When I first began my ham radio career some seven years ago, I was immediately drawn to kit building. One of the first kits that I discovered was the 1Watter, offered by Kits and Parts. I held off too long on getting that particular kit because of the small SMD parts and the lack of a frequency readout. I feared that I would get in over my head and have wasted money on a kit that I couldn’t build. Fast forward to 2022 and this kit is retired.
Nowadays, the 5Watter by W8DIZ has picked up where the 1Watter left off. This transceiver is offered in several bands (17, 20, 30, 40) and I decided to pick one up for 17 meters since I have never built a radio for that band before. Also, solar cycle 25 is heating up and I want to take full advantage of higher frequencies.
Adding to the appeal is the brilliant educational build manual by K7QO, albeit for the 20m version. Since I hope to one day build my own transceiver from the ground up, I am hoping that building a radio in blocks will help me learn the architecture of radios.
I also plan on using my oscilloscope to discover just how these radio things work. This is unexplored territory for me for sure. The only time that I have used my scope was to perform the calibration of the probes, and that was to confirm that the thing was working. Admittedly, I have been afraid of using it because I’m afraid that I will let the magic smoke out of it! It’s time to get over that fear and get to work.
Over the next few weeks, I will build up the 5Watter for 17 meters using the educational manual. As I go along, I will test the transceiver in stages to discover how it works, will learn about radio architecture in general, and will learn to use my oscilloscope. To do all of these things, I’ll need a lot of help for sure. But with help and hard work, I’m sure that I can do it.