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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Back to the "Kick Panel" DSB Rig

OK, so now that the 17 meter rigs are fully operational, I am turning my attention to another homebrew rig from days gone by: This is what I call my "kick panel" DSB transmitter. You see, the metal cabinet is made from a piece of metal intended for placement on the bottom part of a door -- so that people (in a pub, I suppose) won't wear out the door with their feet. I built this rig in my attic shack in London. The breadboard on which it is built is from a Dyas store in Windsor, England. The top of the box comes from a computer I found discarded on the mean streets of South Kensington. I think I originally built this thing for 40 meters, but later switched the VFO and the low pass filter to 80 meters. This rig is discussed in the opening pages of the London chapter of "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics."

The oscillator is running as it should and the RF amplifier chain (my design) is amplifying (and not oscillating!). The balanced modulator is doing its balancing act quite nicely. The only problem seems to be with the the little op-amp that have in there for the AF -- it seems to be distorting the audio quite a bit. That shouldn't be hard to fix.

There is room in the box for a simple Direct Conversion receiver, so this box will become a DSB/DC transceiver.

But here is my problem: I find myself unenthusiastic about working on a rig for 75 or 80 meters. On the one hand those frequencies are good for me -- I'm an early riser and I need a rig that I can use in the hours before sunrise. But 75/80 always seems to be an unfriendly place -- lots of frequencies that seem to be "claimed" by groups who don' t seem interested in meeting newcomers, not a lot of people calling CQ...

I can put this rig on another HF band. 40 seems nice, but I have plenty of old boatanchor stuff that covers 40. I don't need another 17 meter rig. I already have a homebrew 20 meter DSB rig. How about 12 meters? Or 10? I know they are both dead in the early morning, but better times are coming, right? What do you guys think? To what band should I kick the kick panel rig?

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  1. I am thinking 10 Meters would be a good choice.

  2. As I really enjoy 10 meters and that its becoming better these days that would be a good use for you unique looking box.
    Also I found your podcast last week and bot do I enjoy it.

  3. "What a piece of junk."

    "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself."

    I like the cut of your jib. That beauty looks like the perfect platform for another SSB rig. Mod. the VFO for 5.0 - 5.5 MHz. Use a 9MHz filter and you can get both 20 and 75 Meters. Even if you don't use those two, any other bands would be a snap with an additional LO along with Transmit and Receive mixers.

    Use the force, Luke.

    73.......Steve Smith WB6TNL
    "Snort Rosin"

  4. What about using the case for an all-new rig somewhere between 472 and 479 kHz. I know it's been something over a century now, but the Ham community is finally getting access to operate on frequencies above 200 Meters once again! We may have allocations providing for ERP of as much as 5 Watts! It will be interesting to see if we will be CW or digital only or just maybe there will be an allocation in there for SSB.

    Bruce - KK0S

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