Introduction: Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio

Picture of Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio

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:

Have a look at the Crystal Quantum Radio devices of EJ Gold that helped inspire this instructable:

"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 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

Picture of 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

Step 2: Make a Clear Cover and Drill It

Picture of Make a Clear Cover and Drill It

The first step is to create a clear lid so we can see the simple but effective radio components. I chose polycarbonate just because that is what I had on hand. Acrylic can be used, but it won't machine as easily.

Use a circle cutting attachment on a drill press to cut out a 3.25 inch disc cover lid out of 1/8 inch Lexan polycarbonate.

Next, 1/4 inch holes are drilled in the cover lid for the two banana jacks and for the two audio jacks.

The two banana jacks will receive banana plugs with pre-mounted antennas.

Two audio jacks will also be used. One is for for audio out to the computer, and one is for an optional auxiliary input modulation from a hand gripper or other source.

Drill holes as seen in the photos, or lay out your own hole design. I drilled a total of nine holes;
Two 1/4 inch holes for antenna banana jacks,
Two 1/4 inch holes for audio jacks,
One hole for the variable capacitor shaft, and two small 1/16th inch holes for its screws
and two 1/16th inch holes to feed the diode wires to mount the diode on top of the jar lid (This is for better light-to-sound effects; as the 1N34A diode is light-sensitive)

Step 3: Mount the Components on the Cover

Picture of Mount the Components on the Cover

Mount the Adjustable Capacitor and Banana Jacks in the clear jam jar cover.

For the variable capacitor, I had to find two screws long enough to feed through the 3/16 inch thick cover. A thinner cover will work with standard screws. The variable cap has an optional shaft extension and knob kit found at

Mount the 1/8 phono jacks as well. I had to countersink the holes to get the threads to start because of the rather thick plastic cover I used.

Step 4: Prepare the Induction Coil

Picture of Prepare the Induction Coil

There is an option with the Induction coil to run it direct with an antenna connection, or to wrap the Induction Coil with about 10 wraps of 22 gauge wire that runs from the antenna to ground. The first method gives a better chance of a station signal being loud enough with a short antenna. The second wrapped inductor method is best for using a long (20 foot plus) antenna. See schematic for clarification.

I like the inductive method even with a short antenna, because it gives a clearer signal with less 60 cycle hum. The amplitude of sound will be less in AM tuning unless a long antenna is used however. The amplitude can be partially made up by using the human body as an antenna by touching the jam jar ring, which has a connecting wire that goes to the antenna + wire when the lid is twisted on.

The other advantage of wrapping the inductor is that it gets supported inside the jar by the heavier wires.

Step 5: Wiring and Soldering

Picture of Wiring and Soldering

Ok, once most components are in place, it's time to wire and solder things up. Direct point-to-point wiring can be used with so few components. Follow the pictures and the schematic for the basic connections.

Only a couple of wires need to be soldered in. Run one ground wire from the middle ground post of C1 to the ground connection on the phone jack. Another wire will go from the antenna to the other C1 post.

Note that the centre connection of the C1 variable capacitor is connected to the ground connection of the phone jack. The 160 pf connection is on the right facing C1 from the top looking down, connecting tabs facing away from you. The 41 pf connection is on the other side of the middle ground connection, and was not used.

The D1 diode is heat sensitive and may fail if over-soldered. Use an alligator clip as a heat sink when soldering its leads. I mounted it on top of the cover to make it more sensitive to light.

The L1 Induction Coil thin wire with black paint goes to ground. The other thin inductor wire goes to the non-ground C1 capacitor connection. L2 is simply 10 wraps of wire around the inductor coil.

