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That beautiful thing in the pictures above is the homebrew 17meter rig that I put on the air in October 2013. It is my 17 meter version of the BITX20 rig, designed by Ashhar Farhan. Look here for details: http://www.phonestack.com/farhan/bitx.html

Above, you can see the circuit board for the 17 meter BITX rig.  This is scratch-built Manhattan-style construction.  Isolation pads made up of scrap PC board material is glued to the copper-clad board.  Connections above ground are made at isolation pads -- connections to ground go to the copper-clad board that forms the base and electrical ground.

In the upper rightof this QRZ page you can see the 40 meter "module" version of this rig.  Click on the picture for a closer look.  For more details on the module, go to http://hfsigs.com

Here is a 20 meter version of the same rig:










Here is my Moxon antenna for 17 meters:

CCI EB63A 140 Watt Linear Amplifier                                     BITX DIGI-TIA 40 Meter SSB Transceiver

Boatanchors Station Heathkit DX-100 (from John Zaruba, K2ZA) and Hammarlund HQ-100 from the Dominican Republic.




Current e-mail: soldersmoke@yahoo.com

My blog is here:  http://soldersmoke.blogspot.com

Our podcast is here: http://soldersmoke.com

Greetings from Northern Virginia. My name is Bill and my current amateur radio call sign is N2CQR.

I was introduced to Amateur Radio by that great author and story teller, Jean Shepherd, K2ORS. "Shep" had an AM radio program in New York during the early 1970s. My father and I listened to the show. Shep often told stories of his teenage adventures in ham radio. Soon I followed Shepherd's example and found myself taking old television sets apart and throwing strange wires into the branches of trees.

With the assistance of the members of New York's Crystal Radio Club (W2DMC), I got my license in 1973 at age 14. I acquired a Drake 2-B and a Hallicrafters HT-37. In what I'm sure is a very common occurrence, ham radio fell by the wayside as life's other demands crowded in. My job required a lot of travel. During this period, the 2B and the HT-37 dutifully followed me around the world. They collected a lot of dust, but, alas, they did not go on the air. In 1992 I moved to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. One afternoon, while browsing through the magazine rack at a local hotel, I came across a copy of "73" magazine. Looking through it, something of the old spark was rekindled.

I acquired a reciprocal license. (My Mom had watched out for me and - while I worked in Central America - got the FCC to renew my U.S. license. I had been issued the call N2CQR.) In anticipation, I pulled the old gear out of storage and began to set up a station. Much contact cleaner was applied. Soon I found myself once again running wires through the branches of trees, this time in the Dominican Republic. My Dominican ticket arrived in March 1993 and I was back on the air. Soon, my parents in New York started to once again find strange post cards from far-off places in their mailbox.

I became a member of Radio Club Dominicano (HI8RCD); there I found the same friendly spirit that I'd encountered in the Crystal Radio Club. Some things are universal. In an effort to brush up on technical knowledge, I started to build some low power radio gear. In September 1993, I experienced the real thrill of putting my first home brew transmitter on the air. (It was the VXO 6 Watter from "QRP Classics"). I had so much fun with the 20 meter rig, I built a second one for 30 meters. In 1997 I built a single conversion superhet receiver to accompany the 20 meter transmitter. On January 6, 1994, the old HT-37 and 2B entered the space age with a successful contact through the Russian ham radio satellite RS-12. I also used RS-10, keying an old 2 meter FM rig. In March 1995, I had what was almost certainly my most interesteing contacts: over a period of several months, I spoke directly to Astronaut Norm Thagard on 2 meter FM; Norm was operating from the MIR Space Station.

In July 1996 my tour in the Dominican Republic ended and I moved the station 1000 miles north. Iwas N2CQR/4 from 1996 until September 2000. During this time two hamshack assistants were born.

In September 2000 we moved 2600 miles east to the beautiful island of Sao Miguel in the Azores. There I enjoyed working on homebrew 17 meter phone rigs, under the callsign CU2JL, and also worked with the International Space Station, and PC-SAT, a satellite built by midshipmen at Annapolis.

In August 2003 we moved to London where I became M0HBR (Home BrewRadio). In London I operated out of a small attic workshop/radio shack. While in London, Mike (KL7R) and I started the SolderSmoke podcast. The show now has a loyal worldwide audience of several thousand listeners.

In August 2007 we moved to Rome, Italy. There my homebrewing continued from a small shack in an apartment in Trastevere. I got into QRSS and WSPR (among other things). While in Rome I finished a book about ham radio: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics: It is available from Lulu.com

In July 2010 we returned to Northern Virginia. I have a nice hamshack. The old HT-37 and Drake 2-B combo is back on the air. Lately I've been building SSB transceivers based on the BITX design by Ashhar Farhan.   During 2014 master homebrewer Pete Juliano N6QW joined me in making the SolderSmoke podcast.

73    Bill MOHBR CU2JL N2CQR.


7721781 Last modified: 2016-11-26 17:48:31, 8159 bytes

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