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A Simple SSB Transceiver

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ANTENTOP- 01- 2004, # 005

A Simple SSB Transceiver




  Pass the twisted pair through one hole to the other side, bend the wire back and pass it back through the other hole (like a U turn). This is one turn, like this, make similar 10 turns.

   Cut out the remaining ends of the windings leaving about half an inch of the twisted pair on each end.

   Scrap the enamel off to about quarter inch, and tin the leads.

   Using a VOM at low ohms setting, identify the two separate windings of the twisted pair. If we call the two wires X and Y, each will have two ends A and B. This you will have four ends AX, BX, AY and BY. Short AX and BY together and use this as the center point of the transformer in the circuits. Use AY and BX as the two opposite ends of the transformers.


Making a trifilar transformer is similar, except that you have to use three wires twisted together. Separate out the three wires as before, use the first two as described above, and the third winding as the secondary.

IF sub-system


The crystal filter and its associated IF circuitry is shared between the receiver and transmitter. Although the crystals are inexpensive enough to be able to afford separate filters for the transmitter and the receiver, we noted that each filter would have a different center frequency. This would make zero-tuning difficult for SSB operation. Therefore, it was decided to share the same crystal filter, carrier oscillator and the VFO between transmit and receive functions.

 The crystal filter requires 200 ohms impedance matching at both ends to provide the correct bandwidth and low ripple. A regular practice among hams is to strap a resistor of approximately


the same value as the terminating filter impedance across the input and output ends of the filter. This is incorrect. This looks like a resistor that is paralleled with a reactive impedance of the rest of the circuitry attached to the filter. When the crystal filter is not properly terminated and sees reactive termination, ripple and ringing are introduced. This will spoil the crispness of the receiver and spoil your on-the-air quality.


The crystal filter is terminated on both sides by ‘strong’ RC coupled amplifiers based on 2N3866. This is slightly unusual. The 2N3866 is used mostly as a VHF power amplifier. It has excellent low-noise characteristics, good gain and using it as a small signal device is now an established practice. The 2N3866 is an expensive transistor. It costs about Rs.20 in the open market. We think it is a good investment.

 Using RC coupled broadband amplifiers makes the IF system a ‘no-tune’ affair. The output of the post-filter amplifier is coupled to a two diode mixer. The two-diode mixer uses a broadband bifilar wound transformer. It is next to impossible to get toroids in India. We have evaluated using TV baluns as substitutes for toroids. These baluns are available at most TV spare shops.


Most designs we have studied couple the RF input to the diode detector through the transformer and inject the BFO at the center of the transformer. This is a wrong practice. The diode mixer requires a minimum of 5mW of energy from the transformer input to operate properly. There should be enough energy to switch on both the diodes. This means about 1.2 v peak voltage. The received signals are rarely this level. As a result, the product detector operates like a regular envelope detector and the diodes act as distortion devices to mix the BFO with the signal. The correct configuration is to inject the BFO across the transformer

 An unusual approach is taken here. The IF amplification gain is just enough to maintain good noise figure and recover the losses in the ladder filter. We measured almost 10 dB loss in the filter.

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August 7, 2016 20:30

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