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Saturday, December 3, 2016

TRGHS! HB2HB! Homebrew Extravaganza on 40 Meters!

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:
http://www.w6pql.com/  

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.

Dino's Bench

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. 


3 comments:

  1. The only thing my bench and Dino's bench have in common is the blue Weller soldering station. I can only dream......
    Steve KB3SII ... .. ..

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm still stuck in regen land! Somebody help me!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm definitely interested in hearing more about these VFO options, Bill! Haven't made any QSO's with my BITX40 yet but the time is getting close.

    ReplyDelete

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