Monday, October 23, 2017

Simpleceiver Plus SSB Transceiver ~ A new DifX

The Simpleceiver Plus SSB Transceiver is on the Air!

10/29/2017 ~ Stations Worked on the N6QW Simpleceiver Plus SSB Transceiver CQ WW

  • JA7FZN
  • JR2GRX
  • AH6BT
  • 8P5A
  • XL5T
As you can see I am a big time contester. But I sure could hear lots of stations and so am delighted with how this homebrew project has turned out. The XL5T was worked running about 6 watts.
 
Have some parts on order which should arrive next week (mid-week) and hope to start construction of the V.2 Simpleceiver Plus SSB Transceiver. Essentially the circuits are mostly on a single PC board and will have a 9 MHz IF. I will share that info on this blog
 
73's
Pete , N6QW


10/28/2017 ~ Another Simpleceiver Plus SSB is "On the Air"


Here is the text of an email I received from Jelle, PA3GUP, this morning;

Hi Pete,

First 3 contacts in the log

M6T, 222KM

DP6T, 369KM

OK7K, 692KM

All with 10watt and a small dipole.

best 73 Jelle, PA3GUP


So OK time to get off the couch and get with the program. I was happy to hear about Jelle's success. That said this morning running 600 watts and my Simpleceiver Plus SSB Transceiver during the CQ WW DX contest I worked several JA's in the contest and that my friend is about a 5000 mile trip from this QTH.

I have a Version II in the works and will share that with you shortly. This one has a 9 MHz GQRP Club Crystal filter versus the 12 MHz homebrew filter. My plan is to not cannibalize Unit #1 as V.2 will be a separate build.

73's
Pete N6QW


 

10/26/2017 ~ N6QW is NOT on 630 Meters!

We have all heard the axiom" If it walks like a duck, Looks like a duck and Quacks like a duck --Then it is a duck!" That is not always true.
 
 
Imagine my surprise when VE7SL, Steve, emailed me an inquiry if I had by mistake called up 600 Meters in WSPR settings when I actually was copying 40 Meter signals and reporting them as 630 Meters.
 
 
Well I don't know what to say? I did have Power SDR set to General Coverage and cranked down to 0.474200 MHz and there were signals showing up on the waterfall. So there is that Ghost in the Machine.
 
 
I simply can't explain it other than the possibility of a problem with the Si570 LO. One shortcoming of the Si570 is that the lower frequency limit is about 4 MHz as opposed to the Si5351 where it is 8 KHz. Since the LO is set for 4 X the actual frequency (prior to being injected into the SN74HC74) that would mean the LO would operate at 1.8968 MHz which is below the 4 MHz threshold. So that might be the issue.
 
 
I did have the Rx set to 0.474200 MHz so it was not like I called up WSPR for 0.474200 MHz but actually tuning 7.038600 MHz. Another one of those challenges.
 
 
But that said --I have used the same front end to copy WSPR on other bands. So it remains a mystery. Guess I best stick with what I know.
 
 
73's
Pete
_________________________________________________________________________________

Yes I am now listening to 630 Meter WSPR signals. The Receiver is HOMEBREW using two J310's for the RF Amplifier stage and the Detector is a pair of ADE-1's. I homebrewed a signal splitter using a type 43 ferrite core balun and the LO is supplied using a kit called the QRP2000 which drives an Si570. The Si570 can be acquired as a sample [free] from Silicon Labs and the LO Board comes as a kit less the Si570 for about $20 (From the UK).
 
The output from the Detector board is fed into an M Audio Delta 44 Sound Card and the SDR software is the Power SDR V2.4. The computer is an Intel Atom at 1.8 GHz. WSPR 2.0 is being used. In case you are wondering the antenna is my 40 Meter droopy dipole with the antenna tuner bypassed -- about 92 feet long.
 
Bare Bones Receiver Front End
 
First Light
 
Now Several Stations being Spotted





 
I have reason to believe with a few more boards I can turn this into a full transceiver so that I can transmit as well on 630 Meters. Have made the license application and now must await several more weeks. BTW this homebrew SDR Receiver is also useful as a piece of test gear. The LO is generated at 4X and I am using a SN74AC74 to provide as divide by 4 to the quadrature detectors.


Man this band is really HOT!!! Just look at the spots and that has been in the last half hour. Just imagine --a hand full of parts and a bit of tribal knowledge coupled with a lot of luck can get you on 630 Meters. Hope I can get a transmitting license. Best DX (just updated) is about 2500 miles and he was running 5 Watts from Hawaii. Who says you can't work the world on low power. Actually my idea of QRP is about 500 watts just to be safe.

 
 
Stay Tuned! Oh in case you are wondering there are no plans for 2200 Meter operations (at this time).
 
 
73's
Pete N6QW
 
 


10/25/2017 ~ Another Simpleceiver Plus SSB Transceiver On the Air

PA3GUP's Simpleceiver Plus SSB Transceiver


I received an email from Jelle, PA3GUP who shared a photo of his build of the Simpleceiver Plus SSB Transceiver. As explained in his email, it is exhaling RF and lacks only a driver stage capable of 30 MW to drive an outboard amp for QRP operation.
 
Noteworthy is his construction technique complete with breadboard and nicely built modules. Liberal use of SMA interconnects and coax keeps everything neat and tidy. I note his use of angle stock (a favorite of mine) for mounting panel controls.  It looks like the angle stock has many holes for different sizes of controls and/or IO devices. Bravo, Jelle!
 
 
Of special note is his construction of the homebrew crystal filter! This is the way to do it! The connections are short and the filter is mounted over a ground plane. What is important is that the signals are going THROUGH the filter and not around it! It is also low profile so that when you want to compact your rig -- it will fit almost anywhere in your chassis box. I note the use of both SMD and leaded components --mix and match --whatever works! [See the photo below.]
 
I will be most interested to hear from Jelle about his first contact with the Simpleceiver Plus SSB Transceiver. His closing note to me was that he as a "Very Happy Camper". So you couch potatoes --heat up your iron and get a soldering!
 
 
 

 
 


73's
Pete N6QW


In an attempt to complete this project here is the future plan.

  1. I will document the project fully with all schematics and this will be done using my website http://www.n6qw.com
  2. The effort on the project will be kept open only insofar as those following along with the project will complete their builds. Don't want to leave you out to dry.
  3. I will be doing some additional peeking and tweaking of the circuit elements to insure maximum performance.
  4. Email me with any questions to n6qwham@gmail.com
Stay tuned for some fun with my homebrew SDR rig being run by a Raspberry Pi3.

73's
Pete N6QW

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