Ever Heard Of Heathkit’s SS-8000 Digital Transceiver? …. Me Neither!


courtesy N8RS

The Heathkit SS-8000 was a unique synthesized HF transceiver (160-10m) originally designed as a kit in 1978. The reason that very few hams have heard of it is that it was never released … and only three were ever prototyped!

Robert Sumption, N8RS, is an ex-Heathkit engineer who worked on the project back in the late 70s. He recalls that after evaluating the project, it was deemed too complicated to be offered as a kit, since once built, most builders would not have the test equipment needed to align it properly. Consequently all three units were dissembled and sent to a local scrapyard!
 
Fast forward to 2015 when Bob came across all of the boxes of ‘scrap’ that someone had rescued from the scrapyard back in the day and the entire pile was now selling on eBay.
 
Would the SS-8000 live to meet it’s intended destiny? Bob describes this very challenging project in his six 5-minute videos.
 
Part 1:

 
Part 2:

 
Part 3:

 
Part 4:

 
Part 5:

 
Part 6:



I hope you find the videos as interesting as I did. It seems that Bob has some terrific skills and a lot of patience!

Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

Ever Heard Of Heathkit’s SS-8000 Digital Transceiver? …. Me Neither!


courtesy N8RS

The Heathkit SS-8000 was a unique synthesized HF transceiver (160-10m) originally designed as a kit in 1978. The reason that very few hams have heard of it is that it was never released … and only three were ever prototyped!

Robert Sumption, N8RS, is an ex-Heathkit engineer who worked on the project back in the late 70s. He recalls that after evaluating the project, it was deemed too complicated to be offered as a kit, since once built, most builders would not have the test equipment needed to align it properly. Consequently all three units were dissembled and sent to a local scrapyard!
 
Fast forward to 2015 when Bob came across all of the boxes of ‘scrap’ that someone had rescued from the scrapyard back in the day and the entire pile was now selling on eBay.
 
Would the SS-8000 live to meet it’s intended destiny? Bob describes this very challenging project in his six 5-minute videos.
 
Part 1:

 
Part 2:

 
Part 3:

 
Part 4:

 
Part 5:

 
Part 6:



I hope you find the videos as interesting as I did. It seems that Bob has some terrific skills and a lot of patience!

Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

For those Icom 7610 owners a different way to work split.

 

Fixed mode with 20kHz span

 

I have had my Icom 7610 for several years now and am still very much enjoying it. From time to time I enjoy working DXpeditions and having Dual receivers and dual spectrum scopes with the Icom 7610  is very handy. The spectrum scope has 2 tuning options which are fixed and center modes. It could just be me but I find center mode hard to follow were as fixed mode seems very easy to follow. When you come across a station that is working split more often than not it’s because there is a large pileup and it’s more efficient to work split. For those readers who are not certain what split operation is this LINK explains it better than I can. 


During split operation especially with a very rare DX station, there are LOTS of operators trying to contact the prized DX station. For this reason on the DX’s listening frequency, there are many ops trying to make contact. When you as an operator want to get involved and try to contact the DX station you have to drop yourself in the pool of stations calling the DX station.
The trick is where to set your VFO dial to have a chance to be heard by the DX station. In most cases, the DX station has a routine to move up or down his listening frequency which is your transmit frequency. One must listen and watch the waterfall to see who the DX station is answering call after call. You can then get the idea if he is moving up or down his listening frequency and by how much. 


As I said there could be lots of callers and this translates to a very crowded waterfall display. To find out where to drop your call one must have a closer look at the waterfall. When this is done you can get some separation between the calling stations. Thus allowing you to better see who the DX station is answering. Then you have a good idea when and where to drop your call and hopefully be heard.
As I said the center mode I find very confusing and when I use it in split mode and spin the VFO I am just lost as to who is where and for this reason I use fixed mode. 


As a side note: In center mode when you spin the VFO the signals on the waterfall move and the VFO marker remains stationary. In center mode when the VFO is changed the waterfall signals remain stationary and the VFO marker moves to the next signal.


As was said earlier it is best to have a closer look at the waterfall to see the action. In fixed mode, the smallest slice of the band you can have is 20khz. When operating CW as I do this for me is not enough for a very crowded calling group. In center mode, you can get a slice all the way down to +/- 2.5kHz or +/- 5kHz. For me, these are great options and with CW I generally would choose +/-2.5kHz but the rig has to be in center mode and that just does not work for me.
I have found a workaround so I can use the center mode, select +/-2.5kHz and still have the moving VFO B marker and not a moving waterfall! Below are the setup steps I take to make this happen.

In fixed mode, I find the DX station with VFO A

I then press the Dual-W button

Then press and hold Dual-W button to get the settings for VFO B the same as VFO A


I then press the split button

I press the Dual soft key my scope becomes over-under as this is how it is setup. You can see the dual scope view in the post pictures.

I change both scopes to center mode if not there already.

I now set the span to the same on each lower and upper scope in my case it is +/-2.5kHz I then touch VFO B frequency readout on the upper band scope (to activate VFO B)

Now in the upper band scope, VFO A remains stationary on the DX station. VFO B (in the upper band scope) now moves when the VFO dial is turned. The VFO marker moves (like fixed mode) and the band signals remain stationary.


