ANTIQUE-RADIO-LAB

Antique Radio Forum for Collectors antique-radio-lab.forumotion.com
 
HomeHome  RegisterRegister  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 Crystal sets now and then

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
copain



Join date : 2011-12-28

PostSubject: Crystal sets now and then   2012-03-24, 2:58 pm

As I'm sure everyone knows, the Internet has lots of sites dedicated to the construction of crystal sets. I've looked at many of these sites and marvel at all the performance claims made for the units being described. However, I haven't seen any newer units that, in my opinion, would perform better than or are superior in design to the many units designed and promoted by Elmer Ousterhoudt, late proprietor of Modern Radio Labs (MRL), whose many publications may be still available (I have most of them). I constructed many of his designs years ago and always found them excellent performers. I wonder today how any "newer" designs could outperform any of the many MRL designs. If you can find any MRL literature I'd urge you to acquire it and discover what a radio pioneer (yes, E. O. went back many years, to radio's modern origins) offered as the best in crystal set technology. I still have from the late 1960s the MRL catalog and it is still enjoyable to browse it, even though E. O. and MRL have been gone for a long time now. I'd enjoy hearing from anyone who patronized MRL in the old days (E. O. died in the 1990s and was reportedly still active in the radio hobby until the end).
Back to top Go down
FrankB
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Join date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Modern Radio Labs    2012-05-23, 1:16 am

If you are really serious about building all types of crystal radios I highly recommend going to Modern Radio Labs and ordering their publications.
My best friend of many years, (now a SK) had ordered a complete set of their publications, and when he passed on, I was given the set by his widow.
Many hours of reading, tons of info, and some of the sets you can make are amazing, such as the SW xtal receivers.
Back to top Go down
Cliff Jones
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
avatar

Join date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2012-08-18, 8:12 pm

These two posts were on the same subject so were merged.

_________________
I'm a Science Thinker, Radio Tinkerer, and all around good guy. Just ask Me!
Back to top Go down
Krystallo



Join date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2012-09-15, 12:42 pm

Hi All,

I have ALL the MRL booklets and have studied them intensively over the years. For simple SOLID wire designs many of them are VERY good, particularly on an optimized ant/ gnd system at a good location.

But a properly built 660/46 litz set is ALWAYS going to beat a solid wire design. Period.

K
Back to top Go down
copain



Join date : 2011-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2013-02-07, 3:16 pm

What in the world is a "660/46 litz set"? And what exactly do you mean, in reference to MRL's crystal sets, "solid wire design"? Why will the aforementioned "ALWAYS beat" the other kind? What will it "beat" it in? What constitutes "properly built"? Details and clarification are needed here.
Back to top Go down
Cliff Jones
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
avatar

Join date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2013-02-09, 10:08 am

This is a quote from Scotts Electronic Parts [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Litz wire is specified like this, the first number is number of strands, the number after the "/" is the AWG wire gauge size. So 175/46 for instance is 175 strands of number 46 AWG gauge wires. The approximate diameter in the chart is the over all diameter of the entire bundle of wires including the nylon or silk serving and is taken from a data sheet not actual measurement.

Each and every copper wire in all the Litz wire is Enameled coated. So each strand acts like an individual wire conductor.



Always beat = It means that litz wire has a better Q factor than solid wire and has less skin effect issues. sunny

Here's another link to crystal radios : [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

_________________
I'm a Science Thinker, Radio Tinkerer, and all around good guy. Just ask Me!
Back to top Go down
copain



Join date : 2011-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2013-02-10, 1:42 pm

OK--but if a crystal set made with litz wire is so superior to one of "solid wire design," why didn't Elmer G. Osterhoudt include such in his prolific and authoritative MRL literature? Why did he not make such a statement, that a litz wire crystal set will "ALWAYS" perform better than any of his constructed with solid (i.e., ordinary) wire? Have there been contests or experiments featuring litz wire crystal sets up against ordinary wire sets, both otherwise of identical design, where the former have always bested in performance, distance, volume, selectivity, sensitivity, etc.? Or is this statement, as I suspect, a matter of personal opinion? I respect such opinion but if a case is to be made of it, proof is required..
Back to top Go down
copain



Join date : 2011-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2013-02-16, 3:44 pm

To all who believe that litz wire makes a crystal set work better--louder, more sensitive, more selective, etc.--I suggest you spend your valuable hobby time carrying out the project detailed at:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

and then reply to my challenging questions in my previous post above.
Back to top Go down
ve1arn
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Join date : 2010-11-23

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2013-02-17, 5:29 am

I am far from being an expert here on this stuff.

My preference is to build what I can with whatever parts I have in my stash of assorted goodies. Litz wire, at the moment anyway, isn't part of my stash.

For some reason, I have never really felt like building the perfect set. I like the challenge of building with what I have on hand and seeing what I can pick up.

