2 Meter Receiver/Transmitter/Transceiver circuit
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. 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
Do it because you want to build something, don't do it to save money...
Originally Posted by KK6AXQ
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.
Originally Posted by KC9UDX
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....
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"!
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. http://www.repeater-builder.com/rbtip/ also here: http://www.qsl.net/k4mbe/ and http://www.tapr.org/pdf/moto.intro.pdf
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.
EchoLink, IRLP, Allstar and DSTAR linking - adding interest to repeaters worldwide 24X7
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.
I would also add, that VHF/UHF transceiver homebrewing is for VERY EXPERIENCED hams.
If you can successfully accomplish that, HF is a doddle.
As for schematics, there are plenty of homebrew ones on the net.
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.
Originally Posted by VK5TM
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.
As for schematics, there are plenty of homebrew ones on the net.
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.
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.