Hi Bill and Pete,
My work is closed today due to the snow so I wanted to show you what I've been up to.
I built sort of a test fixture a while back for those cheapie EBay AD9850 boards based on AD7C's DDS circuit using an Arduino Uno as a controller.
Last summer someone posted a link to Analog Devices App note AN-423 on QRP-Tech I think.
It was always on my list of things to try.
Armed with a schematic of the eBay DDS gleaned from Doug Pongrance's website, I got to work. It involved cutting a trace or two on the DDS board using an X-Acto knife.
Two outputs of the DDS chip are fed into a wideband transformer as in the app note's second page and I hung a scope probe off the secondary of the transformer.
Basically you are removing the Rset resistor on the DDS board (marked R6 on mine) and using a 2N7000 MOSFET as an electronic version variable resistor and modulating the MOSFET.
This lead to much frustration over the afternoon. No output on the scope!! Did I make an error or connect something up wrong? I was using the 600 ohm output of my HP652A audio generator. I thought about it during lunch and decided to try the 50 ohm output. Bingo!! At the 3V RMS range setting on the generator I now have some kind of signal. Not a nice sine wave shaped AM output but at least something resembling a clipped sine wave. The circuit is really touchy as far as needing a hefty audio signal in. The output of my iPhone at max volume doesn't turn on the DDS chip.
I set the DDS for 1200 kHz and can listen to it on a Radio Shack portable radio. Varying the audio generator varies the received tone on the radio just like I was expecting.
I just need to figure out what's up with the audio levels.
Feb 11 at 7:53 AM
I did manage to reduce the audio a little and get clipping to go away. I'll send another set of oscilloscope shots tonight.
The only thing I don't get is why the audio level needs to be so high. The app note said 1 V peak to peak should be enough but I am having to drive it with 7 V p-p audio to get a decent waveform with 0.8 V p-p RF.
I did cut the traces going to pins 12,20 and 21 to the DDS chip rather than pick up the signals elsewhere in the board. This was because once the traces go into vias down in the board, I'm not sure what else they connect to.
Feb 11 at 1243 PM
Found the original email from May of last year about the app note. It was on the EMRFD list. After hearing you guys lately talking about AM it has me excited about an AM transmitter.
I just got a thought over lunch that I'm going to try tonight and that is biasing the 2N7000 gate with a couple of volts to see if I can get the transistor on. Then maybe I don't need as much audio. I'll definitely put a series cap in though to my audio source so I don't fry my iPhone!!!
More to come this evening!
Feb 11 11:23 PM
I'm so excited!!
That's exactly what I needed to do-bias the gate of that 2N7000 so I'm not depending on the audio to turn it on, only to modulate it.
I hooked up a 9v battery across a 10 k trim pot and connected the wiper to the gate of the fet. A 10 uF cap is in series with my audio line as not to feed DC back into my source.
I have audio and now the output of a small radio or iPhone modulates it fine.
So this is a great proof of concept! Those cheapie DDS modules from China can be AM modulated.
I need a mic amp now, filter (surgery to the board disabled the on board LPF, but yes Steve I'll install one right away), buffer amp and some kind of linear RF amp to get a few watts.
Here's a video of Chris's project: