Howdy folks. I've been really interested in building a simple AM radio for a long time, but I've always wanted to understand it rather than just put together something that somebody else designed. I'm particularly interested in eventually making one which can use a battery, and not your typical crystal set which requires a long antenna and earth ground. Problem is, things I find on the internet tend to go from simplistic crystal sets to complicated amplified ones (regenerative, super regenerative, super heterodyne, etc) without much explanation on what does what. I'm no electronics guru by any respect, so I get lost very quickly. Maybe one day I'll be able to look at these things and they'll make total sense, but not today.
So far, I have an understanding of envelope detection, and I recently grasped basically how a diode detector would work (smoothing out the peaks of the carrier to form a smooth audio wave). But I can't seem to find out exactly how one comes to the conclusion of what values of capacitor and resistor one should use in the detector. I believe I read that you choose a capacitor based on the maximum amplitude of the waveform, but how would I go about finding out that value, even? And then with that, calculating the right cap/resistor?
Wikipedia has some formulas for calculating something, but it's all greek to me. If I knew what the symbols referenced, I might have some chance of figuring it out, at least.
Anyway, I would appreciate any info or reading that anyone can offer to point a newbie like me in the right direction!