Step 6: Make the Tesla Spiral Antennas

Picture of Make the Tesla Spiral Antennas

"The Tesla antenna is a form of wireless antenna or wave launching structure developed by Nikola Tesla in which the transmitted energy propagates or is carried to the receiver by a combination of electrical current flowing through the earth, electrostatic induction and electrical conduction through plasma with an embedded magnetic field."
- Gary L Peterson in "Rediscovering The Zenneck Surface Wave"

This is an area for scientific and artistic license. There is still much debate as to what exactly Tesla was up to with his transmission and reception of power systems. ( See Joel Young's blog comments in Design News Magazine on July 8th, 16th and 28th...

I experimented with two types of Tesla antenna design. The first is similar to the flat spiral "Pancake" coil that is seen in several of Tesla's patents. The second is a peculiar "Football" coil made of two cones.

For the basic spiral antenna, I used a 6 foot length of 14 gauge solid copper wire, and bent the wires by hand, coil by coil. I used a needle nose pliers to begin the core spiral, and after a turn or two, gently but firmly worked the wire around with bare hands. I soldered on a short vertical antenna to the centre loop. In retrospect, It would have been better to make the vertical end part with a one piece construction.

Keep working the wire to eliminate kinks and bends, then make sure the coils are evenly spaced. I soldered on the vertical antenna last.

Step 7: Make a Peculiar Tesla Football Antenna

Picture of Make a Peculiar Tesla Football Antenna

This coil was one of Tesla's later designs, and is said to have spooky anti-gravity effects when pumped with the correct frequencies and voltages. I won't be working in that high-power range with this un-powered crystal radio !

The core of the Tesla Football Antenna is made with four 2 inch paper cones glued and taped together. The paper cones were doubled up, two on each side, for strength and smoothness.

The 30 gauge wire conical coils are wound laboriously by hand. The thick 10 gage copper wire was carefully bent to conform to the football coil without disturbing the coils of the coil. (Note to self...don't try this again without coating the wires with a resin or glue first, because the coils will start unravelling...)

After this small coil-winding feat, two snazzy Banana Plug ends are put on. These ones were found at an electronics store.

Here's a link to a similar coil that puts out sparks!

Step 8: Testing the AM Radio Circuit

Picture of Testing the AM Radio Circuit

This step is a circuit test of the Tesla Spirit Radio, to see if it works as an ordinary AM radio. Once the wiring and solder connections are double checked, we can test the AM radio part of the device.

Plug in the Audio Patch Cord into the 1/8 inch jack of the radio, and then into the computer "Sound In" port. Launch Audio Hijack (or equivalent PC software). Set up with a basic 10-Band EQ and two or three AU Pitch controls. AU Bandpass and Reverb won't be used for this test...use their "Bypass" buttons. Gain may need to be turned up high. Au Pitch controls at the neutral 0 pitch setting. (See screenshot below.)

Turn the variable capacitor knob and the sounds of a local AM station should come through; if not, a long antenna may be required in your area. Try touching the jar ring or antenna to see if that makes a difference.

If you have no sound at all, then something is likely wrong. Check for a dry solder connection. Also, if too much soldering heat was used close to or on the diode connection, the diode may be burned out. Substitute to check, or use the diode checker function of your multi-meter to test it if necessary.

Step 9: Spooky Effect # 1 - Detect Lightning and Predict Storms

Picture of Spooky Effect # 1 -  Detect Lightning and Predict Storms

"No doubt whatever remained: I was observing stationary waves."
Nikola Tesla, commenting on reception of lightning in his receivers.

The Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio can detect lightning! Check out the main intro movie.

You can listen to AM radio if you really need to, but Nikola Tesla spent most of his radio listening time tuning into natural Earth (and beyond Earth) pulses, and the high and low frequency vibrations that were around him. He was a storm-chaser from the comfort of his own laboratory.

During Tesla's Colorado Springs experiments, he would listen in on approaching and receding lightning storms, which he could detect up to hundreds of miles away. He noticed standing waves produced by the lightning that inspired him to develop his wireless power apparatus.

