Sunday, March 26, 2017

A New Line of Transceivers ~ DifX

Transceiver Architecture 2.05

The Big Kahuna


3/31/2017 ~ All Back Together

Only a hint of burnt wiring but working FB. Made several contacts and all back to normal. My ham friends this too is a DifX!
Pete N6QW


3-30-2017 --- A Case of Smoked Parts!

Just thought I'd share a moment of grief when I was working on one of my rigs (LBS-II). Today I decided to convert the LBS-II back to 20 Meters. The rig originally was on 20M and then I moved it to 40M and now decided back to 20M.
The boards and wiring are really compact and while I was making an adjustment some wiring came into contact with ground. Wow a vapor cloud similar to a nuclear explosion was emitted from the rig and you could smell the burnt wiring. My heart sank!
Well as it turned out just the wiring harness got melted --yes melted, more like welded wiring.  When I replaced the harness -- I actually found a better way to do the wiring. About 1/2 half hour and the rig was back working. I just plain got lucky.
Below is a photo of the welded wiring.
It could have been a lot worse! I too occasionally smoke some parts.
Pete N6QW


This is our mark -- DifX. Stay tuned for some exciting new transceivers -- a new day is dawning.
Some feedback from the contest operation. I am not a contester and never have been. But this past weekend convinced me that I could have really used this rig in a contest and scored a lot more points.
  1. First observation is that it hears really well! I was hearing DX stations and with 750 watts into a beam they were hearing me!
  2. The signal handling capabilities were quite good. That is a measure of a homebrew radio -- does it hear well or does it crumble in a contest environment where I swear some of the 6 Land stations appeared to be running 6 KW. It did well. The GQRP Filter for such a little cost did a yeoman's work. Somewhere buried in a box is an 8 pole KVG crystal filter dating back to the 1980's Now there was a  gold standard of a filter. If I can find that jewel it will soon have a new home.
  3. There were several comments from contester's to me like beyond 5X9 --your signal is really nice sounding. Now those are words you like to hear
  4. So get off your duff and start building a DifX.    
Pete N6QW
So Ok guys now I will write Ad Nauseum (nice Latin word meaning sick to your stomach) about the Big Kahuna a two band (but five band capable in the code) SSB transceiver hot off the bench from N6QW.
A friend in Australia, Greg, asked if it was called the Big Kahuna because it was initially laid out Al Fresco on a surf board versus a chopping board. As I explained to Greg it is called that because it has a very large LCD display thus a Big Kahuna! No, it was initially laid out on the work bench!
First and foremost it is a DifX (Different than a Bitx) and the photo taken below on 3/25/2017 shows the Big Kahuna as it participated in the WPX contest. I made 12 contacts running 750 watts with the external homebrew amp--so cool that it usually only took one call boom they were back to me. What was also cool was a totally homebrew KW input station --no MFJ Ameritron amps in my shack.
Full details about this rig and how it differs from the Bitx can be found on my website at this link  Schematics are provided as well as the Arduino sketch code. There is but one page that needs detailing and that is the miscellaneous wiring. The 60M rig previously showcased on the blog has many similar boards. The rig almost looks commercial but is all homebrew.
You too can build a DifX!
Pete N6QW

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