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The MRL #2 DX Crystal Set
Go to the MRL site
Crystal sets are great learning tools, if you have the time. My favorite is the Modern Radio Labs #2 DX Crystal Set. It's a very sensitive circuit, hundreds of times better than the Remco. You can still get a book about this radio as well as many of the parts from Modern Radio Labs. Some of the parts are also still available. You'll need good high-impedance headphones, also available at MRL.

My First Radio: A Remco Crystal Set

Updated 25 July 2004

At some point in this story, there comes a day when I finally got hooked on how radio works. I remember riding my bicycle around the neighborhood thinking about a friend who had one of those old "radio bikes," the ones with the 1.5 Volt tubes & a couple batteries just to give the bike a ballast. By the time I got around to reading up on the early days of radio and learning a bit of how things worked, we had moved from that neighborhood to another.
    It was then that I began badgering my parents about a "crystal radio" set that I had seen in a local hardware store. That little box caught my attention because it appeared to be a fancier version of the little "rocket radios" that my friends in the neighborhood had. A classic case of "quick moves & shiny objects."
    Dad gave in to my weedling and picked up the radio "kit" from its shelf in a local hardware store. I don't remember the price, but Dad said that it would have been easier & cheaper to have built one like he and his brother had done so many years before. Dad's complaints continued as he put the little plastic box together, since he had serious doubts about the instructions.
    Then, after appropriate testing, Dad handed me the headphones & turned me loose upon the airwaves.
    I soon learned that Dad had been right. We could have built it with a toilet paper tube, some enameled wire & a diode bought at on of the local "radio stores."
    Eventually, and because of this discovery, I began buying parts and building my own crystal sets. Each of them had certain improvements in quality over the old Remco (which I remembered died a horrible death of neglect and oblivion) which leads to the next page.


Copyright 2004 Nils R. Bull Young