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Introduction to Radio Receiver Kit

Build a Simple Radio Receiver from a Kit

Designed by Levi Zima, KN4YHS
Contributor: Kirsten Zima, KC9RWG

Please note: This kit is available from ARRL.

What you will need (not included): A soldering iron, solder, wire cutter, protective eyewear, and some other basic tools.

Supplementary Content


This radio receiver kit provides a basis for introducing anyone. Builders are introduced to radio electronics through the experience of constructing the kit. Build it yourself or use it as a mentored-activity with youth, new and prospective hams, scouts, and adults. Use it as a student project in classrooms, as an after-school activity, and with groups such as radio clubs, at hamfests, and at fairs.

The kit is a tunable and volume-controlled radio receiver with a frequency range of approximately 40 MHz to 150 Mhz. It can pick up transmissions from nearby FM radio stations, Air Traffic Control Towers, and similar transmitting sources. The circuit consists of a small wire antenna, a front end (the part of the circuit that processes the incoming radio signal) with a hand-coiled 15uH inductor for high Q, a trimmer capacitor for frequency tuning, and an op amp and potentiometer for signal amplification and volume control. The radio is powered with a 9-volt battery (included). An earbud-style headphone is included.


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