2021 ~ Awaiting a more normal life... Close at Hand!
The Spillsbury Tindal SBX-11A
May 4, 2021 Parts Suppliers Alert...
Almost 8 days ago I ordered SMD parts for this project --- from Digi-Key. Note it was $20 worth of parts not including $5 for shipping. Their website said it might take from 1 to 5 Days to ship. Hearing nothing I called them yesterday and was advised my "huge" order had been pulled but still not shipped.
Here are two things that were shared with me.
- The Recovery is working -- they have had a huge influx of orders something like they have never seen before. The pent up demand broke the dam.
- They had an outbreak of Covid19 that has impacted their "hands on" workforce.
But they are hopeful that they will soon be recovering and orders will get back to a normal cycle.
An eye catcher! A very small SSB Transceiver in a compact metal box!
While touring the eBay land of forgotten commercial SSB transceivers several years ago I spotted the Spillsbury Tindal SBX-11A. If you do a Google Search you can actually find a manual for this amazing rig.
The SBX-11A is out of Canada (Victoria BC) and was intended for use in the field such as logging operations or emergency rescue. The production run ran for a little more than 20 years and as best can be determined about 10,000 units were produced.
This is the Flashy Sales Brochure for the SBX-11A
The SBX-11A has some neat attributes:
- It was battery operated using Nine (09) D Cell Batteries
- It was small and some included a field erectable dipole antenna using a balanced feed line
- The Power Output was 10 watts.
- The frequency range was in the 1.6-10 MHz range USB.
- It had four channel operation --with the capability of split channels -- Transmitting on one frequency while receiving on another. This is known as Semi-Duplex.
- As best as I can tell it used a 455 kHz filter and lots of IC's (CA3028A's).
- It had a real RF Device in the output so I suspect the D Cells got chewed up pretty quickly
- The rig included a built in microphone.
These have been listed on eBay in the range of $400 to $500 and usually go pretty quickly at that price. BTW the one in the photo is currently listed on eBay at $758C. Basically the SBX-11A is a Siren's call to "build me".
The design horizon for the SBX-11A likely was in the late 1970's and the manual that you can download is dated 1997. Regrettably, I do not think Spillsbury Tindal is still actively manufacturing radios.
My SBX-11A foray is to NOT replicate the rig as designed; but to give it the "Left Coast" Newbury Park Laboratory Treatment.
First and foremost I would take advantage of today's technology by using SMD devices while looking at operation on the 60, 40 and 20 Meter Bands. Thus you would have USB/LSB --FT-8 Capable. A digital VFO with color TFT is a must! To conserve battery capacity, the power level would be 5 watts. The power source would be either an external battery pack or an AC supply.
But the biggest driver is to fit the rig into a pre-determined enclosure size of 8X5X3. I have already purchased the enclosure and here it is.
This is a heavy duty steel case sold under the banner First Aid Kit Metal Enclosures. It has a gasketed seal which should prevent creatures and critters from crawling inside the rig! I hate to say it; but this indeed would be a Chick Magnet in a metal box.
Am still in the planning stages (noodling) but with summer coming and having been vaccinated -- taking this rig to the local park can't help but stir up some interest with the YL crowd.
Something to start the project. Several years ago I built the Simpleceiver SSB Transceiver. It is not unlike The Simple SSB. Only this one is compact to start with and uses all through hole components. The Front Panel is 3 inches high and 4 inches wide.