Vintage Heathkit Crystal Receiver Model R-1

It doesn’t get much simpler or old school than this. No batteries or power source required, just a few basic electronic components convert AM Broadcast radio signals into audio. Unfortunately, the original Acme headphones don’t appear to be working, but I got some good results connected to a microphone input on an audio mixer. With a little bass boost from the EQ, the audio sounded pretty good.

Test antenna was a multi-trap dipole designed for HF and house wiring ground connection. Not the ideal setup of a longer wire and earth ground, but it still pulled in about a half dozen radio stations across the band, some quite strong, some might have been out of state.

Tuning takes a little getting used two, there are two tuning knobs which must be operated and peaked individually to maximize signal. If you’re accustomed to using a standard antenna tuner, you’ll get the hang of it pretty soon.


  • Kenn Ranous


PS: This radio is sold. Sorry. Wish I had more of them!

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