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Saturday, March 5, 2016

AA1TJ -- On the Air with a Tuning Fork Transmitter using the 2,212th Harmonic and Olive Oil Cooling

The saturable magnetic frequency septupler. The tiny computer memory core is submerged in olive oil (Italian...naturalmente).

Not a very good picture, but here's the 1600Hz tuning-fork, fork oscillator, SRD pulse generator, PLL S/H phase-detector (diode gate), differential amplifier D.C. amplifier, and part of the 500kHz VCO.

The Wizard (AA1TJ) reports from the Hobbit Hole:

I was pleased to have made the first contact with my tuning-fork transmitter this evening. My contact, N1QLL, runs a pretty B&B on the Maine seacoast, midway between Bar Harbor and Cutler. Jerry was operating a solar-powered QRP station.  I found a follow-up email from him when I came up to the house for dinner. He's asking for a better explanation of my set-up. I can't wait to tell him about the passive frequency septupler made from an East German computer memory core, heat-sinked in a thimble of olive oil. 

My signal was also logged by a number of automated "Reverse Beacon Network" receivers (image attached) located in Ohio, North and South Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania...not bad for 90mW on 80m. Please note that my operating frequencies, 3,528.0 and 3,539.2kHz, are the 2,205 and 2,212th harmonics, respectively, of my 1,600Hz tuning-fork frequency reference.
FYI: the third attached image illustrates the block-diagram and tuning-fork reference oscillator circuitry for three common-wavelength AM broadcast transmitters operating in Berlin, Stettin and Magdeburg, Germany from 1928 through the mid 30's. A central 2,000Hz tuning-fork generated reference carrier was transmitted by landline to transmitters in the aforementioned cities whereupon the 529th harmonic was generated, amplified and broadcast at 1,058kHz. The equipment was designed by the Berlin-based firm, C. Lorenz A.G.. The fourth image details Lorenz' technique of frequency multiplication via saturable magnetic iron-core inductors. My septupler operates in an identical fashion.
A very pleasant day...

Mike points out that this is a work in progress.  He hopes to cross the pond (the Atlantic!) soon. Here is a update from Mike:

A nasty cold has delayed work on the 20 meter implementation, although some of the time I've spent crashed on the sofa was put to use redesigning the loop filter network. I think yesterday might have been my "hump" day so I'm looking forward to getting in some quality bench-time over the weekend. 

By the way, my PLL-based transmitter frequency stabilizing circuit has much in common with a garden-variety frequency-synthesizer. Obviously, the tuning-fork frequency reference is the main point of departure. My sampling phase detector, for example, was old hat by the mid-1960's. Nevertheless, this has been a fun project.

1 comment:

  1. I was pleased to work Tony/W4FOA (1,483km) today. My tuning-fork frequency-stabilized transmitter was putting out 20mW on the 8,764th harmonic of 1,600Hz.

    Mike, AA1TJ


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