Welcome to the KnightLite Technical Projects Page (with graphics)!

 One of the nice things about low-power radio is that the circuits need not be too complex to achieve good results. Therefore, many of us are interested in building some of our own radio gear. This page is devoted to recording some of the efforts of individual members in building kits or homebrew equipment. In addition, it will describe KnightLite Technical Projects that are being planned for the group. The latter will be initiated periodically by individual members, and all interested members are encouraged to participate. 

For our first contribution to this page, here is Todd, KB0HQU, telling about his experience with a kit, with typical enthusiasm. But as a little teaser, I first want to show you an Altoids box (thanks Gary, N3GO !! The picture is in .gif format.) Let's all get to it and build some of these fun (and cute) little rigs!

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Now here is Todd's story with much more specific info on this special little rig. I call it the 49er, because I'm a lazy typist, but it was originally called the 40-9er, to denote a 40m rig run on 9v!


Well, I gleefully ripped open an envelope 'o parts from Jim Cates Friday. 49'er parts! Sometimes I'm just lazy, and don't want to scrounge all the parts. I had ordered the board and partially populated it with the ones I did have from ye olde junqueboxe, but I didn't have the hard-to-find ones (seems like there always are those, and I bet that if you polled hams, we probably all lacked the SAME ONES).

Anyway, I had mentioned previously that I had acquired some Nuttall's "Curiously Strong" mints boxes while in the Gatwick airport in London. A British gent had posted some time ago about these mint boxes, and I had gotten the idea that these were the famous Altoids boxes. Perhaps they are the G-land equivalent. I had gotten confused because I could not find the word "Altoid" ANYWHERE on this box. It does say, "Despite their diminutive nature, one should not underestimate the ability of these small peppermints to refresh the palate" I think that it's wonderful to put a QRP rig in a box that is labelled "Curiously Strong", and when I see that little slogan, I think, "Despite its diminutive nature, one should not underestimate the ability of this small radio to make worldwide wireless contacts". I just get a kick out of that.

So, I put the little guy together this weekend, using the NorCal pcb (laziness again). BNC on the left, and on the right 1/8" phone jack (phones), RCA jack (power), and 3/32" jack (key). Drilled a hole in the top for tuning access (gasp), or one can operate with the lid open (bare nekkid, but that might not be legal in all states :-)

Just two more things. 40m apartment antenna (I have a grandiose scheme for a 4-turn vertical loop around the perimeter of our balcony, with tentative XYL approval. Novice crystal (and when will I get THAT?) [Yes, some of us are lowly Tech+'s who haven't yet "paid our operating dues" on HF - just been too busy getting the PhD thing out of the way; now it's time for life to begin again :-)]

Anyway, it looks nice. XYL says it looks like a phaser :-)




Another note of interest concerning planned projects: Bob, AE4IC, and Todd, KB0HQU, are both working on possible circuits for a group project. Todd works a lot with surface mount technology (SMT) in his job, so we may need to get those magnifying glasses and fine-tipped soldering irons out for his circuit!

More details to follow soon, on these other projects, but for now, here are the details on the 49er!


(1) All the diagrams and text from Doug Hendricks (KI6DS) of NorCal are copyrighted by him. He wants to encourage individuals to build these circuits, but any commercial applications MUST be cleared with him first!

(2) The artwork for the Rev. B board has been received from Doug Hendricks of NorCal, and will be placed here as soon as the web site manager can dig it out of his jumble (er, files!) and convert it into the proper format and linked to the page.

(3) Your Pagemeister is putting all this info here to encourage you to "roll your own", as the rig is no longer available from NorCal (the original source).

Parts list for the 49er follows, courtesy of Doug Hendricks, KI6DS, of NorCal.

All resistors are 1/4W 5%, all caps in pF are NPO disc ceramic, and the lead spacing on the electrolytics is .08. Here is the list with Mouser and Digikey Part Numbers.

        C1,C7   22pF NPO 141-100N5-022J Mouser
        C2,C6   9-50pF Trimcap 24AA024 Mouser
        C3,C8   .01uF Mono 21RZ410 Mouser
        C4,C17  270pF NPO 140-CD50S5-271J Mouser
        C5,C14   82pF NPO 141-100N5-082J Mouser
        C9      3.3uF/25V Elect. or Tant. 208-50V3.3 Mouser
        C10     .47uF Mono 581-470NJ63 Mouser
        C12     220uF/25V Elect. 208-25V220 Mouser
        C13     22uF/25V Elect. 208-50V22 Mouser
        C18     470pF NPO 140-CD50S-471J Mouser
        C20     150pF NPO 140-CD50N6151K Mouser
        D1,D2   1N4148
        R1      1K Trimpot 323-5000-1K Mouser
        R2      10 ohm
        R3      10M
        R4,R6   120 ohm
        R5      56K
        R7      10K
        RFC1,5  2.2uH 43LS226 Mouser
        RFC2    82mH (Note that is correct, mH!!) 434-02-823J Mouser
        RFC3    1mH 43LS103 Mouser
        RFC4,6  15uH 43LS155 Mouser
        Q1      J309 or J310 or 2N5484 Newark Electronics
        Q2      2N3904
        Q3      2N3866 or 2SC799 or 2N3553 Mouser
        U1      NE602AN HSC Electronics 1-800-442-5833
        U2      LM380-N Digikey
        U3      78L05 333-78L05AP Mouser
        XTAL    7.040 available from HSC for $2.95 each.

There you have it. Now for those of you who missed the first posting of the 49er, it is a simple 40 meter transceiver with QSK, VXO that covers 5 kHz, DC receiver, and fits inside an Altoids or Sucrets box. It runs on 9 or 12 volts, your choice. Boards are available from NorCal, Jim Cates, 3241 Eastwood Rd., Sacramento, CA 95821. Cost is $5.00 postpaid. Clubs and groups can buy 10 or more boards for $4 each. The entire artice is being published in both the March issue of QRPp and the April issue of QRP Quarterly. If you positively can't wait, send a business sized S.A.S.E to me and $1 and I will send you a copy of the article. The 49er circuit was designed by Wayne Burdick, N6KR and the circuit board layout was done by me, KI6DS. Far Circuits did the boards, and they are single sided, not plated through, not solder masked, and do have a silkscreen of the parts layout. The rig works really well, the first signal that I copied was K5FO in Dallas running .95 Watts!! Hope this helps. 72, Doug


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