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Saturday, January 13, 2018

SolderSmoke Podcast #202 Cover-Rig, SKN, Pete's Vector Boards, uBITX, K1BQT rig, MAIL

SolderSmoke Podcast #202 is available:

13 Jan 2018

Opening music from Shel Silverstein and Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show.  
On the Cover of the Rolling Stone or  On the Cover of SPRAT magazine.
Travelogue and Weather Report
-- Bill's trip to the Dominican Republic.  SWL on the beach.  Return to the ice box.  
-- Dramatic events in California. 

-- Reading Chinese Sci Fi with lots of radio in it.  "The Three Body Problem" by Cixin Liu

Straight Key Night.  IN QRP MODE THANK YOU.  With nephew Jeffrey.  Annual event -- worked Jim W1PID  friend of Mike Rainey.  

Steve Murphy and Jeff Damm on QSO Today.  FB. 

Oh your rig is homebrew?  "It must be propagation." 

ER Reading about G3UUR

Hams avoiding 60 meters due to 100 watt limit.  SAD. 

Bill's Bench:    Continuing series on the Ceramic Discrete DC receiver.   Described  the oscillator and the AF amp.  Next we will do the Mixer.   The most interesting stage. Nephew John Henry and niece Helena visiting today. 

Pete's bench.  uBITX adventures.   
The K1BQT IC transceiver. 
The Vector Board building technique.  See

Paul KA5WPL  Looking for project with his son.  Sawdust.  Thanks again  Steve Silverman.

Chris Waldrup OM PBJ thanks for the gift

Pete in contact with Sven Johnson
Chuck KE5HPY sent us picture of fashion model with boatanchors in background  Grayson recalled 73 magazine covers...

Pete WB9FLW        Bilateral  SBE-33 ad  "with inherent stability"  That's the best kind!
Bruce KK0S experimenting with AF amps for the DC receiver

John KE5ETX Attempting CBLA

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Steve Murphy N8NM on QSO Today

It was really nice to sit back and listen to Eric's talk with Steve Murphy. 
Don't miss this one.  Listen here:  

My notes: 

-- On  a Stingray bicycle patrol on garbage night, looking for radio parts.  FB Steve! 
-- Started with SWL.  A fine radio pedigree. 
-- Had an R-390A at age 16.  
-- Uses an LC meter to check on toroid windings. 
-- Steve:  Thanks for the kind words about inspiration. 
-- Manhattan And Ugly.    Mugly!
-- Planker!  Better on a Board!
-- Form Factor First, but then it never fits! Al Fresco! 
-- Packages arrive from China faster than they go across Israel. 
- - E-bay as a really good source for parts. 
-- Oh god, not an S-38E.  Stop torturing yourself Steve. 
-- N8NM: Radio Renaissance Man:  Runs a 2 meter repeater network.  Thinking of 900 MHz. 
-- Papa Legba -- I got it from a W9SCH via SPRAT.  He got it from Voodoo.
N8NM is   FB. 
-- Moderation?  Ha!  Good luck with that! 
-- An Electromagnetic Playground where Failure has No Consequences.  Well put. 

-Happy New Year Eric and Steve!  Thanks to  both of you. 

Straight Key Night at N2CQR

I did my part for the retro-Luddite-CW-Straight Key cause.   My HT-37 was kind of wheezing.  I may have to go in there to striaghten it out.  At times I had it cranked back to less than 5W (to maintain some semblence of QRP street cred). 

A highlight was the QSO with Jim W1PID.  Jim is a well-known QRPer and a friend of QRP Hero Mike Rainey.  Jim and I talked last year -- same date, same event, same rig. Jim has a really nice web site:

My nephew Jeffrey joined me for the last two contacts.   He got a real kick out of it, both the CW and the SSB. 

31 December 2017
17S  P49MR   Martin – Back in the islands!  Like an annual QSO.
40CW  Pre SKN   W1PID on 40 with my HT-37. An annual event!  Jim running 75 watts
40CW SKN KF5RBR Dan in AR.
1 January 2018
40CW SKN W8HOG SKCC 87750 Perry in Ohio
40CW SKN N1CGP Dave in Maine using J37 key
40CW SKN WB4JJJ Al in Fairfax
40CW SKN K8SRB  Stan  in Ohio (with nephew Jeffrey with me)

17SSB WJ2N Andy in Florida (with Jeffrey in the QSO)

Monday, January 1, 2018

Jeff Damm WA7MLH on QSO Today

Happy New Year!    

