Mindsets Crystal Radio Solder Kit

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Quoting product code: N51FL


About this product


  • Listen to the radio using the power in the radio waves
  • Simple and easy to solder with six parts
  • Requires no batteries

Product overview

• Listen to the radio using the power in the radio waves
• Simple and easy to solder with six parts
• Requires no batteries

What can I do with this kit?
Use this crystal radio kit to listen to radio without needing any batteries. Crystal radios are one of the oldest and simplest types of radio receiver. Widely used in the early days of radio, they were eventually replaced by amplifying radios which used addition power in the form of batteries or mains to amplify the signal. This is a great circuit for those just getting started in electronics and those who are interested in radio.

How does this kit work?
Crystal radios are the simplest type of radio to power, as they get all of their power from the radio waves themselves and convert it straight into sound. Everything you need is included to make a working radio. Capture a signal with your antenna, then use a rod going through a wire coil to change the frequencies you are tuned into. Earth yourself by attaching the wire to a bare metal item such as a radiator. As you build, practice your soldering by attaching the diode, capacitor and earpiece. This kit requires a soldering iron, solder and wire cutters/strippers.

How easy is it to assemble this kit?
This is an ideal kit for a beginner, with some components requiring soldering and others needing to be to be manipulated into shape. With no power supply required and all the components included, you can have plenty of fun creating a working radio. When you’ve assembled your kit you can make an enclosure for it or experiment with different lengths of antenna and coils to see what a difference it makes.

Rated 1 out of 5 by from Bought this for my son as his first electronics kit/experience soldering/first radio The kit's instructions were simple and clear, It was easy to build, And my son did a brilliant job, perfect soldering and built with care. After lots of fiddling we didn't get any noise from the radio We tried several earths and took care getting the antennae up cleanly into the air. Nothing, nada. I ran over all the soldering myself later, checked the crystal earpiece (which was fine) and still nothing. A major disappointment.
Date published: 2014-11-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I saw the comment by Emyr but thought that this is such a simple kit, I would still give it a try. He was correct! After following the instructions, I got nothing. The coil that is described in the kit did sound a little short being only about 25 turns around the ferrite rod, so I gave it a try with about 70 turns of thinner wire around the ferrite rod. This helped a bit but provided very quiet and distorted audio. This made me think that the detector diode in the kit may have been a silicon diode, so I replaced this with a Germanium OA90 diode from Maplin and this time I got much more clear, undistorted audio and could also select some stations. From this I assume that the number of turns on the coil and also the diode provided are incorrect. If this was adjusted, it would create a kit that had the potential to work first time and would give any kids who attempt it a much greater sense of satisfaction once completed. To make the kit work, wind about 50 to 70 turns of wire on the ferrite rod. I had a reel of thin enamelled copper wire but any thin insulated wire should do (about 4 or 5 meters) Change the diode to an OA90. I used a 1m length of the wire to attach the GND to my cold water tap and the remaining length of wire for the antenna was just streached out. Set it up in a SILENT room and slowly move the ferrite rod in or out of the coil. Doing this should allow you to find a good 3 or 4 stations. Another tip - if it does not work during daylight hours, give it a try once it is dark outside as the radio signal strengths change between day and night. Good Luck.
Date published: 2014-11-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Easy to assemble but needs a better coil As the review title states, this is a nice simple kit that anyone can put together in just a short space of time, although you will need a soldering iron to affix things to the PCB. The only real snag comes in that there is not enough wire to form a good coil, earth and aerial. I'm also not really sure that the quality of the wire would ever have formed a good enough coil, but the whole kit does cost less than £10.00 so you can always buy more wire for the coil. I have to admit to salvaging a part from a very old radio, that had a much better coil. Using that the kit worked perfectly well, although don't expect to be able to receive lots of stations, I got 3 and even some of those are really too quiet to be able to hear properly. On the plus side the diode is Germanium, not Silicon, as some other reviewers thought. One final thing, to make it easier to earth, dont bother faffing around with attaching ot to water pipes, just connect it to the earth of a bog standard plug and then you can just use that. It works very well and is perfectly safe.
Date published: 2015-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from good project Bought this kit to demonstrate how to make a radio without a battery. I note that several people haven't been able to make it work. I built the kit then earthed it to an eight foot copper pipe sunk into wet soil and ran a piece of thin wire out along the garden to a washing line pole. Easily received far eastern radio stations quite strongly. I didn't use the kit wire for the receive antenna but used the other components as instructed. Also don't try during daytime D layer propagation needed so try it at night. I am a full amateur radio licence holder.
Date published: 2017-03-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Wish I'd read the reviews first Took minutes to assemble, and about the same amount of time to realise that it wouldn't work.
Date published: 2017-07-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quick and simple to build Built this in about 20 min with my daughters (7 &9) no results downstairs so took it upstairs and run the antenna into the loft and received 1 channel very clearly ( not in english but kids were impressed because we were picking up things from abroad). Going to build a second kit up grading the coil longer antenna ect. Good kit would recommend it, but be realistic on what results to expect and read up a bit of background to know how to improve your results.
Date published: 2017-01-17
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Product Specifications

Soldering Required:


Dimensions & Weight







What material is the core within the pack, specifically the Permeability of core material, the length and the area of the coil? Thanks

Asked by: Welshdragon123
I am sorry but this is an educational kit so this level of detail is not provided.
Answered by: Russell
Date published: 2016-02-11

Do you need to solder an item on the crystal radio kit?
Asked by: Alex Welland
Yes, this is a soldering kit.
Answered by: DH
Date published: 2015-07-17

Does the radio receive AM or FM?
Asked by: John Kerr
This is just AM.
Answered by: DH
Date published: 2015-07-17

How does this kit output sound ? Though an audio jack or is there a speaker connection ?
Asked by: Blake
The unit includes an earpiece. It has a jack on it which is removed and then the earpiece is soldered directly to the board supplied.
Answered by: DM
Date published: 2015-07-17
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