I'm looking for as simple as possible homebrew 20M SSB receiver design. I just want to start listening, but at the same time learn some radio fundamentals. So rather than buying a shortwave receiver I'd like to build one, but that also handles SSB.

Something online and free would be ideal, but if there are particularly good designs in an older issue of a magazine, for instance, please point them out.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Have you looked at the BITX design? phonestack.com/farhan/bitx.html $\endgroup$
    – W5VO
    Nov 22 '13 at 21:19
  • $\begingroup$ @W5VO holy crap, I'm afraid that schematic will get stuck in my hair if I look at it too long. $\endgroup$ Nov 23 '13 at 0:54
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, I feel this question is quite a bit too close to a simple "please recommend an off-site resource", which we prefer not having on Stack Exchange. I would recommend reworking it into a more answerable form; several suggestions for part-questions that would make good questions on the site have been mentioned in response to the relevant meta post. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Nov 23 '13 at 9:32
  • $\begingroup$ This question appears to be off-topic because it is solely a request for off-site resources. Please refer to the linked meta post for some suggested part-questions that would be on topic. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Nov 23 '13 at 20:11

It's quite difficult to get simpler than an SDR design such as the Softrock Lite 20m. It's little more than a quadrature mixer based on standard 74 series logic and an analog switch, an op-amp, a crystal oscillator, and a really simple input filter. The kit, including the PCB and all the components (but not a case) can be had for $30.

Of course, it achieves this simplicity by putting all the complicated parts in the computer, to which it attaches. However, this has some distinct advantages, like extreme flexibility, and if learning is your objective, SDR provides a great platform to experiment with modulation techniques. You get enough of the radio fundamentals in hardware with the kit, you can work out the higher-level concepts in software, then come back and implement an SSB receiver in hardware later, if you want. Performance can be really great because it's easy to build good filters in software. And, you can watch a big slice of the band all at once, which is really cool. And it's cheap, and easy to build.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.