Monday, 5 May 2008

Reason(s) for this blog...

Why publish what you do in your spare time?

I hope what follows will be useful to someone. Besides that, many others will get some interesting minutes picking-over my exploits. It's a lot more fun learning by someone else's mistakes.

'Spare time' is an interesting idea in its own right. Theoretically, I haven't any spare time, and my hobby should be just an occasional day-dream. However, my day-dreams are radio-related, and I make an unreasonable amount of time available for amateur radio.

I've tried a 'conventional' website, and that proved cumbersome and a hassle to manage and update. A semi-automated blog is at least something of a no-brainer, releasing more valuable wetware-time for realising my day-dreams.

What's on my bench at the moment?

It's unusually clean. I've just finished (more about that word in a moment) a 300mW SSB transmitter for use on Topband (160m). My local radio club (Worthing and District Amateur Radio Society) is celebrating its 60th year by running a net on 1948kHz every Thursday evening. I'm otherwise committed when they meet on Wednesday evenings, so membership is not currently on the cards, but I'd thought I'd put in an appearance on one of their club nets. The radio is simple. It uses two SA602 mixer / oscillator chips as mixers, a VXO as main oscillator and an IF of 11.06MHz. It also has a second crystal, for 80m, but I've only made a pi-filter for 160m so far. First things first!

I've also recently added an external VXO to an old Racal Minical, and I use this to receive cw in the 80m band. I'm not a confident telegraphist, but I hope to improve. I'm using G4FON's Koch Morse program daily to improve my copying, and hopefully move on to head-reading.

What's next?

I want to spend more time operating. I've spent many years messing around with home-brewing, making more radios than are necessary, and then tearing them down to make something else.

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