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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The Rad Receiver from N6GWB

Geoff N6GWB and his eldest have produced a really wonderful receiver, and have joined the elite ranks of those who have built their own receivers.   Congratulations to both!  ( Be sure to watch the video below.)

Geoff writes:

Though I built it, my eldest has retained naming rights.  Behold the Rad Radio Receiver, an Soldersmoke inspired build.  It’s a 40m DC reciever.  I had planned on making this a truly 50-50 N6QW N2CQR build, but I needed to get it done for a show and tell this Wednesday.  I have N6QW dual JFET RF amp and mixer modules.  I have the N2CQR ceramic ocillator circuit from the 2017 DC receiver project.  I had planned on including the all analog audio amp from the more recent N2CQR DC project, but alas, time got the best of me.  I was hoping to make the whole thing all-analog.  (I thought the all analog would get me more “hard work” kudos at the show and tell.) I ended up including a LM386 audio amp making this a bit of a cyborg.

I have included pictures of the receiver open and closed.  The closed pic includes bespoke decals.  I have also include a brief movie demonstrating the audio.

Many, many thanks for the inspiration and knowledge!


Monday, April 15, 2024

A QRP Quiz Question

I have the answer from an excellent and authoritative source.  

Here is the question:  The rig I bought for one dollar at Winterfest was produced by MXM Industries of Smithville Texas.  What does "MXM Industries" mean?  Why was this the name of the company? 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Homebrew-to-Homebrew Contact on 17 meters with DL2RMM (Video)

 Here is short clip of a very cool HB2HB contact on 17 meters.  Thanks Jens! 

Check out his QRZ page here: https://www.qrz.com/db/DL2RMM

Monday, April 8, 2024

Woebot -- An AI-Based Therapy Bot for Us?

This was on 60 Minutes last night.  Of course it made me think of our many "Tales of Woe."  Perhaps this could be of use to us.   But I wonder how the bot would react to our typical problems: 

"I am feeling bad about myself becasue my RF amplifier keeps going into oscillation.  What should I do?"

"My opposite sideband suppression is inadequate because my filter skirts are too wide. What is your advice?" 

"My LC VFO drifts slightly and my SDR-using friends taunt me about this.  I feel dejected.  What should I do?"  

"The Raspberry Pi in my SDR rig is hallucinating and I can't find the needed wisdom files. Is there a support group for this?" 

"I have discovered spurs in the output of my transmitter.  They are 60 db down, but I still can't stop thinking about them.  What should I do?"

I can't help thinking that if Jean Shepherd had access to something like this, his Heising modulator trouble might not have spoiled his date with the girl from his school.  

What do you guys think about the Woebot?  

The Doug DeMaw Article that got me into Homebrew Double-Sideband

Just click on the images for a better view

Pete WB9FLW asked for this.  This was an important article for me -- it paved the way for my entry into homebrew phone gear -- this article was the basis for my first DSB transmitter, built in the Azores. 

I think Doug was a bit optimistic in saying that SSB operation was possible with this rig.  Maybe it was possible for Doug, but for most of us DSB is just a LOT easier to get going than SSB.  (I know that some people don't believe this, but I note that most of these folks have built neither DSB nor SSB rigs.  It always seems easier before you start to melt solder.)  

Be sure to check out the 10 meter DSB rig recently built by Mike WU2D.  He has 6 or 7 good videos on this project, including this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xThoAMv4zrw

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Another CW Contact with the SupeRX/TX 40 (Video)

I changed the crystal in the transmitter.  I got a different rock from Mouser and am now on 7030.  

Wednesday April 3, 2024. On 40 meters in the afternoon with Mike KM4KY in North Carolina.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

The Road to Perdition -- High Voltage Thermatron Perdition

Yuck -- Not mine

In the AWA Bulletins that Armand gave me at Winterfest, I saw mention of an AWA PC Board intended to allow for the upgrade of the venerable Heathkit HP-23 power supply.  

I have an HP-23B.  It came with my HW-101.   I replaced the capacitors in the supply many years ago, but they were of marginal voltage specs back then (I think I was in the Dominican Republic) and they have likely dried out considerably since then.  I am nervous about firing this thing up.  I fear for the big transformer... 

So I'm going to order the AWA's upgrade PCB.  

Of course, the danger (!) is that this could lead me back into the world of high voltage thermatrons.  That HW-101 has been taunting me for years.  It NEEDS restoration.  The first step would be to fix up the Power Supply. 