There was so much wisdom and tribal knowledge in Eric Guth's interview with Jeff Damm WA7MLH. It was almost overwhelming. 

You should all listen to it.  Twice. At least twice:
My notes:

-- I sympathize with Jeff's decision to go solid state and give up on high voltage after an encounter with an undischarged 600 volt capacitor.  
-- I really like the 1700 kHz IF with a 5 MHz VFO for an 80 and 40 meter receiver. 
-- Interesting that EE degree didn't help much in his efforts to understand ham gear.  Better to read Wes's books and Doug's. 
-- Tek Spectrum Analyzers were specially made to fit down a submarine hatch.  
-- Building and measuring just as important as studying the theory.  Inked-up text books. 
-- Learned ugly from Wes as a teenager. 
--Searched for old commercial gear to gut and use as homes for homebrew solid state gear. The enclosures,  panels and controls are very useful.   Great way to avoid metal work.  These rigs are no longer boatanchors!  Again, I sympathize.  I've sacrificed many Heath Lunchboxes and QF-1s.  
-- Jeff Builds the VFO first.  My preference too. But he understands Pete's AF-first approach. 
-- Finger on the input of the AF amp!  Buzz!  Yea! Step your way back to the front end.
-- ALWAYS one stage at a time.  
-- Osh Park Boards for standard circuit modules.  Like Legos. 
-- Cubic Feet of air variables.   Jeff has a lifetime stash.   
--Thinking about what was and should have been his section of EMRFD. Go for it Jeff. PLEASE! 
-- Hesistant about chips. Analog guy.  Would have been a huge time sink.  Analog guy.  
-- Buying parts on e-bay.  Fewer and fewer RF parts at hamfests. 
-- People reading QST Tech Articles for entertainment. Editor apprach: "Nobody will build it anyway." Handbooks giving priority to entertainment and less to information and education. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Ceramic DC Receiver on the Cover of SPRAT. Happy New Year to All! Straight Key Night.

G-QRP very kindly put my little DC Receiver on the cover of issue Nr. 173.   (Very sorry to see that GM3OXX has become a Silent Key. ) 

As we often say on the podcast, if you are not subscribing to this wonderful magazine, you are missing out on a lot of great ideas and circuits. Information on how to join the club and start receiving SPRAT can be found here:   It is only 22 bucks! 

Reminder:  Straight Key Night is upon us.   It begins at midnight UTC 1 January.  It is a great way to begin the new year.  My HT-37 and my Drake 2-B are warming up now (and are helping to keep the shack warm on a very frigid day).   HNY to all!   73    Bill 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Building the Ceramic Discrete Direct Conversion Receiver - Part 3 -- The Audio Amplifier

Once you have achieved JOVO and have the oscillator covering the frequency range you desire, it will be time to build the audio amplifier stage.  Now, I'm sure many of you will be tempted to just throw an LM386 or 741 op amp in there.  But don't do that!   You want to build the WHOLE receiver.  Don't let that IC manufacturer rob you of the FULL HB EXPERIENCE.

The DISCRETE amplifier circuit we will used is based on a design that several of us used to replace the LM386 in the BITX20 receiver. 

And here is a tutorial that does a GREAT job of explaining how this circuit works.  I strongly recommend you study the tutorial carefully.  This site will allow you to really understand how your amplifier works.  

It is not that complicated.  But here you have to take care to make sure that your amplifier does not turn into an oscillator.  Keep the outputs away from the inputs.  Keep the leads short.  Some planning is needed here.  Click on the picture below for layout ideas.  The right 1/3 of the board contains the AF amp circuitry. 

After you build the circuit, TEST IT!  If you have an AF signal source and a 'scope, great.  But if not, just hook some earbuds or headphones to the output, connect a 9 V battery and PLACE YOUR FINGER on the input of the first AF amplifier.  If you hear a noticeable increase in hum when your finger makes contact, congratulations, your AF amplifier is amplifying. 

The Complete Schematic

When you get this stage and the oscillator working, you are 3/4 of the way to completion.  Next we will built the mixer, and then the front end filter and amplifier. 

Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column