Homebrewing, QRP

What’s On Your Bench?

Terry, WA0ITP asks on qrp-l.org:

With a low Solar Flux and a double digit A index, it’s time
to hunker down and melt solder, snort rosin, and burn
fingers.

I’ve got a half dozen unbuilt kits, an oscillator, single
ended mixer, and an audio amp all destined to be a DC
receiver (hopefully).  An 80M amp nearly installed in a CR
enclosure.  Oh, and a buncha Dayton RCA connectors for a
straight key/keyer distribution box, err tin..

So What’s On Your Bench?

The answer at NT7S is: way too much stuff. On the kit side, I have two from NB6M of the pQRP group: the TinEar receiver and his version of the MARC L/C Meter. I recently ordered the N3ZI Digital Dial, and have that about half assembled. I plan on pairing this up with my beta version of the Willamette when I get a chance to put it in an enclosure. I’ve also got a big pile of the W8DIZ RF Toolkit modules ready to patch together into a receiver. The plan is to pair this stuff with the HYCAS IF amp.

On the homebrew side, I’ve got a whole bunch of irons in the fire. I’ve really been taken with AVR programming lately, so I’ve been developing some different applications for these uCs. The development environment is Ubuntu Hardy Heron, using gedit and the avr-gcc tools, and the Adafruit USBtinyISP programmer. The big sooper sekrit project here is an in-line QRP SWR meter, which is rumored may make an appearance as a kit if I can learn how to use Eagle CAD. Many other AVR-related ideas are also on the back burner. Believe it or not, I’ve also been doing some analog RF stuff. I have a dual-gate MOSFET mixer (based on the BF998) that I’ve been tweaking for possible use in a simple receiver. I think the plan is to put it on hold for a while, in order to build up some more test gear (such as a return loss bridge, noise figure test rig, etc.) so I can quantify the performance better than any other circuit I have yet developed.

So as you can see, I’ve got way too much stuff on my hands. Even if I could retire really, really early, I would have enough projects to keep me busy for very long time.

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