Rick N3FJZ Completes Build of High-School Direct Conversion Receiver Project -- LISTEN!
SolderSmoke Daily News
by Bill Meara
21h ago
Rick N3FJZ has completed his the direct conversion receiver that we will soon be building with students at a local high school.   See video above.  We are hoping that a number of people will built the receiver as we designed it.  Some folks have sent us versions of the receiver that they have built, but these versions often include significant deviations from our design, rendering them less-than-useful in checking our work.  Rick built it just as we prescribed.  His build is very useful in confirming the validity of our design.  So if you are working on on ..read more
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To Re-Cap or Not to Re-Cap -- Curious Marc on the Electrolytic Controversy in Ham Radio
SolderSmoke Daily News
by Bill Meara
2d ago
A while back I got some fairly acerbic feedback when I DARED to suggest that perhaps it would be a good idea to replace the old electrolytic capacitors in ham radio equipment.  It was as if I had attacked motherhood and apple pie!    Yesterday I was looking at CuriousMarc's YouTube channel and I came across the above video.  While I had been in the preemptive replacement camp, Marc makes a good case for leaving some of the old caps in place.   The fact that the electrolytics usually are open when they fail, and that there are fuses in the power supply to protec ..read more
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Checking Into the Vienna Wireless Pow-Wow Net after 23 Years!
SolderSmoke Daily News
by Bill Meara
3d ago
  I used to check into this net with my HW-101 from 1996-2000.   Last night I fired up my uBITX, hookied it up to my CCI .1 kW amp, and tuned the 75 meter doublet for 10 meters.  Bill AF4LL (Mr. 10 Meters) was net control.   Mike AE4R was also on frequency -- he was there the last time I checked in too.   It was fun.    The QSL card shows the transceiver with the LiPo battery that was powering it.  ..read more
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Direct Conversion Receiver Bandscan -- 40 Meters early on a Thursday Morning -- With W1AW/4
SolderSmoke Daily News
by Bill Meara
3d ago
I superglued a San Jian frequency counter to the front panel of my High School Direct Conversion receiver.  Then I tuned it through the 40 meter band.  You can hear the W1AW/4 station.  And several SSB stations.   ..read more
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Hammarlund HQ-100 Misidentified in 1963 FCC Film
SolderSmoke Daily News
by Bill Meara
5d ago
Oh the indignity!  It appears at 7 minutes 16 seconds in this FCC film.  It is clearly an HQ-100, but the FCC subtitles identify it at an HQ-110.  It is clearly an HQ-100 ( the model without the clock).  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzPIOfpKkRM As the owner and operator of what must be one of the few remaining HQ-100s, I feel obligated to defend the reputation of this fine piece of shortwave gear.    How many of you have HQ-100s?   ..read more
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Curious Marc's Lab and Workshop
SolderSmoke Daily News
by Bill Meara
5d ago
This is the guy who has done all the amazing videos on the Apollo communications systems.  And a lot more. This look at his lab is inspirational.   There is so much to see here.  But a couple of things really caught my attention:  All of the RF electronics in the Apollo spacecraft was made with discrete components -- the only chips in the spacecraft were in the computer.  And in the Apollo systems, they welded the discrete components in.  No soldering.  Welding.  That's hardcore.  That is how they got to the Moon.   Curious ..read more
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Rick N3FJZ Builds the Mixer for the High School Direct Conversion Receiver
SolderSmoke Daily News
by Bill Meara
1w ago
Wonderful progress from Rick N3FJZ.   Having completed the PTO,  Rick went on to build the diode ring mixer and diplexer.  (See video above.)  He then connected these to boards to a band pass filter and an AF amp from previous project.  And wow, the resulting receiver sounds really great!  I think it sounds better than the ones Dean and I have built.   -- It will be interesting to see how Rick's receiver sounds with the very simple AF amplifier that we are using.   -- We need to get Rick a coil form for the PTO variable inductor! And g ..read more
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Hugo Gernsback -- Was he Like Wayne Green?
SolderSmoke Daily News
by Bill Meara
1w ago
"The Electrical Experimenter" sent to me by Nick M0NTV reminded me of Hugo Gernsback.  Many of the radio books I have on my shelf have his name on them.  He played a big role in early radio and television, and in science fiction. Check out the Wikipedia article on Gernsback:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Gernsback I see similarities between Hugo Gernsback and Wayne Green.  What do you guys think?    Gernsback's TV goggles in 1963  That's Gernsback watching TV in 1928 ..read more
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N3FJZ Builds PTO for High School DC Receiver
SolderSmoke Daily News
by Bill Meara
1w ago
Rick N3FJZ has stepped forward and is building the direct conversion receiver that Dean and I have been working on.  This will be big help in our testing of the receiver.  See above for the video report on his build of the PTO stage.  When I saw this, I found myself thinking two things:  1) Those really are "rigs."  and 2) I am not alone!  Years ago, I was having a tough day on 40 meters.  The Waterfall Policemen were gleefully attacking my admitedly less-than-perfect SSB signal.   Unbeknownst to me, someone out there was listening, and lis ..read more
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"The Electrical Experimenter" -- A Treasure Trove of Inspiration
SolderSmoke Daily News
by Bill Meara
1w ago
Oh this is really phenomenal.  Nick "the Vic"  M0NTV is on the mend from some routine surgery.  While mending he found this 1915 issue of Hugo Gernsback's "The Electrical Experimenter."  I just spent a few minutes quickly going through it and I can see that this is a treasure trove that could keep us -- the modern day electrical experimenters -- busy for a long time.   -- We see Signor Marconi in Italian military uniform (I never saw that before).   -- There is mention of successful DX reception of the station in Arlington Va. (just down the road from m ..read more
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