Questions tagged [diy]

Questions dealing with handmade (Do It Yourself) radios and radio accessories.

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5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is homebrew?

My question is the title itself: what is homebrew (or home brewing)? And how do homebrews differ from ordinary ham radios?
8
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5answers
1k views

Will electrically joined dipoles of different lengths, at right angles, behave as a multiband antenna?

I haven't seen this done, (which, after more than a century of amateur and professional radio development, is probably a bad sign), but I had an idea the other day for simplifying the setup and feed ...
7
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3answers
3k views

How do I extend broken coaxial cable?

I have a piece of 75 ohm coaxial cable of unknown type (outer diameter is around 7 mm) which has developed a breakage in the center conductor (which is stranded). This cable is an adapter cable which ...
5
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6answers
230 views

Is it practical to use a slug-tuned variable inductor in an antenna matcher (aka “antenna tuner”)?

I will soon need an antenna impedance match (aka "antenna tuner"), because I'll initially only have a single antenna for my HF rig (needs to cover 80m, 40m, 20m, 15m, and 10m). Obviously, in order to ...
1
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2answers
65 views

Will close-loop metal hangers affect antenna radiation?

I'm working on a kite-supported antenna for an 80m QRP rig -- to be flown at beaches, on mountaintops, and possibly other places where I want to work HF but don't want to lug poles or give up ...
4
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4answers
273 views

Are QRP transceivers only meant for CW communication?

I was just thinking about making a QRP transceiver, but are they only used for CW (Morse code) communication? If it is so, can I modify a QRP for two way audio communication?
1
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2answers
87 views

How to convert a crystal controlled tranceiver to VFO (aka Unbinding from the Rock)?

If you look at the circuit diagram for a Colpitts crystal oscillator, it's pretty simple -- a crystal, load resistor, and capacitive voltage divider, with the positive supply feeding the control ...
1
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4answers
181 views

What is a simple kind of amateur radio transceiver I could try to build, as a beginner?

I am new to amateur radio, and I'm trying to learn the basics of the hobby. I would like to build a simple radio transceiver from scratch (i.e. not from a kit). I have searched the Internet for ...
8
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5answers
23k views

Is there a simple, DIY, antenna suitable for HF receive only?

So the antenna I'm thinking about doing might be* way too large for my property. Is there another simple, cheap, DIY antenna I could try on my receiver? I know I'm going to want to hook it up and ...
4
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1answer
154 views

What dielectric strength is required for a variable capacitors in a 100W T-network antenna tuner?

I would like to build a 100W T-network antenna tuner: I have a 12-pole wafer switch, 12.5 meters of enameled copper wire (d=1.5mm) and a pair of 12-365pF variable capacitors rated 200V DC (dielectric ...
4
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1answer
93 views

Will I get cleaner keying by keying the oscillator, or interrupting the amplifier B+?

One of my goals as a new ham is to homebrew my own transmitter (using vacuum tubes, aka valves). Initially I'll stick with CW for the transmitter, though over time I might build an AM modulator or ...
5
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3answers
2k views

What type of solder is best suited for radio and electronic use?

Many types of solder are available today, such as acid-core, silver, rosin-core and aluminum solder. What kind should I use for building antennas and radio equipment? Why? From test question: T7D08
4
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2answers
101 views

How do homebuilders find an audience to distribute kits to?

Many (QRP) homebuilders offer their projects as kits. A popular series nowadays is the BITX. There are often mailing lists connected to those projects; I am a member of several. I'm wondering how ...
6
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3answers
440 views

LoRa radio transceiver for PtP mesh?

I am very new to general RF/radio in general other than basic WiFi, but I'm looking at the feasibility and cost of a long range (>200M between nodes, sometimes probably 500+M) in flat terrain, ...
7
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2answers
113 views

Water cooling a GS-35B in lieu of air cooling?

Does anyone know how to --or have any experience with-- water or oil-cooling the anode? Since forced-air cooling is required, the sound from the blower and the exhaust air would be too noisy for my ...
3
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1answer
199 views

Air Coil AM & Shortwave Crystal Radio Using 1/4" Copper Tubing

Looking to build a crystal radio, need help with the coil. I'm looking to get something to work with 1/4" thin wall copper tubing. Already have some nice diodes and whatever capacitors/resistors I ...
5
votes
3answers
167 views

How can I determine/measure power rating of a DIY air capacitor?

