News Flash!!!

"Spooky" continues to live!

Many thanks to Mike of Mikes Electronic Parts, who as of October 2015, has a new website that features a Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio Kit with most of the essential parts for this cool project.

The Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio and Mrfixitrick are featured in a PC game called "Tesla". The theme is monsters and bats are battled while helping Mrfixitrick find the seven missing parts of the Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio. Intriguing background music. From GODD Games at: www.goddgames.com/tesla.html

Have a look at the Crystal Quantum Radio devices of EJ Gold that helped inspire this instructable: http://www.yoyodyneindustries.com/

"My first observations positively terrified me as there was present in them something mysterious, not to say supernatural, and I was alone in my laboratory at night"
- Nikola Tesla, 1901 article "Talking With The Planets"

The Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio is more than just a crystal radio circuit in a jam-jar. It's a sound maker that plugs in to a computer, and makes awesome spooky sounds by responding to electromagnetic fields or light sources in real time.

Athough Tesla used different parts, this radio's basic L-C (Inductor-Capacitor) circuit uses a similar schematic to what Tesla experimented with in his early days. The versatile 1N34A crystal germanium diode used here, substitutes for the tricky rotating nickel detectors and sensitive relays, used by Tesla in the late 1800's.

You can listen to AM broadcasts with this radio, but it was made to have fun with in other ways. (Besides, AM radio wasn't exactly what Nikola Tesla was interested in...in fact, he believed it was a waste of energy to transmit and receive Hertzian waves!)

By using a program like Audio Hyjack Pro (Mac), the radio's output is tweaked at the computer to give some great real-time sound effects...and you can record them at the same time.

In the following accompanying movies, I show how the Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio reacts to lightning, radio frequencies, the light spectrum, the computer screen, RF pulses, electromagnetic fields and more!

In the following video, the Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio is used to give voice to a Mac Hyperspace screensaver! The simple crystal circuit is apparently sensitive to the screen synchronization RF frequencies, and so it provides awesome background sounds...check it out:

The next movie shows "Spooky", the radio, beside a Dancing Ghost homopolar motor. The motor emits electromagnetic waves that are picked up by Spooky's antenna coils, and we hear the results translated through computer software in real time...spooky!!

Here's a movie of the action in the new PC game "Tesla", featuring the Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio;

Step 1: Parts List and Schematic Diagram

List of Materials

1- Small Jam Jar, (Mason Jar) with large mouth

1- 3 1/4 inch dia Plexiglas (or polycarbonate) cover lid, 1/8 inch thick

1- C1 - 60/141 pf Variable Capacitor (Mike's Electronic Parts # VARCAP141) $1.97 ea.

1- Extension Shaft and Knob for above (Mike's Electronic Parts # ExtKnob-1) $1.87 ea.

1- L1 - 680 uh Ferrite Loopstick Antenna (Mike's Electronic Parts # LSA680-470) $2.97 ea.

1- D1 - Germanium 1N34A Diode (Mikes's Electronic Parts # 1N34A) $0.49 ea

1- C2 - .001uf Capacitor (marked 102) (Mikes's Electronic Parts # CAP.001uf) $0.33 ea

1- R1 - 47k Resistor (Mikes's Electronic Parts # 47kRES) $.25 ea

1- Chassis Banana Jack Red - (*Allied Stock # 528-0158) $.53 ea

1- Chassis Banana Jack Black - (*Allied Stock # 528-0159) $.53 ea

2 - (or more for each antenna) Banana Plug (*Allied Stock # 528-0302) $1.21

2 -3.5 mm Mono Chassis Jack (*Allied Stock # 932-0260) $1.16

(above plugs and jacks also available as part of "Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio" Kit )

- a few inches of 20 gauge hook-up wire
- solder
1- Audio Patch Cord, 1/8 inch plug ends (also part of "Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio" Kit )

(Total Parts Cost less than $30.)

Note1: Most of the above parts are available in the "Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio" Kit

from Mike's Electronic Parts

Note2: Complete crystal spirit radios that can also be adapted are available from

EJ Gold's Crystal Quantum Radios at YoyodyneIndustries.

Note3: For Each Spiral Pancake Antenna,
6 feet of #14 gauge solid copper wire
Banana Plug

Note4: For the Football Style Antenna,
4 feet #10 gauge solid copper wire.
40 feet of #30 gauge coated magnet wire.
Heavy Paper
Scotch Tape
Hot Glue
Banana Plug

Needlenose pliers
Wire Cutter
Soldering iron
Computer w/ Audio Hijack audio software (Mac), or equivalent (older iMacs may work best! )

Please Note!

As of Oct 2015, above Crystal radio parts and Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio kits are now available at Mike's Electronic Parts

<p>Made from the 160 in 1 a 9 volt IC which is very efficient in producing sound from the radio shack project.</p>
I built it but im having trouble getting any audio software to recognize it. Any recommendations or ideas?
<p>I'm working on a version on csound which I'm planning to use later with my radio. The nice feature of csound is that you can just run it from the command line on most platforms (e.g. you could run it on a raspberry pi). If you are interested I can share the code that I have written so far.</p>
<p>You can use Audacity. Free and nice audio recording software.</p>
<p>Hi Everybody,</p><p><br>first of all, this project is amazing! However I'm still having some troubles in making the radio work. I hope somebody can help me!<br><br>I have build the radio in several attempts and checked and rechecked all the connections, but no sound/noise is coming out of it. So I have built a &quot;debug version&quot; of it (see figure), being able in this way to check the signals at some points of the circuit with an oscilloscope.<br><br>Now, if I measure across C1 (before the diode) I see a signal of a couple of mV, with a main frequency of around 300kHz plus some signal content at higher frequencies (see figure). The signal is not stationary and it continuously changes (which seems OK to me). But if I measure across R1 (or C2) (after the diode) I cannot detect any signal from the oscilloscope anymore.<br><br>So, my first question is: does the signal of some mV around C1 is OK? Or should I get a stronger signal? Does anyone has measured this signal with an oscilloscope?<br><br>My second question is: does anybody has any hints what could I'm possibly doing wrong? (I know this is an easy question difficult to answer :-) )<br><br>I have also perhaps found a typo in the instructions. In the electrical scheme in step 1 it is indicated C2 = 0.001pF but in the parts list it is C2 = 0.001uF (so 1E6 times larger). I'm assuming that the correct value for C2 is 0.001uF (so 1nF). Is this correct?<br><br>Well, if anybody can help, it will really really appreciated! Thanks in advance!<br>Carlo</p>
This is a second attempt at the build. The football antenna blank was printed on a 3D printer. The winding of such a large coil took over 80 feet of 30awg.The pancake antenna creates 7.848uHy and the football innards makes 443.6 uHy. Just saw a picture of a small football like the first one I made. Wish instructions were more like a Ham Radio build.<br>I will help anyone if I can.<br>VE3REO<br>Din McPhee
<p>can you use a larger mason jar like a pint or a quart </p>
<p>Hello! I hope you can help me: I'm about to put one of these radios together as a Christmas gift, but I dont have a Mac, only a windows machine - do you know of Windows-compatible software equivalent to Audio Hijack?</p><p>Thank you SO much!</p><p>Blaise</p>
<p>You can use Audacity. Free and nice audio recording software.</p>
<p>how would you go about adding several antennas as well as a neutral antenna rather then positive or negative? also what would the exact set up be for reading brain frequency instead of radio or other frequencies, if anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated</p>
<p>im looking for real instructions on how to make a spooky radio . why has no one done a step by step video for us novices ???</p>
Hey there! I finally made a spooky Tesla radio. At first I had some problems finding out the jack ground slug. I asked my dad and resoldered. Now I can hear a mix of local radio broascasts. <br><br>Some friends and I have a sound art project, so we are using it to make spooky sounds for our noise jam sessions! <br><br>I just have to say this instructable could be a bit better explained since we spent some time trying to understand the soldering. <br><br>Thanks a lot for sharing!
<p>Hi, just wondering about the hook up wire... I'm in Australia and <br>having trouble locating the equivalent of 20 gauge... would this one <br>work? <br></p><p><a href="http://www.jaycar.com.au/hook-up-wire-pack-2-metres/p/WH3025" rel="nofollow">http://www.jaycar.com.au/hook-up-wire-pack-2-metre...</a><br><br>Thanks!</p>
Hi! I'm really interested in an improvement! how would it be possible with a reflector antenna?!!<br>and will it work with these materials now?!<br><br>https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3Otvdo7qUcNSGhRSzFrajZkSm8<br>https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3Otvdo7qUcNV2RGdzJrbktpYzA<br>https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3Otvdo7qUcNYTNmNXYyb3Z5N2s
Looks like fun... My main advice? Try it!<br>The reflector may make the device more sensitive in certain ranges of fields. Cheers, Rick
<p> sorry I didn't get how it could be possible and if these materials (thin covered cooper antenna, my ferrite induction coil, bare banana plugs, 1N34A diode, 102 capacitor) work.</p><p>Special thanks for your ignorance or forgiving my problems in English and backgrounds. God bless you..</p>
