Its Only Taken 4 years


You know that one project you have had that never worked. Welcome to my nightmare, the QRP Labs receiver and polyphase network. Nothing wrong with the design, nothing wrong with the kit, Hans makes good stuff, even if he packs the parts in too closely together for the sane among us. But that said, let me say OH FUCK YEAH. I finally got this working and the problems were all mine. Of Course!!

Issue one, the bandpass filter was not working, I am not a fan of Han’s filter boards, to tiny, to fiddly, total pain in the arse to build, again my fault, will need to look at that again sometime later and find out where it went wrong. Issue number 2, I dumped a solder bridge over the two power pins, and guess what, one side was dry and so the flip flop was not getting power, thus no quadrature signal.

So i fixed both of those issues and set the signal generator to 7Mhz and 28Mhz plus offset and BANG it fires into life and I have a 600hz tone coming out of the headphones. Winner winner, chicken dinner. I finally have this thing working and its not got me thinking about polyphase receiver design again. Doing something similar to this one, but using a 7 or 8 stage polyphase network and getting better opposite sideband rejection. I had started drawing one up the other day in diptrace. While waiting on parts for the next build, i might just give this a try.


The End Of An Era

Welcome to the 7.130 dx net. We meet here Monday, Wednesday and Friday on 7.130mhz. I am Roy, VK7ROY your net control. Check us out on facebook and on twitter. Looking for check ins, looking for dx, this is VK7ROY, please send your call sign now.

The above quote is something very familiar to many Australians. The 7.30 dx net as we call it, because it starts at 7.30pm local time had been for as long as i remember an institution. In fact it ran for over 12 years, but sadly is no more.

On Friday just gone, i had some time and felt like playing some radio and thought to myself, look at the time, its almost time for the 7.30 dx net and off i went and turned on the radio, tuned up the antenna and spun the dial to 7.130mhz. Nothing, some “expert” (and you all know what i think about experts) telling an fcall what is what. So i sat and waiting for Roy or Mal to come on and start. But 10mins later and the “expert” is still pissing in the pocket of some fcall and no dx net, something has to be up. I need to find out.

Before i get to that, the dx net was a very friendly place for newbies to get their feet wet in ham radio. The net controls both had good stations that could hear the weak signals of the fcalls and took the time and effort to make them feel welcome. It was one of the places where I cut my teeth as an newbie fcall.  While i did not always check in, for many years when i was building or designing some electronics, I would have it running in the background as something to listen to. Then the bottom of the cycle came and i was more often than not, not hearing them, or mostly hearing asia, so i stopped tuning in.

Thats not to day i did not often try, or when I had some new toy I would use it as my testing ground as i did with a uBITx in the following post I made back in 2018.

Checking into the dx net

But alas, all good things come to an end. And after sitting waiting for the net to start and it not happening, I did what Roy would always ask us to do, i went and checked them out on facebook. Turns out, that the net has not run since May 2020. I am 7 months behind the times and did not even know that it ended. Hey I know it must be hard to pretty much run 3 nets a week by yourself for 12 years, Roy really deserves a medal for doing this for so long.

So to Roy and Mal and there also was a VK4 whose name and call alludes me, thanks for being there, thanks for being supportive of fcalls and newbies in general and thanks for being examples worthy of following and emulating. And while my interests went from operating to more construction and home brew, you should know that you certainly had an influence on many and that we appreciate all you have done. 73’s and thanks for all the fish.