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This diode has some properties that make it particularly suited to our purpose, namely that it works at lower voltage levels than most other common diodes.Since the voltage in our radio comes from weak little radio waves, we need all the help we can get.A detector is something that picks the audio frequencies out of a radio wave, so they can be heard in the earphone.
But another type of earphone is available that fits in the ear so you don't have to hold it.
It is also more sensitive than the telephone handset.
It relies on having a very strong local radio station to overcome the limitations of such a simple radio.
If it does not work where you are, you can either build its cousins that we will discuss later, or you can drive out closer to a local radio station, and try it there.
You will hear a sharp click as electrons move from one wire to the other.
If the earphone came with a jack on the end instead of two bare wires, you will need a piece of metal such as a spoon to connect the two metal parts of the jack.
The detector we will use first is a Germanium diode.
The diode we want is called a 1N34A by the people who name diodes.
Some crystals such as quartz, and Rochelle's Salt are piezoelectric.
Some ceramics (such as those made with barium titanate) are also piezoelectric.