AC7M HB Amp and HB Power Supply
I was flying solo last night. Everyone else in the house was out. So I turned to ham radio for some company. And I was rewarded.
I called CQ with my BITX DIGI-TIA rig and was immediately answered by Doc AC7M in far-off Twin Peaks, Idaho. Doc was running a K3 to a homebrew solid state full gallon amp. And get this -- Doc had also homebrewed the 3 kw switching power supply. I looked at my store-bought supply and felt like an appliance operator. I hang my head in shame.
As we discussed solid state amplifiers, we were joined by another builder of silicon after-burners: Don K9AQ, who called in from a beautiful cabin in rural Wisconsin. Don's amp is based on the venerable EB-104 design.
Both Don and Doc talked about the work of W6PQL. He has a really amazing site devoted to homebrew solid stat amps, and he is selling lots of great boards and parts for this kind of project:
As I finishing up with Don and Doc, I got a very welcome call from an old friend from the SolderSmoke community: Dino KL0S. He as booming in from Williamsburg, Va. Dino has an amazing workshop. He is building a serious vertical antenna for 160 meters. Dino is going for the DX.
At this point Mike WA3O in Pittsburgh called in. And get this: Mike heard me on his new BITX 40 Module. The Radio Gods Have Spoken! (TRGHS!). We switched up to 7.285 MHz where I fired up my BITX 40 Module for a BITX40-BITX40 QSO (albeit not at QRP levels).
We should definitely make more use of 7.285 for BITX40 and other HB QRP SSB QSOs. 1930 EST (0030 Z) seems like a good time.
Finally, just when I was thinking that things couldn't get any better, they did: Armand WA1UQO called in from Richmond. Armand and I collaborate on parts acquisition at Virginia hamfests. We specialize in the contents of the musty cardboard boxes found under the tables. We discussed the DISRUPTIVE influence of Farhan's BITX 40: All around the world, other homebrew projects are being literally pushed aside on workbenches to make room for that fantastic little module from Hyderabad.
I was very pleased to hear that Armand is building an analog VFO for his module, using a coil in the 4 uH range, wound on a piece of cardboard tube from a coathanger. The inspiration for this kind of coil (which I now have in THREE rigs) came from Farhan, who used sipping straws from fast-food restaurants as coil forms in a sig generator that he built years ago. This week, seeing a Facebook picture of my daughter and me in a restaurant with drinking glasses in front of us, Farhan asked if I had brought home the straws.