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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Three Cheers for the uBITX! Keeping problems in perspective...

This morning I was looking at Farhan's uBITX page.   He got philosophical at the end of the circuit description: 

As a fresh radio amateur in the 80s, one looked at the complex multiband radios of the day with awe. I remember seeing the Atlas 210x, the Icom 720 and Signal One radios in various friends’ shacks. It was entirely out of one’s realm to imagine building such a general coverage transceiver in the home lab.
Devices are now available readily across the globe through online stores, manufacturers are more forthcoming with their data. Most importantly, online communities like the EMRFD’s Yahoo group, the QRP LABS and BITX20’s groups.io community etc have placed the tribal knowledge within the grasp of far flung builders like I.
One knows that it was just a matter of breaking down everything into amplifiers, filters, mixers and oscillators, but that is just theory. The practice of bringing a radio to life is a perpetual ambition. The first signal that the sputters through ether, past your mess of wires into your ears and the first signal that leaps out into the space from your hand is stuff of subliminal beauty that is the rare preserve of the homebrewer alone.
So true!   Over on the BITX.io group there is a very interesting discussion of the extent to which the uBITX is in compliance with FCC and ITU specs on harmonic and spur emission. In this discussion, I think it is important to remember the reason Farhan created the BITX rigs:  The goal was to get today's radio amateurs out of their Yaesu-Kenwood-Icom appliance rut, and get them involved with the circuitry, to get them to modify and improve the rig.   And that's precisely what is going on now.  
It was well known that dual conversion is riskier than our old familiar single conversion architecture -- when you throw another mixer and oscillator into the rig you open the door to  problematic spurious signals..  But dual conversion holds out the promise of general coverage.  And the advantage of that is quite evident in the uBITX.  Mine is on right now and I can switch from band-to-band with a press of the tuning control. This is nice.  So a spur has been discovered -- solutions are already being offered.  That's the spirit!   And it looks like the low pass filters might not be as effective as hoped.  This may be a simple matter of board layout and relay use.  That is clearly quite fixable.
So let's remember that this is not plug-and-play ham radio. This is more of a collaborative, homebrew, open-source hardware/software project.   The uBITX may be closer to true homebrew than many hams are accustomed to.  That was the whole idea. 

Patience is a virtue
Possess it if you can 
It is never held by techies
And seldom held by hams  


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Where it belongs: S38E in a Zoo


Hey fellas,
Hope this finds you well.  Spent the day with my family at a zoo.  They have a neat African exhibit that includes many small huts for shade and to give the feel of the African bush.  Each was outfitted with items kne would expect to find in a distant bush camp... Gear, etc.  Many had semi modern radio receivers. 
But one...  One had a well worn and rusting Hallicrafters S38E.  The rig y'all love to hate... Lol. It is secured to the shelf and as far as I know stays their year round; partially open to all the wonder weather Michigan can throw at it. 
I got a kick out of it, thought you may as well.  
Hope all is well.
John in Michigan 
KE5ETX
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John:  Finally, a good place for these things.  Museums. Or Zoos.   We should organize a collection campaign, perhaps with free pick-up and tax deductions.  

Here is a no-kidding story.  We had a family reunion last month.  I met a cousin I hadn't seen in 40 years.  I had given him an old S38E so he could listen to SW BC.   I asked him if he remembered that radio.  "Yea, I sure do -- It almost electrocuted me!"  
73  Bill 
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Monday, August 6, 2018

VA3IAW's BITX 40 Box. Ugly? I don't think so.


Al VA3IAW thought he had a shot at the "Ugliest BITX 40" award, but I shattered his dream by declaring it a thing of beauty.  He made it from PC board material and 1/4 inch angle brackets.  That's a paint stirrer supporting the mic element and the PTT switch.   Al might want to use shielded cable for the mic if the waterfall policeman on 40 meters detect RF feedback and freak out. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The CHIME Radio Telescope and Fast Radio Bursts



The new Canadian radio telescope is very interesting.  It has a great name for a radio telescope:  CHIME  

And it it always nice to come across a reference to the Parkes Radio Telescope.  

More info here: 

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/08/03/fast_radio_burst/

And here: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_radio_burst

Good luck on getting a QSL from the FRB station.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

WA4GEG's Beautiful HB Transceiver


http://www.hamradiobug.com/homebrew.html

Pete spotted this.  Beautiful work. I noted that Byron hasn't used the Manhattan style of construction.  This makes his work look a lot neater, but it makes it harder to modify and debug the circuitry.  On the other hand, OM Byron is obviously so good at this that his circuitry probably doesn't require any debugging or mods. 

The red S-meter and freq counter give it a slightly menacing appearance.  Very cool. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Wow. Mr. Carlson's New Old-Time Radio and Test Gear Lab. VE7ZWZ -- Homebrew Hero



It has been a while since we last visited Mr. Carlson's lab.  As always, we found it amazing.  The awesomeness just keeps increasing. Previous visits: https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/search?q=Carlson

As was the case before, this is really almost too much.  THREE DX-100s in the shelves.  A massive collection of tubes, some sorted, some un-sorted.  But don't worry -- Paul has a good memory and remembers where everything is.  I believe him. 

For his amazing shack and workshop(s) and for his willingness to repair old-time test gear, Paul VE7ZWZ clearly deserves homebrew hero status.  

Thanks Paul. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

On-Board your Arduino Board with an HCC Board



Nice, but the toaster oven is kind of scary. 
Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column