<p>I'm 15</p>
if it really reacts this many frequencies (light, sound, vibration, radio frequencies, RF pulses, magnetic fields)<br>and more.. with amplification for example by a satellite (replace it with LNB) and processing the waves we have a wide spectrum camera, microphone, earthquake forecast kinda radar or radio telescope??!<br>Plsss heelp meee
With Spooky, each range of receiving (audio, magnetic, RF, etc.) requires a specific circuit setup in order to tune the effect properly. It is finicky, and because of the broad spectrum, there are lots of background noises to try to tune out. <br><br>Whereas in modern high-performance electronics, the noise is tuned out by complex circuits with special expensive parts, and the narrow frequency of interest is fine-tuned in with other expensive parts for optimum Q signal.
Tnx tnx thank you very much
<p>Hello everybody. Is There a tutorial for the right configuration step by step? Thank you. </p>
I would really work with several programmers. to me ofc it's not just for fun pls be serious how could it receive such a broad wave spectrum how much is it reliable? PLZZ
<p>great post. Can you please say something about the results ? any Vortex found ?</p>
<p>I have made with my 130 in 1 electronic kit something a bit different a two transistor radio. Here is a diagram from the 130 in 1 manual website page 134.</p><p><a href="http://www.elenco.com/admin_data/pdffiles/EP-130_Manual_REV-C.pdf">http://www.elenco.com/admin_data/pdffiles/EP-130_M...</a></p>
<p>I made the radio using a Rubbermaid container and decided to make one cone and one pancake antenna. I am running PC and am trying to find software like audio hijack but the closest I can get is audacity which is free. @mrfixitrick if you could point me to audio hijacks PC equal I'd really appreciate it.</p>
<p>Thanks for your example of the Spooky Radio! It is hard to replicate the Mac for audio like this, I'd recommend getting an old Mac from someone who gives it away, (find a local Mac users group) and use it just for this. There are older versions of the Audio Hijack software available.</p>
<p>Looking at the audio output jack, I see an error.</p><p>The ground (black wire) on the jack should be connected to lower bottom lug.</p><p>The two terminals on top can be connected together or reverse what you have and put the diode, capacitor, resistor to the lug you have the black wire on.</p><p>I used to own the store you purchased the items from, so I am familiar with the wiring. The jack has a built in switch that disconnects the lug where you have the diode, capacitor, resistor wire connected when a plug is inserted. If you need more help I can send a drawing or contact Mike at https://www.mikeselectronicparts.com/</p>
Im not sure i follow. Your saying im using the wrong one of the three as a ground?
<p>Yes the ground is the terminal on the bottom ( the one you do not have connected), connect your black wire there. Also the two other connections are wrong.</p><p>The terminal you have the diode, capacitor, resistor connected is a switched output. To correct the wiring for what you are doing tie the top two pins together or move the diode, capacitor, resistor over to the pin you have the black wire connected to.</p><p>The switched output terminals are used for radios that when you plug in an earphone the speaker turns off and unplug the earphone the speaker works again. So only one or the other works at a time. A feature not used in this project. A feature that can be by passed by just connecting them both together or not using the switched output by reversing the diode, capacitor, resistor from what you have. </p>
<p>so I made the modifications by adding a connector wire between the two and moving the ground. I did notice a slight difference in what it picked up but only in the way of interference. </p>
<p>Good, that is what you want. Lots of sound when you touch the antennas or put a RF noise source close to them. Some people claim to hear voices from the static noise out of a radio not tuned to a station, or see movement on a snowy TV screen and hear things in the static.</p><p>This is where your computer and audio program come into play. You should be able cut or boost some of the noise. Then add sound effects to enhance them.</p><p>For instance a lightning strike close by will just cause a clicking sound, but if you alter that click to sound like a base drum with lots of reverb etc. now is makes a totally different sound from just a click. </p><p>mrfixitrick can tell you more about the computer part, he stated audacity was very close to audio hijack. Now that you are getting allot of noise, I would just try to adjust the program to give you the desired output.</p>
<p>Thanks, ZElectro...I could not have put it better myself. There is a saying, &quot;I used to think there were interruptions to my work, until I realized that the interruptions WERE my work!&quot; In that way, the noise we hear on the radio between stations, becomes our work. We accent and decipher noise by tuning and transforming with software.</p>
