The premier destination for fun science projects & experiments for kids grades K-8 since 2010!

RAPID RADIO WAVES

Listen to the news by building your own foxhole radio

Suitable For

Grade 8

Difficulty

3

Time Required

 <1 Week

Supervision

Required

What’s it about?

During the Second World War, soldiers found a clever way to listen to the news. Foxhole radios were built by GI’s in World War II from materials they had easy access to in the field, such as razor blades and safety pins.

A foxhole radio basically consists of only a coil and a detector. You don’t need a crystal diode or batteries to make it work as it is powered only by the radio waves present in the air. In the following science experiment, build a working tuneable foxhole radio using only a few simple household supplies:

Topics covered

Radio

What will I need?

  • SAFETY PIN
  • TOILET ROLL TUBE
  • RAZOR BLADE
  • THUMB TACKS
  • PLYWOOD OR CARDBOARD BASE
  • INSULATED WIRE
  • WIRE CUTTERS
  • COATED MAGNET WIRE
  • EAR PHONES
  • STICKY TAPE

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

The foxhole radio in this science experiment is based on the same principle as a crystal radio receiver. This is a very simple radio receiver that was popular in the early days of radio. The radio does not need a battery because it runs on the power received from radio waves by the wire antenna, which picks up the radio waves and convert them to electric currents. The coil of wire known as an ‘inductor’ or ‘tuning coil’ together with the ‘detector’, is used to tune into different stations. The ‘detector’ then extracts the audio signal from the radio frequency by only allowing current to pass through it in one direction. This rectifies the alternating current radio wave to a pulsing direct current. This direct current is then converted to sound by the earphone.

Like the sound of it?

Why not check out the full worksheet in one of our popular e-books?

This particular science project can be found in any of the following Experiland e-books:

Experiland e-books contain detailed steps, including illustrations, to complete the science projects from start to finish.

Science project ebooks for kids

Experiland's science e-books contain a diverse range of several hundred of exciting science projects, ideas and experiments.

A project introduction and background, complete listing of required materials, step-by-step instructions on how to carry out the project, why it works, learn more section, as well as a science glossary with all the relevant terms make up each of the all-inclusive science project worksheets in our e-books!

Get your e-Book!