It helps to have a long antenna (be sure it is safely grounded with a spark-gap arrester!), but even with the short antenna, this crystal radio can be made very sensitive with the computer software adjustments. When a storm is near, you can really hear it! (It's a loud crashing sound in the audio ;)

Requirements: Mac computer and Audio Hijack software. "Super-Sensitive Lightning" software setting adjustment, as seen in the screenshot below...and a nearby storm! PC owners will need to use an audio software solution that is able to alter pitch, gain and reverb in real time. And preferably record it.

Here's a fun site devoted to "Nature Radio Signals and strange emissions at very low frequency."

Step 10: Spooky Effect # 2 - Disembodied Spirit Voices

Picture of Spooky Effect # 2 -  Disembodied Spirit Voices

""The sounds I am listening to every night at first appear to be human voices conversing back and forth in a language I cannot understand. I find it difficult to imagine that I am actually hearing real voices from people not of this planet. There must be a more simple explanation that has so far eluded me."
-Nikola Tesla 1918

Nikola Tesla, and many others of the early radio pioneers, often thought they heard voices in their radio receptions. Both Edison and Tesla claimed to be working towards communicating with disembodied spirits.

Dale Afrey, in the book "The Lost Journals Of Nikola Tesla", says . "At one point Tesla chided Edison for stealing his idea on using a form of radio to contact the dead."

You can get the impression of disembodied spirit voices by tuning close to an AM station, then use the Au Pitch Controls of an audio software such as Audio Hijack to raise the pitch to a squeaky high, ghostly sound. Add Reverb for the final touch. Au Bandpass is also used in this effect. Check the settings in the screenshot below.

Alternately, the AU Pitch can be used to lower the pitch instead of raising it, for a moaning type effect.

Step 11: Spooky Effect # 3 - Make Sound With Light

Picture of Spooky Effect # 3 -   Make Sound With Light

The 1N34A germanium diode in this crystal radio circuit is sensitive to light of all kinds. It responds to sunlight, light-bulbs, laser, flashlights, and even candlelight! The laser will work to activate sound from the radio from many feet away, but only when the laser light is actually moving across the light-sensitive diode.

Light-bulbs affect the radio diode from a couple of feet away, and the 60-cycle hum can be heard from them. The radio or light does not have to move to make sound in this case of AC power.

Candlelight must be close and moving to affect the diode, and then it is a very low frequency that is hard to catch. The AU Pitch control must be raised high to hear the low bass sound from the flame. See CandleSetup screenshot, below.

The use of various light sources to make sound is shown in the main movie.

Step 12: Spooky Effect # 4 - Create Freaky Music

Picture of Spooky Effect # 4 -  Create Freaky Music

The computer monitor, speakers and the computer itself are all sources of cool and spooky sounds for the Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio. You can go for extreme feedback and resonance effects, or you can keep it simple and just hear what's going on inside your computer box.

By altering the AuPitch, Reverb, and BandPass module controls, the normal static, clicks or hums become rich soundscapes. The cool thing is, once the controls are set, the radio does the rest!

All of the sound effects on the main video are generated in the above way. In the following video, the AuPitch controls were set before the main Hyperspace voyage.

Here's another example of making sounds and music live in real time, with another crystal radio I have that's made by EJ. Gold:

Step 13: Spooky Effect #5 - Van Eck Phreaking

Picture of Spooky Effect #5  - Van Eck Phreaking

What is Van Eck Phreaking?

"Van Eck Phreaking is the process of eavesdropping on the contents of a CRT and LCD display by detecting its electromagnetic emissions."

Can a simple crystal radio circuit really sense the colours and movements of windows on a computer screen??

Yes it can! Check out the above video... and also the main video that shows colors being discerned electromagnetically by the radio.

Step 14: Spooky Effect #6 - Make Fright With a Mike

Picture of Spooky Effect #6 - Make Fright With a Mike

Who would have thought it was possible, but the addition of a magnet on the side of the jam jar can turn the radio into a temporary microphone! Experiment with holding a neodymium magnet close to the ferrite coil inside the jam jar. Then talk at or into the jam jar. Hit the record button in Audio Hijack to see if it records the sound. It will be faint in the background...perfect for recording alien or scary voices!

