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Thursday, August 18, 2022

A Blast from the Past: The First SolderSmoke Podcast


I am gradually -- maybe one every few days -- going to put older SolderSmoke podcasts up on the YouTube channel.  Here is SolderSmoke Podcast #1. 

Be sure to check out the new Playlists on the SolderSmoke YouTube channel: 

Thanks to Ciprian YO6DXE for the wallpaper!  And thanks to Dave K8WPE for the idea of reposting "Old Smoke." 

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Daylight Again on the Sunrise Net! Walter KA4KXX Builds a PTO


Dear Bill: 

I had never built a PTO, but after reading Farhan's Daylight Again Transceiver article I cobbled one together with parts and pieces I had on hand. My observations so far are as follows. 


1. The frequency-determining capacitors (shown on the schematic as three 470 pf) are very critical, so I feel the usual experimental cut-and-try technique is a must, even using all NP0 and C0G types. 

2. After I built the 2 MHz version like the article (see first photo), the stability was terrific, but when I tried building the companion Daylight Again crystal filter, I was only able to get a bandwidth of 1.6 kHz, which is too narrow for my taste in an SSB radio, so I decided to build the same filter design but with 11 MHz crystals, where I could easily achieve a 2.8 KHz BW. 

3. Therefore, now I needed a higher frequency VFO, so I merely reduced the capacitance (from about 1200 to 370 pf) without changing the coil and I am very impressed with the performance of my 4 MHz PTO (see second photo). The bandspread easily covers the entire 40M band, CW and Phone. 

4. However, whenever I transmit on the 40M Phone band, I like to first set my VFO within 10 Hz of the operating frequency. That way, if I talk for five minutes or so and get up to 15 Hz of drift (which is quite common with many radios when I operate portable outdoors in the sun and wind), it will not be noticable and I avoid receiving any "you are off-frequency" chastising. But the shortcoming I have with this PTO inductor is that the 1/4-20 bolt has a coarse thread, so it is very difficult for an old fellow like me to get within even 20 Hz of a particular frequency just using this common bolt. Therefore I believe a better choice would be the fine thread 1/4-28 two-inch brass threaded bolt which is available from industrial supply houses like McMaster-Carr. However, for CW use or those with a very steady hand, the 1/4-20 works well enough. 

5. I solved my fine tuning problem by adding a varactor circuit using a common 1N914 diode in series with a 100 pf capacitor, operating from 0 to 6 volts. Another advantage to adding this feature is that since I have not so far enclosed my PTO, I can mount the varactor potentiometer several inches from the PTO so my hand capacitance does not affect the frequency like when tuning with the bolt. 

6. An easy way to "do the math" in my case with the common Sanjian counters is to simply create a small lookup table listing half a dozen common frequencies and stick it on the radio. For example, 90% of the time in the morning I am tuned to my favorite SouthCars Net frequency of 7251, so using a BFO setting of 10,999.900, I simply set the PTO to 3,748.90 on the 6-digit 10 Hz resolution counter I normally use (see third photo). 

7. I am currently using my Daylight Again PTO on a daily basis with an NE602 receiver, and I am thinking of adding a locknut to the bolt so it does not wiggle when I jostle or move the radio, essentially giving me a crystal replacement oscillator that I can use for any single 40M frequency. To date I have been able to listen for hours at a time indoors without even any touch-up of the varactor fine tuning. 

8. Also, if continuous frequency readout is desired without building a noise filter circuit board, a separate power supply for the counter is a solution. For portable operation I use Lithium Polymer radio control model airplane batteries which are light, small, and cheap, so one 12V 2000 mAH battery for the transceiver (allows a half hour of transmitting at 15 watts) and a much smaller 12V 350 mAH battery with a series resistor to reduce the current and brightness of the counter has worked well for me. 

73, Walter KA4KXX 
Orlando, FL

Monday, August 15, 2022

Help SolderSmoke! Playlists for SolderSmoke YouTube Videos


In response to popular demand, I am putting up YouTube Playlists for SolderSmoke videos.  

