Crystal Sets
Carl D. Beier crystal set
An assembled No. 1 Crystal Set kit, sold by Carl D. Beier in 2008.
Crystal Radio
A double tuned circuit with variable inductance. Selectivity is very good.
Crystal Radio Coil
The nicely made coil came pre-wound. Apparently, some set builders had trouble winding their own coil in early versions.
Crystal Set Coil
How did Carl space these taps so perfectly??

Carl D. Beier No.1 crystal set
This one seems to be a prototype. Notice the "L" brackets on the capacitors.

Crystal Radio
The No. 1 schematic.

Crystal Radio
Assembled No. 2 Crystal Set kit. Single dial, variable selectivity.
Crystal Radio
Rear view, showing simple design.
Crystal Radio Coil
The red coil slides back and forth to control the selectivity of the set.

Crystal Radio
                                COIL DATA

Coil form O.D. = 2.125" x 5" long

Coil P = 30 turns
Coil D = 30 turns
Coil S = 60 turns

Coil D is mounted on top of Coil S, glued in place.
Coil P slides back and forth, but does not overlap coil S

24 gauge wire

NOTE: All coils are wound in the SAME DIRECTION.

  The No. 2 schematic.      

The two kits pictured here were purchased on ebay in 2008. The price was about $15, which probably didn't even cover the cost of the parts. After the kits were built I realized what a great deal they were, so I looked for more on ebay but there weren't any.

Over a decade later I wondered just who Carl D. Beier was. These kits were easy to assemble, and came with pre-wound coils. How was it that somebody suddenly appeared selling high quality crystal radio kits, then mysteriously disappeared again? I decided to look him up, which turned out to be easy because his email address was in the assembly manuals.

Above is an advertisement placed in the February 2008 issue of "Antique Radio Classified." Carl was only asking $22 for a kit, and it apparently included shipping. The kits came with an easy to read construction manual.

In all, Carl sold about 900 of these sets. The last 300 were sold to Lance Borden of Borden Radio Company (
Lance and his wife flew from Houston, Texas to Carl's house in Michigan. They packed up seven boxes of sets and had them shipped back to Texas via UPS. Lance never sold them online and Carl didn't know what Lance did with them.

Inquiries to Lance Borden by both myself and Carl D. Beier went unanswered. Then out of the blue, in December 2020, Cecil Weinstein (N0EHP) wrote to this website and said that Lance still has them all! They are still in storage.

In May of 2021 Lance Borden finally wrote back saying he intends to put them up for sale.

Carl also sold 30 kits to a teacher named Joseph Di Nova (WA2GFK) to use in his class. In 2022 Di Nova still had eight unbuilt sets left, and listed them on ebay for $150 each.

Steam engine built by Carl D. Beier
Carl D. Beier is now in his 80s and makes home-made steam engines, one of which is shown above.

Carl D. Beier crystal radio
These two sets were actually built by Carl. The design began around May, 1992.
The early construction manuals have a label stating "CARL & GRACE ENT." with an address in Detroit, MI.
crystal set controls
The radios built by Mr. Beier have a crinkle finish on the front panel.
variable capacitor
A capacitor made in England and a bag of parts included with a kit. 
1/3/85 on the capacitor could be a date. Since it's British, it would be March 1, not January 3.
1N34A Kemtron diode
The diodes Carl supplied with the kits were made by Kemtron and are dated March 1960.

Radios That Work For Free
Radios That Work For Free
Both of these sets appear in "Radios That Work For Free" by K. E. Edwards, published in 1977.
In this video of some of the radios made by K. E. Edwards, you can see the two sets on his bench. It's rather amusing to hear the narrator ask, "How are you doing, Mister Edwards?" because his real name is Jim McNutt! Click on the picture to view the video.

Victor Rodriguez
This Beier No.1 set was built from scratch by Victor Rodriguez
Victor Rodriguez
The cloth covered wire really adds to the look of the set.
Carl Beier crystal set
Vic sent these pictures to Carl Beier, who appreciated seeing the set. Vic asked him where he got the specs for the coil, and Carl replied that a friend recommended it to him. It worked, so that's what went into the kits. As of 2022, Carl is 83 years old!

Beier crystal set manual
Beier crystal set manual
  Model No. 1 (.PDF) Model No. 2 (.PDF)  
Beier No.1 Panel
Beier No.2 Panel
  No. 1 front panel template (.PDF) No. 2 panel template (.PDF)  
Click on the images above to view the manuals or to print out a front panel to use as a template. The manual on the left is actually a collection of mostly original papers that the construction manual was made from. Near the end you'll see that Carl could get 80 front panels from a single sheet of Masonite.

Do not write to Carl asking for a kit or any parts. The last two radios are shown on this page and he has none left. If you are interested in a kit for one (or both) of them, contact Lance Borden (