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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

VE7BPO on the Trivialization of Regenerative Receivers


Todd Gale, VE7BPO, is a true HOMEBREW HERO.  His QRP POPS website has been a source of inspiration and information for many years.    Todd wrote in yesterday on the trivialization of regens and what we should do about it.   Thanks Todd! 

Dear Bill:

With due respect, I challenge the statement that many feel regenerative receivers are trivial.  I submit that most of us know that regens offer good sensitivity + selectivity despite their few parts, however, we ourselves, may trivialize the regen by our lack of literature reviews, experiments, imagination and attempts to improve its downfalls.

Where are the bench experiments and inspired discussion that address issues like designing circuitry to reduce overload and blocking while still maintaining high sensitivity when needed,  hum +  noise reduction, AF filtration, or ways to reduce RF pollution into the RF lab environment?  

Much work on regens and of course, its amazing sister, the super-regen dots the literature. People did make many experiments to explore topics like vario-couplers, litz wire coils with low applied power regen detectors, sensitivity analysis, noise analysis and frequency domain calculations.  
We now tend to see or present ├╝ber basic regenerative receivers complete with LM386.  Yet, still we authors somehow feel people might not respect the regen? Really?

Another factor: as my regen grows in complexity, shouldn’t I just make a zero IF radio (now just as simple with a dongle or two I/Q mixers going into sound card), or perhaps make a simple superhet with some computer crystals for the IF filter?

Regenerative receivers remain cool.  Perhaps putting both hands on the controls plus the antenna coupling are just part of the regen experience and like a standard versus automatic transmission, offers more visceral listener engagement?  

No doubt, nostalgia and love for simplicity color the regen experience.  Now is the time to make a regen — If you listen carefully — inside many big cities the crashing sound you hear is yet another SW tower coming down.  

Hats off to you Bill and also to Dave, AA7EE for his stellar blog presentation.

Todd, VE7BPO

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