I've build an air capacitor like the one described in this article, although I used 1 mm thick single side copper boards (FR4) instead of solid copper sheets. I would like to use such capacitors in my ...
4
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3answers
137 views

Testing for 'Bad' Coax

I have a lot of 'donated' coax that has been given to me with unknown provenance. I'm wondering what things I can do that can determine whether I keep it or send to the tip? Some of the things I have ...
9
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2answers
334 views

Why do we have to hand wind toroids?

Many, if not most, ham radio kits (transceivers, tuners, ununs, baluns) require the builder to hand wind and tap their own toroids. (example) This is a considerable area of stress for newbie builders ...
4
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3answers
1k views

Recommended 9:1 unun core type(s)

I would like to construct a 9:1 unun that connects my QRP transceiver to a random-wire antenna. The transceiver's antenna connection is an unbalanced BNC jack and the random-wire antenna is, well, a ...
1
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5answers
154 views

Are cold temperatures harmful for ham radio equipment?

I'm getting ready to build an HF / CW kit and just finished setting up a workbench in my garage. While I was wrapping up, I started wondering if the cold temperatures this winter might be harmful to ...
1
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3answers
375 views

Amateur Radio Long Distance Data Communication

My friends and I are going off to college ~180 miles/290 kilometres apart. As a project, we are looking into creating a data communication connection between our two schools. Our requirements would be:...
16
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3answers
3k views

SDR sampling bandwidth - do the bits per sample matter?

I'm looking at data converter chips for a homebrew SDR design, and I see that I can choose not just the sampling frequency, but also the bits per sample. Obviously the sampling frequency has to be ...
0
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1answer
91 views

Ultrasonic FM receiver

I need a FM receiver that is capable of receiving ultrasonic audio frequencies above the standard wide band FM range of 15 KHz. I'd like something that can receive signals up to 60 kHz if possible: I'...
4
votes
2answers
330 views

What should I put in a “Go box”, “Go bag”, or “go kit” for emergency communications?

If I wanted to build a mostly-portable-but-still-comprehensive kit to use in emergencies, either my own, or simulated ones through ARES or RACES, what should I put in the kit? I'd prefer responses to ...
5
votes
1answer
38 views

For air coax calculation, what is correct diameter metric vis-à-vis tube stock thickness?

I am interested in creating a square outer-conductor with round inner-conductor air coax post for a hex beam antenna. I found the extremely useful information at: How do I design a round or square ...
6
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2answers
258 views

Why don't monolithic HF transceiver ICs exist?

HAM operators who build their own HF rigs typically do so using discrete components. However, for VHF and UHF rigs, an operator can make use of monolithic transceiver ICs on the market For example,...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

Parts for a 915 MHz low power transmitter

I'm interested in doing some experimentation with custom modulation in the 915 ISM band. Off-the-shelf radio modules use specific known modulations (FSK, QAM, etc.) so those won't work for my ...
0
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2answers
2k views

Slot antenna for 2 meter mobile

My primary vehicle is a Smart car, with a roof that's a piece of plastic(100% moon roof). Not the most awesome of cars to use for grounds. I'm building a bumper mounted antenna tower, EMT with some ...
1
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2answers
224 views

What is the optimal antenna for a high altitude weather balloon?

I was thinking of creating a 2.4 GHz WiFi wireless link with a directional, circular polarized antenna but I am not sure if that would work for such a long distance. The antenna cant weigh more than 1 ...
2
votes
1answer
648 views

What parts / procedure do I need to build a UHF receiver that can connect to a standard pair of headphones

I have a low power wireless microphone (10 - 50 mW) with a large receiver designed to connect to a mixer/sound system. The mic transmits in the UHF band between 530 and 860 depending on the band (see ...
2
votes
3answers
127 views

Does a paint-can dummy load have high voltage on the metal can? Would an insulated container be better?

I've seen many plans for 50 Ohm dummy loads in paint cans, such as the one here: https://www.nonstopsystems.com/radio/frank_radio_antenna_dummy.htm. I've already assembled a functional dummy load, but ...
4
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2answers
799 views

What impedance matching do I need between my 300Ω feedline and Softrock receiver?

I will be assembling a Softrock Ensemble II HF receiver, and I know I'm going to want it on air as soon as I build it, so I'm challenging myself to build an antenna for it first. The plan is to do a ...
1
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2answers
188 views

Section 15.23 “Home-built devices” No license required… to build? Just to Transmit. But…?

