A science project that has been a longtime favourite is building a homemade radio receiver. It's an easy project to do, and it can help students understand something that most of them use every day: the radio. Radio receivers catch electromagnetic energy broadcast from transmitters owned by radio stations and convert this energy into sound. With a few cheap items and objects that you can find around your house, you can build your own radio receiver.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Wire cutters
- Wire stripper
- Germanium diode
- Electrical tape
- Faucet or copper pipe
- Coat hanger or TV antenna
Cut off the jack from the end of your earphones in order to expose the two wires.
Separate the two wires, then use the wire stripper to remove about 2 inches of insulation from each wire.
Take one of the wires from the earphones and wrap it around one of the wires of the Germanium diode, then tape it in place.
Tape the other wire of the diode to a faucet or copper pipe.
Take the other earphone wire and hold it in your hand, then put the earphones in your ears. If you're close to a powerful AM radio station, you should be able to pick up the signal. If not, try taping the wire that you were holding to a bigger piece of metal, like a longer wire, a coat hanger or a screen.
Tips and warnings
- Because your radio doesn't have an existing power source like a battery or electricity, you need a string radio signal in order to make it work. If you are having trouble getting a signal, try increasing the size of your antenna.
- Make sure that you don't attach your radio to live electrical lines.
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