In an earlier post, we looked at a one-transistor CONELRAD receiver featured in Boys’ Life magazine in 1956. And today, we look at a simpler variation on the same theme, this time from 50 years ago this month, in Boys’ Life magazine January 1965.
Once again, the Scout’s obligation to Be Prepared is inspiration for this electronic construction article. It’s a basic crystal set, but the focus is on being prepared, under the title EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS.
A terrified family, clad in pajamas, is apparently confronting rising flood waters. The text warns that “in an emergency, communication is important and communications preparedness should be a part of your ‘family alert’ plan.” It goes on to warn that if electric power is out, a crystal set may be the only way to keep in touch with latest news, disaster reports, and emergency instructions.
The page details how to build the radio using a galena detector with either a safety pin or piece of coiled wire. It acknowledges that a germanium diode can also be used but “isn’t as much fun” because it lacks the thrill of finding a sensitive spot on the crystal.
No author is listed, and the construction details are a bit lacking in detail. (In particular, no mention is made that the insulation has to be removed from the top of the coil in order to contact the slider.)
If you were a Scout 50 years ago, you were prepared. And a flood was nothing. You needed the additional thrill of finding the sweet spot on the crystal.
All of the parts for this set are readily obtainable. If you’re having trouble finding any, you can find them on my crystal set parts page.