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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dead Chickens and Fake Transistors in Medellin Colombia: HK4DEI's Micro 40 DSB Rig

Daniel HK4DEI wrote to report that page 149 of the SolderSmoke book was providing some solace and comfort as he struggled to get his version of Peter Parker's Micro 40 Double Sideband rig going.  He was having problems with the amplifier.   He was almost at the point of sacrificing chickens to Papa Legba.  I wished him luck and told him to hang in there. 

Elisa saw my e-mail to Daniel and complained that I hadn't given him the solution to his amplifier woes.  I tried to explain to her that there are sometimes things in this universe that are just UNKNOWABLE.  C.F. Rockey W9SCH (who alerted us in SPRAT 22 to the chicken sacrifice option) spoke of transistors that exhibit "quantum mechanical necromancy."  Rockey explained that when this happens, "The transistor simply turns up its toes and dies. Not even an Atomic Physicist can tell you why!"  

But Daniel persisted.  And he won the battle:

Hey Bill
Did you kill some chickens already? If you did, THANK YOU!  If you don't, then please enjoy a nice sancocho de gallina for me.

But seriously... guess what?
I knew I couldn't be screwing everything up so badly and VK3YE's circuit couldn't be so wrong.
I was getting nuts trying to understand why it wasn't working, changing a single inductor could fry the final instantly or not getting any power out at all (?) also my final BD139 was getting extremely hot, and many of them died with no apparent reason (Page 149!!!!).
I ordered a "good" deal of BD139's and BD140's combo for an incredible low price from [A WEB SITE], I've ordered many *apparently good components from that site with no problems so far... mainly resistors and capacitors. Having tried everything to get my circuit working and after some quick online search about fake transistors from china my suspicions grew considerably and I remembered some -other- BD139's I had ordered from Amazon some time ago.
I proceeded to solder the new transistors in place in my PA and Bingo! No more heating of the final and about the expected 0.5W out from my first DSB homebrew rig. I quickly reported to a fellow homebrewer in a local net and the report was amazing! 59 +10, the final transistor was comfortably warm to the touch and my mind could finally rest... lesson learned! What an electromagnetic achievement!
Just wanted to share my success Bill and thank you again for you book and you kind response.
Please say hi to Elisa and the Cristalinhos from a fellow Latin friend.
Clear Skies.
73/72 from Colombia!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on your new rig Daniel and nice troubleshooting! Whenever I receive new parts I make sure I put the date and vendor on the bag so if a part does go bad I know who to boycott from now on. :)

    Al, N8WQ


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