Several years ago I met a man who grew up in Sterling City, Texas.
The Texan told me that when he was a kid during the Depression, he had a radio that didn’t need batteries or household current, and that he was able to tune in radio broadcasts by touching something he called a cat’s whisker to a crystal. Throughout the discussion he kept saying, “I wish I had that radio here to show you.”
Several days later, I mentioned the cat’s whisker radio to a friend and she directed me to several internet sites dedicated to Crystal Radios. I built my first radio with a kit I purchased on-line from the Borden Radio Company. The radio had a diode instead of a crystal, but it was designed to work in much the same manner. I showed it to the Texan. We ran out an antenna wire and tuned in a couple of the local AM stations. The Texan seemed pleased, but he again mentioned that he wished he could show me the radio that he had once used as a kid. I became more curious as he began to describe the radio in much more detail. After some back and forth, I told him that I would like to build a radio similar to the radio he had used back in the day. I might even name the radio after him. He told me not to bother unless the radio was robust, functional, and good looking. I left for home with rough sketches of two similar loose coupler radios.
I got together with a few of my friends and we started making parts for the radio. The final result was the A-Runner and the J-Walker Crystal Radios.
As the Texan stood admiring his new Crystal Radio he noted that many of the radio subsystems and parts could be adapted to any number of crystal radio designs. So, we opened this internet site to help support the universal quest for robust, functional, and good looking Crystal Radios.
We did name one of the radios after the Texan.
Stephen Natelli, Jr.