The Power Cord Antenna

 A typical crystal radio

Above is a typical circuit that as a young adult I constructed to listen to a couple of local radio stations

and I think it cost me about four dollars then ,maybe it would now cost ten or eleven dollars now.

All parts can be readily obtained from your local electronics or hobby shop. (Dick Smith and Tandy in Australia)

This circuit would have been know to Nicola Tesla as he design a similar circuit .

Normally you would only use a small ferrite bar for the coil or indeed only an air coil inductor winding.

Many would have only built them to receive the local radio stations twenty miles distance or less but more than this can be

accomplished with just experimenting with the coil winding sizes and longer distances covered..

By winding just one loop to many loops around the suggested ferrite rod size many shortwave stations could be heard and in some instances the tuning capacitor could be done away with.

The constructor normally be told that a high and long antenna and earth are required but below I described a aerial

that requires no more than six feet of zip cord or twin lighting flex.

 A typical crystal radio

Please note I take no responsibility if you construct the above and you construct or put it together incorrectly

and you should do so under adult supervision ( by the way the idea does work)

Putting it together.


Obtain for yourself a NEW six foot length of twin flex

from each end and at opposite side remove six inches of the flex cord as in illustration.

from the length remaining cut away an inch of insulation to leave the wire.

At this stage and this is important

Test to see that you have no conduction between the two bare wires at each end of the zip cord.

This can be done with a multi meter tester or a torch globe and battery.

If the meter zeros out, or the globe lights up , assuming the bulb is working then do not use this cord and try and make a new one again.


The plug diagram is an Australian wiring standard and may be different in other countries so check to see and be sure what you are about to do.

Be sure to wrap insulation tape where wire has been removed at the six inches cut mark for extra safety

Remember one of the wire Leads will be live with electricity ,so keep it away from water and skin contact.

Connect one of your bare on inch wire lengths to the active side of the electrical plug and place into electrical power point and the other end to your receiver ,be it a crystal radio or a normal radio or even a TV and then listen to your receiver you will be to hear a strong clear signal if within range of transmitter..

Please note TV reception has a limited range.

This can also be connected to an electrical light fitting and get the same result.

Don't use the earth connection on the plug just in case your home has been incorrectly wired and your earth has power

running through it.

If your house has installed wiring by a licensed contractor he is likely to have done this correctly.


Around us at all times there are radio signals these interact with any long leads and overhead power lines are no different..

The radio signal travel along these lines and into your home why not make use of these.

The zip cord acts as a signal transformer and places the signals from one side of the cord to other cord on the opposite

side and these are fed to your receiver..

I have received short wave signals on a simple crystal set up as of the first above diagram from 1000 kilometres away

The information is supplied as an Educational reference only and no responsibly is taken for anyone actually using

this information to make this antenna.

Remember Safety first at all times.


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