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Explore the Challenges

The Challenge: Make a radio from a saucepan



The saucepan radio was designed to pick up short-wave signals so that we could get the time from the BBC World Service. After hours of experimenting, we managed to pick up a few short-wave signals, but none of these was a BBC station. Eventually, we picked up a program in English on Swiss Radio International, as well as programs in Italian, German, French and Arabic.

What You Need:

  • wood for base (30cm x 30cm / 12 in. x 12 in.)
  • wooden broom handle (30cm / 12 in.)
  • enamelled copper wire (22 swg)*
  • half a saucepan
  • metal plate (similar in size to the half saucepan)
  • 8 nuts and bolts and washers, or wire connectors
  • galena crystal**
  • crystal earpiece*
  • insulated copper wire (100m / 100 yd.)*
  • heavy-duty plastic sheet (20cm x 20cm / 8 in. x 8 in.)

castaway radio
the saucepan radio

* Obtainable from electronics stores

** Obtainable from any shop that sells minerals and crystals