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2 Meter Receiver/Transmitter/Transceiver circuit

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by KK6AXQ, Mar 15, 2013.

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  1. KK6AXQ

    KK6AXQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Does anyone know of a circuit to make a 2-Meter FM receiver transmitter or transciever? I am wondering how to build my own homebrew shack from the ground up without spending too much cash:D. If you have any information that might help me either post it here or email me at my QRZ email address.
    Thanks and 73's
  2. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Subscriber QRZ Page

    Do it because you want to build something, don't do it to save money...
  3. AB8RO

    AB8RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Let me repeat this, because, in fact, you will NOT save money. This is especially true for VHF/UHF and even more true if your goal is to use FM and repeaters.
  4. W7UUU

    W7UUU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Case in point: I have an HF 2-tube transmitter project on the bench (on hold now due to new shop construction).
    The power transformer alone was $49, and the case that holds it was $40. When done, I could have
    just bought an old DX-40 and saved a LOT of money.

    I would also add, that VHF/UHF transceiver homebrewing is for VERY EXPERIENCED hams. I don't
    know your experience level - but given your question, I'd surmise you're more towards the beginner
    side of things. That's not a good place to learn to homebrew.

    As posted above, build something to build it - for the fun of doing it.

    And if you just want a cheap radio to get on VHF, a Baofeng UV-5R is $49 all over the web and will
    get you on 440 and 2m - then you can put your homebrew skills into an antenna or multiple antennas.

    Just some thoughts....

  5. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back in the late 1960s and well into the 1970s, there were quite a number of simple transmitters and receivers for FM/PM operation in the various amateur radio magazines. Some used tubes and some used transistors.

    Building a simple 2-meter transmitter for FM that is crystal controlled is pretty easy. The same for a receiver. It is when you get into digital frequency control that things get "sticky"!

    Glen, K9STH
  6. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would use a conventional tank circuit VFO, and a frequency counter. Then, someday, I'd add a Commodore 64 and a hardware/software servo loop :cool:
  7. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hamtronics still sells their crystal controlled receiver and transmitter kits, but those are intended mainly for repeater use, and they are not cheap by any means.

    A cheaper way to get going on VHF/UHF is to find used commercial radio gear and convert it. In many cases, it just needs to be reprogrammed, and possibly retuned for the ham band. I recently bought several used commercial radios built by Johnson Viking radio. A local retuned them and reprogrammed them for 7 frequencies we use locally. He sold them for $35 apiece, and frankly, they outperform all of my fine Japanese radios. This website has information on converting some radios, and you can find info on others on the web. Before buying anything, be certain that you have the conversion information, and understand what's involved. Some commercial radios cost much more to convert than they are worth. also here: and

    Currently, many commercial radio users are replacing their entire fleet of radios in order to comply with the new commercial radio regulations, so there are a lot of them out there. There have been many commercial radio makers over time. Some of the big ham manufacturers are also in the commercial radio business, and sometimes used ICOM, Kenwood, or Yaesu commercial rigs pop up for low prices. Motorola radios are common, but be advised that Motorola guards their programming software jealously, so you may have to find a commercial radio repair shop that will reprogram the rig for you. They usually charge for this service, and sometimes significantly so.

    I know one young ham who uses nothing but old commercial radios that he figured out how to get reprogrammed. In some cases, he took them to the local Motorola repair shop and they charged him $50 for each radio, each time.

    With the price of new Chinese FM radios being what it is, you may want to consider that route first. The Baofeng HTs are hard to beat for the price. Your QRZ profile shows you are in Monterey. From there, you should be able to hit a lot of mountaintop repeaters with a couple watts from an HT. It's one of the few places where an HT is not a bad thing to start with. If money is really low, consider using EchoLink instead while you find/scrounge a radio. There are a couple big ham clubs near you, too, where help can probably be found.
  8. VK5TM

    VK5TM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would disagree with that. The very second homebrew rig I ever built when I got my license back in the 70's was a 2m crystal controlled (solid state) transceiver. It was built from the articles in the NZ Break-In magazine (NZ equivalent of QST/QEX). My first homebrew was a 2m tube AM transmitter.

    If you can successfully accomplish that, HF is a doddle.

    As for schematics, there are plenty of homebrew ones on the net.

    Terry VK5TM
  9. AB8RO

    AB8RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    So, in other words, you agree that building VHF equipment comes with more challenges than HF equipment. At any rate, the very simple crystal controlled rigs that were popular in the 70s are virtually useless today. It's not that FM is particularly difficult, but you aren't getting on most repeaters without a PL tone. I doubt that you can buy the right crystals for your local repeater for less than the cost of a Baofeng UV-5R.

