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1934 Superhet Improvements

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After experiencing some undesirable receiver behaviors during a station demo at the Breezeshooters Hamfest, I decided to dig into the homebrew 1934 superhet to try and resolve the issues as well as try some improvements.  The receiver was knocked far enough out of alignment during the trip to the hamfest to cause one of the IF tubes to break into oscillation when the gain control was advanced to a certain point.  That was easy enough to fix with a complete re-alignment.

Another annoying issue was an intermittent “raspiness” that would develop on CW notes.  Perhaps a bad solder joint, dirty tube socket wipers, etc.  Ultimately, this particular problem was resolved while troubleshooting another issue that I hadn’t noticed before.  When I powered up the receiver on the bench after returning home, I noticed a very high pitched note (perhaps 10-12 kHz) in the audio.  In trying to identify the source, I touched the grid cap of each tube.  The signal stopped when I got to the BFO tube.  After swapping in a different 57, the high pitched note was gone.  Subsequently, so was any further intermittent raspiness.

There were a number of improvements I decided to implement while I had the rig on the bench.  Continue reading 1934 Superhet Improvements

1930s Station Demo – Breezeshooters Hamfest 2017

At the Breezeshooters Hamfest in Butler, PA, I setup a 1930s style station for an on-air demonstration.  We made a few contacts on 40M CW, as far as NC.  The transmitter was only producing about 30W output (work in progress).  There were also some issues with the receiver which were brought on by the trip to the Hamfest.  It was “rattled” out of alignment, causing one of the IF tubes to oscillate (manifesting as a loud squealing when the gain control was high enough) and developed an intermittent “raspiness” (later found to be a bad BFO tube).  Overall, it was a fun time and nice to see old friends and meet many new friends.

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630m Crossband Night – Four VE7s and VE3OT worked

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Details on this November’s 630M Crossband Night can be found on VE7SL’s blog:

http://ve7sl.blogspot.ca/2016/10/novembers-630m-activity-cw-crossband.html

Usually about the second or third week of November I make my bi-annual rounds repairing the receive antennas in the back woodlot, mostly damaged by tree related incidents.  While I’ve performed initial inspections of some antennas, I haven’t gotten around to actually repairing anything yet.   The 630M Eight Circle has a number of issues that are affecting its optimal performance, though it still exhibits reasonably good directivity.  I also discovered that one beverage element in my 160M west array had snapped.   I was not optimistic about my chances of hearing any of the VE7 stations that would be QRV on 630M.

Mitch, VE3OT, was worked early in the evening with his usual strong signals.  He is only located across Lake Erie from here, so always has a potent presence.

What transpired later in the evening was entirely unexpected.  Continue reading 630m Crossband Night – Four VE7s and VE3OT worked