For the second time since I’ve been active on CW (about 18 months) I had a QSO today with a station who revealed that he was receiving me on a regenerative receiver. This was a first in a way, because the last time was with W7QQQ whose regen receiver uses a tube. KD7KAR’s receiver uses an MPF102, so this represented the first time I’ve been in QSO with a station that was using a solid state regen receiver to receive my CW sigs.
As a teenager in England, and eager reader of RadCom (the RSGB publication) and Practical Wireless, I remember seeing circuits of simple regenerative receivers employing FET’s and wondering how they performed on the ham bands. I did own a one tube shortwave regen receiver when I was about 16 or 17 called the HAC (short for “Heard All Continents”). I used it a few times to listen to amateurs but didn’t think of it as a serious receiver for amateur work. The tuning was a bit coarse, so that didn’t help. I know that regens were very popular with hams before the onset of the superhet but find it interesting that they can still be used effectively today.
They certainly are effective. Rob KD7KAR gave my 5 watt signal a 579. My 5 watts traveled 400 miles and were detected by his MPF102 regen receiver. It was a design by Doug De Maw W1FB. Pretty impressive. He was also using a 10 watt (also homebrew) crystal controlled transmitter, which was crystalled up for 7030KHz. He did comment that being rockbound was a bit limiting, but if you’re going to be rockbound on 40M, 7030 is a good place to be. I have full VFO control and still spend much of my time on 7030 anyway. One thing about regens – Rob said that he has to tune it with a broomstick handle! For anyone who has not used a regen receiver, they can be very sensitive to hand-capacitance effects.
Wish I had a picture of Rob’s set-up to post here. Perhaps if Rob sees this post he’ll be able to help out.
Every QSO is different. Some are memorable because of the distance, or the rarity of the location contacted, others are memorable for the quality of the conversation or some other type of human interest. This QSO fell into the latter category. Also, every QSO I’ve been having recently makes me think of how much more fun it will be when I’m beta testing the new CC-40 transceiver from etherkit and can report to the other station that I’m running a yet-to-be-released brand new QRP TX/RX for 40M. It’s going to be fun having the CC-40 PCB sitting on the bench in QSO:
“Rig hr is CC40 BT Pwr 2W 2W to inverted vee at 47ft”.
Brilliant. Can’t wait.
Thanks for the QSO KD7KAR – and loved hearing about your home-brew station!