Gadget of the past? HAM SWL radio station!
In most cases we write posts about unique designs and ides, which are useful for advanced level HAM SWL radios, e.g., this or that posts on software defined radio (SDR) technology. But what about the beginners? Well this post is for them! Ready, steady, HAM SWL Radio!
Some weeks ago I was surfing the internet looking for some new ideas for a special issue of Quadrus SDR. It was easy to find a creative idea for my problem, and to prove to my family that HF broadcasting is alive. We can access high quality radio service there based on new, digital operation mode (i.e., DRM), which has a very useful community for SDR fans. When I started to deal with HAM SWL radio, there were no opportunities such as the internet. It was ooch… 35+ years ago. We – the members of the community – talked to each other only using the radio at the club station or using our self-made radios at home, but it was an amazing experience that I never forget. I had my own HAM radio station at home – built with my own hands from scratch – with CW capability for the 80m ham radio band. Lovely, isn’t it? (and I was 17 years old when I made this…)
I have two sons. They are not interested in making, but they are professional in using gadgets. Like every teenager nowadays. Maybe my father said the same thing about my HAM radio equipment. Gadget.
Do or do not, there is no try
So, what about beginners? I found a very good post about how to start this kind of a hobby. Hobby? No! This is a way of life. I could not summarize this better then Gregory L. Charvat:
“The only way to get started is to build something. Start small, check out the QRP community, try making a single-conversion receiver, and move up to something with a crystal IF filter. Borrow and scale circuits from books such as these:
- ARRL Handbook
- Solid State Design for the Radio Amateur
- Secrets of RF Circuit Design
- RF Circuit Design
- Communications Receivers
- QST magazine
- QEX magazine
Or leverage complete ICs and modules like those from Mini-Circuits. There is nothing like making that first long distance contact (DX) on radio gear you created from scratch.”
You can read the whole article on Hackaday.
But if you are more of a computer geek, you can switch to software implemented radio and start with less complex and less expensive SDRs or a professional one like Quadrus SDR from our webshop. Even I experienced that old fashioned radio moment Gregory mentioned above, when I first received a DRM station from Mubay, which was a very nice feeling for my radio infected heart. You can see the report on this reception here in the Quadrus SDR blog:
Further reading on DRM, the new digital HF broadcast technology:
And don’t forget to share your success stories or questions regarding SDR issues with us on our Facebook page, Twitter page, or G+ community page. Be social; whatever is your preferred platform, we are there !