WAØITP Cricket Operating Tips
Some importantnew info has surfaced about operating the cricket, so I thought I'dupdate my notes . The original post is below, so this post will be a condensed version, but with all of the info so far.
*1.* Crystals for different frequencies: */Don't/* use the */shor/**/t /*crystals. HC49U is the recommended size, not HC49US. The short crystals have too much internal resistance for this circuit, per the designer, NMØS.
*2.* Install machined pin or SIPP sockets at the crystallocation to facilitate changing freqs, and at Q1 and Q2 if you like to experiment.
*3.* Determine your offset frequency and listen for that tone after calling CQ. (see comments below)
4. 9 volt batteries last a surprisingly long time.
*5.* If you choose to use 12 volts for convenience, change R6 to 150k-220kohms (per Dave), otherwise Q2 will become hot and probably fail, with little increase in poweroutput.
*6.* Sendslower, 15wpm or so, helps being heardwith low power in a crowded band .
*7.* Listen for your tone (mine is ~440 cycles, see below)
*8.* Buildthe keyer adapter and useyour favorite keyer and paddle, unless you like using a straight key.
Hope this helps those using the Cricket, especially new hams.
Feel free to email me with any questions abt any of the above,
or if you have other hints. email@example.com
I love this radio stuff.
3560 crystals are readily available at ESShttp://www.expandedspectrumsystems.com/prod4.html
and also on Ebay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/80M-QRP-Ham-Radio-Crystals-HC49-S-4-pack-/282420358175?hash=item41c190ac1f:g:7JEAAOSw8vZXN-Ke I installed machined pin sockets on mine so can change xtals at will. I'll be trying 3560 soon.
I'm having great fun with my electroCricket, with over 20 Q's, of which 4are Cricket to Cricket QSOs. Along the way I've found that QSOs are indeed possible with a half watt on 80M, but one has to listen carefullyfor the frequency of the stations come back to you. Originally my beta build Cricket, had a very low tone on a received station wanting to work me (abt 350 cycles). Placing 10p acrossC15 (bottom of board) brought the offset up to 440 cycles, a distinct tone that is easily detected. Another great benefit of the 440 offset is that nearly all the digi signals are above the Cricket and the 440 tone slides right in underneath them. If the signal is too weak, nothing helps, but if its strong enough it's easily detectable.
A 9 volt battery will last a surprising long time, and the Cricket will still make power down to less built the keyer adapter and usethe EzKeyer III with the Cricket. Sending slower seems to garner more contacts than sending fast. IMHO the QRM and low power conspire to make the Cricket more difficult to hear. Slow sending seems to help overcome that.
I love this radio stuff.