Building a “Foxhole” Radio Receiver

Wednesday, 14 June 2023
IMS Exhibit Floor, System Demo Zone (Booth 2155)

Presented By: Professor David S. Ricketts, North Carolina State University

Ever wanted to build one of the early radios by hand?

Did you know you can do it without special parts, just a coil of wire, a pencil, a piece of metal and a paper towel tube? Join this hands-on experience where you will learn to build the ingenious radio receiver built by Lieutenant M. L. Rupert in the 1940s. The radio doesn’t use a local oscillator so as to avoid being detected and was popular in areas (foxholes) where you didn’t want to be detected. You will be able to build your own radio on site and take home or simply come by to learn how it operates and take a turn at tuning a radio with a pencil point – the parts are simple, but perhaps not the tuning!  This hands-on experience is created by Prof. David S. Ricketts and is part of his work on disseminating wireless education in a more exciting way. See for educational materials one wireless systems and circuits.

AM Radio Receiver

Wikipedia: RBDiode.pdf

David S. Ricketts received the PhD in Electrical Engineering from Harvard University. He is currently a Full Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. His scientific research focuses on emerging microwave and analog circuits and systems from 1 Mhz to 300 GHz. His work has appeared in Nature and in numerous IEEE conferences and journals. He is the author of the two books on jitter in high-speed electronics and electrical solitons. He is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, the DARPA Young Faculty Award and the George Tallman Ladd research award and is a Harvard Innovation Fellow. In addition as a teacher he is the recipient of the 2009 Wimmer Faculty Teaching Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, 2013 Harvard University Bok Center Teaching Award and the 2021 William F. Lane Outstanding Teaching award at NCSU. Since 2015, Prof. Ricketts has taught experiential hand-on workshops on building a QAM Radio and a FMCW RADAR across the globe at all of the major microwave conferences.