Showing posts from September, 2016

Taking a Break!

Are you tired of seeing me post about my rigs? 9/28/2016 ~ Some recent updates I have often said that most of my rigs are experimenter's platforms and the Junk Box Rig stands as an example of that approach. Everyday I look at possibilities for improvement --some changes are in the negative column but many are in the positive direction. Usually I employ the concept of TFMS when "peaking and tweaking" a rig. Oh almost forgot TFMS is an old timer term for Tune For Maximum Smoke. Well in this case when I had the rig outfitted to run 700 Watts out (Yes, Virginia, that is not QRP) I found that I got a report of splatter. One of those Flex Guys saw me pop up on his 60 inch color display and he reported I was very broad and splattering over onto other frequencies. He was absolutely right! If you are running QRP at one watt --there may be splatter that is hardly noticed but magnify that 700 times and you will notice that your signal is broad and spilling over the normal bandwidth…

40M Junk Box SSB Xcvr in a Blue Case

The Blue Junk Box 40M SSB Is Alive!9/15/2016 ~ Continued -- Listen to the Junk Box Radio...
9/15/2016 ~ Junk Box Experimenter's Platform Ever wary of unwanted frequency mixing schemes and picking an IF too close (harmonically) to another band, I decided to change out the Yaesu 3.180 MHz Crystal Filter. The second harmonic of the BFO is at 6.4 MHz which is in my opinion too close to the 40M band with just the simple Band Pass Filter I am using. Adding a better BPF (more poles) or changing the IF would of course provide better solutions to my concerns. Still another solution would be to use dual conversion approach to mitigate the problem.

I opted to change the IF frequency as I had a spare 9.0 MHz GQRP Club SSB Filter. The change from 3.180 involved unsoldering two wires and the mechanical removal of the filter from the board. The Z in/out of either filter is 500 Ohms, thus requiring no change in the matching transformers. Insofar as Arduino code changes, about a total of eight entr…

40M Junk Box SSB Transceiver Microphone Amplifier

Exploring PNP Transistor Microphone Amps
This is a first for me in terms of using PNP transistors for microphone amps. In fact more recently it was a first for me to use a single NPN transistor as a microphone amp. For the longest time my standard building block was the NE5534 for microphone amps. On the air signal reports for the Junk Box rig were very good with the added comment that there seemed to a favoring of the highs with very little in the way of low frequencies. Well Duh, a couple of minutes with an LT Spice Simulation confirmed the why this was so. This post will explore the why. [I should note that I have a bag of vintage PNP audio type transistors that I have often wondered what can be done with these treasures of old? Now I know!] I ginned up the circuit I was initially using and it worked and just moved on but given the reports of the lack of lows I actually simulated the original circuit and found that there was a substantial lack of gain (like 10 to 15 dB) for freque…