A little while ago, I got a hankering to work on a SSB transceiver. It’s something that I’ve never homebrewed before, and it seemed it like it might be fun to tackle. The BITX20 seemed like an obvious choice, and W7ZOI recently published an improved bidirectional amp which would be nice to try in the rig. But I’m one who likes to try stuff that’s a bit off the beaten path, so I decided to try my hand at something a bit different.
VU2PEP has a lesser-known SSB design on his website, that’s a dual-band transceiver. Besides having 20 and 40 meter capability, it also has a different topology than the BITX series. Instead of reversing the flow of the signal to generate a SSB signal, this design sends the RX and TX signal in the same direction through the IF. Take a look at the schematics to get an idea of what I’m talking about.
I decided to make a “remix” of this design. The basic topology is the same, but most of the circuits are revised. The IF was moved to 4.9152 MHz, and the VFO is heterodyne-style to provide a ~19.12 MHz LO signal. My version is only for 20 meters. The front end has a preamp added and uses a cascode JFET mixer instead of a single JFET. So far, the RX strip and VFO is complete (although I might change the VFO because of some birdie problems), but the transmit amplifiers haven’t been built yet. I got a good chance to work out the RX during Sweepstakes. Check out my YouTube video below to hear me describe the circuit so far and listen to the receiver on SS.