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Friday, July 20, 2018

A Rig with Maximum Soul: The 5 Band Transceiver of Glenn KU4NO

That's the front panel.  Glenn's kids and grand kids liked sitting on his lap while he played radio and putting stickers on it

This is one of the best HB2HB contacts I've had.   I was just getting ready to sign off on 40 meters when I heard someone calling me. It was KU4NO.  I thought I'd just give the OM a quick report.  Then he said, "My rig is homebrew too."   And wow, it is indeed!  When he said this my first thought was that maybe this was a kit rig, but no, it turns out that this rig is the scratchyist of scratch-built rigs -- true hardcore hardrock homebrew. 

I checked my log.  I had worked Glenn once before, in December 2001.  I was in the Azores.  And he was using this same rig.  Glenn told me that for all these years, this has been his ONLY rig.  A friend gave him a modern commercial rig, but he prefers this one.  I understand completely.  

At first, Glenn made me promise not to share the pictures with anyone. He seemed a bit embarrassed by his creation.  I told him that SolderSmoke readers would appreciate his rig and see the value of it. I explained that we all have soldering iron scars on our fingers, and clothing that has been stained by ferric chloride.  We LIKE ugly.  It took some persuasion, but I got  him to agree to let me share this with the group.  

Glenn reports it is based on a "5 band transceiver" circuit in the 1976 or 1977 handbook. (i don't have one and can't find it on-line -- can anyone get us a copy of the schematic and article?)

So I say THREE CHEERS for Glenn KU4NO and his homebrew 5 band transceiver.   For me, the stickers are the most important feature of this rig.  Please e-mail me your comments on Glenn's rig - in an effort to let him know how much we appreciate and understand his effort, I will pass them on to him. I wish more hams would follow his example. 

Glenn wrote: 

Oh well I'm not too concerned about who sees it. 
I just wouldn't want to cause anyone to follow my example. 
Maybe you could call it "a tornado goes through a junkyard."
Just kidding around ...no restrictions...I'm sure it will be forgotten soon ..... but I will be innocent of any harm caused by it. 
Its the only rig I've ever owned when we contacted before it was with it. 

The inspiration article in the 76 or 77 handbook is worth a look.  
The VFO tuning cap and mount came from a CB "slider" one of my brother-in-laws gave me  it seems to work well

Picture Above:  top view upper left power out two IRF 510s from w2eby ( I think) 30+ to 60+ watts across HF love this circuit, small board connected at right angle is 1/2 watt driver from Harrys Homebrew page 2n2222 driving 4 2n2222s beautiful circuit
lower left power transformer 
one of two wafer band switches in middle   ....  under wafer switch is hf mixer and single balanced mixer to generate ssb
 LO from progressive receiver top right ... heat sink just to left and lower unused voltage regulator
  RF amp and wafer switch lower right used for transmit and receive

LO tuning cap and hf mixer modulator circuit

 RF amp

 Crystals for mixing, BFO, old detector circuit.  Old circuit that repeated CQ call, chip from Radio Shack

Some micro relays ...... audio amp at bottom and two switchable compressor circuits one using an SL 1626 and one lifted from a President model CB radio  and some filter caps

New IF AGC audio detector uses three ca 3028As from 67 handbook schematic is wrong can you find the mistakes? it was printed wrong twice i use an s meter with it

Close up of power output and lower left  rf output filters  


  1. Absolutely terrific -- doesn't have to look pristine to work very well. Good show. Glad he shared this.

    Pete N6QW

  2. Bill - just checking the 1977 ARRL. P409 has an 80 or 20m SSB transceiver and a bit later there's a 160m SSB transceiver. So maybe it's in the 1976 edition.

  3. This should be on the Front Cover of one of the Ham Magazines including a featured article as well.

    Who needs SDR?

    Pete WB9FLW

    P.S. Yikes, 3 Pete's in a row!

  4. I do love to see some proper homebrew - it's what this hobby should be all about.
    The 1976 handbook is available on archive.org.


  5. Great to see another 'proper' radio. Be proud my friend de G0JNR.

  6. A real radio, none of this computer stuff.

    Most probably "The K1ZJH Solid-State Transceiver" on page 166 of both the 1977 and 1978 handbooks.

    1. yes used some k1zjh circuits but mostly used junk box and other circuits that would fill in the block diagram also ant is 10 ft tall ground mounted vert no guys worked south pole aus nz russia ships at sea europe and all points in between with 50 watts ssb on 40m depending on conditions and getting in there first call or so

  7. Outstanding rig, Glenn! It looks better than any store-bought rig ever will.

  8. Magnificent! Though the Mickey Mouse stickers are a bit out-of-character: there's no M^2L (Mickey-Mouse Logic) in there!

  9. A lot of MoJo went into Glenn's Rig! As Bill would say it has a real 3D look to it. The boards are rectangular but their placement is beyond orthogonal, As if Glenn's Rig grew instead of being built.
    Perf Boards and Ugly/Manhattan layouts all interconnected and suspended with a rats nest of wires crammed into a cabinet like a collage of circuitry. FB OM 73 AB1OP

  10. Steve Jackman WA0PWKJuly 24, 2018 at 4:09 PM

    Outstanding work! But if it's a sideband rig, where are the Donald Duck stickers?


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