Most of these lists are rig or project specific.  For example, my Hammarlund HQ-100 has its own playlist. 

But there is also one MASSIVE playlist with about 214 YouTube videos.   This one is especially good if you just want to keep SolderSmoke videos playing in the background as you work on rigs in your hamshack.  This video will also cause a big increase in the "SolderSmoke hours watched" metric of YouTube. 

Here are the Playlists (more will be added over the next few weeks): 

(20) SolderSmoke - YouTube

Here is the big Playlist with 214 SolderSmoke videos: 

(20) Polyakov Direct Conversion Receiver on 80 meters - YouTube


Thursday, August 11, 2022

What Coil for the Polyakov Input Circuit? How to calculate a coil value for resonance.


So,  what is the value for L1 and L2?   What coil should I use?  
Michael AG5VG had that question.  And so did I when I built this receiver.  See below for the process I used in answering this question. 

On Tuesday, August 9, 2022 at 10:53:32 PM EDT, Michael S  wrote:

Good Evening Bill,

My name is Michael and I really enjoy your podcast with Pete. I have also spoken with him in regards to the design of a 20M bandpass filter I made for a homebrew rig.  I am currently in the process of making a 20 meter DSB - SC type. Thank you for all the information that you speak and teach about during your podcast. I also enjoy the humor. It's great.

The Polyakov is a simple DC receiver and it amazes me and how the sound quality is. My question is, what is the turns on the toroid for the antenna primary side and the radio secondary and how did you figure out the turns because looking at the schematic it doesn't give that information that I can see. Also how you resonated it with the variable capacitor that looks like a 365pf air variable. 

Thank you for your time and keep up the great work on the podcast and the content on YouTube.

73s,
Michael
AG5VG

My response: 

Good questions Michael.   When I saw the SPRAT article I too was struck by the fact that it didn't give a value for the coil.  But DK2RS did have a large value variable capacitor... And he was billing this as a dual-band (80-40) rig.  So I figured he wanted that LC circuit to resonate as low as 3.5 MHZ and as high as 7.3 MHZ.  So, with a variable cap that goes up to 350 pf, what value L should I use?   I started by calculating the resonant frequency of the frequency mid-way point: 5.1 MHz.   I figured the variable cap should be around 162 pf at the mid-way point.  At this point I went to the on-line resonant frequency calculator: https://www.1728.org/resfreq.htm (a REALLY useful site!).   This site revealed I needed a coil of about 6 uH.  This put me in the ballpark.   But then -- with the site -- I tested it with the values of the variable cap I had on hand.  Mine was 23pf to 372 pf.  (you really need an LC meter to do this kind of thing). 

Again at the resonant freq calculation site:  23 pf and 6uH = 13.5 MHz           372 pf and 6 uH = 3.3688 MHz

This would have been OK, but I wanted to move the frequency range down a bit, so I tried. 6.5 uH 

23 pf and 6.5 uH = 13 MHz                 372 and 6.5uH = 3.23 MHz

Now, how many turns?  First look at the overall coil -- don't worry about taps at this point.    I use the Toroid Turns Calculator: http://toroids.info/

 Start by asking yourself "What core do I have on-hand?    Let's say you have a T-50-2 (red/clear).   The calculator shows you need about 36 turns.  Do-able, but physically kind of tight.  

I found a big core in my junk box.  A T-106-2.  The calculator showed I'd need about 22 turns on this core. It was much easier to get these turns on the larger core.  

You have to measure the core after you wind it to make sure you are at the desired inductance.   One side of the main coil went to ground, the other side to the top of the variable cap. 

 Now for the taps and secondaries:  The schematic shows a tap.  This is usually about 1/4 of the number of turns up from ground.   I picked about 5 turns, and wound a little tap in there at that point -- that tap went to the antenna.  You also have a secondary coil --no value is given, but based on experience I guessed around 5 turns -- I wound these turns on top of the primary one lead went to ground, the other went to the diodes and the switch. 