As for coils, I have used both commercial and home built air ones, as well as using pre-built coils that have been salvaged from cannibalized sets. Sometimes I'll combine 2 or 3 in series, just for play. Grant you, they don't score any points for appearance, but I don't give a hoot as to how it looks. In fact, the more scrambled it looks on my bench, the better. Especially when I show someone my latest set, just laying there. Very Happy

The first thing out of people's mouths when they see it is.... "That actually works?" or similar. To me... that's the joy I get out of crystal sets.

What I will pick up here with my assorted parts spread out on my bench, might be nothing compared to what that same set will pick up elsewhere. That's also part of the fun. That perfect crystal set at your location, might have nothing but dead air at mine. So, to me anyway, the definition of the perfect set will vary according to who one chats with.

Note, that I'm not putting down anyone that wants to build the perfect set. I love looking at works like that. It' s just not 'my' thing.

I also like the idea of making home made litz with magnet wire too. I need to re-visit that site.

Cheers!

Just my random thoughts in this rambling of words. Razz
Back to top Go down
stareagle

avatar

Join date : 2012-12-17

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2013-02-17, 5:09 pm

I have Litz wire, fire wire, hot wire, zappo wire, killer wire, fine wire, live wire and telegram wire !! let me know if you need some. clown Opps, all outa litz wire. I also carry wireless wire. CHEAP !!
Back to top Go down
copain



Join date : 2011-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2013-02-18, 2:18 pm

. . .and your point is. . . ?
Back to top Go down
Cliff Jones
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
avatar

Join date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2013-02-19, 3:13 pm

That's what forums are made up of opinions and experiences. I have never had litz wire, so no experience challenging or approving ones opinion. (Or experiencing contrary evidence). A lot of fluff is put into web pages selling any thing, even snake oil. As long as it works, that's OK by me. There are some designs that work better than others obviously. I have a crystal radio made by Remco that only picks up one station and I am happy that it does. So the whole point of this discussion is just for alerting others to what works and what doesn't. I would like to see a further discussion on crystal diodes and which are the most sensitive to signal detection. sunny

_________________
I'm a Science Thinker, Radio Tinkerer, and all around good guy. Just ask Me!
Back to top Go down
copain



Join date : 2011-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2013-02-20, 2:21 pm

I don't think I understand the relevance of your post re "That's what forums are made up of. . .etc." to mine in which I ask about what point is being made in the post immediately following ve1arn's meaningful one of 2/17/13. Please clarify; thanks. Maybe the post in question would fit better in the Rag Chewing thread or some other which accommodates attempted humor.
Back to top Go down
stareagle

avatar

Join date : 2012-12-17

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2013-02-20, 6:54 pm

Yeah! Maybe your right. Some people have a sense of humor and some are strickly business. Whatever
Back to top Go down
Cliff Jones
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
avatar

Join date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2013-02-21, 12:03 am

Humor is fine. If anyone is serious and is not wanting humor, they are going to have to find a straitlaced forum that states no humor allowed. Since its related to the discussion, in a humorous way, as has been allowed in the past.




_________________
I'm a Science Thinker, Radio Tinkerer, and all around good guy. Just ask Me!
Back to top Go down
stareagle

avatar

Join date : 2012-12-17

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2013-02-21, 6:36 pm

With all respect to COPAIN, I ment no harm and I am sure copain didn't eighter. OK, lets get back to business Smile
Back to top Go down
sitn

avatar

Join date : 2013-08-12

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2013-08-13, 8:51 pm

I am winding an open air antenna with regular magnet wire. Will see how it works. I also just ordered some Litz wire to make a comparison. I am O-SO-SLOW, it will take me awhile to try it out when finished.

sitn
Back to top Go down
Cliff Jones
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
avatar

Join date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2013-08-15, 11:16 am

Let us know your results.

_________________
I'm a Science Thinker, Radio Tinkerer, and all around good guy. Just ask Me!
Back to top Go down
MEZLAW

avatar

Join date : 2012-10-28

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2014-08-24, 12:44 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I am far from being an expert here on this stuff.

My preference is to build what I can with whatever parts I have in my stash of assorted goodies. Litz wire, at the moment anyway, isn't part of my stash.

For some reason, I have never really felt like building the perfect set. I like the challenge of building with what I have on hand and seeing what I can pick up.

As for coils, I have used both commercial and home built air ones, as well as using pre-built coils that have been salvaged from cannibalized sets. Sometimes I'll combine 2 or 3 in series, just for play. Grant you, they don't score any points for appearance, but I don't give a hoot as to how it looks. In fact, the more scrambled it looks on my bench, the better. Especially when I show someone my latest set, just laying there.  Very Happy

The first thing out of people's mouths when they see it is.... "That actually works?" or similar. To me... that's the joy I get out of crystal sets.

What I will pick up here with my assorted parts spread out on my bench, might be nothing compared to what that same set will pick up elsewhere. That's also part of the fun. That perfect crystal set at your location, might have nothing but dead air at mine. So, to me anyway, the definition of the perfect set will vary according to who one chats with.

Note, that I'm not putting down anyone that wants to build the perfect set. I love looking at works like that. It' s just not 'my' thing.

I also like the idea of making home made litz with magnet wire too. I need to re-visit that site.

Cheers!

