Those that have been following my blog for a while, know that I am a fan of Pete Juliano, N6QW, and his MANY transceiver projects. Recently on the SolderSmoke blog, there was a post about one of Pete's project being built by group of amateurs belonging to the Vienna Wireless Society in Virginia.
A member of my local QRP club posted this to our groups.io page, and there were several people that were interested in building one. I contacted Pete, and he put me in touch with Dean KK4DAS. Dean is the one leading the group at VWS through the construction of around twenty SSB transceivers. As of now almost half of the group have their project up to a working receiver.
The other evening I was able to join their group in a Zoom meeting. They went over their progress. and shared information on the next stage in the build. I have also spent a lot of time going through the documentation they have been creating on the VWS Makers Group SimpleSSB Project page. Some of the information there covers the module layout they used, some simple test equipment needed, and software developed. Dean has added to the oritional software, to provide support for different display types, and added features like CAT control.
Several of the members of my local club interested in this project have only experience building some of the kits available through the common QRP sites. They feel that they would need quite a bit of detailed information to build something from just parts. I decided I will start working on a series of blog posts that will document the build in a detailed way that can fairly easily be copied by someone with very little or no experience. I know that most of these members have very little in the way of the test equipment that would be helpful in a project of this type. In these posts I also plan on describing some very inexpensive or easy to build test equipment. And, I plan on adding some test functions into the transceiver itself. A lot of the test equipment information will be a reference to or revisions to what I have covered previously in this blog.
Most of the design is based on the work of Pete N6QW and can be reffenced at the links in his blog. N6QW.BLOGSPOT.COM
Some of the minor mods I have made are based on some of the things I learned watching Charlie Morris ZL2CTM YouTube Videos. For those who have not seen any of Charlie's videos, he goes through in great detail the math involved in the design of his circuit design. Also incorporating the info from Dean and the VWS group, and some of my own ideas and preferences.
There are several options commonly used for buildiing a project of this type. Manhatten or MePad, Perf-board, CNC Routing, and the one I use quite a lot Toner transfer etching. For this I will use perf-board for most of the modules. My preference is using double sided boards with plated through holes. There are several inexpensive kits available with an assortment of sizes for a very reasonable price. These small boards are ideal for building individual modules. The probem many new builders find is getting the layout so it is easy to build. I perfer to use a PCB design program with the layout grid set to the .1" of the perf-board. This makes it easy to move things around to get a nice neat layout that is easy to duplicate. Then it is easy to transfer this to the perf-board for the actual construction. With this layout I can also generate files for Toner Transfer etching, or CNC routing. Even Gerber files if one desires to have boards made by one of the inexpensive board hoses in China.
These are my plans for the next few posts. If anyone else would be interested in this project contact me directly at email@example.com. With most people now familiar with Zoom and Jitsi meetings, it would be possible to schedule meetings for everyone to get together and work as a group.
Not I need to go check my parts bins and see what extra stuff if any I need to order.