Hi-Fi Crystal AM Radio Tuner / No. 565 Miller




Introduction: Hi-Fi Crystal AM Radio Tuner / No. 565 Miller

About: I love simplicity, function and precision job!

Hello everyone!

I am big fan of old radios, and I am fascinating how precision were the radios making. 4 months ago, I was just looking for some interesting schematcs, and I found one! It's about 50 years old, but works perfectly, without any power supply. With the reciever you can listen to your favourite radio on middle waves. You just need some electronic components, long antenna, good ground and HI-Z earphones (or amplifier). To make it you don't need any money! All components I used were recycled! Please, respect the nature!!

Let's make it! :))

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Step 1: Components

What you need:

  • Epoxy board, or any non-conducting board (for motherboard)
  • Metal board (for frontboard, I chose dural)
  • Old ugly log (for case)

Electronic parts:


  • R1 - 100 kOhms
  • R2 - 1 MOhms potentiometer


  • C1 - Tuning capacitator 2 * 500 pF (from an old AM radio)
  • C2 - 100 nF
  • C3 - 200 pF
  • C4 - 50 nF
  • Cc1 - 15 pF
  • Cc2 - 10 pF


  • L1 - 250 uH
  • L2&L4 - 330 uH (100 turns with 0,21 mm wire on 7 mm in diameter and 29 mm lenght ferrite stick)
  • L3 - 20 - 30 double turns on 8 mm in diameter 40 mm lenght wooden dowel, then solder left end of A turning and right end of B turning together
  • L5 - 2,5 mH

One germanium diode

Note: Be precision while you are winding the coils. After winding is good to measure the inductive of coils. The inductive has to be the same. It is important for future quality receive.


  • Some wires
  • Some banana jacks (for antenna, groung, earphones..)
  • Long (best 20 meters) antenna
  • Good ground (metal heating is fine)
  • High Z earphones (best about 1-2 kOhm or more)
  • A lot of chocolate (for patience :))

Step 2: Motherboard

To make a motherboard for the reciever you need comprextit board (or any thin non-conducting board, wooden, platic...). Dimensions of the motherboard are 144 mm * 72 mm.

  1. Line the cuprextit board.
  2. Print the layout from original manual on paper.
  3. Stick the printed layout on the coprextit board.
  4. Mark the soldering holes with center punch.
  5. Drill all holes you need,
  6. Make holder for the ferrite core coils (L2, L4).
  7. Rivet the soldering holes with hollow brass (or any solderable metal) rivets.
  8. Make BIG hole for the tuning cap!
  9. Be happy of the result, you made the motherboard!! :))

Step 3: Frontboard

To make the frontboard I choosed dural board. It is not necessary, I just had what I had.

  1. Frontboard dimensions are 170 mm * 90 mm.
  2. Cut it!
  3. Mark it in the center and drill hole.
  4. Making some interesting things for good working cap (ellipse, holes..).
  5. Make hole for potentiometer (by your motherboard).
  6. More holes for future case.
  7. By the Motherboard make into Frontboard 4 holes for some screws
  8. Be proud od yourself! :))

Step 4: The Case

The original case is made from bakelite. I can't make it, so I decided to make it from the best material on the world, from the wood!

  1. Find log (I found old, ugly log, to prove, that the ugly, old log with mushrooms init doesn't worth nothing, I didn't wanna to kill tree :((..please, respect the nature:)) BTW. I thing the tree is Populus alba.
  2. Saw this log on right lenght. Side boards are 104 * 78 * 14 (lenght * width * thickness) in mm. Bottom and upper boards are 174 * 78 * 14 mm (first piece of log is shorter (104 mm), second one is longer (174mm)). (P.S. Be sure, this is aesthetics matters)
  3. Saw it on Boards. Line the log with right dimensions from the middle of log. Once you have it, next step is comming!
  4. Cut it on the one side, then in the middle, and on the end on the other side. Now you have 2 wooden boards. Repeat it with the second log.
  5. Smooth it to soft and clean surface. (don't do it with sandpaper, it's not nice. I did it with drawknife (or jack-plane), and result was perfect)
  6. Cut it on the right dimensions (lenght, width).
  7. Sketch and saw dovetail joints (25 and 12,5 mm). Be precise, I choosed 2 dovetail joints on one side.
  8. Assembly the BOX!
  9. Time to puttying. The putty consist saw dust and glue for wood or paper (everybody knows that white liquid). The putty is for the holes in the case. After puttying, let it dray about 4-7 days, for sure, than sand it with sandpaper, but carefully. :)
  10. So, we've got a case. Let's lacquer. I choosed "Boad lacquer", it has nice a bit orange color, for this old, ugly, white wood is good. Inside took only one layer. Outside took 4-6 layer of lacquer.
  11. Let it dry, and be happy! :))

Step 5: Electronic Part

Once you've got motherboard, frontboard and case for radio done, it's time on electronic part!

