Crystal Cyclops Radio

I have been holding on to a very nice antique RCA bezel and class crystal waiting for just the right radio to put it on. And this is it! The dome on this cabinet is 4 ½” in diameter which works just right with the bezel. The dial face under the glass is an unknown brand but came from 1937. The pointer is one that I make by hand out of solid brass.

Since this was to be a special radio I opted to build it as a true double tuned crystal circuit including two 365 variable capacitors with one serving as the antenna tuner and the other as the main tuner. These make it possible to tune very sharply when used in conjunction with the toroidal coil I wound using 175/46 litz wire. I am able to tune many stations that just are impossible to get with a standard crystal receiver. The two variable capacitors are rather expensive but the result is obviously worth every penny. And to ensure a convenient and pleasing listening experience I have included a small amplifier and speaker with access to the 9vdc battery in the back panel.

The cabinets panels are highly flamed tiger maple and the sides/top were steamed, bent to shape, dried and attached to the frame work built just for it. After careful sanding it was stained with orange tinted lacquer, sealed, shaded and finished with multiple coats of nitro cellulose lacquer that I flatten in my shop.