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Saturday, October 4, 2014

SolderSmoke Podcast 166: Getting Started in Homebrew Radio

SolderSmoke Podcast 166 is available for download: 


Bench Report:  Pete working on Direct Conversion Receivers.  
Bill on his 2B and on 20DSB rig, and an M0XPD/Kanga DDS kit, and a 140 watt amp. 

Start simple:  Build an oscillator. Make it oscillate!
Gather tools, simple test gear, and books. 
Try to understand what you build. 
Build a direct conversion receiver.  
Don't fear the toroids! 
Be patient.  This is not Plug and Play. 
Build a DSB transceiver. 
Little tips: 
Protect variable caps. 
Use heat sinks. 
Use reverse polarity protection. 
Don't breathe the solder smoke! Ventilate your bench.

China Radio International Mystery Solved.  
Book Recommendation:  "International QRP Collection" by Dobbs and Telenius-Lowe

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  1. Bill,

    I really like the conversations you've been having with Pete. Keep up the nice work!


    John K2ZA

  2. I have a HB "smoke eater" on the bench here at SRHQ. I fashioned it from an old 'muffin' fan scrounged from some nondescript scrapped out gear.

    But mine is more of a turbo-charger; it sucks those lovely fumes right off of the work and up the ol' nostrils, HA!

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

  3. George, W5JDX, showed how to solder surface mount parts in one of his Amateur Logic programs. I followed his instruction with the Rockmite transceiver. The old one had one surface mount chip. Very, very easy.



  4. Echoing the ideas expressed, EMRFD may seem a bit daunting, and is in a way. For some of us, besides "hands on", there's nothing wrong with going through a regular electronics textbook (here it's Electrónica General Manuel Gomez Perez Ed. Alfaomega) and the Malvino book. In addition, the videos at MIT (first year engineering classes) with Agarwal et al have been enormously beneficial, ast least to me. Theory is coupled with practice. After that, burning fingers and few transistors later, and having that patience you speak about. Another thing that is helping me at least is fixing broken stuff: troubleshooting my Emtech kits, a Drake amp, an old Zenith, etc. has been super helpful. Making an RF probe, using what's at hand, looking at the Ashar Farhan and 7ZOI hb test equip ideas, etc. FYI here we are trying to engage the EE students at CUCEI (u. de guadalajara) in ham radio and it is a two-way street: they are super smart in systems, digital, arduinos et al, but have often never burnt their fingers with a "hot iron". Only with had more time to do this stuff as music is my main gig, as you know. EXCELLENT the Pete J/Bill M SS and keep 'em coming!


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