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Monday, March 8, 2021

AA7EE Casually Kills a Direct Conversion Receiver, then Coldly Discards a Diode Ring Mixer

I was really glad to see that Dave AA7EE has -- after a long absence -- posted another article on his blog.   The article has some great personal reminiscences about his involvement with direct conversion receivers.  Here is one passage: 

I spent many happy hours tuning around and listening on 80M with the DSB80. It was this first experience that cemented my affinity for direct conversion receivers built with commercially available diode ring mixer packages. It just seemed so simple – you squirt RF into one port, a VFO into the other, and (after passing the result through a diplexer) amplify the heck out of the result. The seeming simplicity of the process of converting RF directly to baseband audio has held great appeal for me ever since. Unfortunately, that project didn’t survive. One day, in later adulthood, in my apartment in Hollywood, I reversed the polarity of the 12V DC supply and, discouraged at it’s subsequent refusal to work, tossed the whole thing away. Now, I cannot quite believe that I did that, but it was during a long period of inactivity on the ham bands, and complete lack of interest. If only I could go back, and not have thrown it into the dumpster of my apartment building! Hollywood is ridden with recent notable history. My little double sideband transceiver met it’s unfortunate end just 100 feet from the spot where Bobby Fuller, of The Bobby Fuller Four, was found dead in his car, in 1966, the subject of a still unsolved mystery to this day. The death of my little DSB rig was a lot less mysterious. To think that I heartlessly tossed an SBL-1 mixer into a dumpster, is a mark of how far I had strayed from my homebrewing roots, forged in a little village in England. Now, a few years later, in a city known for it’s sin and excess, I had cruelly ended the life of a stout and honest diode ring mixer. I suppose I should spare a thought for the polyvaricon but, well, you know – it was a polyvaricon!


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful radio craft and a story to match. Thanks OM. Paul VK3HN.


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