Jeremy KC9BWK with his Scratch-Built Homebrew 80/20m Transceiver Logging QSOs!

This post is a combination of two the appeared at our club blog featuring Jeremy KC9BWK’s ultra-Steampunk 80/20 Scratch-Built Transceiver and some of his first QSOs! In the last picture the operating rig is ALL the parts in Yellow Lines!!

Congratulations Jeremy KC9BWK, you’re inspiring us all!




At our November 12th 2011 meeting Jeremy KC9BWK gave an outstanding presentation on his 80m & 20m SSB Transceiver Project.

Jeremy KC9BWK used several references and worked out his own design, with each module built up as a separate entity.

Some examples – like the 5 kHz oscillator module in the candy tin feature cut-trace circuit boards.

Others like the mixer module standing on edge in the center featured boards he etched himself.

Where appropriate or where revisions required it “dead bug” and mixed building techniques are used. These are amplifier modules built around parts taken from old computer supplies. The smaller outputs roughly 20 watts and the larger design 120 watts on 80m.

Much of the transmitter portion is built inside a shielding framework, again with a mix of cut-trace and dead-bug design.

Most of us never think how there are a series of functional modules in our radio. This is Jeremy KC9BWK’s transceiver with frequency counter & display, filters and most components.

Much of the inspiration for his design is based on an excellent web-book “Crystal Sets to Sideband” by Frank Harris, KØIYE, the latest version (#12) which is available as a PDF or for online reading at and also in a printed copy (it is 436 pages to print out) at—a-guide-to-building-an-amateur-radio-station/16249809 (I intend to order one at one of Lulu’s periodic sales).

Jeremy had to report that the current ARRL books were not very useful for this sort of work, though he did adapt one module’s design from an old ARRL Handbook. Compared to the Frank Harris K0IYE book he couldn’t recommend any of the main ARRL books.

Here is another view of the exciter portion of the transmitter.

Many of the controls have been remoted to allow eventual placement in a case.

The frequency counter uses a PIC chip, which Jeremy has offered to program member’s PICs if they want t build their own.

The modules mostly use coax with RCA plugs to interconnect.

Many parts are salvaged from old gear, with a handful of purpose bought components. Jeremy described how he mostly winds his own air-coil toroids rather than trying to wind on ferrite cores.

Many of the components are surface mount items!!

In general he does not drill his boards, preferring to solder leads to the face of the traces.

Here is a final shot of Jeremy KC9BWK showing off his handy work!

Well done Jeremy KC9BWK and thank you for sharing your inspirational project!


Steve K9ZW


Update on Jeremy’s Radio – even some DX in the first contacts logged!

Well done Jeremy!



Hi Steve K9ZW,

I just wanted to share the news — I made a couple contacts today on 20m!

#1 was KA3UNQ/P at the Drum Pt. lighthouse in MD, #2 was KB1KTF in West Hartford Ct.. I talked a little longer with KB1KTF, and he gave me a good report on audio and signal, so I was very happy! I got the final output up to 5 – 10 watts with a 12v supply and I was going to try 24v next to see if I could get the power up a bit more, but things seem to be working ok so far.

I am just relieved to finally make some contacts so that I can say that the transceiver DOES work! Until now I just thought it was probably working. Getting power output on 20m has been much more difficult than 80m; I made a few changes today that brought the output up a bit more, so I thought I would give it a try and to my amazement it worked.

After trying to make contact for quite a while on 80m it was a huge surprise to hear someone come back to me. I made another contact this evening — VEA6POP in Calgary and he gave me a 5/7 report. It must be a world of difference from the 80m band where I was fairly certain I was putting out more than 5x power than I am on 20m. Now I have to design a QSL card to send out.


Jeremy KC9BWK

Jeremy KC8BWK's Homebrew  SSB Transceiver

Jeremy KC8BWK's Homebrew SSB Transceiver (in Yellow Lines)

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2 thoughts on “Jeremy KC9BWK with his Scratch-Built Homebrew 80/20m Transceiver Logging QSOs!

  1. Paul Coats - AE5JU says:

    Fantastic work here, Jeremy! And here I though hams didn’t do this anymore, roll their on. 99% of the home brew items I see are very simple accessories, perhaps an antenna tuner from scrap parts, or a digital interface. But this… wow! Impressive!

  2. Jeff says:

    Nice job Jeremy!

    It’s always reassuring to find out that there are those among us who can craft something out of practically nothing if they wanted to or, heaven forbid, if it were to become necessary!

    Hand craftsmanship transcends modern technology and it remains an enduring human accomplishment.


    73 de Jeff, KE9V

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