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Author Topic: First Electronics Project Suggestion Needed  (Read 3088 times)
AB1TS
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Posts: 14




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« on: August 03, 2013, 12:11:26 PM »

I have kind of a long term goal which is to design and build a small QRP transceiver. However, I need a project a bit more modest because my level of skill and electronics understanding is not at that level yet. This brings me to my request. I'm asking for a good first project for a new guy. I'm not looking for a kit, maybe something just up from that. Something with detailed plans and instructions that will help me to learn as I build. It can be anything as long as it is at least loosely connected to ham radio. I've already worked my way through a basic electronics book, now I want to build something that I might actually use. I've played with enough led's at this point!
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AA4PB
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2013, 12:21:19 PM »

Some kits (like Elecraft) contain detailed step by step assembly instructions and a detailed theory section telling how it all works. Other kits are nothing more than a box full of parts and a schematic diagram. I'm not sure what you mean by something just up from a kit.
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AB1TS
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2013, 01:35:53 PM »

I have played around with some kits that have a PCB and the electronics components with instructions that basically say take this part C1 and solder it to the the board at C1. A monkey could practically build the kit because you don't need to know anything more than how to match stuff. I guess what I mean by something just up from a kit, would be something with a parts list, a schematic, some directions, and maybe a PCB layout. Am I asking for to much!  Roll Eyes
The Elecraft stuff is nice, but a bit more than what I am looking for and a bit more than what I can spend at the moment.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2013, 02:10:11 PM »

Do some searches for "qrp kits" and you'll find some transceivers that have less detailed instructions and will include an opportunity for you to do the alignment of the various coils, frequency, etc. Prices can vary from less than $50 for a single band CW only unit to several hundred for a multiband CW/SSB unit.

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NI3S
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2013, 02:20:01 PM »

For simple projects with a great technical explanation look for some of Doug DeMaw's W1FB (SK) books.  At least one of his books start at with the very basics of electronics and progresses into building VFOs and filters, etc. 


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KE2EE
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2013, 06:16:11 PM »

How about a simple one or two transistor QRP cw transmitter. These can be as simple as the Michigan Mighty Mite with about 7 parts. There are several versions on the net. You may already have a 12v supply, can make a dummy load with 1 watt resistors and monitor the rig with your HF receiver. Even if you don't know cw its a real "kick" to hear the carrier come to life and know you put it together, (even better to put it on the air and work someone).
Mike
« Last Edit: August 03, 2013, 06:28:43 PM by KE2EE » Logged
K8AXW
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2013, 06:50:49 PM »

Research the ARRLHBC I, building the TAK-40.  This will keep you off the streets for awhile!

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AB1TS
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2013, 08:19:18 PM »

You all are the greatest. Thanks for all the great ideas and tips. I really appreciate it.
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VK2TIL
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2013, 11:50:48 PM »

I suggest a variable power supply.

First get the data sheet for the LM317; it contains recommended circuits.

Now work out for yourself how you are going to build it and case it, possibly with a voltmeter and a current meter.  A transformer will have to be selected, as will a rectifier and filter capacitors.

I suggest Manhattan construction.

Information on all the above is in books and on the 'net; Google strenuously!

The research itself will teach you a lot and the construction work will add to your skills.

This is a fairly basic project but what I'm suggesting is to not follow instructions for building a supply but work-out for yourself how it is to be designed & built.

When finished you should have a nice power supply that you will use in experiments; it's said that an experimenter can never have too many power supplies.
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KE4JOY
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2013, 08:18:03 AM »

I have some fun goofing around with breadboards, transistors, resistors, and led's.

Some time ago Radio Shack used to have little project books "Engineers Mini-Notebook" one was "Basic Semiconductor circuits. Well done and quite instructive. Not to mention low cost and safe.

I see there available for down load now

http://www.scribd.com/doc/53142087/Forrest-Mims-Engineer-s-Mini-Notebook-Basic-Semiconductor-Circuits-Radio-Shack-Electronics

That's sort of a subscription site but with a little effort with google you can probably find it for free but beware of the torrent sites. It is also available still in print.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2013, 08:22:30 AM by KE4JOY » Logged
K9YLI
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Posts: 865




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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2013, 09:50:58 AM »

I agree with   VK2til..  bould a power supply.. either fixedor variable. (adjustable. )

any  ARRL hand bok since about '98 has the 28 volt supply  init.. I have built it several times
since i aquired some  24 to 34 amp  transformers..  but
any size willbe useful.
just need to find a  transformer  with  about 20 to 25 volts  AC out no load.
this you can  get  enough DC out to  allow stable  regulation down to  13.8 volts.
I dont have a problem with  heat dissipation  using   3 output  transistors.

once you get the transformer you can bould for about 20 bucks.  breadboarding it..
 even a 5 amp  transformer will lgive you a useful  supply  to run a 2 meter rig at  about 5 watts low power.
Easy to build,  fairly  easy  to trouble shoot.

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AK7V
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« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2013, 01:02:01 PM »

Check out RFtoolkits from W8DIZ: http://www.kitsandparts.com/rftoolkits.php
Also check out the "QRP popcorn" circuits: http://www.qrp.pops.net/
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AB1TS
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« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2013, 04:01:29 PM »

Ok guys this was easier when there was only one suggestion here. I was always the kid growing up who said "both" when asked what do you want vanilla or chocolate. Now I've got to choose because time doesn't allow me to do everything!  Great ideas and thanks for the direction.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2013, 09:46:36 AM »

JOY has a great idea and it reminded me of one of my first projects.

I build a very nice "Breadboard" which consisted of the usual block of plug in sockets for ICs, resistors, etc.  Inside the case I built a variable voltage power supply which supplies voltages from slightly below 5VDC to 14VDC.

I also included a function generator which provides a sine and square wave with adjustable amplitude. 

The box also included volt and current meters for the power supply, an internal speaker with binding posts and a small piece of perfboard on standoffs to temporarily attach larger components like a small transformer or something similar.

That breadboard provided many hours of enjoyment throwing together IC and transistor circuits and finding out what changes what.  It presently saves untold hours of frustrating work with things I build by letting me breadboard it, getting it to work properly before making the final build.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2013, 11:10:10 AM »

1TS:  I've posted some photos of my homebrew breadboard on Photobucket. 

http://s1171.photobucket.com/user/KarlAibling/library/?view=recent&page=1#/user/KarlAibling/library/?view=recent&page=1&_suid=137581244381205775953922891899

Al - K8AXW
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