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Author Topic: Question about using Ten-Tec 1056 Direct Conversion Receiver with transmitter  (Read 8729 times)
KU4UV
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Posts: 376




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« on: November 04, 2012, 05:26:07 PM »

Hello everyone,

I just recently completed construction on a Ten-Tec 1056 Direct Conversion receiver kit.  I built the kit for the 40 meter band, and so far, I am really impressed with how well it receives.  I am interested in knowing if anyone on the forum has used this particular receiver, or a similar receiver, along with a QRP transmitter?  What I was planning on doing was either buying one of the glowbug kits available for the 40 meter QRP frequencies, or building a 2-tube transmitter for 40 meters, and using the Ten-Tec receiver for the receiver portion of the station.  Here is a link to the transmitter I had considered building. http://taggart.glg.msu.edu/wb8dqt/w1ts_project.pdf

The Ten-Tec 1056 has several features implemented on the circuit board that will allow you to use it along with a transmitter, but I have never used a transmitter/receiver combo like this for making contacts before, so I'm sure I'll have some questions as I go along.  For starters, The 1056 has a function that will allow you to "mute" the receiver while you are transmitting.  I think you just solder a switch in place to unmute the receiver so you can hear the sending station.  There is also a a place on the board for connecting a sidetone from a transmitter.  I am a little confused as to how to go about connecting the sidetone of a transmitter to the receiver.  I would ideally like to be able to monitor my sending sidetone while I am transmitting.  Short of hooking up a code practice oscilator that I built to the transmitter, can anyone help me out as to how to go about hooking up the transmitter to the 1056 so that I can monitor my sidetone while transmitting? 

My other question concerns the potential of receiver overload, and possible damage, to the 1056 with having a transmitter so close to the receiver while I am operating.  I would assume if you use the "mute" function to quiet the receiver while transmitting, there is no possibility of damage to the receiver?  The parts in the 1056 are easy enough to replace if something gets damaged, I am just wondering about the possibility of damage to any of the more sensitive components like the IC's while transmitting.  Any thoughts and advice on using the 1056 with a second transmitter are greatly appreciated.  I would ideally like to get this transmitter built and on the air for Straight Key Night in January.  Thanks guys!

73,
Michael KU4UV
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KB1GMX
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Posts: 828




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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2012, 07:26:04 PM »

That transmitter does not provide sidetone by maybe the keyer (if you use one) does.
If you use a straight key then you have to work that out then.

Mute keeps the TX signal from launching the headphone off your ears, or waking everyone
if speaker.

You must keep the TX RF and RX RF separate as even a few watts directly into the RX
will fry it.  That usualy means some form of antenna changeover relay.  It is preferred
to short the RX input on TX for safety of the RX.   Physically close for the receiver is
not an issue only sharing the antenna or using separate antennas.

I'd suggest a copy of the Radio Amateurs Handbook (arrl press) used from sometime
prior to about 1965.  Copies can be found for very small prices and what was true then
still holds. That and back then separate transmitter and receiver was the norm.


Allison
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K4KRW
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Posts: 99




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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 11:53:19 PM »

The Four State QRP club has this nice little kit for integrating receivers and low power transmitters.  Even provides side tone.

http://www.4sqrp.com/MagicBox.php

73, Richard
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KU4UV
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 03:30:42 AM »

Some great tips.  I may have to look into the kit from the Four State QRP club.  Thanks guys!

73,
Mike KU4UV
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AB7KT
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Posts: 155




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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2012, 04:53:32 PM »

I have pretty much everything mentioned so-far.
I have that receiver, I have the Glowbug transmitter, and I have the 4 States Magic Box.

When you use a seperate transmitter and receiver, you need to have a way to switch the antenna from the transmitter to the receiver (and back) unless you use two seperate antennas.  Obviously each one (the XMTR and the RCVR) needs to have an antenna connected, but when you transmit, you want the antenna disconnected from the receiver. This is typically done with a relay which switches the antenna from receiver to transmitter.

Receiver muting does just what the name implies: it mutes the receiver when you are transmitting. You can easily see how this works on the Ten Tec kit: just open the connection and the receiver mutes. It won't protect the receiver front end from overload, you just won't hear it. It is just like the mute button on your TV.

Typically, when you are using CW, you don't mute the receiver. This is how you monitor your transmitted signal. If you are using an antenna relay, this isn't an issue because the antenna is disconnected from the receiver when you are transmitting. But, you can still hear your signal. If you are using seperate transmitter and receiver on voice modes, you have to mute your receiver because you will feedback your transmitted audio out of the receivers speaker, back into your microphone and start howling. On boatanchor rigs, the switching for receiver muting is also done by a relay. Most old boatanchor transmitters provide power for the relay. The most common of these relays was the Dow-Key Relay. You could buy then with several extra sets of contacts for things like receiver muting and maybe switching on a amplifier.