 The last thing to do is to see if the circuit resonates on both bands that you want to receive.  You can do this with a signal generator, or with the band noise:  Hook up an 80 meter antenna.  Put the cap closer to its max value and tune the cap -- can you hear band noise?  Or can you hear (or see on a 'scope) a signal at 3.5 MHz?   You should be able to peak it with the main cap.  Try to do the same thing on 40 meters -- here the variable cap should be closer to minimum capacity. 

 That's it.  That's how I did it.   You can do it too!   Good luck with the Polyakov.  

 One hint:  Building the VFO is the hard part.  You can get started by using a signal generator in place of the VFO.  Just make sure you have the level right -- around 620 mV input.  

 Good luck -- Let us know if you have trouble. And please let us know how the project goes.   

 73    Bill    N2CQR  

20 meter rig built by AG5VG

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Vasily Ivanenko on Vladimir Polyakov's Subharmonic Detector



Our old friend "Vasily" sent in a very insightful comment about the Polyakov receiver.   It was so good that it merits a blog post of its own.  Here it is.  Thanks Vasily! 

Vasily IvanenkoAugust 9, 2022 at 12:49 AM

Thanks Bill. My own experiments at HF with subharmonically pumped Schottky diode mixers show clearly that almost every mixer parameter we measure is worse than our classic balanced mixer topologies. Definitely 2LO-RF isolation was better than other unbalanced mixers without the need for a transformer.

I guess it's appealing for low-complexity receiver builders. For zero IF receivers, I like and run my LO at 1/2 RF frequency and then use a doubler -- that's a great advantage for
a DC/ Zero-IF receiver and a built-in feature for the subharmonic mixer.

The SH mixer becomes quite appealing at SHF to mm-wave lengths where making a quiet, temp stable LO gets rather expensive and tricky.

Subharmonically pumped mixers can also work at odd integers if the mixer LO/RF drive is balanced and designed to produce distortion that for example, triples the LO frequency. Rohde & Schwarz had a 40.1 GHz spectrum analyzer with one --- and if the LO was 13 GHz while the RF was 39.5 GHz, this gave an IF output of 500 MHz in 1 particular circuit. Really amazing design work. Here's an interesting URL:

https://www.eravant.com/products/mixers/subharmonically-pumped-mixers

The SH mixer has been around for > 4 decades. The oldest SH mixer paper I've got in my library is from Schneider and Snell from 1975. I don't think they invented the SH, but this pair helped popularize it for the world and design work continues today.I've seen optical SH mixers with I/Q outputs in research papers.

Here's the abstract and citation:

Harmonically Pumped Stripline Down-Converter

M. V. Schneider, W. W. Snell
Published 1 March 1975
Physics, Engineering
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques

A novel thin-film down-converter which is pumped at a submultiple of the local-oscillator frequency has given a conversion loss which is comparable to the performance of conventional balanced mixers. The converter consists of two stripline filters and two Schottky-barrier diodes which are shunt mounted in a strip transmission line. The conversion loss measured at a signal frequency of 3.5 GHz is 3.2 dB for a pump frequency of 1.7 GHz and 4.9 dB for a pump frequency of 0.85 GHz. The circuit looks attractive for use at millimeter-wave frequencies where stable pump sources with low FM noise are not readily available.

Best to you!

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Polyakov Direct Conversion Receiver on 80 Meters (video)

In today's episode I put the switch in the open position turning the receiver into an ordinary Direct Conversion receiver with a single diode as the detector. I find that it works pretty well on 80, but probably not as well as it does on 40 (where it is in full Polyakov mode). (Yesterday I demonstrated the receiver in action on 40 and provided details on the circuit. See: https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2022/08/polyakov-ra3aae-direct-conversion.html)

