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Friday, November 10, 2023

SolderSmoke Podcast #249 -- Travel, Pete's 6BA6 rig, Books!, VFOs, SDR, Computers, Spectrum Analysers, Transistor Man! MAILBAG

New VFO for 15-10 Transceiver
Schematic below

SolderSmoke Podcast #249 is available:  http://soldersmoke.com/soldersmoke249.mp3

There is also a video version of this podcast: https://youtu.be/5xyaYivtOhw



Trip out to San Francisco. Sticker placed on the corner of Haight and Ashbury:  See picture below.  Note other sticker.  Really Groovy! 

Bill's DXCC-100.  DONE.   

Tribal Wisdom:  W1REX on HRWB https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2023/11/listen-to-rex-w1rex-lots-of-tribal.html

Pete's Bench:

Pete's 6BA6 rig

Pete's 6BA6 Rig

Pete Re-invents the Shirt-pocket SSB Rig

Pete's remake of the ShirtSleeve Transceiver

Pete Builds Two Computers 

Pete Adds a Second Band to his Homebrew SDR 


BEZOS BUCKS ARE BACK!  PLEASE  BUY THERE! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Mostly DIY RF:  Work proceeds in the Oregon Silicon Forest on P3ST kit development. Todd is confident the P3ST will be released on December 18th.Many other kits available now:  https://mostlydiyrf.com/ 

Sign up for the newsletter:  https://mostlydiyrf.com/subscribe/ 

Bill's Bench: 

Rebuild of the 15-10 VFO (for improved Dial Spread) (with yet another QF-1 capacitor) https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2023/10/dial-scale-linearity-spreading-out.html

Why Building for 10 meters is harder: https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2023/09/why-building-for-10-meters-is-harder.html

Copper Tape shielding of 15-10 rig. 

Crushing Spurs with Better Bandpass Filters (see blog post) https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2023/09/crushing-17-and-12-meter-spurs-with.html

Another 15-10 rig in the works... for SSSS.   Boards are accumulating... 

More problems discovered with the Herring Aid 5 Receiver . Lots of SS blog posts  Comment from Rick WD5L.  ) https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2023/10/a-big-error-discovered-in-1976-qst.html   Did you try to build one?  Did you succeed or did you fail?  Please let us know. 

The Basil Mahon books (blog posts) https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2023/11/basil-mahon-is-author-for-us-he.html

The Sunburst and Luminary book of Don Eyles (blog posts) 

The Art of Electronics by Horowitz and Hill (blog posts) 

Spectrum Analysers:  Tiny SA Ultra https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2023/09/the-tinysa-ultra-spectrum-analyser-video.html  and Polarad 632C-1; George WB5OYP gave me one of these spectrum analysers  (I NEED a manual! Does anyone have a manual or a schematic? )  : 

Polarad 632C-1

Stabilizing the EB63A (with Pete recommended LP filters from e-Bay. 



Todd VE7BPO on AF amplifiers.  Thanks Todd.  

Wes W7ZOI -- Always a privilege to exchange e-mail with Wes. 

E-mail from Jay Rusgrove W1VD. About the Herring Aid 5. 

E-mail from Eamon Skelton EI9GQ!  Amazing! 

HB2HB with Denny VU2DGR https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2023/09/hb2hb-contact-with-denny-vu2dgr.html

Nick M0NTV on diode matching for ring mixers: https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2023/10/does-matching-matter-diode-matching-for.html

Paul Taylor VK3HN on the new Elecraft CW rig. 

Dean KK4DAS fixed the noise in his Hallicrafters SW receiver.  A long battle, finally won. 

Dean also in contact with G3UUR. 

Ramakrishnan VU2JXN helping me set up a backup of blog on WordPress.  

Mark KA9OOI noticed that SS podcast archive appears gone.  In fact just temporarily relocated to http://soldersmoke.com/podcastarchive.html

(SS PODCAST Archive temporarily relocated to http://soldersmoke.com/podcastarchive.html

Andreas DL1AJG - Crystal radio video. https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2023/10/building-crystal-set-videos.html

George N2APB on the Herring Aid 5

Grayson KJ7UM experimenting with Varactors and Thermatrons! 

Thomas K4SWL on Mattia's DC receiver. https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2023/10/mattia-zamanas-amazing-direct.html

Bob Weaver of Dial Bandspread Linearity  fame.  Electron Bunker

Mike Bryce WB8VGE QRP Hall of famer -- he too couldn't get the Herring Aid 5 working. 

Kirk NT0Z wrote about the Wayback machine.  But this former ARRL staffer he also tried and failed to get the Herring Aid 5 going.  Way back when... https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/2015/03/kirks-herring-aid-tuna-tin-and-regen.html

New 15-10 VFO with schematic

Dial Bandspread (Before)

At corner of Haight and Ashbury


  1. Dear Bill:
    As you mentioned in the podcast, I agree that soldering all components on the top of the board with Manhattan pads is by far the preferable way to homebrew.  
    I recently bought and built a DIYRF TIA kit, and this re-enforced the fact that the through-hole method, while being compact, is extremely difficult to trouble-shoot and repair or modify.
    Therefore I wish you would convince Todd to change to offering one-sided Manhattan-style printed circuit boards, with plain copper on the second side that can optionally be connected to the ground on the top.
    Also, it would have been nice if you and Pete could have met in person for the first time (except for your joint April 1 business trip to Hollywood), maybe each driving halfway. 
    However, I have not left Central Florida in 6 years and now I only drive about 1500 miles a year, so I know how it is when you get old!

    1. Thanks Walter. The campaign to keep our rigs "above board" has begun. As for Pete, I would love to meet him, but he is carrying some very heavy family responsibilities (with impressive grace) so this kind of meeting is impossible. But we have the podcast! 73 Bill

  2. One might add, the polarized relays don't have a diode in them - they are magnetically polarized. Only if the current flows in the right direction, the electromagnetic and permanent magnetic field add, excerting enough force to move the contacts. It's done to reduce the necessary current.

  3. You have no idea how bad I hate kits, all of them need modded, and I destroy through hole PCBs left and right, it is totally aggravating Ed KC8SBV

  4. Heres a Polarad Tech Info site.


  5. Also might want to post a Polarad manual request at the appropriate group here:



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