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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Richard's Rip-Van-Winkle Barbados Rig

Dear Bill,

Thank you for taking a few minutes to read my email. I recently found your blog and enjoyed reading the entries.  However, the most interesting and exciting article I discovered was your "Homebrew Radios in the Age of the Internet." The article reminded me of a project started 30 years ago this month and placed in a box in the attic to wait until I could return to it.
Thirty years of health care management work filled the interim.

The project is the 8P6 Hamcation rig by W1FB from QST of June and November 1982!

I searched through the cob webs in the attic and found that all the boards are completed and I even fabricated a case. The original QST's were there too! In response to a (somewhat strong) suggestion from my wife to "get a winter project going", the rig is back on my retirement work bench. Wahoo.

Progress to date has been instructive and fun. The boards are all cleaned, checked, and 95% wired together in the case and working. I attached 2 photo for your pleasure because you wrote specifically about the receiver in some blog posts.

This is where I am scratching my head. As you say in the article, "receivers are tough". I am confused and a bit frustrated about the correct procedure and sequence to correctly align the Barebones superhet. I can already hear stations and the noise level is acceptable. But I am not quite sure how to proceed in peaking up the receiver (hit a plateau?) Any suggestions for a newly retired ham now with the time to get back to the bench?

Thank you very much for your kind comments and interest in my project.

Cherry Valley NY

Wow, what a cool resurrection project!   I recognize both the receiver and transmitter boards.   The RX is clearly DeMaw's Barebones Superhet on a FAR Circuit board.  I am listening to one of those AS I TYPE.  Mine was put together by Dale, W4OP, and currently inhales on 17 meters.   The TX board is what became known as the VXO 6 Watter.   It was (I think) designed by W1VD, and appears in the ARRL book "QRP Classics."   This was my first really successful homebrew rig -- I built that transmitter in the Dominican Republic  in 1993.   I still have most of the board, and the 20 meter Barebones RX that I used with it.   Richard's message makes me want to put this old gear back on the air. 

I hope Richard will send us an update on his Barbados revival project.

I'm sure Doug DeMaw would be very pleased to know that his projects are still providing radio amateurs with a lot of fun and inspiration.

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