Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by W1GCI, Jun 24, 2021.
Sort of topical. Why pursue simplicity?
I almost never mention that most of my equipment was made in my own shop. Most hams haven't got the foggiest clue what it takes to design, build, and test a ham station nowadays, and don't appreciate such things. They are so attuned to just buying the "newest and greatest" that they have lost the ability to even think about building anything other than maybe a relatively simple antenna. BUT that is not limited to hams: most people nowadays have no idea how anything they use actually works, or how to fix it if it stops working.
As mentioned above, many hams mistake complexity for "better" when in fact even the most complex of radios is made up of lots of rather simple modules.... most of which are seldom used. ( Many of them are never used. ) IF you eliminate all of the unused functions, and build a single-band radio, you wind up with a simple design by default. Then if you adopt a modular approach, you can add parts / functions as required for your own station's needs..... each one being relatively simple. Taken as a whole, it seems to be a complex system.....but it's really not. It's just a collection of a lot of simple modules. Unfortunately, many folks don't understand that nowadays.
SO..... I don't mention the nature of my station on-air very often, or post pics / details online. I've learned throught experience that most people don't understand what they are seeing, and wind up posting irrelevant or critical comments even though they themselves have never designed and built anything.
This thread describes my feelings about commercial ham transceivers perfectly. For some reason I have never understood the appeal.
AJ4SN> For me, getting on the air is just a way of test driving the project. The building of equipment is more important than operating for me, but I respect those ops who are into other facets of the hobby.
Exactly. By the time I have finished a project sufficiently to take it out and make a handful of contacts, I'm usually already building the next one. I think we perennial radio makers are a fairly rare breed. I'm not claiming superiority, far from it, so many hams know so much about things I have no interest or idea about. It's important to know what you like, and to work on that thing. It has given me huge enjoyment.
That's why I've built more than 11 CW and SSB transceivers in recent years.
Oh yeah, I understand.
I'm interested to know what test equipment you have?
Setting up a bench can be a black hole of its own!
I always mention when I'm using homemade equipment; that's the quickest way to discover whether or not the other operator is of similar mind.
some kits ive assembled however the designer posted a lot of documentation on how the components work and interact.
the qcx for example!
Hans developed one heck of a nice little qrp rig and their instructions are excellent.
the pixie on the other hand anything over and above the build instruction was simply not there.
I learned more from the pixie just by studying the schematics, But then again I do have some background in electronics.
a complete noob to electronics may be able to build a simple working radio like the pixie but will he learn anything from it?
same with the little chinese tuner kits.
they work surprisingly well with the bonus that when out of tune the led definately indicates your radio can broadcast
I remember an old story in QST about a ham who died and went on to the great ham shack in the after life. Everything was perfect. He called CQ and always got a 59+ report. Nothing ever broke. He got so bored that he asked his host if there couldn't be at least a little problem once in a while, since he wasn't having much fun. His host replied, "Of course not, where do you think you are anyway?"
most of the modern radios are surprisingly complex based ( I think) on the maximum versatility with the minimum amount of controls but i could be wrong on that.
too many bells and whistles takes away from the learning process.
At this point I am into qrp out of necessity (limited income and mobility) and the need to learn the nuances of the gear im using!
that is the one reason that home-brew and boat-anchors interest me more.
at this time i need to brush up on my cw skills so contesting is out too.
I often wonder though with all the pros and cons of certain gear being expounded by many young hams is more just bragging rights because they got the latest and the greatest. (and how many of them actually started learning with home-brew and qrp)
Ive seen some videos of home-brew where the builder was describing what the parts were doing and how to test what you were building(good ones),
but ive also seen a plethora of videos of just builds and end results (so very little value in those)
I am not denigrating anyone regardless of how they started out, because learning to operate the shiny new toy and passing that knowledge around is still valuable.
my only regret is many do not learn all they can from starting from scratch.