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“Kitchen Sink” Radio. Ham radio fun without complexity Roger G3XBM Tonight. My approach Homebrew techniques Ideas for homebrew fun Useful links Good kits Good value commercial rigs. My Ethos. Modest power Simple equipment Simple antennas Small is beautiful

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“Kitchen Sink” Radio

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kitchen sink radio

“Kitchen Sink” Radio

Ham radio fun without complexity

Roger G3XBM

  • My approach
  • Homebrew techniques
  • Ideas for homebrew fun
  • Useful links
  • Good kits
  • Good value commercial rigs
my ethos
My Ethos
  • Modest power
  • Simple equipment
  • Simple antennas
  • Small is beautiful
  • Simplicity is elegance
  • Don’t waste money
homebrew approach
Homebrew Approach

Bursts of energy – long gaps without building much

  • Go for projects that will get finished
  • PCBs not required for “one offs”
  • Projects that don’t need lots of test gear.
  • Go for good kits
  • Hasn’t got to be amateur radio related.
  • Use the gear you make/own.
components choice
Components Choice
  • Ugly construction
  • Discrete parts
  • VXO/crystal controlled
  • Standardise on parts: 2N3904/6, MPF102, T50-2, T50-6, 0.1u, 10u, 1k, 10k etc
  • Re-use parts
  • Recycle boxes
the humble crystal set
The Humble Crystal Set
  • Simplest radios to get going
  • Possible to hear real BC DX on HF
  • More to them than you might think
  • Amateur band DX reception possible
  • -55dBm
40m regen receiver
40m Regen Receiver

9 parts, works well

CW/SSB, -100dBm

single fet transceiver
Single FET transceiver
  • Sensitive, stable, non-fiddly, regen RX
  • 1 active device
  • Stable, crystal controlled, TX
  • 14 parts !
micro 80
Micro 80

4 transistor HF transceiver

PA is the mixer


250mW HF transceiver

PA is the mixer

Breakthrough problems

oxo hf qrp transmitter
OXO HF QRP Transmitter

Any HF band, 1W, VXO controlled

kit ten 10m cw transceiver
Kitten 10m CW transceiver

Pipit derived cct.

0.5W RF out

0.5uV sens.

Full break-in

25kHz VXO

5 transistors

homebase 10 antenna
Homebase 10 Antenna
  • Simple horizontal halo for 28MHz
  • Low cost, easy to build and tune up
  • Works well
70cms moxon antenna
70cms Moxon Antenna
  • Made in 30 mins from a metal coat hanger !
  • 3-4dB forward gain
  • 100 degree -3dB points
  • Best DX 327kms with 5W
earth mode communications
Earth Mode Communications
  • Communicating at <10kHz through the ground
  • Use audio power amps and ground rods
  • Ranges 0-10kms (typically <1km)
  • PC based RX/filters & QRSS for greater range
useful simple links
Useful “Simple” Links


  • GQRP club
  • Rick Anderson
  • JF1OZL
  • Harry Lythall
  • Gollum’s Xtal RX
  • Hans Summers
  • N4DKD
  • G3XBM


  • Elecraft
  • Small Wonder
  • Hendricks QRP
some good kits
Some Good Kits
  • MFJ Cub
  • Elecraft T1 ATU
  • Elecraft K1, K2 and K3
  • Hendricks kits
  • SoftRock RX
mfj cub
  • 15m 1W QRP CW
  • 8000kms DX with a dipole
  • Easy 3-4 hour build
  • Decent superhet RX
elecraft t1 auto atu
Elecraft T1 Auto-ATU
  • Matches 160-6m
  • Instant retune when band changing FT817
  • No-hands retune from 80-10m
  • 6hrs build
elecraft k1 4 band cw transceiver
Elecraft K1 4 band CW Transceiver
  • Excellent kit in the Heathkit style
  • 5W on 40, 30, 20,15m
  • Narrow CW filters
  • Keyer + memory modes
  • Auto-ATU
  • Works well
elecraft k2
Elecraft K2

“The best kit in the world producing a first class HF transceiver”

K3 now available

future projects
Future projects
  • 500kHz QRP TX
  • 10m QRP DSB transceiver
  • Improved single FET transceiver
  • A DSB Fredbox
  • Earthmode comms tests with QRSS
the g3xbm shack
The G3XBM Shack
  • Fits in corner of spare bedroom
  • Homebrew rigs plus FT817 and IC703
  • “Lab” in back of the garage
  • Simply the best HF/VHF rig for the price
  • Worked 4 continents on SSB handheld!
miracle whip
Miracle Whip
  • Auto-transformer matched 1.5m whip
  • With counterpoise is just 2 S-points (12dB) down on a decent vertical
  • DX 11000kms from the bedroom table with 5W SSB!
  • First class QRP radio
  • 0.5 - 10W 160-6m
  • Speech processor
  • Auto ATU
  • DSP filters

Build something simple this weekend!

  • Nice to own a few commercial rigs
  • DXCC with QRP SSB and CW possible with simple antennas (even handheld)
  • Operate – use the bands
  • Call CQ
  • Diversify
  • Have fun!