The Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio and Mrfixitrick are now featured in a PC game called "Tesla". Monsters and bats are battled, while helping Mrfixitrick find the seven 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
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 - 60/160 pf Variable Capacitor (ComtrolAuto #VAR160-1)
1- Extension Shaft and Knob for above (ComtrolAuto #ExtKnob-1)
1- L1 - 680 uh Ferrite Loopstick Antenna (ComtrolAuto #LSA680-1)
1- D1 - Germanium 1N34A Diode (*Allied Stock#: 935-0301) $2.16 ea
1- C2 - .001uf Capacitor (marked 102) (*Allied Stock#: 507-0822) $.21 ea
1- R1 - 47k Resistor (*Allied Stock#: 296-6641) $.05 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
a few inches of 20 gauge hook-up wire
1- Audio Patch Cord, 1/8 inch plug ends
Total Cost less than $30.
Note1: Most of the above crystal radio parts are available in kit #SC-Kit-1 from ComtrolAuto
Note2:Complete crystal spirit radios that can be adapted are available from EJ Gold at YoyodyneIndustries.
Note3: For Each Spiral Pancake Antenna,
6 feet of #14 gauge solid copper wire
Note4: For the Football Style Antenna,
4 feet #10 gauge solid copper wire.
40 feet of #30 gauge coated magnet wire.
Computer w/ Audio Hijack audio software (Mac), or equivalent
Crystal radio parts and kits available at http://comtrolauto.com/