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The Crystal Radio and NikolaTesla Magniwork Free Electricity Generator Scam

Updated on July 4, 2013
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Keith Schroeder writes The Wealthy Accountant blog with 30 years experience in the tax field. He is the tax adviser of Mr. Money Mustache.

If you are here about a crystal radio, stay tuned. First I will address the issue of free electricity generator offers on the internet.

Many scams on the internet gain traction because there is a grain of truth in them. Yes, you can generate electricity from radio waves and I will show you how without buying an e-book. You can buy parts to build a free electricity generator yourself or you can purchase a kit or crystal radio at Amazon for around $10.

There are several internet scams on the subject. Key words to cause you to clutch your wallet are: free electricity, perpetual motion, wireless electricity transmission, and magnets. Ninety-nine percent of all electricity generated worldwide is produces by running a wire through a magnetic field. Magnets do not produce electricity by magic. In most cases you boil water by burning coal, oil or natural gas, or from radioactive decay and use the steam to turn a coil of wire through a magnetic field, inducing a flow of electrons. Solar panels are the notable exception in electricity production in that sunlight induces the flow of electrons.

Do not let the scams scare you away from a really cool home science project. You can produce small amounts of electricity from thin air… ah… I mean radio waves.

Crystal Radio

The scammers neglect to tell you that the real name of what they describe is a crystal radio. A crystal radio has no batteries or power cords. It converts radio waves into electricity. Read "Free Electricity Generator Scam" for more details on how much electricity you can produce.

Crystal radios were all the rage in the 1940s and 50s. They have fallen out of favor over the years as the “cool” factor has waned. It is still an interesting concept and a fun project for Boy Scouts and school projects. Kits purchased at Amazon take less than fifteen minutes to assemble. This technology has few parts.

There are a few things to know before you begin. Crystal radios are real radios. The radio waves power the device while you listen to the broadcast. The length of the wire determines the frequency received, like tuning the dial. Be prepared to turn the wire coil to tune into broadcasts. Many novelty crystal radio kits only pick up AM stations.

The most notable feature of a crystal radio is volume. The crystal radio will never substitute for a boom box. The amount of electricity produced is very small and the volume is also very low. Many provide an ear plug, the only way to really listen.

Your crystal radio does produce electricity and can be modified to charge a cell phone or other low energy use device. Though impractical, it is also a fun experiment to do with the kids.

Nikola Tesla

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Free Electricity Generator Scam

“Electricity magnets” scream the websites. “Free electricity from radio waves.” It sounds too good to be true. To make matters worse, it does really work, kind of. There is no such thing as an “electricity magnet.” And perpetual motion is not free energy. Run a wire through a magnetic field, any magnetic field, fast enough and electrons begin to flow. The scammers then deduce that the Earth is a large magnet with a magnetic field. Since the Earth is spinning…

The claim is ‘free electricity” from radio waves. This confuses people. Let me answer some common questions before explaining the way you can produce your own free electricity.

Q: Are radio waves electricity?

A: Radio waves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, the same spectrum as visible light. It is more accurate to call radio waves light outside the ability of humans to see with the naked eye. Just as sunlight can produce electricity in a solar panel, radio waves can also induce a flow of electrons.

Q: Why do radios need batteries then?

A: Because the amount of electricity that radio waves produce is small. More electricity requires a bigger receiver. More on this below.

Q: Why don’t we get an electric shock wherever radio waves are present?

A: Because radio waves are potential electricity only, not the actual flow of electrons. Every atom has electrons. Every atom in your body has electrons. Until the electrons flow, there is no current. Current is the flow of electrons.

Now for the fun. You can buy a crystal radio from Amazon for around $10. This is really the “free electricity generator” you are told to build by Magniwork and other eBooks. Rather than waste your time and money on an eBook you can own a preassembled or do-it-yourself kit and have money left over.

Magniwork and others claim this technology, discovered by Nikola Tesla, has been kept from the public for a hundred years. This is untrue. The information is available and has been available all the time. For an in-depth review of Nikola Tesla’s work and detailed information on magnetic induction click the highlighted words.

The scammers lead you to believe you can produce massive amounts of free electricity from radio waves and sell it back to the electric utility, except it isn’t that easy. The crystal radio produces small amounts of current to run the radio and can even be modified to charge a cell phone. To produce electricity to run your home will require a lot of receiving wire. You will need to run the wire several hundred feet to generate meaningful current.

Some YouTube videos show a small Tesla generator producing about a volt of electricity. Let me remind you that volts are only “potential” electricity. For commercial grade electricity, you will need 120 volts. Then you need to consider amps and watts. Amps are the “push” and the watts “how much” to state the facts in very basic laymen’s terms.

There are experiments available online to produce large scale electricity production from radio waves. Before you get excited about the project be aware that your large scale electricity production project is a lightening risk. As in, your project will probably shoot out real bolts of lightening. If you are still game do the research. You can run a platform up a hundred feet with all the wire needed. There isn’t much to it other than the cost of building a hundred foot platform. Remember, you do so at your own risk.

In conclusion:

Q: Why don’t the utility companies produce electricity with this technology?

A: Because it costs too much to build the radio wave (man-made or natural) receivers compared to the amount of electricity produced. However, in remote locations it is a viable and reliable option for electricity production.

Have fun.


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      Mike B 4 years ago

      Wow - I'm surprised how uninformed you are, but glad you're warning about scammers