  1. First, collect your electronic parts from step 1
  2. Build your alfa version of crystal tuner (this step is not important, you can skip it!)
  3. From original instruction lists you can find where every component has be placed. By numbers on schematics (this numbers are also on motherboard layout on original instructions), you will find every single soldering point on motherboard, so, just go on! :)
  4. Now, you can solder and solder! First is good to solder wire interconnections. Then you can solder other components.
  5. Another step is about coils holders. I didn't know how to solve this problem. In original, they use special rubber holders. I didn't have them. I used rubber holder from old pen, it works fine. Just look at pictures, it will say everything. :)
  6. Finish funcional/electronic part, add some ground wires (on tuning cap for example in my case)
  7. Done!..?

Step 6: Assembling

We have already finish, just assemly all parts into the case!

  1. I chose solution with screwed mothorboard with frontboard, then frontboard is screwed with case. It's becaouse it is the siplest way for repearing/assembling/disassembling and also, I had not a good tuning cap for this case.
  2. Pictures will say the same. :3

Step 7: Final Touches!

This is the last step. You can add some buttons on potentiometer, or tuning cap, add some bannana jacks for antenna, ground and headphones and so on. That's only on you!

This is the end! Thanks for your time!

If you like my project, you can support me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/D-Fox/236623253020... , or on instagram http://instagram.com/ondrej_fidra .

Respect the nature!


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    21 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Instead of having the antenna drapped around, couldn't THAT be coiled around a tube also?

    spark master
    spark master

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Oh I fergit, if you have acess to formica or thin slate or anything non conductive you can build right on it. Stuff like this was built on wood, that was shellacked a few times or shellacked then waxed, or might be build on a chunk of (yikes) soapstone or an old tile.

    But usually it was wood. As long as it was non ferrous, non conductive and not subject to water retention, it was good to go. On a few I just screwed the components to a block of scrap wood, then put it on an antenna or Arial .

    A note on antenni, as ham's will tell you height makes maight and size matters.

    The higher you get the antenna or the bigger it is the better it will work. Also if you get your antenna feed up high instead of one wire x feet long use 3 -4 all parallel that will snag more micro volts from the air giving you more energy into the detector circuits and headphones.


    the better you ground this thing, the better it will work. For a really good ground bury a 1957 GM car (any one will do), at least ten feet below the ground attaching #8 stranded wire to it, back fill with lightly salted sand with a sprinkling of iron filings soak well with salted water and then put finished ground cover, water daily.

    If that is unavailable,,,cold water pipes are sufficient.

    they don't call me sparkie fer nut'n


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Antenna and ground are very important. If you've got better antenna and ground, you've got better sound and selectivity! I've got about 20 meters long antenna in 30 meters, and it's fine (sometimes is very dangerous! when the storm comes!)

    Thanks for your comments! 73!

    spark master
    spark master

    5 years ago on Introduction

    here is a page that has the same jpegs, but can be enlarged enough to read them

    http:/ remove this /fmamradios.co remove this m/pics/Miller565-2-3.jpg

    I think this version is nicer then the original


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    If you look at the full size of the picture of instruction on this site, you can read them too! :) Thanks you!

    spark master
    spark master

    5 years ago on Introduction

    I have built a number of Xtal Radios and they are fun, but where does one purchase old huge variable caps?

    You can make them (albeit they may be a tad crappy, or you may need to experiment to get the right capacitance), or if you find old dumped radios you are good to go. It has been years , but I thought the tuner was about 360 MFD's or so. Great project!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! The best way to get the big caps is take it from old damaged radios (don't kill them!! old radios are jewelery!! look at the design!!)...but, this cap has about 300 mmFD on each side, 500 mmFD on each side is better!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    could you please provide the circuit diagram for electronics.


    Reply 5 years ago

    Hi! Circuit diagram and schematic is in step 1, in original instructions.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice design... Maybe you can build in a web radio? Thanks for this idea...


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Tkanks you! Yea, I could, I am working on web radio with STM32, but it's too hard for me, I have to learn more about it :)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This looks great. It wood be fun to see this in a log cabin


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Nice project and nicely presented. Love your sense of humor and I wish I could communicate as effectively in Czech as you can in English. Enjoyed reading and following your Instructable! I found myself smiling with admiration for what you made, and that you took time to share it here. Did you use that back saw that is visible in the photo to cut the pieces of wood? [That must have been fun!] And where did you you come across the old plans for the radio? [the internet?] How much chocolate is needed! :)


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! yes, I used the saw visible on the fotos (with the orange handle), the plans are from the internet, of course :) I am a bit chocoholic, I ate about 10 bars od chocolate :D hope, you like it :)