So I got excited and rather than waiting on all the bits from China i ordered to polish the crap out of this, I decided just to put it into service. I am still waiting for the right sized lower springs to arrive from China, these ones i cut out of ones i bought from Bunnnings (hardware store in VK) and they do not sit correct. But, the key works, its nice and smooth and even though its not polished to within an inch of its life, i am very happy with how this turned out. I learned a lot and if i do another one, I know i can make it better than this one by a long shot.
All the bits have finally arrived and I can get onto making a key. Not your average crap key made from a paper clip or a couple of bananas and a peg, but something that is going to be solid and last a lifetime. Well, as part of my plan to home brew an entire station from key to antenna and everything in between, I have taken a break from the receiver project while i wait on some parts and will focus on building a key for a while.
Parts are 100x10mm aluminum, 30x10mm aluminum, 10mm delrin, knurnled nuts M4, M4 threaded rod, M4 copper rivets and some spring-a-ma-things.
The plan is to made a not very pretty but very functional straight key. Its going to be no Begali or Kent even, but I think it should work ok.
So i have made a start on it and cut out the base plate, yes I using aluminum for the base and not wood, the 2 pivot blocks and what will eventually become the arm. I have hit an impasse tonight and cannot cut the arm out until morning when i can open the garage door and get access to the vice. Onward and upward.
Day 2: Its starting to take shape.
So much sanding. LOL. Yeah its probably going to take 10 hours of sanding to get things perfect.
And the sanding continues LOL
Its coming along nicely.
Added some random springs for a temporary test and it seems to work quite fine. Actually when i make it properly adjustable and put a knob on it, it should be a pretty good unit all round. Waiting on springs to come from china. So not much doing now for 3 weeks.
Putting the Doo back in Doohickey. I bought a new function gen, but this one is much fancier. Its like the licorice all sorts of function gens, does AM FM, PSK some things i have never heard of and well as Sin, Square, Triangles of various types and other kinds of squiggles. Seems to work well enough.
It was bound to happen eventually, anyone who buys parts off ebay gets stung and it was my turn. Looks like i got a packet of floor sweepings and rejects. Out of 120 xtals, 50% failed to even oscillate and the ones that did ranged in frequency from 11,996,000 to 11,999,600 with 4 being higher than 12mhz. Anyway, it is what it is and I will not be using that seller ever again and I will lodge for a refund. The 3 weeks wait has been the killer I wanted to get cracking on with filters for the receiver. ATM i do not have enough xtals the same frequency to even start. So, i just ordered some genuine parts from RS Components and will have them here within a couple of days and then I can move on.
That is the pile of dead or Q so poor that the amplitude of the sine wave was less than 1vpp compared to 4vpp on ones that were ok.
First IF amp and the Xtal filter is build. IF amp is perfect and works exactly as designed. The Xtal filter is a bit rough as you can see from the plots below. It needs to be a bit narrower, closer to 500hz would be nice. Its a bit ripply which is probably due to imperfect terminations and because the xtals are not very well matched, being more like + or – 300hz not 50hz. I have a better frequency counter and a couple hundred more xtals coming slow boat from China, so I should be able to improve things quite a lot when I can measure down to 10’s of hz.