Saturday, February 03, 2007

Home brew electronics

When I was young I used to build simple electronics circuits. Then I got a job as a technician, wielding a soldering iron every day. That killed the hobby for a long time.

The fabulous Wyong Field day draws closer and each year at this time I get interested in radio and electronics again. While reading all the wireless news I stumbled across a local home brew group who have a contest to build an 80m AM transmitter. Great idea, pity it has to be at least 20W, that's a bit much for me.

To see if I am capable of building something that makes RF, I thought I'd start really small and build a 4MHz crystal oscillator from a circuit here. Spent the $7 to get the bits, but how to construct the thing?

My old mate Ralph builds lots of RF gear and he showed me a technique where you take printed circuit board and use a Dremel or similar electric grinding tool to cut insulating tracks in the copper. Then you solder the components across the tracks on the copper side. Did that, it worked!

Update: It turns out this technique is one variant of Ugly Construction.

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