive chunk of Argentiferous Crystal which is the most sensitive of them all or he can simply can touch the cat's whisker to the post next to it for lazy crystal diode listening.

This detector stand is a new style for me and I am extremely pleased with it. There is a spring under adjustable tension inside the vertical column and the cat's whisker control arm's action is constricted by it. The action is very, very smooth pushing or pulling the arm through the column or rotating it side to side. The cat's whisker is curved up and over to the side so that adjusting the tip up or down is done with a simple twist of the knob one way or the other. The column itself can be rotated to cover any part of the crystal's surface or to go over to the diode post.

This has been a satisfying piece of work but, since it was not all fun and games, the set will have to be pried out of my arthritic fingers in case anybody would like to own it. This set not available for sale. The page remains for reference.

Crystal Radio