You will notice that when I throw the switch, but before I retune the input LC network, you can still hear the signal from the previous band. So when I have it in 40 and I throw the switch to open, you can still hear the 40 meter signal. Apparently one diode will (poorly) demodulate a signal with the VFO running at HALF the operating frequency. I saw this in the real world receiver and also saw it in an LTSpice simulation. In LTSpice the signal level drops significantly when I go to just one diode: From 50 mv peak to 15 mv peak, but it can still be heard. Something similar happens when I go from 80 to 40. When I close the switch and suddenly have two diodes and a 3.5 MHz VFO trying to demodulate the 80 meter signal, I can still hear the 80 meter signal, but it is much weaker and a lot more noise is getting through. Again, I saw this in the real world and in LTSpice. It looks as if with the two diodes, the 3.5 MHz signal is being sampled twice each VFO cycle. This may result in some output in the audio range. But again, it is much weaker.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Polyakov (RA3AAE) Direct Conversion Receiver: 40 meter DC RX with VFO at 3.5 - 3.6 MHz (with video)

I've been reading about Polyakov (or "sub-harmonic") Detectors for a long time: 

https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/search/label/Polyakov--Vladimir

But until now, I never built one.  Recently,  Dean KK4DAS and the Vienna Wireless Makers group have been building a Direct Conversion receiver.  Their receiver uses an Si5351 as the VFO, but of course Dean and I have decided to try to do things the hard way by building non-digital VFOs.  At first we just came to the conclusion that my earlier Ceramic Resonator VFO wasn't much good (it drifted too much).  This led us into standard Colpitts and Armstrong VFOs, and the fascinating world of temperature compensation.  Then I remembered the Polyakov circuit -- this would allow us to use a 3.5 MHz VFO on the 7 MHz band.  Lower frequency VFOs are easier to stabilize, so I started building my first Polyakov receiver.  You can see the results (on 40 meters) in the video above. 

I started working with a circuit from SPRAT 110 (Spring 2002). Rudi Burse DK2RS built a Polyakov receiver for 80 and 40 that he called the Lauser Plus.  (Lauser means "young rascal" or "imp" in German.) For the AF amplifier, I just attached one of those cheap LM386 boards that you can get on the internet.  With it, I sometimes use some old Iphone headphones, or an amplified computer speaker. 

The Polyakov mixer is a "switching mixer."  The book excerpt below shows how I understand these circuits.  The enlightenment came from the Summer 1999 issue of SPRAT (click on the excerpt for an easier read): 


Leon's circuit shows us how a simple switching circuit in which the switches are controlled by the VFO can result in an output that has the sum and difference components. That is the hallmark (and most useful part) of real mixing.  Remember -- we say that mixing happens in non-linear circuits when the passage of one signal depends on what is happening with the other signal.  A switch is as non-linear as you can get! And that switch is being controlled by the VFO.  

In a Direct Conversion receiver we usually run the VFO at the operating frequency. This results in audio just above and just below the operating frequency. 

The Polyakov Direct Conversion circuit is a bit different.  It has the switches (the diodes)  turned on twice each cycle:  When the VFO voltage goes to a positive peak, this turns on one of the diodes.  When the VFO goes to a negative peak, this turns on the other diode.   So in effect the switch is being turned on TWICE each cycle.  So with the Polyakov you run the VFO at HALF the operating frequency.  For a DC receiver designed to run around 7.060 MHz, you build a VFO at around 3.53 MHz.  This has some immediate advantages.  My favorite is that it is easier to get a VFO stable at a lower frequency.  It is easier to stabilize a VFO at 3.53 MHz than it is at 7.060 MHz. 

When you open that SW 1 switch in the Lauser Plus, you no longer have a Polyakov mixer.  Now you just have a diode mixer.   It will be opening and closing once each cycle at the VFO frequency.  DK2RS used this to cover not only the 40 meter band (in Polyakov mode) but also the 80 meter band (in single diode detector mode).  That is why DK2RS has that big variable capacitor in the input circuit -- that LC circuit needs to tune all the way down to 3.5 MHz and all the way up to around 7.3 MHz.  (I used a coil of about 6.5 uH to do this.) 

