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Well, I checked out the cricket today with my very old Heathkit RF generator. With the output from the generator turned down as low as it will go (I have no idea how low that is!) I can hear the signal ever so quietly in the headphones. Clearly all the stages are functioning. If there is a problem, it must be in the audio amplifier ic stage as clearly the mixer is working and there isn’t anything except the resistor between that and the amplifier. And that resistor and surrounding capacitors are correct, as is the 47k resistor which I’m guessing sets the gain of the amplifier. I’m beginning to think there may not be a problem, just no signals on my frequency. So I’ll get a few more crystals and play some more!
4SQRP@groups.io [mailto:4SQRP@groups.io] On Behalf Of
Thursday, January 11, 2018 5:28 PMTo:
Re: [4SQRP] New Cricket Built-update
Thanks Jeff. That is the kind of feedback I need. I felt sure something wasn’t right but having no previous experience with it, hard to tell. I’ll find it eventually!
Have a good evening.
From: 4SQRP@groups.io [mailto:4SQRP@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jeff Peters
Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2018 12:46 PM
Subject: Re: [4SQRP] New Cricket Built-update
John, KC9ON offers 80 meter crystals on 3.550 and 3.560 MHz in the HC-49/s package. He also sells them on ebay as well.
Another very good place for 80 meter hc-49/u or 49/s crystals is Richard, N4ESS
Also, take a look at AF4K Crystals for 80 meter crystals. See; http://www.af4k.com/crystals.htm
Bry has all sorts crystals in many different sizes or packages. He has helped my find what I needed many times.
I use crystals from all three above in my Cricket and all work without issues.
My answer to hearing back round noise on your cricket question. I have used simple dollar store earbuds, or an 8 ohm mobile speaker.on mine.
I do hear back round static/band noise QRN and sometimes two or even three stations at once. During the day time here, I have a local
AM station transmitter site about a mile away. Yes, it overloads the Cricket, but as soon as they drop power for evenings I can hear stations very well.
My best heard dx would be W0ITT in MO, as well as N5JPX - MS and KD5ALD - LA. I live in Michigan. I would say my Cricket hears
just about equal to my FT-891 on the same antenna. My antenna is a shortened 20, 40, and 80 meter dipole up about 35 feet at the center and the
ends are 25 feet off the ground.
Well, I hope you find a solution to your lower noise or lower audio output. Overall, I really enjoy using my Cricket and hope you will also.
Wish, I could have been more help.
On Thu, Jan 11, 2018 at 8:08 AM, Martin <huyettmeh@...> wrote:
Thanks for your help. My battery is still good at 9+ volts.
My antenna is a tuned G5RV. I’ve played with it at different times of the day and night. No, I don’t have any other suitable crystals for 80m, just the 3.579+ that came with it. I’ve got a ton of 40m ones! I’ve stayed away from 80m DIY rigs in the past for some reason. 40 seems much more versatile. I’m thinking I’m expecting too much from this thing to hear background noise which is about S3 on my 817. The fact that I could hear my neighbor very clearly and about as loud as I would expect when he was putting 5 watts into a dummy load probably indicates all is well. I’ll have to get a couple more crystals.
I built the DC-40a from QRPkits back in 2008 and tend to want to compare this with that one. It is amazing in sensitivity. Of course it has a lot more parts too! 😊
I’m not unhappy, just trying to figure out what is “normal” for the Cricket!
Have a good day on the other side of the lake.
From: 4SQRP@groups.io [mailto:4SQRP@groups.io] On Behalf Of Jeffrey Peters
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 10:48 PM
Subject: Re: [4SQRP] New Cricket Built-update
I am just starting to catch up on your posts. What are you using for an antenna?
What time of day are you listening on your Cricket? Do you have another crystal
or crystals for use in your Cricket? You could then change frequencies and maybe
receive a CW net (3.560)or even W1AW during a code practice transmission.
That would give you a way to compare received signal strength between your Cricket
Just a thought, Jeff K9JP
On Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 10:02 PM, Martin <huyettmeh@...> wrote:
Well, I replaced Q4, adding a socket. Not sure it is different from previously. I called my neighbor about a block away and asked him to give me a call. We were able to QSO, him running about five watts. His signal was clear and clean. He said mine was too. He had to use his dummy load to keep the oscillator from blocking my actual signal out. We are only about 200 or so yards apart. But I still feel like it is not as sensitive as I would expect. Do others of you with a Cricket hear band noise? My other two rigs hear considerable band noise even without signals present.
Thanks for any observations.
After reading the documentation and looking at the schematic it seems clear the issue has to be either with Q4/circuit or U1. The sidetone seems to be completely separate from that signal flow. The Q4, receive mixer must be working as a strong signal (from my nearby FT817 can be heard, even if lightly). So perhaps I messed up U1 or its circuit. I did a cursory check of voltages and surrounding components and they seem correct. I’ll keep checking.
Good idea. I just checked that out. Same on both. By the way I have a good, loud sidetone in the phones when key down so I’m suspecting it is something in the RF section of the receiver. It’s possible, God forbid, that I got some of the small capacitors mixed up. I’ve got a magnifying lamp but it was very hard to read the stamped values on several of those. I tried to check them with my cap meter, but who knows. Need to study the schematic a bit to get the receive flow in my head and then start checking.
It is an elegant little transceiver. I’ve built a number of the 4SQRP kits offered over the years with very good success. The only one I had difficulties with previously was the power meter. I never did get it to work. I loved the NS-40, SS-40 and magic boxes! Fun to build and worked like a charm. Still have them. I added the VXO to the NS-40 but wasn’t too happy with the result. Need to lash them together again and blow out the dust!
From: 4SQRP@groups.io [mailto:4SQRP@groups.io] On Behalf Of Walter - K5EST
Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2018 10:28 PM
Subject: Re: [4SQRP] New Cricket Built
Hi Martin, just a thought, would you have a couple different ear buds/earphones to try out on the Cricket? Sometimes that makes a difference. All ear phones/buds are not created equal so my experiments have shown.
Glad to have you join in with the Cricket Nation.
On Jan 9, 2018 8:51 PM, "Martin" <huyettmeh@...> wrote:
I received my cricket in the mail today and finished building it about an hour ago. Nice project!
It puts out what sounds like a clean half watt at about 3.58mhz and hears a signal transmitted on my FT-817nd.
But when I put it on an antenna I don’t hear any noise at all. If I transmit on my 817 into a dummy load nearby, the cricket hears that. Admittedly there are no signals on the band at that frequency but I would expect to hear some general noise – I do in the 817. I’ll keep playing. Maybe its just a bad day for 80 meters!
Thanks to 4SQRP for a nice project.
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Not all of me will die - - - The good I do for others will live on forever. <><