Wednesday, August 14, 2013

SW+ 40 possible WSPR/QRSS mod

Regular readers of my blog will know that a PSK-Warbler could easily be modified into a 40m WSPR transceiver. I believe that Dave K1SWL even mentioned this mod during his talk at the FDIM-QRP-Convention.
Very unfortunately, the Warbler has been retired later that year. It seems the days for easy 40m transceivers are over.

However, there is hope, the 40m SW+.

The trx employs a 4MHz crystal filter for reception, since the SW+ is a superhet A1A transceiver, there is no if-filter in the tx-train.
The transmitter consists of the VFO, and up-converter (NE612), a link-filter, linear buffer and driver and a class-C power amplifier.

This is what I see, could be done to the rig... please grab a circuit diagram (can be found on K1SWL's homepage).




Concept


We want to have zero-beat at 7038.6kHz. So the sum of intermediate frequency and local oscillator should end up there. With the 4MHz intermediate frequency the kits comes with, we would need a frequency source of either 3038.6kHz or 11038.6kHz. Both are somewhat hard to reach on standard crystals.
Now, lets have a look what get's us close...
Lets check out the options:
  1. 5.000 + 2.048 = 7.048
  2. 5.200 + 1.843 = 7.043
Option one will require penning down the 2.048MHz crystal, however would open the option of using a 2.000MHz crystal for the lower band edge QRSS range. Additionally, a 2MHz ceramic resonator oscillator would enable operation in the regular CW portion of the 40m band.
Option two would probably work by just severely pulling of a 1.843MHz crystal.



VFO


This is were the mod begins. The VFO should be skipped; an external xo will be doing this job. Having the local oscillator external will provide some advantages for QRSS operations. First of all, temperature stabilization should be applied. Secondly, one may consider switching between several crystals.
Most importantly, an extra 7dBm output should be added for a transmit DSB modulator.


BFO

In a side-band transceiver, an offset between the BFO and the up-converter is not wanted. In a CW transceiver, one wishes to have an offset of about 800Hz between RX and TX. Since the SW+ is a CW transceiver, we would like to get rid of the off-set. The easiest way of doing this would be to buffer and feed the BFO into the up-converter.


Receiver

The receiver is pretty much were we would like to have it. All crystals should be changed according to the mod you would like to perform.


Transmitter

This is were the choice of option will become important. Buffer and driver look just fine, however, it is definitely required to convert the PA from class C into class AB for linearity. It might be easiest to just design a linear PA, potentially external, and feed the buffer into it. Another option would be to merge designs. Genesisradio.com.au once sold a qrp-transmitter kit, the Q5, which was equipped with a 500mW class A linear PA. The PA design itself genesisradio took from their SDR-TRX.

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