73.  And one hand behind your back OM.  

MXM SupeRX/TX 40 Rig Info


My SupeRX/TX 40 -- now on 7030 kHz

Click on schematics for a better view

Article on MXM Industries of Smithville,Texas:  

Click on images for a better view

Click on images for a better view

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Ian Keyser G3ROO and Spy Radios

Above is a recent ICQ podcast interview with Ian. 

This sojoun into spy land started with this WTF video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f3ZJYdmpZw

Crypto Museum explains what the Mk 301 was all about:  https://www.cryptomuseum.com/spy/mk301/index.htm

 I have had Ian on the SolderSmoke blog several times: https://soldersmoke.blogspot.com/search?q=%22Ian+Keyser%22

N2CQR at the key with a G3ROO paraset

Monday, April 1, 2024

SolderSmoke Podcast #251 Aurora! CBLA, Winterfest, Legal Action Against SolderSmoke, HB sBITX, SDR, Raspberry Pi, Rounded Passbands, MAILBAG

Aurora Picture by Dean KK4DAS

SolderSmoke Podcast #251  4-1-2024

Audio: http://soldersmoke.com/soldersmoke251.mp3

Videos: Podcast 251 Aurora! CBLA, Winterfest, Legal Threat, sBITX, SDR, RaspPi, Rounded Passbands, MAILBAG (youtube.com)

Travelouge:  Dean goes to the North Pole to see Aurora. 

A CBLA Call to Arms! 

Winterfest.  Lots of goodies.  MXM Industries 40 meter transceiver. 1 dollar. 

Jean Shepherd. Recording of Bill talking to Shep in 1976.

Legal Trouble: Could put us out of operation for a while.  We need listener input. 

November 2023

December 2023


Pete's Bench

Homebrew SDR (based on Zl2CTM’s original design) and how good it sounds.

Raspberry Pi Zero W is now working on FT-8 with digital adapter.

Ferrite Cores at Digi-Key (a replacement for the FT-37-43 where  you buy 100 and the price is 21 cents/each)

ADE-6 –great specs in HF but more expensive than the ADE-1

For Pete's recent blog posts, go to this site and click on "Archive" in the right column: 



Dean's Bench 

sBITX progress, McGyver-ing a lifted pad, replacing crystal on the CODEC board, sBITX success! See: 



Shameless Commerce Division:  Please use the Amazon link on the blog to start your Amazon purchases. And please consider using Patreon to support the podcast and blog.  We try to send extra content to our Patreon supporters. Mostly DIY RF --  Boards, Kits and Pete's PSSST


Bill's Bench

More trouble with the 15-10 rig.  Rounded passbands in 25 MHz filter. See figure 4 in both links: 



Experimenting with Balanced Mixers and Product Detectors. Paul VK3HN  Suggests the MC1496 chip; Walter KA4KXX points to SSDRA circuits

But it is on the air!  Using the PA from a BITX40 module and an RD06.  

Put an OLD dial from Pericles HI8P on 15-10 version 1.  Soul in the new machine.

Pericles' Dial on the 15-10 Rig 


Grayson KJ7UM's Hollowstate video. 

Mike WU2D's amazing 10 meter DSB transceiver. 

Jack AI4SV (Dhaka Jack) liked video of recent QSO with AzoresDSB rig

Mike AA1TJ and Dave AA7EE on backwaves and 100 uW QRPpppp

Dave G3UUR  on my curved passband problem

Alan W2AEW heard my only QSO with the MXM indsutries SupeRX/TX40

Wes W7ZOI, Mike WN2A, Walter KA4KXX. Farhan VU2ESE on passband, 

Ramakrishnan sent article about Charles Proteus Steinmetz.  Beautiful. 

Justin AC8LV built a receiver!  FB. 

San Francisco QRP:   KDOFNR TouCans Rig, and N6ASD Zinc-Oxide TX

Frank KC8JJL -- Another guy who heard first ham sigs from a homebrew rig. 

Nate KA1MUQ's homebrew thermatron superhet

Dino KL0S sent info on the PAL CB VFO I picked up at Winterfest. Airborne! 

Bob W8SX will be once again doing SolderSmoke interviews at Dayton.  Thanks Bob

Peter VK2EMU  Always good to hear from him.

Tobias Feltus -- Wisdom teeth removed, wondering if he will get sBITX hallucinations...

Rick WD5L continues to work on his Herring Aid 5

Ciprian YO6DXE wants to learn CW. No alerts from his FB Blog!

Todd K7TFC -- Likes CW, says it eliminates the Blah-Blah-Blah 

Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column