In my ongoing process of building up to a homebrewed general coverage receiver/transceiver, a first step might reasonably be a crystal set, where a tuned circuit and simple, or even improvised, rectifier extract enough power from the transmitted signal to power an earphone.
Crystal radios usually can only receive strong local stations. It occurred to me, however, that I'd gain a lot of sensitivity if I were to connect an RF amplifier stage between the antenna and the tuning RC circuit. This would also let me test the RF stage of my future two-tube receiver in a way I don't have the instruments to do otherwise.
In this case, an untuned RF amp will just amount to making a small antenna do the job of a very long wire, and then some -- but the output of even a very basic RF amp will be far more power than an ordinary germanium detector needs. Burning out the detector isn't desirable, obviously.
One way I can foresee to avoid destroying the detector diode is to use a different diode, with higher power tolerance -- after all, I don't need the very low forward voltage of a germanium part, since I'll have a signal measurable in volts, not microvolts (or millivolts after resonance boosts it a bit). Am I correct in thinking nearly any rectifier part with suitable voltage ratings could be used as the detector in this kind of circuit?