    Making VHF radios is as much about the mechanics as the "schematic." Perhaps if there are plenty then you could link a few that you think are easy to build and useful given the context. I haven't found much that's quite like the projects in the 70s (and earlier) handbooks.

    Here's an RDF transmitter that's fairly simple.

    But that's not going to useful for the OPs purpose.

    Here's a varactor tuned receiver.

    Here's a very nice CW transmitter that uses an old 16Mhz crystal oscillator from a PC. This is a really nice design approach for a simple circuit. However, I doubt that this is what the OP wants because if one wants to use CW then HF is still much easier. Full schematics aren't given, but, the idea is fairly easy to duplicate.

    Here's another design that uses an 80Mhz oscillator and mixes (after doubling) it with a 14Mhz VFO.

    These projects have enough information for anyone with some experience to build, but they aren't really complete plans suitable for a beginner.
  10. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I built my first 2-meter AM transmitter when I was a junior in high school and had been licensed for about 2-years. It had a 2E26 in the final and ran about 10-watts output. Of course, crystal controlled. Then, used the VFO portion of a BC-459 as a VFO on the 2-meter transmitter as well as my 6-meter transmitter.

    Building equipment for either 6-meters or 2-meters is not difficult at all. One just has to be careful when doing the wiring.

    Glen, K9STH
  11. VK5TM

    VK5TM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes , I would agree that VHF gear is more challenging than HF gear, but not beyond the means of any beginner willing to put in the time and effort required to learn. (Beginner does not necessarily mean newly licensed, but may be new to an aspect of this hobby)

    I suspect many of us have built an FM microphone that works in the 88-108MHz band without any problems.

    An all singing, all dancing rig is probably not a good choice for a first build, but a simple simplex rig to cut one's teeth on would be a good learning platform. Then, if the interest is still there, it is possible to go on and build more complex stuff.

    Regarding cost, no, there is no way to compete with the cheap Chinese stuff, but you don't learn the nuts and bolts of how it all works going down that route.

    Homebrewing is not about cost in most cases, it is about learning and the enjoyment of creating things with ones own hands.

    Terry VK5TM
  12. VU2NAN

    VU2NAN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi OM Lukas,Here's what I homebrewed years ago.,Nandu.
  13. N4AAB

    N4AAB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm going to try for my technician license either this coming Saturday or first Saturday of May, 2013.

    I've seen the comments on the Baefong equipment. So the Baofeng UV-5R is preferable to a xcrvr kit ?
  14. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    What transceiver kit? Where? The point is that there aren't a lot of those out there. Here's one from a few years ago, not sure if they are still available or not: That is a DSP radio, that uses a computer to do most of the work. I'm not sure if any of that is still available.

    Before you invest in any radio, find out what kind of activity there really is in your area. Based on my very limited time there, I didn't find a ton of 2 meter activity in Mississippi. Down near the coast, there are fairly frequent tropo openings that can sometimes span from Florida to Texas, but I see Gulf Coast hams all the time saying that they never hear it. There is some activity around Jackson. I think if I lived there, I'd save for a multiband 'shack in a box' and work on getting my General shortly after, or at the same time, as the Tech, and shoot for HF. Meanwhile, explore using your computer on EchoLink to check out repeaters. Google 'EchoLink Nets' for some suggestions on places to meet people.
  15. K7ELP

    K7ELP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lukas, please look at this post by me:
    There is a circuit board and some of the compoments for a narrow band receiver for vhf. The data sheet for the MC13135P has a schematic. Perhaps this will help. Ned k7elp
  16. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ramsey made a diode programmable 2M FM rig. Also, VHF Engineering made a kit synthesizer that worked with xtal rigs. Not likely U will find one unbuilt, but U never know! I got a 222Ramsey offa Ebay, but it didn't work.
  17. N4AAB

    N4AAB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I bookmarked it, thanks. I've been checking local ham club web sites and they mention repeater activity on various nights of the week.

    Next year I'll be moving up by Alexandria/Gadsden, Alabama. I remember seeing a ham radio club website for that area. My relatives up there are going to check around rfor ham radio activity as they are interested in getting their licenses as well.

    I've been thinking about my license and decided to try for General class.
  18. N4AAB

    N4AAB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    May QST has a 10w qrp transceiver kit they talk about. A separate purchase is a 100W amp.
  19. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Subscriber QRZ Page

    I thought QRP was 5 watts or less...?
  20. WD5HHH

    WD5HHH Ham Member QRZ Page


    QRP is 5 watts for CW and 10 watts PEP for Sideband.
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