Title 47 › Chapter I › Subchapter A › Part 15 › Subpart A › Section 15.23 Home-built devices §15.23 Home-built devices. (a) Equipment authorization is not required for devices that are not ...
2
votes
1answer
240 views

Effect of paint / uv coating on velocity factor of PVC

I own an Ed Fong TBJ-1 antenna, which is like a twin-lead J-Pole with a coax stub and some inductors added. It's enclosed in an unfinished PVC pipe. I'm tempted to paint the PVC with non-conductive ...
6
votes
2answers
407 views

How to calculate if low-pass filtering is sufficient?

An answer on this question Suggested method for boosting 0.05 watt transmitter up to 10+ watts? suggests putting a filterless 19dB amplifier between the HackRF (or similar general-purpose SDR) and a ...
2
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2answers
3k views

Antenna tuner design

In a related question about a broadband antenna for SDR it was suggested me to build or buy an antenna tuner. Since maybe it was not clear to everybody, I'm designing an antenna tuner for reception, ...
2
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2answers
126 views

Antenna experimentation

I want to make a DIY antenna for my Kenwood TH-F6A. Is there any danger of damaging the radio (i.e. by trying an antenna that is unsuitable), or is it safe to experiment?
8
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3answers
2k views

Baofeng low power mod

I have a few baofeng UV5R handhelds sitting around that only transmit, the receiver is damaged. What I would like to do with these is build a foxhunt transmitter. Sure, I could set it to low power (...
9
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2answers
4k views

How can I calibrate a SWR meter?

I would like to build my own HF (1.8 - 30 MHz) SWR meter, however I'm not sure how I can calibrate the meter without an accurate power source. I'm targeting a power capacity of 150 W so I can use it ...
5
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1answer
909 views

Can I touch the ground of a PWR/SWR meter?

I'm planning to build a 5W PWR/SWR meter very similar to this design by G3YMC, but with two meters: I'd like to put it in this metal box, and use the box as ground. However, the bottom of the box ...
4
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3answers
3k views

How should this SWR meter's directional coupler work?

I'm wrapping up a "home build" of the MFJ-941EK antenna tuner kit and having trouble getting the wattmeter calibrated. I can't use C4 to get the reflected power reading calibrated down to 0 as is ...
3
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2answers
778 views

Ideas for a simple VOX circuit for packet?

I want to build a simple circuit, preferably only a few transistors which simply activates when it hears a low level audio, and deactivates when the audio signal does not exist anymore. No pre-delay ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

MW AM reception improvements?

Most AM receivers use Envelope detection. Historically this was simple. PLL-based systems are slightly better at low carrier-to-noise levels. Would there be any SNR advantage if each sideband was ...
4
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4answers
3k views

Can I listen to hams on a standard AM/FM broadcast receiver?

I am very much out of practice with amateur radio (like many others), so to some, this question may seem obvious. I don't have any specialised amateur radio equipment, but I do have a Sanyo AM/FM ...
3
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1answer
332 views

Building a headset for a Yaesu FT-270r

I'm trying to build a headset for my Yaesu FT-270r, which replaced a FT-250r. I had a working setup with the FT-250r. An electret microphone element connected to the MIC/PTT pin of the four-way ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

How can I establish a wireless link between my PC and TenTec 506 / chipKIT UNO32 using USB port?

I have a TenTec 506 HF transceiver that uses a Digilent chipKIT UNO32 microcontroller. My PC running Teraterm (serial connection) or the MPIDE monitor is connected to the microcontroller's mini B USB ...
3
votes
1answer
555 views

Kenwood TM-241A direct discriminator out

I am going to do a simple SIMPLEX all-star node, using the URIx USB radio interface, which I just got. I have a Kenwood TM-241A transceiver. I was told the speaker out jack is not sufficient: The ...
10
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2answers
4k views

What is the expected microphone input voltage level of a handheld transceiver?

Ok, so I'm looking to inject some computer generated CW into a little handheld rig by wiring direct into the mic input line. What sort of voltage is expected on this input, are we talking uV, mV or ...
11
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2answers
3k views

How does one read a ferrite datasheet?

Datasheets for ferrite materials are usually filled with incomprehensible graphs with greek letters. For example, Fair-Rite's 73 material: What's a $\mu'_s$ and a $\mu''_s$? What do these numbers ...