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Homebrew basics

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by KB3LAZ, Aug 9, 2008.

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  1. KC4UMO

    KC4UMO Ham Member QRZ Page

    First radio project was called the "Foxhole Radio".
    I was 12 years old and found a book in the library.
    Was nothing more than a:
    tissue paper roll
    Single edge razor blade
    Big safety pin
    Piece of lead
    Some wire
    Crystal head phone set
    8 inch square piece of wood
    thumb tacks

    I took it to school for show and tell. Rest of the year I was known as the freak.
    None of the other kids could not understand how it worked without batteries or any power source.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2008
  2. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Again, thank you all for the suggestions.
    After seeing the lists of test equipment I guess I do have a few items, lol.
    I have a freq counter, a dummy load, and a multimeter. I also have a soldering station, however I didnt think of that as test equipment but rater a necessity for every ham.:D Heck I picked up a box of old soldering irons and a lot of solder at the last hamfest for 15$.:D As to the crystal radio project, if you mean for fm broadcast I built one in science class in the 9th grade, that was kinda fun (not a lot to it).

    BVN I have a Lafayette meter in a box some where but Im not sure what it is, I guess I will have to dig it out. What kind of meter is your AADE LCII meter, I have never heard of that.

    Anyway I have already ran into some things that I dont know what they are!
    So I guess the learning process has begun without my project even starting.
    I am sure finding out that the learning process does not stop when you pass the test and buy a radio! I am now struck with anticipation waiting for next weeks hamfest, maybe I can snag some parts rigs and some test equipment.
    I only have 150$ to work with but its a start.

    Man I am really glad we now have this forum, I am looking forward to learning a lot and sharing my projects to come with everyone.

    Thanks and 73 de kb3laz
  3. N0WVA

    N0WVA Ham Member QRZ Page

    The bare neccesities are : Analog VOM, wattmeter, dummy load, soldering iron.

    A VOM, in the proper hands, can take care of the majority of testing.

    You need to read a lot. Collect old magazines, even ones from the 1960's. I have stacks of Electronics Illustrated I used to read when I got started. I learned a lot from those old articles.

    Experiment, and dont be scared to try something! Just whip it together and if it dont work, well, then you get to troubleshoot! It WILL work, but it just takes time. Once you start getting circuits under your belt, you will soon be getting more elaborate in your homebrewing. then you will want to get into the mechanical aspects to combine with the electronic part. It just takes time!

    Have fun!
  4. KB9BVN

    KB9BVN Ham Member QRZ Page

    They are both great tools to have. M3 wasn't around when I bought and built the AADE meter.
  5. KB9BVN

    KB9BVN Ham Member QRZ Page

    My Lafayette AF/RF generator is a nice tool to use for injecting very low power signals into a receiver front end, audio amplifier, and general signal tracing.

    The AADE is the brand of the meter. It is a LC meter, meaning it measures capacitors and inductors. I have used this thing a million times at many times have you come across a guy with plastic tubes full of pulled parts? The LC meter makes identifying the L's and C's very simple. Air variable caps can be measured out in seconds.

    Also M3 (M Cubed) makes a great LC meter as well.

    The M3 model does a few more things than just measure L's and C's
  6. KB1LQC

    KB1LQC Guest

    If you want to start building some RF projects I would suggest to start at very simple transmitters (pretty much just a powerful oscillator... if you want to make a QSO on it then you will need a buffer amp or two). If a receiver is better, try a crystal radio, then perhaps a very simple direct conversion receiver. If RF projects are not quite where you want to be right now, then stay with some LED, or morse code keyer to get the basics down.
  7. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you for the explanation and the links.
  8. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lets just say I have less than zero experience with this new interest of mine.
    The though of building my own equipment just hit me like a rock after I read a few posts.:D I think it will be educational and a fun venture.
  9. W4HAY

    W4HAY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here ya go! Lindsay's Impoverished Radio Experimenter series! They're six bucks each and loaded with projects and experiments, including some rather sophisticated test gear made from salvaged parts. They cover both tubes and transistors, and can be made mostly with hand tools.

    Someone mentioned crystal sets. Slip over to the XTAL Set Society forums. These guys (and gals) are knee-deep in Galena. After you've played with a set, use Lindsay's Vol. 1 from above to replace the crystal with a grid-leak detector, then later add regeneration.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  10. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Now thats more my speed, thank you!
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