Another thing that you will want is a way to "Spot" your transmitter. In other works, you need to find out where you are transmitting, so you can put your receiver on the same frequency.
This brings up another frustraing point. Back in the day, when guys were running crystal control, you would call CQ and then tune your receiver to see if anyone answered you. Today, with modern rigs, guys call CQ and never touch their VFO. If you arn't exactly on their frequency, they won't hear you. When using vintage gear and homebrew stuff, this doesn't always work out so well. You typically don't have accurate frequency readout to several digits to the right of the decimal point. You are lucky to even any more than a rough idea of what frequency you are on. If you say you are on 7.040, you mean....you are somewhere within a few kHz of that frequency Smiley

That 4-States Magic Box will do all this and more. That is the easiest way to do what you want to do.

If you want to use the sidetone connection on that receiver, it will be a matter of experimentation. You have to get the signal from somewhere and then attenuate it down to a suitable level. Rather than mess with that, I would buy the Magic Box. Other than that, I would listen to my receiver to hear my own signal to use as a sidetone.
MFJ also makes a RF actuated T/R switch (relay). It will switch your antenna and has one other set of contacts to handle something like receiver muting.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 05:00:10 PM by AB7KT » Logged

I thought you said this was a weak signal mode ? I HAVE a weak signal and he still didn't hear me.

FWIW: My callsign is AB8KT
AB7KT
Member

Posts: 155




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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2012, 05:15:33 PM »

One thing I neglected to mention:
If you buy the Glowbug Kits, AC-1 Junior transmitter, it HAS T/R switching built in. Check out the pictures and text on their webpage.  You connect the receiver to the jack labeled REC on the rear panel, you connect the antenna to the transmitter and you are good to go. There is a T/R relay built in.  You listen to your receiver for sidetone (You would simply solder a jumper into the two muting holes on the Ten Tec receiver).

No further equipment needed.

I have really enjoyed that transmitter. Mine puts out about 900 mW. I have an RF attenuator in-line with it. A couple weeks ago, I worked Georgia and North Carolina from Ohio running 85 mW using the Glowbug transmitter and a Drake 2-B receiver.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 05:17:46 PM by AB7KT » Logged

I thought you said this was a weak signal mode ? I HAVE a weak signal and he still didn't hear me.

FWIW: My callsign is AB8KT
KU4UV
Member

Posts: 376




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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2012, 02:30:25 PM »

One thing I neglected to mention:
If you buy the Glowbug Kits, AC-1 Junior transmitter, it HAS T/R switching built in. Check out the pictures and text on their webpage.  You connect the receiver to the jack labeled REC on the rear panel, you connect the antenna to the transmitter and you are good to go. There is a T/R relay built in.  You listen to your receiver for sidetone (You would simply solder a jumper into the two muting holes on the Ten Tec receiver).

No further equipment needed.

I have really enjoyed that transmitter. Mine puts out about 900 mW. I have an RF attenuator in-line with it. A couple weeks ago, I worked Georgia and North Carolina from Ohio running 85 mW using the Glowbug transmitter and a Drake 2-B receiver.




Thanks for all the help guys, I may have other questions as I go along.  I have seriously considered picking up the AC-1 Junior transmitter and coupling that with the Ten-Tec 1056.  I don't have the best setup in the world as far as QRP operating goes, but I would think surely I can work someone on 40 meters at night.  I live in an apartment, so I have to make do with what I have.  Right now, my antenna is a longwire about 200 feet long and maybe 6 feet off the ground.  I actually have the longwire laying in the rain gutter outside of my apartment and then running in through the bedroom window so the apartment management won't bust me.  I use an MFJ-902 tuner to tune the longwire.  I am assuming this wouldn't be a problem with the AC-1 Junior?  I would ideally like to eventually construct my own 2-tube QRP transmitter, running maybe 4 or 5 Watts output to the longwire.  I have been in contact with Dr. Taggart about building his replica of the W1TS transmitter.  His webpage is mentioned in the November issue of QST in the "slatboard transmitter" page.  It is basically a reproduction of the old Ameco AC-1 transmitter, with some better design changes.  I know next to nothing about building and operating tube gear, so that is why I am asking some of these questions.  The AC-1 Junior looks like a neat little QRP transmitter, and since it has the TX/RX relay built in, I may hold off on purchasing the 4-States Magic Box for now.  I am assuming there is no possibility of damage to the 1056 when using the AC-1 Junior since it is not directly coupled to the transmitter, just close enough to be able to spot your operating frequency and monitor your sidetone, like you mentioned?  There is also an article in the November QST by Dr. Taggert called the "Boat Anchor Buddy."  I am assuming this is very similar to the Magic Box kit that the 4-State QRP Club offers.  I may try the AC-1 Junior and 1056 receiver combo in the coming weeks, now that we are heading into winter and the lower bands are starting to become less noisy.  I figure if I can make contacts with a 1-Watt tube rig, I can make them with a 4-Watt tube rig.  I have a couple of farms that my family owns in southern Kentucky where I usually go to put up my big antennas.  My twin brother is also a ham, and we set up for Field day this year at one of the farms.  I used a Youkits 4-band QRP transceiver along with an inverted L up about 50 feet.  I found I could work almost any station I could hear.  I even had a short QSO on 30 meters with a guy in Oregon.  I think he gave me a 479 RST, not bad for a rig running only about 3 Watts with 8 AA batteries.  Thanks again for the help guys, great tips from all of you.  I will give the AC-1 Junior a try along with the 1056 and let you know how it works.  I may even post a video on Youtube when I get all the pieces together.

