The two things that are required are a ground and an antenna. The ground can be a water pipe or a stake in the ground. The antenna should be hung or clipped upwards - onto an aluminum drip edge, tree branch or onto a wire fence. Experiment with placement to see what gets you the best signal. Tuning in a station requires patience and trial and error, but it will pay off once it begins to work. 100 ft of wire is recommended!
If you have adequate ground and your antenna is set up you’ll hear static first. Move the tuner coil rod very slowly over the coil wire and a station should tune in. If not, gently move the pencil lead a little over the razor blade. When you hear static again stop and adjust the coil rod until you hear a station.
Please note: this technology has little in common with your cell phone! The sound you hear, once you’ve tuned into a station, will be very clear but also very quiet. Keep ambient noise to a minimum to best hear the station you tune in on your Patriot Radio TM. This technology requires patience, but it is guaranteed to work! If you can't tune in a station, take a breath and try again.
Supplied is wire for ground and antenna. Feel free to try any kind of wire you might have at home, the idea is the more wire, the more stations you can "collect", kinda like a fishing net.100 ft is recommended.
The maker of the first foxhole radio is unknown, but it was almost certainly invented by a soldier stationed at the Anzio beachhead during the stalemate of February – May 1944. One of the first newspaper articles about a foxhole radio ran in the New York Times April 29, 1944. That radio was built by Private Eldon Phelps of Enid, Oklahoma, who later claimed to have invented the design. It was fairly crude, a razor blade stuck into a piece of wood acted as the crystal, and the end of the antenna wire served as a cat whisker. He managed to pick up broadcasts from Rome and Naples.
The idea spread across the beach head and beyond. Toivo Kujanpaa built a receiver at Anzio and was able to receive German propaganda programs. The propaganda programs were directed towards Allied military from an Axis station in Rome. Many veterans of Anzio refer to the female announcer they heard as "Axis Sally", the nickname usually used when referring to propagandist Mildred Gillars, however Gillars broadcast from Berlin, and the men at Anzio were more likely hearing Rita Zucca, who broadcast from Rome. Though Gillars is more often associated with the "Sally" moniker, it was Zucca who actually referred to herself as "Sally" during broadcasts.
There were also allied broadcasts available, from the 5th Army Mobile Radio Station and the BBC.
American G.I.s in Italy would put several radios together. The G.I.s would listen at night near the front lines to phonograph records played on a radio station in Rome. You could usually hear a radio station on a foxhole radio if you lived twenty five or thirty miles away. In 1942, Lieutenant Colonel R. G. Wells—a prisoner of war in Japan—built a foxhole radio to get news about the international situation. "The whole POW camp craved news", according to Wells.