The Crystal Lighthouse

The Crystal Lighthouse Radio

Finally, a 'DESIGNER' crystal set and a departure from the BIG,BIG mind-set! I yearn for the "unusual" in all MY sets but it's becoming harder and harder. I've even had to work hard and I didn't see that in my contract anywhere!

However, this set incorporates 3 areas totally new to me. The schematic was taken from Dave's website for his #57 crystal set. All I had to do was modify it using a 240µH honeycomb coil and two 365pF variable capacitors. I sneak around in Dave's site every chance I get and come up with inspiration every time. Not only did I cob his schematic yet again but Dave also donated a really nice selection switch that allows the option of the brass detector on top or a diode mounted under the base.

So, the first new endeavor for me was the construction of the brass encased crystal detector. It required considerable lathe time, mill time and beer time but I am truly pleased and surprised at the outcome. Not only do I consider it to be extremely attractive but the innovation of using a split ball inside the ball chamber allows complete shaft control with one twist of the ball chamber's cap. My limited experience with other detector stands are of stiff and inconsistent action of the ball turning in it's holder and the mostly non-existent of shaft movement in-and-out. Plus they did not allow the shaft to be rotated without constant and troublesome adjustments. My infinitely superior :-) design features the complete array of shaft action with consistency, ease of adjustment and complete contact throughout. Now ain't that nifty?

Next comes the honeycomb coil which I could not find for sale anywhere. Now I know why! Those buggers are buggers to make. Now that I've perfected the winding apparatus to wind them with (and which is offered for sale elsewhere on this site) it is not really difficult at all. Fact is, winding honeycomb coils is a lot of fun. The only tough thing is trying to guess how many layers of turns are required for a given diameter wire and a given µH requirement. I have learned, however, that if you stand on your left foot and hold your tongue in your right jaw, it can be done. And if turns out wrong you simply pop-a-top-again, try your right foot and left jaw try, try, try again.

Anyhoo, those honeycombs are pretty. Therefore the next question is 'how best to display' all that beauty? Waaaa-laaaa! Sandwich that baby between a 1.5" clear acrylic tube and a 3" one! Not too bad!

And the rest is just a piece of cake, right? After all it is just a simple crystal circuit. That is for anybody but me! After threading all the wires from the various sections down through set and into the base where the solder lugs are, things begin to get dicey. My brain just doesn't get it the way things like this get turned upside down and become mirrored images of what they are supposed to be. So for me, like with the rest of my sets, success comes wandering in all innocent and su prised after I've spent many hours of frustrating wiring/soldering and de-wiring/de-soldering. It's sure purdy though ain't it?

The Crystal Lighthouse Radio