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Saturday, December 29, 2018

KC1FSZ's Peppermint III Homebrew BITX with Mods


Hi Guys:

I had some time over the holiday to finish off my second scratch-built rig.  I am very thankful that I got the work done on these projects before I read Pete's "Don't Build It" diatribe.  That would have been very demoralizing. :-)

Scratch build #2 (called Peppermint III) is still fundamentally BITX although I've made changes this time around.   I've switched to ADE-1 mixers with LO ports driven by adjustable gain buffers (ala N6QW LBS).  I've noticed that performance can be improved a lot if you can buffer/tweak the LO levels of the VFO and BFO (particularly carrier suppression on TX).  I did W7ZOI TIAs in the IF chain.  I've also taken the shielding/layout of the finals more seriously and have been able to dial up the power a lot (I did the KB1GMX thing with cutting off the drain pin on the IRF510 and using the tab).  The software is also greatly improved and now supports LSB/USB modes as well as software-driven PTT control for RTTY/FT8 and the hooks for my poor man's panadaptor.  I've been working lots of stations on QRO.

Total build time was about three months (half the time of #1) and the layout came out much smaller than before.  I made a trip over to Williams/Sonoma after Christmas and picked up the 2018 edition of the Peppermint Bark candy tin on discount and I think I can make it all fit.  More to follow ...

Happy New Year and 73s,

Bruce KC1FSZ




2 comments:

  1. Bruce the new bitx looks great, a true desktop rig. It's amazing how much power you get from a single irf510 if you use a large heatsink and run the final at 30Volts. Did you manage to avoid or cure the Arduino/si5351/display noise curse?
    One more and you join the Triple Scratch-Built Bitx Club, unless the men in the white coats get you first.
    73 de Steve M0KOV

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