Before gaining my radio amateur licence in 1987 I have long been a homebrewer of radio euqipment. Must have been a virus I aquainted from my father who built vacuum tube equipped radios, remote controls for ship models and other radio and electronics related stuff.
By the age of 8 or 9 I started to build simple radios for medium and short wave. I Listened to all the stations from all over the world. Later by accident I found some CBers in my 27 MHz diode receiver and since then I have been hooked to radio frequency communications.
First I started with a simple 2 transistor AM transmitter built on the board of my Philips Electronic experimental kit. For the receiver I used a regenerative rx made genuinely for rc models. My first QSO was down the street where an elderly CBer who called himself “Alpha 1” had his station. Distance must have been 500 meters or so but I was happy he could read me and we could talk via the radio. 😉
Later I built crystal controlled AM CB radios on Veroboards that had more power and was “on air” regularly with them. Always looking out of the window of our flat if there was radio detection car of the office for communication and wireless authorities ’round the corner. Guess what I did was not 100% legal, or to say more exactly, it was illegal. But who cares nowadays? 😉
When I was about 12 or 13 years old I got interested in “real” ham radio. I pulled tubes out of old radios and started to build short wave transmitters. EF80 was my favourite tube for oscillators, EL84 for the final. A nice circuit that time was a small QRP transmitter for AM equipped with 2 pentodes:
It worked pretty well. A friend of mine was able to receive my signals on 80 meters with a modified kitchen radio over a distance of about 10 kilometers. That was fun! 😉
Later I re-participated for some years in CB radio again with homemade AM rigs. I used and refined 27-MHz-remote control circuits that I modified for voice communication. I went away from working with tubes because rf-capable transistors were commonly available for reasonable prices. The schematics for the 27-MHz-RC-circuits had been widely published in literature that time (German authors e. g. Heinz Richter or Gerhard O. W. Fischer) because people were allowed to build their own remote controls for ships and aeroplanes under some limited conditions. My father did so, thus all the neccessary equipment was available in our home. He even owned an oscilloscope, an older Heathkit one.
Then I finally decided that CB might not be the right field for experimenting and constructing my own radio communications equipment. I made up my mind to learn morse code (which was mandatory in those times to achieve a short wave ham licence) and afterwards applied and passed the licence exam.
Nowadays I don’t use any commercial equipment except from a 2 meter FM radio. All my HF rigs are homemade. So my main interest in amateur radio is homebrewing SSB transceivers (gave up morse code decades ago, have to admit 😉 ), working with and programming microcontrollers, electronics of all kind. I really love to to construct gear that performs well and looks good. “Ugly construction” is not among my preferred techniques. 😉
In amateur radio I’m fascinated of making world wide communication with very little effort. The internet just can’t compete with that! 😉
Besides technical hobbies I also love sports, e. g. scuba diving, cycling, hiking and, in general, outdoor activities. My occupation: I’m a professional science teacher in secondary education.
This website is dedicated to electronics and amateur radio equipment. All material here is free to use for the amateur community. Site owner is:
Peter Rachow, DK7IH, Eisenbahnstr. 46, 76744 Woerth, Germany
peter.rachow (at) web.de
My other websites are:
http://peterrachow.scienceontheweb.net/ (More electronic stuff)
http://tauchen-peter-rachow.url.ph/ (Scuba diving)
http://peter-rachow.lima-city.de/ (Model railroading)
http://scubapete.net76.net/ (For Science teachers)