Single Transistor Radio Receiver Circuit


This is probably the simplest radio that one could ever imagine of making. The circuit is so simple that it could be finished assembling within a few minutes and you are already listening your favorite programs over it.

What are the fundamental criteria associated with radio reception? An antenna stage, a band selector stage, a demodulator stage and a receiving element.
When all of these come together radio reception becomes as simple as a piece of cake.

The circuit of a single transistor radio shown here though looks pretty ordinary, incorporates all the above stages and thus becomes just suitable for receiving the radio stations.
However simplicity will always involve some drawbacks also, here the present design will be capable of receiving only strong stations and also selectivity might not be very pleasing, typically if there are a couple of strong stations mingling around the band.
The figure below shows how the single transistor radio can be made, we can clearly see that it just involves a single transistor as the main active component.
A regular type of MW antenna coil has been used for collecting or sensing the MW receptions.
The coil is tuned using a GANG condenser or a variable capacitor which is connected in parallel to the antenna coil.
The coil and the GANG together form a resonant tank circuit, which lock on to the received or the resonant frequency at a particular setting.
The concentrated but very low in power signal from the above LC tuned stage is fed to the base of the transistor which as performs the function of a demodulator as well as a amplifier stage.
The coupling capacitor at the base of the transistor makes sure only the radio information passes to the transistor while the DC component from the supply is appropriately blocked.
A 64 Ohm headphone becomes the collector load of the transistor, where the demodulated and amplified signal is applied.
When connected, the received signals can be distinctly heard oer the headphones with this little “audio marvel”
Plugging in the headphone initiates the circuit and the circuit starts operating with its functions and the switches OFF itself when the headphone is removed from the circuit. This eliminates the need of an external switch to be associated with the circuit, making the unit very compact.
Single Transistor Radio Receiver Circuit
The circuit requires just 1.5 V for operating which can be implemented using a single button type of cell.

You would also want to build this ONE TRANSISTOR FM RADIO CIRCUIT

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37 comments

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Anonymous
August 14, 2012 at 10:56 PM delete

Can you please publish a simple transistor fm reciever?

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August 15, 2012 at 9:22 AM delete

I'll surely try to include one FM receiver circuit in my blog, for the time being you may refer to the following link:

http://www.somerset.net/arm/fm_only_one_transistor_radio.html

Regards.

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Anonymous
September 22, 2012 at 6:29 PM delete

Is there are any fm reciever circuit in your blog? This circuit is very simple but don't recieves fm stations.

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September 22, 2012 at 9:31 PM delete

I think if you Google a bit you would find a couple of simple circuits.....one that uses 40106 IC is pretty simple to build I guess.

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October 26, 2012 at 11:10 PM delete

will this work 7 km far from radio station?
can we replace a speaker in the place of head phone?

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October 27, 2012 at 8:23 AM delete

7km is relatively near, so the circuit should work.

A speaker will not produce any sound, it can be only heard through a headphone.

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November 1, 2012 at 4:07 PM delete

will you make a radio circuit which can produce sound in a 9 ohms speaker.

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November 1, 2012 at 4:36 PM delete

you told that any parties in Mumbai can hire you for project. I am from Karnataka, Dharwad. I am studying in kendriya vidyala dharwad ,7th standard. I am really interested in electronics.will you help me while making my projects? I tried 4 radio receiver circuits, in fact they failed. Are you sure this circuit will work?

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November 1, 2012 at 9:12 PM delete

You can try the following circuit:

http://homemadecircuitsandschematics.blogspot.in/2012/10/simplest-am-radio-receiver-with-speaker.html

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November 1, 2012 at 9:16 PM delete

Yes, however by hiring i meant paying for my services, but don't worry you can ask me questions in this blog, i'll try my best to help you out....

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February 17, 2013 at 2:04 PM delete

CAN YOU PUBLISH "L BOARD" PRINTED DIAGRAM OF AM RECEIVER?

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February 17, 2013 at 9:00 PM delete

it's an obsolete design now....sorry I don't have it.

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February 18, 2013 at 2:12 PM delete

i am trying to make this, if i have got any problem can i mail you? also inform me, can i not connect speaker instead of ear phone?

