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RE: AO40 user population

>         Yup, old money is always a problem. But, I 
> respectfully submit,
> there are ways around it: FWIW, here's some food for thought: 
> If you work
> me work on any VHF/UHF band, chances are I will be using a 
> pair of late
> 1960's Drake R4B/T4XB as the IF section. Vacuum tubes. 
> Disable the screen
> voltage on the T4XB finals so it can't transmit, tap off the 
> driver tube
> plate circuit with a small cap and it makes a fine 10mW 10M 
> exciter. Those
> drive homebrew transverters, consisting mostly of MMIC's and 

Neat. :-)  I'd need to find something more portable though (anyone got a
290R with stuffed finals, or only TX or only RX working? :) ).  Space,
weight and portability (including the power source) are high on my list of
importance. :)

> $3 balanced
> mixer modules. Sometimes several transverters in a row; i.e. 
> 10M to 2M or
> 70cm, then that to whatever. Background hiss can be pretty 
> strong (I built
> a W9GR version 2 filter to save my ears. Got it dirt cheap 

I was starting along those lines, I have a 10m-2m transverter and  2m-70cm
transverter that I picked up at a hamfest.  I also have a decent (if bulky)
HF rig, plus 10m portable and 2m portable (both QRP) that would make useful
IFs.  Something happened to the 70cm transverter and I'm not getting any
decent power out, so I'll have to investigate that hitch... :(

> since it was
> long obsolete. Highly recommended). My audio isn't the best 
> (as one clown
> has seen fit to tell me in detail), my L-band transmit 
> converter used to do
> some mean FM'ing (I fixed it), I don't have Doppler correction or

Sounds like my drifting transverters! :-)

>         The point here is simply that they are many ways to 
> do things. I
> have no formal training in electronics (mechanical engineer), but it
> interests me deeply. I find homebrew to be wonderfully 
> rewarding. Sure, I
> have a whole closet full of things that didn't work. But a 
> lot of them did.
> And I learned something from every one of them.
>         Pardon my rambling. Have fun... and drive on!

Certainly some good ideas. :-)  Well, I will get there, just that it will
take a while.  And I had grand plans of homebrewing some nice L/S gear,
until this thing called IRLP came along and took my time and money. :-)

As to why IRLP got in ahead of satellites?  Simple, it has the potential to
catch the attention of non hams, who might get curious and then study for
their ticket. :-)  My own satellite adventures can wait. :-)

Not that satellites don't fire the imagination up either, but the things
that turn heads are those that do a lot with little gear on the ground (I
guess working a LEO on a HT does have shades of Star Trek.. Beam me up
Scotty! :) ).

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