The lower scope is still there but I don’t pay any attention to it. I found if I did not stay in dual scope mode I would lose the CENTER mode for VFO A and FIXED mode for VFO B. 

5+/-kHz in center mode but VFO acts like fixed mode


Now with all this said I just know there is going to be a comment that informs me I can press 2 simple buttons on the rig and get the same results. I seem to always take the long way around with things. I have added some screen pics of how the waterfall looks when in 20kHz, +/-5kHz and +/-2.5kHz span during a DXpedition. As you can see when in +/-2.5kHz mode the calling station are easy to see compared to fix 20kHz and +/-5kHz selections. But best of all I have fixed mode operation of VFO B with these small spans. 

+/-2.5kHz span view of pile up calling DX station

 

 

 

 

 


Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

AmateurLogic 175: Oh The Humanity


AmateurLogic.TV Episode 175 is now available for download.

Kay Savitz, K6KJN joins us to discuss the Internet archive.org special project that’s creating a huge online arena of Ham Radio resources. Learn what’s available and how you can enjoy it for years to come.
Tommy updates us on the latest version of the VC4SL battery charger. Emile’s got the scoop on Pi-Star’s Brandmeister DMR API update. Plus a short tribute to our good friend and a truly great Ham, Andy Anderson, AA0WX.

Download
YouTube


George Thomas, W5JDX, is co-host of AmateurLogic.TV, an original amateur radio video program hosted by George Thomas (W5JDX), Tommy Martin (N5ZNO), Peter Berrett (VK3PB), and Emile Diodene (KE5QKR). Contact him at [email protected].

Amateur Radio Weekly – Issue 261

Amateur Radio Weekly

DLARC comes online
Digital Library of Amateur Radio and Communications now available with first batch of collections.
Internet Archive

[Podcast] Deep dive into the M17 Project
M17 is developing a new digital radio protocol for data and voice that is open source.
Linux in the Ham Shack

The decline and fall of RaDAR
Participants set up a station, make 5 contacts, then tear down and move on.
Ham Radio Outside the Box

Simplifying antenna tuning with a manual tuner and a nano VNA on location
Something I have always hated doing is the whole tuning operation and transmitting while I did it.
WK4DS

QRZ Jumpstart Program gives away 2,000 radios
QRZ places a brand new radio into the hands of any person who has been licensed within the past 30 days.
QRZ.com

Measuring height with atmospheric pressure
We’re going to play around with the atmosphere around us, and do a little bit of math, to create a pressure sensor-based height measuring tool.
SparkFun

Radio manual archive
An archive of user manuals, service manuals, and schematics for hundreds of Amateur Radios.
QRZCQ.com

BBC broadcast tech: then and now
We look at the BBC’s pivotal role in making the broadcast and radio technology field what it is today.
Engineering and Technology

Special event station AU2JCB
A special event to commemorate the father of wireless communication, Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose.
AU2JCB

Time to make a choke balun
These devices are present to control common mode currents.
VE9KK

Video

10m FM QSO mobile: Florida <> Vermont
Conditions on 10m were fantastic this morning.
AE5X

The giant Collins HF discone antenna at the Titan Missile Museum
An amazing place and a unique and equally amazing antenna that you can use.
YouTube

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Amateur Radio Weekly is curated by Cale Mooth K4HCK. Sign up free to receive ham radio's most relevant news, projects, technology and events by e-mail each week at http://www.hamweekly.com.

LHS Episode #488: M17 Deep Dive 2

Hello and welcome to the 488th edition of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts interview Ed, N2XDD, and Steve, KC1AWV, of the M17 project. We last had them on the show in March of 2021. Today, we discuss the M17 project, what's new, what's old and what's happening. Thank you for tuning in and we hope you have a great week.

73 de The LHS Crew


Russ Woodman, K5TUX, co-hosts the Linux in the Ham Shack podcast which is available for download in both MP3 and OGG audio format. Contact him at [email protected].

ICQ Podcast Episode 389 – UK Hamfest Part 2

In this episode, we join Martin Butler M1MRB,  Dan Romanchik KB6NU, Caryn Eve Murray KD2GUT, Edmund Spicer M0MNG and Ed Durrant DD5LP to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin Butler (M6BOY) rounds up the news in brief and in the episode's feature is Part two of our Hamfest Round-up

We would like to thank our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit - http://www.icqpodcast.com/donate

  • Amateur Radio Club Members Assist Law Enforcement
  • RSGB Construction Competition
  • Ham Radio’s News Information Channels Shrink By Two
  • Got a Problem? Ask a Ham!
  • If China declares war, These Ham Radio Enthusiasts Could be Crucial
  • RSGB AGM 2023
  • RSGB Morse Test Coordinator Appointed
  • FoxTelem Version 1.12 Released

Colin Butler, M6BOY, is the host of the ICQ Podcast, a weekly radio show about Amateur Radio. Contact him at [email protected].

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