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Showing posts from November, 2018

2018 ~ The Year of SSB Transceivers

Why you should NOT build your own Rig!


There are many proponents of the concept of building your very own homebrew station frequently involving more than a simple CW transceiver. Often the discussion will start off by saying this is how the hobby started, or a true ham is more than an appliance operator. Still others will say that it is through the understanding of the form, fit and function of each and every component will you then and only then appreciate fully our hobby. 
Today I want to explore the many reasons why you should NOT build your own rig. This seems strange coming from me; but I do want to relate some personal experiences that support this argument. 
My published works both formally via mediums such as QRP Quarterly and the GQRP SPRAT and Hot Iron and on my websites, you tube videos and N6QW blog contains about three dozen transceiver projects with about 98% being SSB and the other 2% --you know the other mode CW. 
This sharing of knowledge has frequently generated lots of …

2018 ~ The Year of SSB Transceivers

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A New Transceiver ~ Dual Filter Rig11/23/2018 ~ A case for "Troubleshooting".
Since much of the prep for Turkey Day are now over thus I had a few spare minutes to work on some radio projects. I needed to use a bigger wattage soldering iron to "weld" some copper PCB cases together. When I plugged in the iron purchased from MPJ in FL, the ON LED  was intermittent and the iron would not heat. This required a disassembly of the controller since I knew the iron itself was good. 
What a bear to get that case apart but I did manage to get the unit out of its case. Actually the soldering control box is kind of cool as it has a detachable 3 prong cord and built into the unit receptacle is a fuse assembly and upon checking the fuse discovered there was even a compartment for a spare fuse. The fuse checked good so that was not the issue,
I "jiggled" the wiring from the transformer to the board and saw the LED flash on/off. Boom, a loose connection. But interesting was …

2018 ~ The Year of SSB Transceivers

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When your Hobby May Save Your Life!11/14/2018 ~ A movie …


11/13/2018 ~ The Hills are Alive with FIRE!


This was a shot taken this morning about 2 miles due south of my home around 9:30 AM. To our imperial emperor (small e) this is  a brush fire coupled with high winds and lack of rain. No amount of Forest Management would have helped. You best get the facts straight before making your pronouncements. 

Pete N6QW


[This being Veteran's Day (see my later note) my XYL and I went out to lunch. I wore my very special US Navy Seabee baseball cap. I received several Thank You for Your Service Comments and several handshakes. When I asked for the bill, the waitress informed me that someone had paid for our lunch. That was far different from the reception I got when I returned from Vietnam the second time. 
What was also amazing was a group of firefighters that left after having a spot of lunch and returning to the fire lines -- a rousing round of applause as they exited the restaurant. Yes there…

2018 ~ The Year of SSB Transceivers

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Building the Si5351 VFO/BFO Board!11/07/2018 ~ Post Mid-Terms I have transitioned to the remote console andthe result are very satisfying. You will see that shortly and I want to tie in a program on the Velocity Channel which is a cable reality show 24/7 showing guys and gals homebrewing amazing cars mostly out of junk parts. So it was with the new console which formerly housed a linear power amplifier stage.

This box was fabricated from double sided copper PC board with an aluminum back cover. It was fully intended to be a totally shielded enclosure and it served that purpose when initially built as a power amplifier stage for a Ten Tec Model 540 that I acquired sans the linear amp brick. This was the prototype and a second one that was built was installed in the Model 540 which I later added a Digital Display effectively making it a Model 544. So I had a spare shielded enclosure in the "junk box".
When you undertake these zany projects there are often unexpected by products a…