With just one diode and operating at 80 meters, it works, but not as well as it does in the Polyakov mode on 40.  I can pick up 80 meter signals, but in this mode there seems to be more of an "AM breakthrough" problem. "Experimental Methods in RF Design" on page 8.11  describes what is going on (the last sentence is most relevant here): 

Here are some very good links with information on the Polyakov receiver: 



LA8AK SK: http://www.agder.net/la8ak/   Almost seventeen years after his death he continues to help his fellow radio amateurs through his web sites.  TNX OM!  FB! 



I will post a video tomorrow showing the receiver in operation on 80 meters.  

Three cheers for Vlad Polyakov, RA3AAE

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Model Rocket Lands Like a SpaceX Falcon 9


I had a blog post about this in 2018: 

https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2018/06/rockets-and-microcontroller-videos.html

He has finally achieved the very difficult goal of landing his model rocket just as SpaceX does with its Falcon 9.  Check out the video above.  

It was also very cool to see him building the rocket, using a very wide range of electronic, software and metalwork skills.  

Hack-A-Day has a good post explaining how he did this: 

https://hackaday.com/2022/08/05/bps-space-succesfully-lands-a-model-rocket/

Congratulations to BPS.space!  

Friday, August 5, 2022

SolderSmoke Podcast #239: Hex DX, VFO Temp Comp, DC RX, Polyakov!, DX-100, Wireless Set, Farhan's "Daylight Again" HDR rig, MAILBAG

N2CQR Hex Beam Aimed at Europe

SolderSmoke #239 is available for download: 

http://soldersmoke.com/soldersmoke239.mp3

TRAVELOGUE: 

James Webb Space Telescope.  Mars returning to opposition in early December.   

BILL'S BENCH

Hex Beam K4KIO - on roof – TV Rotor – 20-17-12  Lots of fun.  Working Japan regularly, Australia, South Africa on long path 17,000 miles.  52 countries SSB since July 11.

VFOs and Temp stabilization.  Dean KK4DAS found my ceramic resonator VFO for DC receiver drifty. He was right.  So I built a real LC Colpitts VFO.  Got me into temp stabilization.  A new hobby!  An obsession.  HT-37 and Ht-32 parts. Ovens?  WU2D’s second VFO video.  Understanding thermal drift and how to address it. Split stator caps.  Cut and try.  

Built a Polyakov DC Receiver. https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2010/03/polyakov-plus-dual-band-receiver-with.html  Lauser Plus.  Lauser = Imp or Young Rascal!  DK2RS.  He used a ceramic Resonator VXO at 3.58 MHz.   Mine works great on 40 with VFO running 3.5 -- 3.65 MHz. See schematic below. 

On 40 AM with DX-100 and MMMRX.  DX-100 died.  12BY7 VFO buffer went bad.  How common is failure in this tube type?  Nice QSO with Tim WA1HLR about the DX-100.

Got my Dominican license:  HI7/N2CQR!  SSSS on the way.   Thanks to Radio Club Dominicano and INDOTEL.

Getting more active in the Vienna Wireless Society.  

BOOK REVIEW:  

"The History of the Universe in 21 Stars” by Giles Sparrow.  Written during the pandemic.  Published by Welbeck, in London. https://www.amazon.com/History-Universe-21-Stars-imposters/dp/1787394654  Also:  From “Atoms to Amperes” by F.A. Wilson available for download.  See blog.

SHAMELESS COMMERCE DIVISION:   

Todd K7TFC getting ready to launch “Mostly DIY RF.”   I used his TIA boards in my 1712 rig.  He will have boards like this and much more.  Stay tuned.

I need more viewers on YouTube.  They want 4,000 hours IN A CALENDAR YEAR!  Please watch!

FARHAN’S NEW “DAYLIGHT AGAIN” RIG.  Analog.  VFO.   Comments, observations. We need to get him on the podcast.  Maybe two shows: SDR and HDR. 

PETE'S BENCH

Time very limited. But still sharing lots of tribal wisdom.

Wireless set with tubes!

Tool recommendation – Air compressor

 MAILBAG:

Farhan VU2ESE – Speaking of big antennas “Whenever I look at the huge construction cranes in Hyderabad, I always think how one could make 160m, 4 element yagi using it as a boom..

Todd K7TFC in Spain, spotting Log Periodics in Madrid.

Andreas DL1AJG:  Can Biologists fix Radios?

Janis AB2RA Wireless Girl.  Expert on Hammarlunds.  And was my first contact with the Tuna Tin 2. She too was HB!

Peter Parker VK3YE on Owen Duffy VK1OD

Lex PH2LB on homebrew radio

Would this really be homebrew?  Mail from H-A-D article on FM receiver

F4IET a DSB rig from France

Ciprian got his ticket YO6DXE    

Josh G3MOT sent us a good video about the Vanguard satellite and IGY.

Dave Wilcox K8WPE bought Chuck Penson’s Heathkit book.

Rogier -- So many great articles and links from PA1ZZ

Bill AH6FC  Aloha. Retiring.  Wants to build.  Mahalo!

Grayson KJ7UM  Working on an Si5351.  Gasp.

Mike KE0TPE viewing YouTube while monitoring 6 meters.   He will have a lot of time to watch!

Chris KD4PBJ spotted Don KM4UDX from VWS FB

Mark WB8YMV building a superhet.  Having trouble with 455 kc IF can filter.

Walter KA4KXX Great comment on the Daylight Again rig. 

Ramakrishnan Now VU2JXN was VU3RDD.  Found lost Kindle with SolderSmoke book on it. Building SDR rig from junk box.  Trouble with the LM386. 

Pete, Farhan and Tony:  Shelves of Shame

Daylight Again by Farhan

The Polyakov receiver I built yesterday (from SPRAT 110, 2002!)

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Farhan Takes us Back into the Daylight -- An Analog Rig with a Homebrew Crystal Filter and an LC VFO

 

There is so much radio goodness in this rig and in the blog post that describes it.  Farhan's blog post will keep us busy for a long time.  There is much to learn there.  But perhaps even more important is his larger view of the role of analog circuitry in ham radio.  Here are a couple of excerpts from his introduction: 

 Here is the memo : The analog never died. The world is analog all the way, until you descend into Quantum madness. The antennas are analog, Maxwell died a content, analog man. Our radios, ultimately, are analog machines and we are all analog beasts too. Amateur Radio technology has evolved into the digital domain. However,  it has only made it easier for us to do analog with computers to simulate and print our circuits.  So, it’s time to bid good bye to our Arduinos and Raspberry Pis and build an Analog Radio for ourselves. So let’s see what we can achieve in hindsight, a return to our native land and a rethink of our approaches. The radio is called Daylight Again, a nod to being back at the FDIM in 2022 after a gap of two years. It is named after the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s song that had been humming all the time while put this radio together, emerging after 2 years of lockdown.  This radio that took two days to come together, no actually two years! That’s: parts of it got built and stowed away, thoughts were struck in the shower, questions popped up during early morning cycle rides and notes and circuits were scribbled in the notebook.  I must take the first of many diversion here: I hope you all maintain a notebook. Write down the date and whatever you thought or did on the bench and the result. Nothing is trivial enough to leave out. Wisdom comes to those who write notes.  I started to build this on Saturday the 14th May and I checked into the local SSB net on Monday morning, the 16th May 2022.

AND

Having clean VFO  is the most important way of increasing the dynamic range of your radio. A free running JEFT VFO that has sufficient power and a good Q components, will be unmatched by any synthesized or direct sampling radios. The math is all on the side of the free running VFO. We are talking -150 db/Hz at 10 KHz spacing, by comparison the Si5351 is -125 db/Hz, it is 300 times worse.

That is just part of the intro.  We should all study the rest of Farhan's blog post very carefully and incorporate the wisdom into our new rigs: 

Here is the blog site: 


Enough of the darkness.  Step into the daylight my friends. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Can a Biologist Fix a Radio?

 

Andreas DL1AJG (who in real life is a professional biologist) sends us this excellent article about how biologists approach problems in living cells as opposed to how engineers or technicians approach problems in broken radios. 

This excerpt from the 2002 article gives you an idea of the tone and content of the article: 

"... I started to contemplate how biologists would determine why my radio does not work and how they would attempt to repair it. Because a majority of biologists pay little attention to physics, I had to assume that all we would know about the radio is that it is a box that is supposed to play music. How would we begin? First, we would secure funds to obtain a large supply of identical functioning radios in order to dissect and compare them to the one that is broken. We would eventually find how to open the radios and will find objects of various shape, color, and size (Figure 2). We would describe and classify them into families according to their appearance. We would describe a family of square metal objects, a family of round brightly colored objects with two legs, round-shaped objects with three legs and so on. Because the objects would vary in color, we would investigate whether changing the colors affects the radio's performance. Although changing the colors would have only attenuating effects (the music is still playing but a trained ear of some can discern some distortion) this approach will produce many publications and result in a lively debate..."

Andreas points to diagrams in the article (see below).  The first (A) shows how the biologist might view the radio.  The schematic (B) shows how engineers or technicians view it: 


As I read the article, I was reminded of the wise advice frequently dispensed through the SolderSmoke podcast:  Do not look at a schematic as one single circuit.  Instead try to see it as a number of subcircuits.  Build and test these subcircuits separately.  Join them together only after each subcircuit is found to be working. 

Here is the link to the 2002 article in Cell by Yuri Lazebnik:  https://www.cell.com/fulltext/S1535-6108(02)00133-2

This is all really interesting.  I will share this with my son who is involved now in biological research. 

In addition to his day job as a biologist, Andreas is a homebrewer of radios. Here is a pictures he sent to us back in 2019 of a regen receiver that he built: 


Andreas asks if he might need an old Boatanchor radio to work on to improve his electronics/physics skills.   I'd suggest staying away from the older tube stuff.   Stick with the BITXs -- homebrew one, stage by stage.  And indeed,  use the engineering approach to the electronics!  

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Home-Brew!


Sometimes it is good to take a look at how other people home brew different kinds of things.  Here is a fellow in Ukraine that really HOME brews.  

I think this FB video is a good place to start: 

https://fb.watch/ex9YG4EFJJ/

Here is his YouTube channel: 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_nrEDtq-0OQEVupubH_QuQ/featured

Monday, August 1, 2022

Linear Tuning in the HT-37


I just kind of like this picture.  This is the HT-37 dial that came with the HT-37 VFO assembly I recently bought.  Note the retro designation: KILOCYCLES.  And note the nice, even, linear spacing of the VFO. This VFO runs 5 -5.5 MHz.  The circuit is a series-tuned Clapp.  That circuit seems to be one of the secrets of getting linear tuning -- to avoid the common situation of having all the upper frequencies kind of bunched together at the end of the capacitor's tuning range.  I notice that this circuit was used in the Galaxy V VFO and in the VFO of the Yaesu FT-101, both notably linear in their tuning.   

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Another HT-37 VFO -- No Temperature Compensation Trimmer Capacitor?


Is that thing beautiful or what?  That is the VFO assembly from an HT-37.  This one includes the fly-wheel mechanism.  It tunes 5 - 5.5 MHz.  I'll probably replace the tube with an FET, but mostly keep it as is for use in a future transceiver.  It is built like a battleship.  Hallicrafters did not mess around with the solidity of VFO construction.  

I was a bit disappointed when I did not see the split stator temperature compensation trimmer cap that was present on the Hallicrafters variable cap that I bought back in February 2021: 

I took a look inside my own (beloved) HT-37 and saw that it too lacks the temp compensation trimmer that came with the February 2021 variable cap.  Could it be that the February 2021 seller had the source wrong?  Could he have in fact been selling me the variable cap from an HT-32?  Or could it be that Hallicrafters added this split stator temp compensation capacitor to later versions of the HT-37?  

Hallicrafters patented the split stator temp compensation circuit (U.S. patent #2718617).  Chuck Dachis says in his book about Hallicrafters that the company had perfected this circuit by 1957.  

An HT-32B transmitter was selling for $725 in 1963.  That's $7020 in today's money.   Wow, and that is just for the transmitter!  

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