You're the techno-whiz with all the knowledge on the newest gadgets, but do you know how to make a radio transmitter? A radio transmitter is an object that broadcasts frequencies in radio wave-length, which can vary widely depending on how "long" your particular waves actually are. The first radio transmitter, using modern standards, broadcasted in AM (Amplitude Modulation) frequency. AM remained very popular for the majority of the twentieth century, but was replaced in music broadcasting by FM (Frequency Modulation) due to its superior sound quality. Still, AM is quite popular and you will be building one of these transmitters through this how-to guide.
Here's what you will need to make a radio transmitter from scratch:
- A crystal oscillator between .9 and 1.2 MHz
- Normal, rubber-covered wire
- A source for your music (audio)
- Connect your crystal to the antenna. The crystal is the code for which your antenna will broadcast (i.e. the radio transmitter). This is the basic construction of any normal radio-wave transmitter. The pin that should be utilized for connection to the radio transmitter is the one opposite of the "black dot" on the lower left corner of your crystal. A regular telephone wire will work quite well to connect the two.
- Connect your crystal to the source of the audio. The crystal should have two holes: one for the red wire of your audio source and the other for the black wire. Typically, the red input is above the black dot on the lower left and the black input is to the right of it.
- Make sure the radio transmitter is long enough. Typically, the telephone wire (or whatever transmitter you are utilizing) should be over twenty feet if you want to hear your station throughout the block. However, a radio transmitter can differ from another antenna quite a lot.
- Tune to your station. You will be done making a radio transmitter soon enough. Whatever number your crystal espouses (that .9 to 1.2 MHz) is what you want to tune to. Well, not exactly. You need to multiply it by 1,000. Hence, a reading of one MHz is 1000 AM on your radio. Test it out and go back to the antenna if your radio transmitter can't reach properly!
It is very important to make sure you get an undamaged crystal when you make a radio transmitter. The crystal oscillator is the life blood of your new little radio station, so buy new or in "like-new" condition. Congratulations on learning how to make a radio transmitter. Good luck future disk-jockey!