I see i will have to change that over once i get home from work. Thank you very much for that!
Sharp eyes! :) <br>Thanks for the help for PaulR13 !
<p>Most excellent...thank-you for sharing! </p>
<p>Hey!, i made it with a friend for an university proyect and it works perfect! so much funny, thanks for share! Also, we learn so mucho about the radio with this video: </p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/0-PParSmwtE" width="500"></iframe></p><p>I highly recomend to understand how it works.</p><p>Cheers!</p>
<p>I made this device with great success. Here is a sound sample of my first audio test; <a href="http://llama-music.com/docs/TeslaTestTrack.mp3" rel="nofollow">http://llama-music.com/docs/TeslaTestTrack.mp3</a></p><p>The audio file was exported directly from the Audio Mulch program into WAV format and then converted to MP3 @320kpbs.</p><p>I was able to keep parts cost low thanks to <a href="http://www.taydaelectronics.com" rel="nofollow">taydaelectronics.com</a> and <a href="http://comtrolauto.netfirms.com" rel="nofollow">comtrolauto.netfirms.com</a>. The total for everything was $18.80. I made the copper antennas in a conical shape because to me, it looks better visually. Even when it's not plugged in, it looks great sitting next to synthesizers and other music gear. Lots of fun!</p>
<p>Updated link for Spirit Radio audio test #1;<br><a href="http://llama-music.com/docs/TeslaTestTrack.mp3" rel="nofollow">http://llamamusic.com/docs/TeslaTestTrack.mp3</a></p>
<p>A great build with fun sounds! Thanks for sharing it.</p>
<p>why the resistor at R1...?</p><p>also you never detailed frequecncy range...</p>
<p>All you have do is find similar parts to these in the diagram on page 134 and reference where you got it and you have an extremely powerful radio. When I build it and attached multiple antanna and I could hear the radio 7 feet away Louldly from the radio.</p>
<p>Here is the transistor set diagram for a more effective and amazing two transistor radio from electronic playgrounds 130 page 134 expirement 113.</p><p>Reference: <a href="http://www.elenco.com/admin_data/pdffiles/EP-130_Manual_REV-C.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://www.elenco.com/admin_data/pdffiles/EP-130_M...</a></p>
<p>شكرا جزيلا</p>
any old school electricians out there, you know how to make this work without the use of a laptop? I am pretty sure Tesla did not use a laptop to power the speakers.
<p>You could probably just stick an old (or new) small amp on there. Should not be too hard.</p>
<p>i used an old guitar amp and i got great reception on WBAP (820). Does anyone have an idea how i can pick up, well, spirits? Maybe i need to increase the feedback on the coil. </p>
<p>the laptop is accepting the signal and amplifying for clarity and sound magnification. Headphones will do the same, but cannot record or playback, :( surround sounds also work, plug it into the feed in! Like I said the laptop is a sound magnifier.</p>
<p>Xtal head phone/ceramic headphone. You also could try a piezo tweeter, or piezo mike/speaker.</p><p>(the link to mike has all the parts)</p><p>Remember b4 their were amplifiers, they had simple Xtal headphones, (cans).Unfortunately Lindsay's Publications went out of business, they had scads of books on everything old.... how to build from scratch.</p><p>If size is not an issue, you could make a variable cap out of cardboard and aluminum foil.</p><p>Just google Xtal Radio , or Crystal Radio and go to one of 300 sites. Some show you how to make individualy parts, need a fixed cap, roll your own! What is in a simple cap, foil and insulator paper</p><p>To make it loud enough to hear w/o putting it in the ear, try making a passive smartphone amplifier. (here on instructables they have a few of them.) Ten add the Xtal headphone as the source. Inside a bose wave radio is a baffle that is a folded horn, go for it!</p>
<p>After making this radio, I gave a quick demonstration to the other guys living on the same floor as me in the dorms. They heard the whispers but didn't really comprehend what exactly they were hearing until I explained what the device tapped (more like traveled) into; they pretty much fainted when I spoke the words &quot;disembodied souls&quot; and &quot;parallel universes&quot; HAHA. Seeing that I attend very small &amp; extremely religious liberal arts college in no-where Ohio, they all took the bait. HAHA Priceless. It's too bad these misinformed peers of mine buried it somewhere the next morning while I was in class. Ill just make another one. </p>
<p>Any substitute for 1N34A diode ?</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: I am re-inventing myself as an inventor, after too many years as a mechanic! I enjoy learning from Tesla disc Turbines, magnetic motors, and Crystal ... More »
More by mrfixitrick:Baked Devil's Brain in Blood Sauce Pair of Hearts Homopolar Motor Tesla Tornado Christmas Tree 
Add instructable to: