Listen to Latest SolderSmoke Podcast

Friday, April 9, 2010

Colpitts Mania! Two Rigs Under Construction

I'm really into Colpitts oscillators lately. I blame Gene, W3PM. He reminded me of the fact that these little one transistor stages can pump out the 7 dbm needed to drive a diode ring mixer. Gene sent me a note warning that I'd have to take special precautions to ensure stability, but I found that this circuit never strayed more than 20 hertz in the course of a full day of oscillating.

Above you can see my version of the Colpitts circuit that Gene has in his very nice WSPR transceiver. You can see the SBL-3 diode ring mixer above the oscillator in this picture. I still haven't decided on the audio amplifiers.

I'm working on a second Colpitts circuit. This one is for a QRSS transmitter, also for 30 meters. Here I took my inspiration from Michael, AA1TJ, who has been working DX with power levels similar to that of this little oscillator. Long-time blog fans might recognize this board, or at least the device that it was used in. This is the board from my "DaVinci Code" 30 meter frequency standard, so called because I used a paperback copy of the Dan Brown novel as insulation for this weird piece of test gear. With my Kempton Park Frequency counter working, I had no need for the DaVinci device. But the oscillator was a Colpitts, capable of pumping out 10 mW all by itself... I plan on building a Hans Summers-style multivibrator circuit to put a distinctive pattern on my QRSS sig. It should fit nicely on the same board. I have a case and a power source in mind: see below. See if you can figure out where I'm going with this.


  1. My guess that you're going to use the solar cell/battery out of that light and use it for power.


  2. Yep agree. Nice idea indeed!

    John M0TIF

  3. It can be the earth rod for the antenna... if it fails then use as solar garden light! :)

    73 de Ricardo, CT2GQV


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