Use the Super-Sensitive audio set-up for this experiment.

Step 15: Spooky Effect # 7 - There's a Woodpecker in Your Modem!

Picture of Spooky Effect # 7 - There's a Woodpecker in Your Modem!

Wireless modems put out a strong EM (ElectroMagnetic) pulse when operating...even if you are not using the wireless part of the modem.

I discovered that a modem pulses at about 10 Hz, and sounds very similar to the controversial Russian Woodpecker radar transmissions. (

Other electronic and electric items such as calculators, cellphones, and computers can be investigated to hear what fields they emit. Motors like a Dremel tool are also fun to listen to...but not for very long!

Step 16: Spooky Effect #8 - Bring a Screensaver to Life

Picture of Spooky Effect #8 - Bring a Screensaver to Life

In this example, the Spooky Tesla Spirit Radio is placed in front of an iMac computer screen. The radio is able to read the moving RF contents of the screen and make them audible. If it seems impossible that a simple crystal radio could do that, then watch the following...

The "Hyperspace" screensaver is available at

Step 17: Links to Tesla and Spirit Radio

Picture of Links to Tesla and Spirit Radio

Tesla's article "Talking With The Planets" in Colliers Weekly, Feb19,1901

Here's Tesla's Colorado Springs Notes that show much of his early experiments with radio LC circuits:

Here's a detailed investigation into Tesla's Colorado Springs receiver experiments:

Tesla on Mars:

Two Tesla radio related patents:

Patent # 645576 "System Of Transmission Of Electrical Energy"

Patent #649621 "Apparatus For Transmission Of Electrical Energy"

Michio Kaku's site:
"Renowned physicist Michio Kaku explores how mind reading, the routine use of force fields, and other feats that are currently science fiction may become commonplace tomorrow."

Link to EJ Gold's line of BetaBlocker Crystal Radios:

The above controversial video from EJ Gold shows an alternate use for crystal radio circuits... to partially suppress Beta brain waves to allow the Alpha-Theta waves to predominate for better meditation and psychic work.

Decide for yourself if it could be true!


kidamazo (author)2017-05-15

Hello, I am having a difficult time with the wiring. Would anyone be
able to do a circuit illustration (not a schematic) showing the exact wiring including the
three wires that come out of the antenna?

SHOE0007 made it! (author)2017-03-28

Made from the 160 in 1 a 9 volt IC which is very efficient in producing sound from the radio shack project.

btakash made it! (author)2017-02-14

I built it but im having trouble getting any audio software to recognize it. Any recommendations or ideas?

chinux (author)btakash 2017-03-08

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.

vidtch (author)btakash 2017-02-21

You can use Audacity. Free and nice audio recording software.

chinux (author)2017-03-08

Hi Everybody,

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!

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 "debug version" of it (see figure), being able in this way to check the signals at some points of the circuit with an oscilloscope.

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.

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?

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 :-) )

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?

Well, if anybody can help, it will really really appreciated! Thanks in advance!

DonaldM81 made it! (author)2017-02-02

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.
I will help anyone if I can.
Din McPhee

rvincent2 (author)2017-01-06

can you use a larger mason jar like a pint or a quart

Blaise6878 (author)2016-12-19

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?

Thank you SO much!


Technoshaman (author)Blaise68782016-12-25

You can use Audacity. Free and nice audio recording software.

rutokin12 (author)2016-12-14

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

Terrybennitt (author)2016-11-09

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 ???

Nescu made it! (author)2016-10-14

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.

Some friends and I have a sound art project, so we are using it to make spooky sounds for our noise jam sessions!

I just have to say this instructable could be a bit better explained since we spent some time trying to understand the soldering.

Thanks a lot for sharing!

