Questions tagged [equipment-design]

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16
votes
1answer
7k views

How to detect common-mode currents or “RF in the shack”?

Let's say we already know that if your antenna is not suitably constructed or connected then you can get current on the shield of your coaxial feed line which will flow through the shielding/grounding ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

What does the addition of a shield to a small loop accomplish?

A small shielded loop is an antenna with a loop of wire, smaller than 1/10th of a wavelength in diameter, also surrounded by a shield. Often, they are constructed from coax. There is a gap in the ...
12
votes
1answer
5k views

How is the IF for a superhet selected?

There seem to be almost as many choices for the intermediate frequency (IF) as there are superheterodyne receivers and transceivers out there. The ones I have come across are 455 kHz, 452 kHz, 1.6 MHz ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is dynamic range relevant for an SDR?

Sometimes I see dynamic range mentioned as a figure of merit for an SDR. For example, I know that the bits per sample used by the analog to digital converter can affect the dynamic range. Why do I ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

How is impedance matching related to balance and common-mode currents?

Does a good impedance match imply good balance and lack of common-mode currents? Does a poor impedance match imply poor balance and excessive common-mode currenst?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Choosing a wideband antenna design

On a previous question I asked about proper antenna design for wideband SDR receiver and ways to improve signal/noise ratio. Ideally the reciever has a range of 100kHz-2GHz. Keeping in mind is ...
13
votes
6answers
3k views

Why are vacuum tubes still used in amateur radios?

I wonder, even in this modern generation why the outdated vacuum tubes are used. In other electronic circuits they have been replaced by more efficient (and small) transistors years ago. Why they are ...
1
vote
3answers
328 views

What kind of ham radio license should I get?

I have an interest in studying and researching how radio technology can be used in other fields of electronics. What kind of license should I look into so I can carry out some experiments or research? ...
4
votes
1answer
109 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

HF SWL antenna wire? Will plain 16-Gauge copper wire work well enough?

Planning to set up a HF antenna for RX-only. However, I can't decide what kind of wire to use. I want to buy something new. My first thought is to buy a spool of 16 Gauge copper wire, but am hoping ...
3
votes
1answer
183 views

Would a switched RF attenuator be (a)symmetric?

I picked up this 0-80 dB switched RF attenuator at a flea market, with no part number or other useful markings other than the knob settings. I've tested it and confirmed that it works, but there's one ...
3
votes
1answer
600 views

Mic ground vs ground

Why do most radios have a microphone ground as well as a Ground? I have found that simply using one ground and tying the microphone as well as the PTT (and audio out, 5v out or whatever else is in ...
2
votes
2answers
156 views

How does keying a CW transmitter work?

In my handbook it talks about keying the transmitter to produce the dots and dashes. Does this mean that the operator is turning the transmitter on and off, or does this mean that the key is turning ...
1
vote
2answers
65 views

Toroid Coupling Issue in Common-base Amplifier

I'm working on an old school VFO for the 15 meter band based on a JFET Hartley oscillator. The plan is to follow the oscillator section with a JFET buffer, then a CB amplifier (for increased reverse ...