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Sunday, October 20, 2013

BITX Build Update #15 -- Necessary Mic Amp Mod

I was having trouble with the mic amp on my new Manhattan Discrete BITX 17.  I had it wired as per the schematic, but it just wasn't working right -- I was getting very little DSB out of the balanced nodulator, but everything worked fine if I 1) unbalanced the bal mod or 2) injected audio (from a sig generator) directly into the audio in port of the balancec modulator.  Clearly something was wrong in the mic amp circuit.  I noticed the collector voltage seemed quite low.

Some quick Googling revealed that others had struggled a bit with this problem also.  Nicolae's note was especially illuminating and useful: 
http://users.tpg.com.au/nfieraru/Electronics/BitX20_Mic_Preamp.htm

As Nicolae noted, the 10K value may have worked with lower gain transistors.  We must remember that BITX was (very admirably) designed for minimal cost and maximum use of scrounged parts.

I swapped the 10K resistor for a 39K and all is right with the world.  The band is not yet open here, but I bravely called a European aeronautical mobile station, hoping that he would be my first QSO on this rig.  I think he heard me, but no QSO (yet!).

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