Just my random thoughts in this rambling of words.   Razz

I couldn't agree more, to each his own, but I believe in doing this for my own pleasure. I'm sorry but I don't find pleasure in competing, again if you do so be it!  Very Happy  Wink 
Back to top Go down
razorradio



Join date : 2014-11-14

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2014-11-14, 1:21 pm

" I'd enjoy hearing from anyone who patronized MRL in the old days"

Elmer was one of the Greats of Crystal radio! MRL labs is in business again.  A man named Paul bought it.  He sells really nice looking kits of the MRL 2.    He looked my name up in the MRL files and found me from an order that I made back in the '70's!  I've learned a lot from those booklets that Elmer wrote.  I wish I had bought some more sets that he built.

I like the simple circuits.  I have actually tried the more complex multi-stage ones and didn't notice much difference. To add the transformer and balanced armature and Benny and Holy Grail diode that is no longer available anywhere and the silver plated ceramic insulated variable condensers blessed by Marconi is beyond what I like about the hobby.  Nothing wrong with that, of course! It's amazing to hear the stories of DX a thousand miles away. I like the simplicity and using vintage parts, especially ones from the early '20's "The Dawn of Commercial Broadcast Radio".  The simplicity is what appeals to me about crystal radios.

Different strokes for different folks.
Back to top Go down
Cliff Jones
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
avatar

Join date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2016-12-06, 7:26 pm

Just purchased a Miller hi-Fidelity Crystal set.
Will have to test it out. I need the back cover though just to look nice.
Mine has the original Bakelite case.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]O

_________________
I'm a Science Thinker, Radio Tinkerer, and all around good guy. Just ask Me!
Back to top Go down
ve1arn
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Join date : 2010-11-23

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2016-12-07, 2:09 am

Green with envy here Cliff!!!! Let us know what you pick up with it to please.
Back to top Go down
ve1arn
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Join date : 2010-11-23

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2016-12-21, 2:46 pm

Still waiting for a few signal reports Cliff. Have you had any chance at trying out the new crystal set?
Back to top Go down
Cliff Jones
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
avatar

Join date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2016-12-21, 3:46 pm

No, to busy, and tired. It still on top of an old Airline radio on the dinning room table.
-------
Edit 12-22-16

Well I got off my lazy behind, at 2:50 pm and hooked up the crystal radio.
It has an RCA plug, so I hooked it up to my old Bose radio.
Switched it to auxiliary, took the outside antenna from my Yeasu FRG 100, and ground.
I then turned the Volume full, and was I surprised at how many stations I could receive.

Would you believe 10 in all!

The biggest broadcaster station is KIRO radio 1,000 KHz. It covers about 4 KHz on each side of the center frequency.

I now have to hook up a scope and do some further measurements.
I will also post the power output of each station.
The outside antenna is a random wire that is about 10 feet above ground and is about 30 foot long.
------
I need to get a new back plate, as it is missing. I will eventually install an audio jack for a high impedance phone, and also a couple of jacks for ground and antenna.

I am delighted in its performance. I will also see if the night reception will be even better.
bounce Very Happy cheers

_________________
I'm a Science Thinker, Radio Tinkerer, and all around good guy. Just ask Me!
Back to top Go down
ve1arn
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Join date : 2010-11-23

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2017-01-15, 2:08 pm

Way to go Cliff! Glad to see it's working for you. Ten stations on that antenna is pretty decent. And that's in the daytime too? Wow. Can't wait to see how you make out with night reception.
Back to top Go down
FrankB
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Join date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2017-01-15, 3:46 pm

Cliff,
 You can do wonders on a xtal set using a tuned ground and wavetraps to bring in more stations too.
 I have even seen a schematic for a xtal lattice filter for xtal radios!
Back to top Go down
Cliff Jones
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
avatar

Join date : 2010-11-22

PostSubject: Re: Crystal sets now and then   2017-01-15, 7:19 pm

The Funny thing, I can get louder signals without a ground.
I remember my crystal rocket radio worked off the telephone stop dial, the lamp harp on a table lamp.
Had no ground and it worked great, not anywhere as performance oriented as the Miller set.
Now I will adapt a crystal earphone and see what happens.
I also will try high impedance magnetic earphone(s).

Back in the day 58-63
My biggest problem now is my hearing, which is nowhere what it was, when I was a teen living surrounded by a number of Los Angeles stations.
During that time frame, I did adapt a transformered 8" pm. Speaker and listen to late night radio whilst in bed. It wasn't loud, but in a quite room, it did quite well. I was of course delighted with my experiment. I would even take clock motors apart, just to get the wire for my wraparound the room antenna. I figured if one loop around the room was good, then ten must be better.

_________________
I'm a Science Thinker, Radio Tinkerer, and all around good guy. Just ask Me!
Back to top Go down
 
Crystal sets now and then
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Blue and White Crystal
» Submitting A Crystal & Rules
» Thoughts on Crystal Skulls ( the one's for retail sales )
» Crystal Ball
» Crystal Power

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
ANTIQUE-RADIO-LAB :: Radio Repair Bench :: Crystal Radios-
Jump to: