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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

ZL2CTM Charlie Morris on "QSO Today" with Eric Guth 4Z1UG

Eric Guth 4Z1UG had a really nice interview with our friend Charlie Morris ZL2CTM.  Charlie shared with Eric a lot of wisdom about how to homebrew radio gear.  I especially liked Charlie's comments on keeping most of his rigs on the wooden prototype boards.  He said something important when he talked about the benefits of taking a break from a difficult problem, then coming back to it with a rested and refreshed mind. I noted, however,  that he said most of these frustrating problems have to do with software.  

I got got several chuckles out of Charlie's comments on the difficulty of building stable analog LC VFOs (here he seemed to be channeling our good friend Pete Juliano).  I chuckled because as I listened I was happily building the analog LC VFO for my Q-31 Quarantine receiver.  The centerpiece of this project is a variable capacitor that Pete gave me;   Pete took it out of an old  Galaxy V transceiver.   Believe me guys, no rotary encoder could possibly look as nice or have as much soul as that capacitor from Pete, with all its gears, reduction drives, and anti-backlash mechanisms.  It even smells of machine oil.  Call me a Luddite, but I will stick with the coils and capacitors.  

Listen to the interview here: 


Thanks to Charlie and Eric. 


  1. Bill. You will be pleased to hear that my next build will be a analogue one; VFO and all. I have a couple of nice reduction drives from some old HF radios that I have been wanting to use. Do you prefer Harley over Colpitts for the VFO?

  2. Excellent Chatlie. Glad to hear that you are stepping back from the dark side. I've had good luck with the Hartley oscillator that Wes has in SSDRA. I have it in in one of my most recent podcasts. For a great tutorial on analog VFOs (with a focus on Colpitts, but mush is applicable to Hartleys) see https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2017/04/vfo-tribal-design-wisdom-from-joseph.html
    73 Bill

  3. Charlie: Wes's Hartley circuit is shown in this blog post:

  4. Thank Bill. I did see that a day or so ago. Cheers.

    Charlie ZL2CTM

  5. Hey Bill & Gang!

    My Quarantine project can be seen at

    Check it out and leave a comment.



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