View Full Version : Rocket Radio

09-11-2018, 04:34 AM
Remember these from the 60's.
Rocket radio.
I had one. Not sure what happened to it.
Like a lots of my toys, my cousins raided and sold them all off.
I got nothing now.
These were cool in the days.
Not the greatest, by today's standards, but they did work.
I've been looking for one, but seems no one is making them anymore.
Those that are for sale, start at $60 and go up to $150.


09-11-2018, 07:42 AM
never had those but did have the kit you built your self and hooked to the clothes line for the antenna.

Petrol & Powder
09-11-2018, 07:55 AM
There were a ton of novelty radios in the 1960's and 70's. They seem to have developed a bit of a following with collectors but it is a very small collectors niche. You could get the little plastic box transistor radio or for a little more money you could get the same radio packaged in some novelty plastic housing. They were pretty much all the same inside.

The ones I miss are the kit radios. I had a one that used a 9 volt battery and received the aircraft band and another that was strictly a crystal set that received AM without a battery. I wish I still had those just for the nostalgic value.

09-11-2018, 08:05 AM
I had a rocket radio too. Elementary school days. I think a teacher took it away from me. Also had a Heath Kit crystal radio. Ran a copper wire from my room to a cottonwood tree and grounded on to an outside faucet. On a good night, I could pick up WLS in Chicago. That was a long way from Texas. Really dazzled this Texas boy.

09-11-2018, 08:23 AM
Ah yes crystal radios,dirt cheap transistor radios. First radio I ever bought was a 2 transistor for the princely sum of $3 back in the early 60s had that for 5 years before in died. United Nuclear has a gorgeous chrystal radio built on a piece of oak for around $100. Gave one to a cousin whose a radio buff and he absolutely loved it.

09-11-2018, 08:26 AM
I had the crystal set got pretty good reception with it. The best thing I got when I was a kid was the deluxe chemistry set a gift from an uncle who was a combat engineer in WWll he showed me some neat things to do with that set.

09-11-2018, 08:49 AM
I had one until it finally died. It was so cool! Then I got a very sensitive radio with a good tuner and never looked back. I was a huge baseball fan in the early 70's, wanted one that would pick up skip well and I found one. I could listen to AM in most of the country from my second story in central IL.

09-11-2018, 04:01 PM
Brings back memories.

09-11-2018, 06:11 PM
I didn't have a Rocket Crystal, but did put together a Crystal Radio Kit , I ran a wire from my bedroom window to the top of a Pecan tree in our back yard for the antenna . My dad grounded it to the water faucet pipe that was below my window . At night , lying in bed with the little ear piece I could pick up stations in other states if the conditions were right. Exciting stuff for a kid back in the late 50's early 60's. That technology seems so primitive now....but was fun then !

09-11-2018, 07:01 PM
I remember reading about radio kit being dropped in Europe during WW2.
They used to make radios out of razor bladed in the POW camps.
Wonder hwy no one is remaking the Rocket Radio.
I think it would be a hit with younger kids.

09-13-2018, 08:10 AM
My Dad made a radio from a piece of germainium and a "Cats whisker" which I think was a thin copper wire. It was a primative crystal , He also did this with a razor blade.
The radio required a 50 foot antennae with a wire runnning to a coil of shelac insulated copper wire wrapped around a card board tube
We used a high impedence headphone from WWII surpluse to listen

tablet-android-samsung&ei=LlOaW4-rJZHW9AOHmJLgDA&ins=true&q=germanium+diode+radio&oq=Germanium+diode+radi&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-serp.1.0.35i39j0i22i30l4.5291.5291..7940...0.0..0. 136.136.0j1......0....

09-13-2018, 08:16 AM
I remember reading about radio kit being dropped in Europe during WW2.
They used to make radios out of razor bladed in the POW camps.
Wonder hwy no one is remaking the Rocket Radio.
I think it would be a hit with younger kids.

I suspect you are being hopeful. A significant number of Kids today do not appreciate the high tech devices they have, To them a crystal radio would be a "So what?"response. They expect devices to work .They do not care how they work ,and when the device does not work they get angry or they toss it and move to another device.
As my grandson said, "Why would I build a radio papa, I can listen to radio on my Ipad, and there ain't to much on the radio worth listening too..."
Way back in the 1950s in -35F and the dark , a crystal radio was reassurance that there were people living in far off places who cared enough to sit alone in a room, talk into a microphone on the faith that some one was listening, and play music that the local radio station called "devil music". It was a marvel to hear that San Antonio Texas was at 45F when we were sitting at -35F or -40F or colder.

09-13-2018, 09:43 PM
Started with an oatmeal box crystal radio, then got a transistor radio kit when I was 12, then a ham license at 14 and a Heathkit HW 16 plus a used Hallicrafters shortwave receiver... I still enjoy tuning on far off AM stations in winter... Grand Old Oprey on WSM was always a favorite...

09-13-2018, 10:29 PM
Had a buddy give an old Hammerlund HQ110 quite a few year back. Ran the copper antenna wire out my bedroom window and attached it to the chain link fence next to the school on my block.Have two oldies, Zenith transoceanic bought for my dad back in the late 80's and a small transistor radio he had. The zenith still works like a charm and used it the other day while cleaning out the garage. Frank

09-13-2018, 10:34 PM
I'm another that had a rocket radio. It was my pride and joy and like most others kids, I have no idea what happened to it.

William Yanda
09-14-2018, 08:36 AM
"Grand Old Oprey on WSM was always a favorite..."

And the Jamboree from Wheeling. Remember Crazy Elmer? "I want to play you a little seloction, 'I was goin down the hill, doin 90 miles an hour, when the chain on my bicycle broke......."

Mal Paso
09-14-2018, 10:34 AM
Dad was one of the first Electronics Engineers and my first radio was a Heath Kit Shortwave that I built under his supervision. I learned how to make a good solder joint about age 11. Our first contact was a coop station in Russia. Thanks for jogging the memories.

09-14-2018, 10:44 AM
Border Radio even made it to the far reaches of VT on one of these