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Saturday, December 21, 2019

SolderSmoke Podcast #216 Is Available: BITXs, Paesano, Paraset, ET2, Antuino, Mailbag

Bill's uBITX with HB keys and the mic that used to be the podcast mic! 
SolderSmoke Podcast #216 is available 

21 December 2019



Pete's Bench 
Sprat Article
BITX 40 Fun
Paraset.   Three tubes!  Almost an ET-3!

Bill's Bench
ET-2 Adventure over,  Rig on the wall
Final QSO count. 20   3 "random" 
Last QSO with AA8OZ
Lessons learned:  100 mW not the problem. Crystal Control cramps your style. 
N0WVA regen amazingly effective.
Tried for the Sunrise Net.  Walter sent me some crystals.  

On to the uBITX. 
Accidentally wiped out calibration and BFO settings. 
Had to do recalibration and reset BFO. 
Learned a lot about the rig. 
How they did CW and how they do it now. Shift TX?  Or shift RX?  Or just shift BFO on RX? 
How all the signals end up as upper sideband.  Only one BFO freq.  Very cool. 
TalentCell 12 V Lithium Ion 3 AmpHour battery. Size of a deck of cards. 
Inspired by Peregrino -- I ordered EFHW Tuner from QRP Guys. 
Homebrew Straight Keys

Antuino upgrade 
SMT soldering. 
Back to Arduino Nano and the IDE.  
A very cool tool. 
Antuino filter analysis.
Version 6 of uBITX out. 

The "Watt Meter" DC power meter.  Very useful.  8 bucks.  LINK:

SPRAT, balloons and hardcore homebrew hydrogen. 

VK3HN's AM receiver.  I ordered 6kHz 455 kHz filters from Australia. 
Dean's MMM
Peter VK2EMU   Hertz not hertz. 
Ben KC9DLM LTSpice YouTube Videos
Steve Silverman  Electroluminescent Receiver Kit
Lyndon N0LFX back to listening.  FB OM
Steve M0KOV built a pill bottle variometer.  Did you get the regen going? 
Anthony VU3JVX   FB HB uBitx.  
Allison KB1GMX  Great to hear from her
Leif WB9IWT -- helped me trouble shoot my uBITX (BFO was low)
Mike EI0CL  old buddy from Azores days.  Recognized his voice on 20.  Great QSO.  


  1. Guys, your new mics are excellent! The audio is much improved, especially the balance between Bill's and Pete's audio level.

  2. Merry Christmas Pete and Bill. Thanks for another year of sanity.

  3. Never think the ET-2 is boring!!! I love those minimalist rigs! That and the Fish Soup 10! I could be ashamed to say that there are 5 transistors in my audio filter in my DC rx, but that filter rocks and it's staying! Keep this simple rigs coming. Great Sprat fodder too!

    Ed KC8SBV

  4. Came here to comment on the excellent audio between you both, only to discover KR3AM has said exactly what I wanted to say. Balance is great, audio quality is great. Its like your both in the same room on the same mic. Brilliant

  5. Was blown away with the uBITX version 6. Have 3 and 4, but 6 is amazing with its touch screen. Remember, Ian and Ashhar have been communicating (I'm fairly certain that Ashhar has been visiting http://www.hamskey.com/ ever since I told him about it a couple years ago. So, the touch screen might be part of what Ian did firstly. This radio looks very good, wonder how much I'd have to do with a ver4 (keeping the 3 just like it is, can't mess with that perfection ! Except maybe the pop fix. Will add that mod and ND6Ts AGC (Does V6 have a AGC ? Haven't read the details yet. My V3 will also get a hookup for Digi HF (JS8CALL is aweesome). Another project thanks to insparation from ND6T is a Si5351 rf generator, with an attenuator of some type. ND6T will eventually have his creation online at his ND6T.com site. He's had a Si5351 version for a while, its the attenuator that will be new. He lives 50miles from me, told me about the project, fits in an Altoid case ! My Swan SS200 will have one of these in it eventually. At first I'll just have to do the math to get on frequency, but eventually I'll have a program.

    I'm going to also put out a video with the Antuino (mine came with the upgrade from Ashhar) and several other VNAs and basic Antenna Analyzers so people can see how they've evolved, the less expensive ones anyway. I have worked with a gentleman who owns an expensive one, its probably a work of art but every time I get close to being able to see what it will do, I'm on a tower for hours and hours ! One of the least expensive can tune an antenna with a on screen Smith chart, and I've looked at an expensive VNA tuned with a smith chart and a VERY basic tuner can be right on in minutes with that technology ! The only one I won't be showing is the EU1KY VNA as I just do not have it yet, may not get it, don't know. Ian is fascinated with that one, not sure why.
    Propagation is picking up. Philipines, south Korea, South Africa, Chili , Argentina, and South EAst Russia very near North Korea on JS8CALL, conversations with my Philipino contacts. WISH HAWAII WOULD GET OFF FT8 and go to JS8CALL so we could have come conversations QSO's ! Pleas guys, put some time into this ! And, its time for the guys at Solder Smoke to try out JS8CALL, its completely separate from the other modes, separate software ect.

    Sorry this is so long ! Lot going on here.

    I thought I had that DC Wattmeter . I know I've seen it before, maybe I didn't order it ? Price is right.


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