Amplitude Modulation holds a fascination for me. It dates back to those hours spent as a teenager listening to the big broadcast-like amateur AM stations in the 1970s and 80s, on 160, 80 and 40 meters. Signals that seemed as wide and loud as medium wave commercial broadcast stations, bearing sonorous, paced voices that projected a wealth of wisdom and experience, and in many cases, a grandfatherly manner. Back then, AM was known as ‘The Gentleman’s Mode’.
I’ve included 630 meters in my 8 band Progressive Receiver project (still under development after 5 years, but that’s a future post!). Down the track I hope to hook up a shack computer for FT-8, WSPR or whatever weak signal digi mode they use down there. 630m is a playground for homebrew transmitters and receivers. For example, Dimitris VK1SV has some simple but impressive class E transmitters using the familiar IRF5xx switching FETs. You can get a lot of bang for your buck out of any transistor or FET operating at 470kHz. So including 630m in a homebrew receiver creates opportunities for future play.
Using metal can transistor radio IFTs as the tuned elements of a BPF is just such an obvious and neat idea for this band. A pack of four IFTs is available from Jaycar, three cans for the 455kHz IF and one (red) for the oscillator. VK1SV built a 630m filter with two, whereas Steph VK5ZSV went as far as five. My filter uses four, mainly because the white ones come 2 in a pack, so my investment was 2 packs (about $10). The video shows a band scan with the filter out, then in. Thanks to VK1SV and VK5ZVS for publishing their designs on their sites.
My journey of repairing and recycling anything I put my hands on that I believe is still useful. Not just hardware, but including software with relevant content and issues in the field of Cyber Security, Vulnerability Scanning and Penetration Testing.