Workbench


NORCAL S9

NORCAL S9

When I started planning the Hendricks BitX20a Project there were several pieces of test equipment that I found would help. One of the needed items was a signal generator. NorCal QRP Club makes a fine kit with easy to follow directions for those such as I, i.e. directionally handicapped. It has four crystal controlled frequencies. I needed 11Mhz so a quick trip to Sky Craft (that was a joke) supplied a crystal that was exchanged for the supplied 10Mhz crystal.  The S9 kit is a mix of surface mount and through-hole construction. It also has an attenuator that drops the signal to an S1 level. I am guessing  this could be helpful when adjusting the receive end filters. Upon completion I found the signal to be very weak and when I switched in the attenuator the signal disappeared. I took it to my Elmer, K4DF, and he described the circuit to me as we hooked it into his HF rig. When he finished showing me the oscillator and attenuation circuits he suggested I check the solder joints in the oscillator section. A magnifying glass and some quick soldersmoking solved the problem. This kit will fit in a Altoids tin, but I do like looking at it. These kits are great fun and provide practice with an iron. Soldersmoking rules. 73

Robin

Bitx20A Alignment in Progess

Bitx20A Alignment in Progess

Hello, I have been graciously allowed to post some thoughts about my ongoing relationship with a Bitx20A.

Where to begin… my name is Robin and I am a homebrewer. It all began when I found out you could build your own and learn about how a radio really works. No more black boxes with multiple-multifunction knobs and buttons for me. I was completely innocent, without a clue of the power this would have over me. Before I knew it I was a frequent-flyer at SkyCraft. Late night sessions at the dining room table with smoke wafting about as I ponder the perplexities of mixed oscillator signals filtered through polycrystalline mineral wafers. I still remember the joy of hearing the audible oscillations of my first Colpitts, but I digress. Consider the consequences, it is not for the faint of heart. If this is the path you choose, know what lies ahead. Capacitors that disintegrate before your eyes, signals that disappear after just a small tweak, and the frustration of “dang, I followed the directions and it don’t work”. I warned you!

That said, I will post a few photos and discuss my Bitx20 from time to time. I want to thank Tracy for his inspiration on the Tech Net and David for his Web expertise that allows me to be here. 73

Robin

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