What it takes to build a SSB Transceiver?
I could flippantly answer the question by saying a lot of luck, lots of parts (and/or lots of money) and of course some skill coupled with experience and lest I forget some decent test gear.
Trust me (that is a tall order for a guy with an Italian surname who grew up in a small Pennsylvania town literally owned by a Mafia crime family) that today it is far easier to build a working and respectable SSB transceiver than it was say 30 years ago. We are not talking about some rig with an analog VFO and poor frequency stability or crude readout but one with a color TFT and sporting dual VFO's What you see below is just such a rig hot off the bench. Did I mention it will do FT8?
What you see in the photo below is about 70% of a working transceiver including the following:
- 40M Band Pass Filter
- Receive and Transmit Mixer (TUF1)
- IF strip with two pairs of Plessey Bi-Lateral Amps and an INRAD 4 Pole 9 MHz Filter
- Product Detector and Balanced Modulator (TUF1)
- Audio Amp (2N3904, LM386)
- Arduino Nano, Si5351 and Color TFT
To be added is the following
- Microphone Amp (On the IF Board open Space)
- Transmit Pre-Driver and Receive RF Amp Stage
- Transmit Driver
- Transmit Final (IRF510)
- Control, Switching and Low Pass Filter
BTW below the rig photo is WSPR data for this rig as of the morning (12/7) taken about an hour apart and that is WITHOUT the Receiver RF amp Stage in place. Pretty cool.
I keep thinking that for just a bit of time with a few components someone who takes up the homebrew challenge can have a really excellent receiver and/or transceiver for daily use in their shack. It is not that hard. The final rig will be in the $100 range. That is more than the Bitx40 and on par with the uBitx but this is something you would totally homebrew yourself and is a learning journey.
Lest I forget. This is Pearl Harbor Day --some 77 years ago the United States was plunged into World War II. Give honor to those who served and to those who gave their lives for our great country.
PS for the sharp observer yes that is a circuit board for the Plessey Amps and Filter. I did not have that made but it was something sent to me by a friend. But alternate techniques such as Ugly construction, Manhattan or W1REX, MESquares will work just as well.