73,
Michael KU4UV
Richmond, KY.
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AB7KT
Member

Posts: 155




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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2012, 06:31:23 PM »

No, you will not damage your receiver if you are using it with the AC-1 Junior Transmitter and you have it plugged into the back of the transmitter. If you look at the schematic, you can see that when you transmit, the receiver is disconnected from the antenna.

The transmitter is easy to build. I built mine in one sitting over a couple hours. Forget about Straight Key Night, you will have this rig in operation before Thanksgiving.

I am sure you realize this, but this whole thing is going to take a certain amount of patience. Low power, compromised antenna, and a VERY basic receiver. However, you will make contacts and have fun. I have never used my Ten Tec 1056 on the air (mine is on 30 meters FWIW). In fact, it isn't even in a box. But I have used the AC-1 transmitter with something similar: a Ramsey kit receiver.  You have no DSP, no IF filtering, no AGC, no noise blanker and receive a fairly wide swath of the band at once. However, the only thing that is required to make contacts with the receiver is some patience. One cool thing about using rigs like this: when you use a new, state of the art transceiver: you will have a whole new appreciation for it's technology. But, if you are like me, you will find it boring and go back to your more exotic gear Smiley

Have fun, enjoy, and if you need any help feel free to send me an email. I can even listen for you on the air. I am fairly certain I could hear you in Kentucky.

Ken
AB8KT
Toronto, Ohio
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 06:48:23 PM by AB7KT » Logged

I thought you said this was a weak signal mode ? I HAVE a weak signal and he still didn't hear me.

FWIW: My callsign is AB8KT
KU4UV
Member

Posts: 376




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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2012, 07:45:42 PM »

Thanks gang!  Hope to hear you on the air!

73,
Mike KU4UV
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WX7G
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Posts: 6321




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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2012, 07:28:01 AM »

I used to have a Heathkit HW-8 transceiver with direct conversion. Stations would show up on two frequencies and the higher frequency was the correct one. So, I would tune down the band looking for stations calling CQ.
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AB7KT
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Posts: 155




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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2012, 08:16:14 AM »

Yeah, that would be OK, IF you have a VFO.

If you are using the Glowbug, AC-1 Junior transmitter, you are rockbound on three frequencies. So, you either have to call CQ, set up skeds, or put your receiver on the correct frequency (the ones you have transmitter crystals for) and wait on another station to come on frequency. Or I guess another option would be to buy/build a VFO for the AC-1 transmitter.

This is going to give you an appreciation of what the hams that came before us had to do Smiley. Like I keep saying, running this type of rig is quite different than using a "modern" rig, even an HW-8.
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I thought you said this was a weak signal mode ? I HAVE a weak signal and he still didn't hear me.

FWIW: My callsign is AB8KT
KB2HSH
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Posts: 230


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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2012, 05:38:58 AM »

I have a 1056 that I use on 40 meters with a Ramsey QRP-40, as well as the transmitter portion of an archaic Ten-Tec Powermite.  The 1056 will easily handle pretty much anything you do to it.  Keep in mind that you have the ability to add a mute switch to turn the RX to standby. 

Even when I have used the 1056 and another transmitter with nothing more than a coax switch for manual TX-RX selection, I have never had an issue with the 1056.  You get overloading in the headphones, but that's about it.

KB2HSH
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KU4UV
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Posts: 376




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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2012, 05:32:43 PM »

I have a 1056 that I use on 40 meters with a Ramsey QRP-40, as well as the transmitter portion of an archaic Ten-Tec Powermite.  The 1056 will easily handle pretty much anything you do to it.  Keep in mind that you have the ability to add a mute switch to turn the RX to standby. 

Even when I have used the 1056 and another transmitter with nothing more than a coax switch for manual TX-RX selection, I have never had an issue with the 1056.  You get overloading in the headphones, but that's about it.

KB2HSH

Thanks for the information regarding the 1056.  I really like mine so far, and it seems like a great little receiver.  I just need to get mine installed into a metal case sometime and add power and antenna jacks.  I may even build another one this Winter for listening to 160 meters.

73,
Mike KU4UV
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