JB001 (author)2016-09-15

Hi, just wondering about the hook up wire... I'm in Australia and
having trouble locating the equivalent of 20 gauge... would this one


Mahdie9 (author)2016-09-11

Hi! I'm really interested in an improvement! how would it be possible with a reflector antenna?!!
and will it work with these materials now?!

mrfixitrick (author)Mahdie92016-09-11

Looks like fun... My main advice? Try it!
The reflector may make the device more sensitive in certain ranges of fields. Cheers, Rick

Mahdie9 (author)mrfixitrick2016-09-11

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.

Special thanks for your ignorance or forgiving my problems in English and backgrounds. God bless you..

Mahdie9 (author)Mahdie92016-09-11

I'm 15

Mahdie9 (author)2016-08-29

if it really reacts this many frequencies (light, sound, vibration, radio frequencies, RF pulses, magnetic fields)
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??!
Plsss heelp meee

mrfixitrick (author)Mahdie92016-09-02

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.

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.

Mahdie9 (author)mrfixitrick2016-09-04

Tnx tnx thank you very much

LukB (author)2016-08-30

Hello everybody. Is There a tutorial for the right configuration step by step? Thank you.

Mahdie9 (author)2016-08-29

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

goldenshuttle (author)2016-08-02

great post. Can you please say something about the results ? any Vortex found ?

SHOE0007 made it! (author)2016-07-29

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.

PaulR13 made it! (author)2016-06-08

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.

mrfixitrick (author)PaulR132016-07-26

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.

ZElectro (author)PaulR132016-06-08

Looking at the audio output jack, I see an error.

The ground (black wire) on the jack should be connected to lower bottom lug.

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.

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

PaulR13 (author)ZElectro2016-06-08

Im not sure i follow. Your saying im using the wrong one of the three as a ground?

ZElectro (author)PaulR132016-06-08

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.

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.

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.

PaulR13 (author)ZElectro2016-06-14

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.

ZElectro (author)PaulR132016-06-14

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.

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.

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.

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.

mrfixitrick (author)ZElectro2016-06-14

Thanks, ZElectro...I could not have put it better myself. There is a saying, "I used to think there were interruptions to my work, until I realized that the interruptions WERE my work!" 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.

PaulR13 (author)ZElectro2016-06-09

I see i will have to change that over once i get home from work. Thank you very much for that!

mrfixitrick (author)ZElectro2016-06-08

Sharp eyes! :)
Thanks for the help for PaulR13 !

mrfixitrick (author)2016-07-26

Most excellent...thank-you for sharing!

Fjorz made it! (author)2016-07-26

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:

I highly recomend to understand how it works.


The Peddler made it! (author)2014-08-10

I made this device with great success. Here is a sound sample of my first audio test;

The audio file was exported directly from the Audio Mulch program into WAV format and then converted to MP3 @320kpbs.

I was able to keep parts cost low thanks to and 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!

KeithM2 (author)The Peddler2016-05-25

Updated link for Spirit Radio audio test #1;

mrfixitrick (author)The Peddler2014-08-22

A great build with fun sounds! Thanks for sharing it.

ki4clz (author)2016-04-16

why the resistor at R1...?

also you never detailed frequecncy range...

SHOE0007 (author)2016-03-07

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.

SHOE0007 (author)2016-03-07

Here is the transistor set diagram for a more effective and amazing two transistor radio from electronic playgrounds 130 page 134 expirement 113.


chafikb1 (author)2016-03-03

شكرا جزيلا

Traveler3339 (author)2015-10-20

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.

You could probably just stick an old (or new) small amp on there. Should not be too hard.

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.

JoshuaF32 (author)Traveler33392015-12-24

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.

Xtal head phone/ceramic headphone. You also could try a piezo tweeter, or piezo mike/speaker.

(the link to mike has all the parts)

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.

If size is not an issue, you could make a variable cap out of cardboard and aluminum foil.

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

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!

patrcain (author)2016-02-16

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 "disembodied souls" and "parallel universes" HAHA. Seeing that I attend very small & 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.

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 »
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