As I get more and more interested in radio and its history, I’m thinking it’s about time that I try my hand at building my own radio. As I began researching this, I found that there are many simple ways to create a radio using household objects. Make Magazine has a great video in which they outline the steps to build a Foxhole Radio using a cardboard toilet paper roll, wire, wood, thumb tacks, and a razor blade. Additional information on this project can be found on their blog.
Instructions for building a number of different radios can also be found here. If building a radio from scratch feels too advanced for you, there are lots of different radio kits still being marketed to kids, which include all of the necessary tools to build simple radios. A few of the options include a Crystal Radio Kit , Elenco’s AM/FM Radio Kit , and the Build Your Own Fm Radio: Discovery Kit.
Old-timers have pointed out that these kits don’t hold a candle to the Heathkit projects from yesteryear, but I would imagine that they are still pretty fun and educational. From what I’ve seen online, none of these projects is fool-proof or easy, so be sure to set your expectations before you begin building.
If you’ve ever built a radio before, I’d love to hear your suggestions about how I should get started and if there’s a particular kit or project that you’d recommend.