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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Back to Mr. Carlson's Lab

I like the Vedolyzer in the wooden box. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Triple Scratch-Built BITX Club -- Do you qualify for membership?

OK, so how many of you guys can join Steve M0KOV and me in the Triple Scratch-Built BITX Club?  


Below are my three Bitx builds.

1st build.  
Closely follows Farhan's original 20m design but I soon changed the VFO for an arduino/ad9850.  It was a fast, get me on the air build, it worked, but not well.
The output amp was built on a separate board as part of its exorcism. 

2nd build. 
This was to be my two band Hill Topper, we don't have mountains in Yorkshire. Built with separate stages slotting into the eddystone box to save space and to help with shielding. The receiver worked very nicely, the output kept blowing irf510's. I later found that they were a hopeless batch. Very hard to work on.

3rd build. Big is beautiful. Arduino/si5351 straight into the modulator and into the mini-circuit mixer through a driver as discussed. Norton feedback RF preamp and a ne5532/lm386 AF amp. At the moment it's on 80m but it did start on 40m. It's still a work in progress and I will have to sort that soldering iron band change.

73  Steve M0KOV

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Freethink YouTube Channel

Lots of really nice, inspirational videos here: 


Farhan's Satellite

Latest news:

The launch is set for November 24, 2018 from California.  It will be in a polar orbit.  The beacon will be on 145.90 MHz.   Farhan says an RTL-SDR Dongle should do the trick.  I plan on building several receive systems and an appropriate antenna. 




I don't think Farhan's group is connected to this group, but this short video does a nice job of explaining the potential of CubeSats.

Hi my friend's information to all about a man's " A DREAM COME'S TRUE " in " VU " LAND with his hard work & to the whole team.. we can say ......FANTASTIC ..... no other words to express from my side but i ENVY on their hard work's.. hi hi .de vu3yfd,prasad
IARU Amateur Satellite Frequency Coordination
List of Sats formally submitted
ExseedSat Updated: 10 Aug 2018 Responsible
Operator Ashar Farhan VU2ESE
Supporting Organisation Exseed Space Innovations Pvt Ltd
Contact Person afarhan@gmail.com.nospam
Headline Details: The ExseedSat is a 1U cubesat that will provide a multifunction UHF/VHF NBFM amateur communication satellite. It will have various configurable modes, including: • UHF to VHF, single channel, narrow band FM transponder with CTCSS, 67 Hz squelch • Power output selectable between 1 watt and 0.5 watt • Digipeat feature with APRS on UHF uplink nd VHF downlink • Melody mode : It will play a simple melody of a few notes on special occasions or events. This will interest students outreach. • We expect this satellite to have a life of two years, depending upon how long the battery lasts and when the satellite de-orbits naturally. Planning a SpaceX launch from Vandenberg in October 2018 **The request has now been updated to include only a U/V transponder/digipeater** **The following frequencies have been coordinated: 145.900 MHz for repeater and digipeater downlink and for telemetry and 435.340 MHz for repeater and digipeater uplink**
Application Date: 19 Jul 2018 Freq coordination completed on 10 Aug 2018
Read The Hindu story at https://www.thehindu.com/…/odisha-man-t…/article24963338.ece
Gurudatta Panda VU3GDP http://gurudattabam.blogspot.com/
Ashhar Farhan VU2ESE http://hfsignals.blogspot.com/
Tnx cu agn de vu3yfd,prasad

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Pete's New Sudden Transceiver

Check it out!  Note the Juli-yellow front panel color.   Featuring FT-8 and WSPR capability.  Go Pete! 


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Nightfire Electronics

Some interesting items in their catalog.  I ordered their NP0 capacitor kit.   I have to stock up in order to avoid being forced into the digital oscillator morass. 


They also have crystals for the ham frequencies.  

Please tell them that SolderSmoke sent you. 

WB8VGE on QSO Today -- QRP, HB, Boatanchors, Drift, Solar Power


Eric 4Z1UG has a really good interview with Mike Bryce, WB8VGE. 

Listen here: 


I've been a big fan of Mike's for many years. I've talked to him on the air a couple of times.  I liked his QRP column in 73 magazine.  I share his enthusiasm for Boatanchor rigs.  He is a fellow member of the QRP Hall of Fame (who, like Pete and me, at times seems to be pushing the QRO envelope).  I like his approach to solar power. He too has been bothered by appliance ops who complain that his boatanchor rigs are 150 hertz "too low."  

His attitude toward contesting is similar to mine -- I may be more opposed than he is.  I think contesting encourages a kind of harshness and competitiveness that runs contrary to the spirit of the Radio Amateur's code. 

I got a chuckle about Mike's claim that he almost Worked All States in RECEIVED Official Observer reports. And that he at one point owned THIRTY  104s.  

Mike's observations on the dumbing down of ham radio and on the social (psychological?) problems of 75 meters ("net starting in 5 minutes!"  "QRP not allowed on 75") are sadly on the mark. 

Mike's hint about using a white-out pen to spruce up the front panel of an old Drake radio adds a new household/office material to our rig-fixing arsenal. 

Eric's comment on the Lafayette Catalog resonated with me.  I used to read it too. 

I hope Mike decides to get on the air more frequently.  Just avoid 75 meters and 7.200 MHz Mike. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

KD4PBJ's PTO "Turtle" Receiver


Here’s my newest creation. 
It’s a PTO tuned receiver for 40 meters and uses the WA6OTP PTO circuit I built a couple years back. I believe I had sent you a picture of it then. I bought the tuning assembly from him which is the aluminum bracket, acrylic tube fitted with Pem nut, and brass screw.  The circuit uses a J310 as oscillator transistor and several bipolar transistors for amplification and buffering. 

This feeds a ADE-1 mixer, mounted on a little breakout board I bought from RfBay. 
Years ago I had good luck building the Rock Bending Receiver from the ARRL handbook, so I took the audio chain from it and incorporated it. It uses a TL072 and a LM 386. 
As of now I haven’t needed any kind of front end filter, but am working on a 40 meter bandpass filter from Hans Summers that I will put on the input just in case it’s ever needed. 
I had been looking for an easy enclosure and found this in one of the break rooms at work. An empty Christmas nut tin. 
The PTO screw goes in and out like a turtle sticking its head out of the shell, plus my 13 year old son Alex’s favorite animal is a turtle. So it goes. 


Monday, September 10, 2018

N2CQR Wins a Contest AGAIN!

Pete N6QW suggested I do a blog post on this.  

This past weekend I dusted off my old scratch-built, all-analog, no-chips BITX20. (THREE CHEERS FOR FARHAN AND HIS BITX DESIGN!)   I hooked it up to my trusty CCI .1KW (note decimal point) amplifier and my new 135 foot store-bought doublet.  This all happened just as the Worked All Europe  DX contest was kicking off, with lots of activity on 20.   TRGHS.  I was in.  My contest operating style was in the category of "relaxed-casual-noncompetitive." I took a lot of breaks.  In fact there were more breaks than non-breaks. You have to pace yourself in the contest world.  

My results: 


P3X might not count because, you see, Cyprus is considered to be in ASIA.  Really? 

Anyway, I 'm assuming that I am the winner in the homebrew, discrete component , all-analog transceiver category.  Woo Hoo!  

The contest rig is pictured above.  Before you point to the glowing numerals and cry foul, realize that the little Altoids box between the two speakers holds a San Jian frequency counter that was deliberately kept OUTSIDE the BITX box.  So it is more of an outboard accessory.  I can run the BITX 20 without the digital assist -- I have an old fashioned non-digital dial pointer to indicate frequency.  The "Low - High" switch you see switches the VFO from the low portion of the 20 meter phone band to the higher part of the band.   The box below the BITX 20 holds the uBITX. 

Seriously though, I was quite pleased with the performance of the doublet.   

Sunday, September 9, 2018

EF Johnson's 50th Anniversary Speech. Very nice radio history

Thanks to W0VLZ for this wonderful 13 minute recording of Edgar F Johnson's 50th Anniversary speech.  There is a lot of great radio history in this speech.  Highly recommended. 

Just click here to listen: 


EF Johnson's hometown bio: 


Monday, September 3, 2018

Ralph AB1OP -- A New Receiver (with Mojo) and A New Acronym (with Attitude)

Bill and Pete,

😀 Completed the wiring the LBS Part I (pics attached)
I've said wiring completed but, it's not really done. lt will need some peakin' & tweakin' and I already have made design changes to the power board. 

My Summer Project took ALL Summer, had the usual excuses with Summer activities, family obligations,  interruptions and days of just plain goldbricking. 

At last all the LBS Part I boards were laid out, etched, populated, soldered and installed.  As a novice Toroid winder it took a  while to get the toroids done. (I had to do THREE DBM Transformers to get two  to match.)

Some features of note: 
1. Extensive use of the recycle bin for front / rear panels and feet. (Tin can and bottle caps) Go Green!
2. Extra Mojo was induced with using the 10K pot Farhan supplied with my first Bitx40 Kit that I did not use, (I replaced it because I could not find knobs for 4mm shafts back then)  
3. Junk box speaker (8 Ohm - 0.5 W) from a cheap radio alarm clock my Mom threw away after it stopped working.
4. Use of the RG405 coax for interstage RF connections. (No Murphy's Whiskers)

😞 My tale of woe. Apparently after connecting the LBS Part I stages together I put the AD9850 module back in it's socket upside down --- then applied power,  Awaiting the replacement. HIHI

😜 SITB or Stick-It-To-Bezos.  Again this month my Ham stuff budget was blown on an Amazon order (replacement AD9850 modules being not cheap anymore). I started at the soldersmoke blog web page search bar so there should be a little something heading to your North Virginia QTH from Jeff.


Sunday, September 2, 2018


SolderSmoke Podcast #206 is now available: 


-- SolderSmoke resumes after a busy summer.

-- We did a portion of #206 via Skype at the GQRP Convention.  Thanks to Steve G0FUW for setting this up.  A portion of our participation appears at the end of the podcast. 

-- Pete's SDR Rig and his new involvement with WSPR and FT-8

-- The allure of SDR and the pitfalls of complexity. 

-- Bill's 135 foot Doublet, 75 AM, 60 USB and 30 Meter CW. 

-- Plans to change the IF of Bill's HRO dial receiver. 

-- Thinking (again) about sold stateing the HW-101. 

--  Hans Summers, QCX and QSX rigs.  


Ralph builds Pete's LBS receiver.  FB!  

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Lasers. Big Scary Lasers. And a guy with THE KNACK

Here is another young fellow who shows all the signs of having "The Knack." I think his findings would be very useful for those involved in light beam communication. 
Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column