Something to lighten the mood

Mine was from Tandy, the antenna was a wire out of my bedroom window to a fence post, the earth was via a mains plug (my dad did that bit...). I took it to school once, and plugged it into the mains socket shared with a primitive computer, I can remember being surprised by the interference coming from it.
 
Spot the cat's whisker:

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Anyone else had a crystal set?
My first properly "electronics" project was a crystal set.
I STILL keep somewhere the (broken) ferrite stick.

I was born in an agricultural town in the middle of the Pampas, and way back then Citizen Radio (still all tube sets) was popular to connect "estancias"(cattle farms) with owners living in "the city".
By sheer chance, I guess resonance with self capacitance, my AM band ferrite stick got tuned at some Citizens band channel when I accidentally removed tuning capacitor, so I could hear their traffic.

Typically "the tractor broke down", " a cow is sick", etc. but now and then I heard "hey Boss, glad you are coming today, we just killed a cow/pig and we are grilling it on a charcoal pit" or "my wife made some of her famous Lasagna", etc.
So I went to visit my friend, who´d say "pity, I´m about to go to the farm .... wanna come?"
" weeeelllll, if you INSIST " ;)

Who says Short Wave Listening has no practical uses? ;)
 
I got the mumps when I was ~ 8 years old, mid 1950's ~ to keep me amused my folks got me a Remco crystal radio kit. The next spring I found a carbon microphone and a speaker and wired them up with some D-cells.

Through the years with 3 sons and 9 grand-children, I find that they are happier with the box the toy came with, than the toy itself. On a rainy vacation day, they are doing what we did with scotch tape, glue paste and scissors with those cardboard boxes. If only all little kids could experience the same.
 
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The 1N34A germanium diode is very popular with crystal radio set builders because of its low forward voltage drop, which means you only need a small signal voltage to begin to hear radio stations. https://www.mikeselectronicparts.com/product/1n34a/
OA1160 germanium "needle electrode, glass tube case" diode here. It is still in production and available after 60+ years!
 
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I've met people who use an auxillary battery and a 25 turn trimmer pot, to DC offset one or the other terminals of the detector diode. This lets them operate the detector at a different point on its voltage-current characteristic. It also lets them experiment with a variety of different diode types, including the gate-drain diode of femtoammeter JFETs like 2N4117.
 
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I bought and built the Radio Shack FM transmitter kit. It worked but twelve year old me was disappointed that it required the builder to futz around with the turn-to-turn spacing of the hand wound coil, to tune the frequency. I guess I thought that Radio Shack was a huge company with infinite resources, and surely they could provide a kit which worked perfectly as soon as the final joint was soldered. With no adjustments.

I had not yet internalized the proverb of the dancing bear.

"The marvel is not that the bear dances well, but that he dances at all"
 
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