Revisiting the 50-MHz Transverter

I recently resurrected the 50-MHz transverter project and have made good headway getting it working.  On Friday night, I began the process of tapping holes in the PA module heat spreader.  But, despite using plenty of “cutting fluid” (3-in-1 oil), I managed to break a (well-used) tap on the first hole.  Since the maximum (linear) power out of the driver stage is 200 mW, I embraced my inner QRPer and put the PA project aside to give the transverter a try in the CQ WW VHF contest.

The 6-meter Yagi had come down in favor of Yagis for 222 and 432 when the loaner FT-736R showed up.  So, I scampered up onto the roof and moved Yagis around.  I had hoped that this moment would be accompanied by changing out RG-8 coax for LMR-600 and LDF4-50A that are taking up space in the shop and shack.  But, I was not ready to commit to cutting that and I still don’t have LMR-600UF for the rotator loops.  Plus, I should replace the rotator at the same time.  That amounted to too much work for the available time.  I really just need to bite the bullet and install a rotating mast for the VHF antennas that’s not so precarious.

Got everything hooked up late on Saturday afternoon, but had to tend to some domestic concerns and was QRT until later in the evening when I heard my neighbor W4EE calling CQ on six SSB.  Did not know that he had six!  Apparently, this is a new thing for him, too.  He was surprised that I didn’t vibrate his radio off the desk like I usually do!  Told him I was running 200 mW and everything made sense.

Ended up working a few other locals on Sunday including N3UM, who moved me from 6-meter CW to 2-meter SSB for a quick chat.  He just completed the N1DPM active bias mod to his Mirage B2518G, so was eager for an audio report.  Sounds good!  He said my B3016G sounded good on-frequency, but I haven’t gotten the mod actually inserted into mine yet.  Probably that Kenwood (TS-700S) audio making up for the amp’s inferiority…

Eventually, I will be posting more details on the circuit here.  This is one of those projects that I would not encourage anyone to duplicate as I have constructed it.  However, there may be useful features.

Ethan Miller, K8GU, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Maryland, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

3 Responses to “Revisiting the 50-MHz Transverter”

  • PRESTON:

    Is 2 meter ssb done much anymore I am a fairly new ham or is done more in Europe

  • k8gu:

    2-meter SSB is quite common in parts of the US, although I believe that the Europeans do have more activity as you note. The central and mountain parts of the country have a bit less activity, unless you are near one of the big metro areas. Most of the activity is in contests and during band openings (when somebody manages to find one). There are a few nets that meet regularly (daily or weekly). If you have one of the HF/VHF radios, it’s not too difficult or expensive to assemble a small Yagi fed with low-loss coax to give it a try. Antenna/feeder and location make considerable difference.

  • KD8BTQ Ralph:

    I am also a fairly new Ham living in a 55+ community where ham antennas are taboo So 2M is very interesting Small antennas I tell them they are new Digital TV antennas. I’ve been playing with an old Yaesu 225RD (mini-tank)design 2M all mode. Using a sq loop ant. @ 20 ft Tell me what you think 73s —Ralph

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