Beginning home-brew projects

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by KM4LKC, Feb 15, 2017.

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  1. KJ4RZZ

    KJ4RZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Study the Pixie II. Good first project.
  2. N1OOQ

    N1OOQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Think about starting with a kit or two. That will give you a feel for whether it's your thing... soldering, troubleshooting, making some simple test gear where necessary, etc. Actually designing and building a complete, working transceiver is a significant commitment, but definitely do-able.
    I like "Solid State Design" by W1FB & W7ZOI, if you can find a copy. A little old school, late 70s to 80s technology, but it gives you all the basics for analog, transistor, RF circuitry.
  3. KM4LKC

    KM4LKC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think will end up in this direction for starters.

    This is a small group of 6 +/- forming a local club activity. We hope to have a couple of knowledgeable club members lead us through the projects. This is not about soldering part # 1 into slot A. It's more about understanding the circuit design, discussing options, adding additional circuits and so on -- all on a test bed so to speak.

    The Pixie II gives us a nice opportunity to add additional features, audio amp, RIT, additional crystal(s) for more frequency range. Also, we can build an antenna tuner, keyer and add more power, etc. Much like the blog VK4FFAB linked in post #18. The pixie II appears to be a little easier than The Simple-Ceiver by Pete N6QW for a group starter project.
  4. N8DAH

    N8DAH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would suggest looking into something "like" the pixie unless you plan to home brew it. I have 3 kits that had bad parts and had to be replaced (at least the ebay or from china kits), could be a mixed blessing in terms of learning to trouble shoot as well. has a ton of nice simple kits and some more complicated ones as well.
    I have gone a bit crazy over the last few days building and its been a blast, hope you guys take off with the group.

    some places to look into. (great kits great service) (bit more advanced kits but some simple ones mixed in) (my goto for magnet wire, toroids and ferrites)

    Have fun building, might have to see if my local club would be into a group like this. We are doing a CW class right now but this could be next!

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
  5. KM4LKC

    KM4LKC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you for the links. I don't recall seeing the foxdelta site before. And I had forgotten about

    I think you are right about the pixie II kit "like" approach. I am suggesting that we use the Manhatten style construction just like the suggestions on the site from AA7EE. Of course, his stuff is a work of art! Check out his work here...

    I've started a list of the items that each participant should have around (workstation, lighting, soldering iron, needle nose pliers, etc.). Additionally, I am putting a parts list together for the modules. What a pain it is to source the parts. Mouser is great... but many items appear to be better in bulk from Mix in some stuff from and toroid king and I have a $100.00 mess...and bags of parts...Ha!

    I wonder how many bins of these parts are lying around unused on our club member's work benches???
    I'll have to ask at this month's club meeting.

    anyway....thanks for the input and ideas.

  6. KM4LKC

    KM4LKC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page'll get a kick out of this. I consolidated Pete's blog postings on the simple-ceiver into a word document, This was done simply for my reading pleasure. Now I can highlight points of interest. Anyway.... it is more than 114 pages in length!! You warned me. What a great read.
    VK4FFAB likes this.
  7. N8DAH

    N8DAH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wow I hope my skills will increase to that one day. I can build but its sometimes hard for me to work out point to point or manhatten style construction. It's funny I feel like it would be simpler to build that way, brain just doesn't like it I guess hihi.

    Thanks for that link gives me some ideas and thoughts on current builds I'm working on, need to order some of the pads like that. I hear you on the parts, the bins are getting a nice stock over the years. Now I need to get a stock of caps for filters and what not, they always seems to be in need when I am getting parts for a project.
  8. KM4LKC

    KM4LKC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Pete, N6QW (from the Simple-ceiver blog) has a neat trick for layout...he suggests you can complete your layout on 1/4" grid paper. You can work out the arrangement of the pads before you apply the glue. I'll need to give this a try.

  9. VK4FFAB

    VK4FFAB Subscriber QRZ Page

    HAHAHA, yeah there is a lot of really good information in there. Would never have thought its 114 pages though. For your group if the simpleceiver is a bit advanced to begin with, I would forget kits unless the whole point is to build a kit and get solder practice. While the pixie is only a handful of parts, there is a lot going on there as everything has dual functions. This makes fault finding much more difficult for the beginner. If it was me, i would start with simple separate transmitter and receiver projects.

    Join the TV Colour Burst revolution, by building the NOGAnaut 80m CW Transmitter. It is simple, will costs a couple of bucks and you can built it in an hour even if you have no idea and at the end of the night, you will be sending CW across the room to each other using the club station as a receiver and a push button as a key of no one is skilled up with straight key. HIHI

    And for a matching receiver, 80MRX40 is about as simple a working receiver you can make with 2 IC's a voltage regulator and a handfull of other bits. .

    I built both of these when I first started homebrewing 3 years ago, they both worked and did exactly what they said they world. For TX RX switching, just use a toggle switch to switch the antenna to the rx or the tx. You can build them on scrap bits of pcb board or on vero or perf board

    Here is a picture of one i built on perf board for 40m using 7.055mhz xtals. Looks like rubbish, but worked well enough, 1w out from the 2n3966. There are lots of other simple projects like these, I could list you dozens like The Oner, Michigan Mighty Mite etc. They all follow very similar ideas and concepts. Mostly its about picking something and having a crack.

  10. KM4LKC

    KM4LKC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    "Solid State Design" keeps coming up on the "must have" publications list. Thanks for mentioning this book. Looks like it can be difficult to find.

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