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February 18, 2013 at 2:16 PM delete

my home is near 25km from radio station, will it work?

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February 18, 2013 at 7:20 PM delete

speakers won't work here, you'll require a pair of headphones. It will catch only the strongest nearby stations, not the weaker ones.

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February 18, 2013 at 7:21 PM delete

can't say you'll have to test it practically...

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March 24, 2013 at 12:08 PM delete

HOW MANY TURNS IS THE COIL AND AT WHAT TURN IS IT TAPPED ?

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March 24, 2013 at 8:39 PM delete

Use a standard radio MW receiver antenna coil.

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December 17, 2013 at 3:51 PM delete

you said you can be hired, if we pay you. will you thumb my bum while watching german piss porn for $50? i dont have hair on my balls.

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December 17, 2013 at 7:44 PM delete

I'll do it free of cost for you, however may be you won't appreciate my service as I would come armed with a red hot iron and nutcracker equipment.....be ready

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January 31, 2014 at 12:04 AM delete

Can you say anything about the power consumption of this circuit?
Thanks in advance!

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January 31, 2014 at 7:08 PM delete

not sure, but the 1.5V cell would last for years.

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February 3, 2014 at 11:30 PM delete

Okay, thank you for your informations!
- but I still have one another question about your circuit:
What do you think - how is the quality of the received sound, if I build a FM receiver just some meters next to the receiver? - do you think, the sound will be good or have you any other idea, how I could realise this?
I'm asking, because I want to make a pair of headphones wireless - but with power consumption as low as possible.

Thank you in advance, Mr. Majumdar!

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February 5, 2014 at 12:22 PM delete

Sorry, I did not understand your question, what an FM receiver has to do with the above circuit?

The above circuit is a receiver not a transmitter

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February 5, 2014 at 6:17 PM delete

Please excuse me, I actually wanted to ask you, how good the quality of your published receiver is?
I wanted to ask you that question, because I intend to build your fm receiver and a fm transmitter.
From last one (transmitter), I want to transmit an audio signal to a pair of headphones, which I want to make wireless due to your receiver circuit?
You know what I mean? - Basicly I just wanted to know, what you think about this idea and if the quality is good enough.

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February 6, 2014 at 12:57 PM delete

sorry but you should put the question under the relevant article, because i have so many transmitter related articles, can't really figure out which circuit you are referring to.

anyway all my circuits are correct and will surely work if done correctly.

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February 10, 2014 at 12:09 AM delete

I made this and it is working. Fed the signal into a LM386 and can hear it on a 8ohm speaker. Too bad I can only 2 clear stations.

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September 20, 2014 at 6:16 AM delete

Good day sir

Will this capture FM signals?

I used BF199-based replacement Transistor istead of BC547. and used Standard FM Tunning Gang CAP paralleled to Standard MW AM antenna coil.

Will this work?

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September 20, 2014 at 8:56 PM delete

Good day PSK, I don't think it's designed for reeving FM, it's specifically intended for MW reception

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November 7, 2014 at 6:59 AM delete

what is the height of the antenna

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November 7, 2014 at 7:05 PM delete

the longer the better....2 meters can be tried initially.

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September 22, 2015 at 8:38 PM delete

can you please tell me why we wire capacitor between colcector amd ameitter?

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September 23, 2015 at 4:36 PM delete

to keep the voltage stabilized and maintain the selected frequency....

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September 23, 2015 at 7:04 PM delete This comment has been removed by the author.
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September 23, 2015 at 9:18 PM delete

in this circuit it could be for 3 reasons:

to stabilize the 1.5V when a strong reception is detected,

to ground unwanted high frequency response and to make the audio clearer.

to safeguard te transistor from earphone coil back emfs...

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November 3, 2015 at 1:20 AM delete

Hi, I have made this circuit but it is unable to catch any FM signals (I just need to catch 1 channel).
can you tell me coil's specifications (thickness, diameter and turns) ?

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November 3, 2015 at 10:31 AM delete

Hi, This is not a FM receiver, it's an AM radio.

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