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Build Your Own Working Crystal Radio Lab Kit

by Go Labs

Available from these sellers.
  • Crystal Radio Kit
2 new from $15.95

WARNING:
CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.

Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Go Labs
  • Model Number: edu-3010

Product Description

Build your own working crystal radio. Look for and pick up radio stations. Earphone and antenna included. No tools or batteries required. Remember the days of the first radio.

Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • ASIN: B000EMB8AA
  • Item model number: edu-3010
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,403 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: February 14, 2006

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Tim Brannon on November 3, 2007
Verified Purchase
I've been a ham radio operator for 23 years and have built many radio projects from scratch. I bought this kit to build with my almost-7 year-old because it was less expensive than obtaining the germanium diode and high-impedance earphones, the only parts I didn't have on hand to build a crystal set. It did work GREAT on the first try!
The advantage of this kit is that the big coil is already wound for you. Some kits use the little pre-wound ferrite bar coils but these lack the nostalgic visual appeal remniscent of the "oatmeal box" coil. Winding these coils by hand can be a tedious process.
The disadvantage is that all the wires are connected using 4 "paper binder" stud clips with 2 washers slipped over them. You put the wire ends between the washers and then push this clip through a hole in the chassis and spread the tips underneath to hold it place. It requires considerable manual dexterity to do this, beyond most 8 year-olds. I would have preferred small screws with wingnuts. The instructions are less than perfectly clear.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Chris on December 26, 2009
Verified Purchase
I have a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, and one of the greatest gifts that led me in that direction was my Crystal Radio set that I received one Christmas back in the late 1970s. Now it was my turn to pass the same thing down to my son for Christmas.

I chose to pay a little more and get the set with the pre-wound coil (the hardest part of building one of these kits). Any one of these kits would be relatively easy to build. There are only 4 main components, the coil, the diode, an ear piece and a variable capacitor. What could go wrong?

The mechanical connections are important. In electronics, the electrons never fail, it's always the mechanical joints. The connections in this kit are just twist-together, but after the first failure, I grabbed a soldering iron and made sure the connections were good.

This kit does not work. Perhaps the diode is bad? Don't know. After trying to get it to work (twice), my son's attention was already starting to fade and we made no progress. So much for passing along the spark. I won't buy one of these for any of my 3 daughters, that's for sure.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By gramps on August 21, 2011
Verified Purchase
Radio kit was "Cute" but incorrect parts. Example, screws that hold tuning capacitor were totally wrong and unusable. Very frustrating for my 9 years old grandson and grandpa who was helping him.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Justine E. Haupt on May 20, 2014
Verified Purchase
My background:
I'm a an engineer, a female, a HAM licensee, and I recently had the honor of being a judge for a finalist-level science fair.

My thoughts on this product:
You may notice that *all* of the crystal radio kits on Amazon have pretty poor reviewer ratings. I would like to point out that with even the best-conceived crystal radio, one may simply live in too poor a reception area for the AM stations the radio will be sensitive too. Remember, being close to an FM radio tower will do no good at all. Such a radio is powered *by* the radio energy and is sensitive to AM signals only, so one needs an exceptionally strong signal or to use a much longer (and/or higher) wire as the antenna to find success.

Regarding this kit specifically, the components are as good as I personally could have expected for the price. I really bought this just to have a demonstrator on-hand because it's a cheap way to get all the parts one needs in one package. The electrical "connectors" are funny but hey, this is meant to be something one can make from around-the-house components.

The manual:
It could use more illustrations of the the connections for sure, but I found the wording and drawings to be irresistibly charming if not optimistic. The product has clearly been changed slightly since the manual was written but no biggies; In general one just needs to have the common sense to realize when something has been done for you (pre-stripped wires, etc).

Tips:
-If you don't know whether the radio is wired incorrectly or you simply aren't getting reception from a broadcast station, you should *at least* be able to hear crackling and static when touching the connections and the antenna wire, as well as noise from lightning during a storm.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jim on January 13, 2013
Verified Purchase
After troubleshooting this radio, I found that the ceramic earphone was defective. It would have been a great buy if the earphone worked. I had to order a replacement earphone at a cost which was almost as much as the cost of this radio lab kit.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Dudley on July 4, 2009
I've assembled, disassembled, and reassembled the crystal radio kit from Go Labs. Sadly, I've not heard a sound from the radio!

I second the comment already made that the instructions are not well written. There is an instruction to remove the insulation off of a wire that is already bare, and another to insert a wire into two different slots in the base of the radio. There is no troubleshooting section.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Thereader on April 20, 2012
We ordered this product with great excitement. The kids put it together. Then I tried putting it together. Then my husband tried putting it together. There was nothing we could do to get this product to receive a signal. It was really a waste of money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By calvin hibbard on April 4, 2013
Verified Purchase
This little kit is easy to assemble, and work well, Kids keep asking, "Where's the batteries?" it was a real treat to show this to my daughter's fifth grade class. they wanted to know if you could get FM stations.
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