My attempt at building a crystal set has resulted in failure. The circuit I used is the simplest one I could find:
I tried without a ground and with the ground from the power outlet (I heard that this was dangerous, but it's the next best thing I have to a rod in the ground). The result was the same for both. I transmitted from my radio at around 145 MHz. The moment I keyed, I could hear a small click on the earpiece, but nothing more. I couldn't hear myself when I spoke into the microphone.
Here's a picture of the actual circuit:
I believe the diode is a 1N34A.
My guesses at the problem were impedance mismatch and the lack of a good ground, but I also remember that the only issue that would cause is a weaker signal, and I'm right next to the transmitting station, so I'm not sure if that's the reason I can't hear anything. It's really discouraging to spend money on something that doesn't work, so before I go out to get a grounding rod and a sledgehammer or a huge length of wire for an antenna, are those likely to be the reasons I'm not getting any sound? What else could the problem be?