Craig Smith of Firefly Workshop (South Milwaukee, WI)

With my crystal radio projects, I recently made a dual coil variometer tuner. Connected to a diode, crystal earphone, antenna & ground wires (no batteries) I tuned in 1540 KXCL Waterloo Iowa from 270 miles away here in Milwaukee. The coils were wound on a segment of thinwall 3” PVC, and a segment of 2” PVC coupler. My antenna is a 35’ wire running out my window and atop my fence. I am amazed of the performance of simple scrap materials put together just right. www.crystalradio.net is the best resource for beginners and experts.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • http://youtu.be/uv85wh5GV4k pasadena tx fences

    I’m thinking about finding a dog from our local housing. . . We’ll get an underground electric fence in our yard once the dog is old enough to coach. May chicken-wire be okay to use with a puppy as short-term fencing?. . (Remember that the puppy is going to be supervised and obtaining a regular wall looks kinda unnecessary and costly because we live on a farm…).