Glowbugs - Homebrew Tube Amateur Radio Transmitters and Receivers

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Introduction: Glowbugs - Homebrew Tube Amateur Radio Transmitters and Receivers

About: Partido Geozentrista de los Martianos Intruderz

Glowbugs - homebrew (DIY) tube gadgets, receivers and transmitters, dedicated to the Golden Era of Amateur Radio. Generally, any small, home-built tube-type transmitter or receiver may be referred to as a glowbug. The majority of glowbug transmitters are designed to be used in the CW radiotelegraphy mode. www.squidoo.com/glowbugs

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    17 Comments

    Andy, your stuff is always so awesome. One day, I need to print up some vintage Letterpress QSL cards for you, to go with your vintage station. Hey! I just came across the carcass of an old Grundig Majestic. Perhaps I can salvage the transformer and filter choke, toss a few filter caps, a 5U4, and rig up a 6AG7 / 6L6 MOPA to couple with my HRO-5 that I hope to re-cap.

    Andy, UU1CC, I assume that is your call sign?
    I have a small interest in Glowbugs.
    I found an old "QST" article about a home brew, two band Reciever (80 & 40 M) from April 1941. Principle seems sound even though it uses a "C Battery" for bias- 6V AC for filaments.
    I would like to rebuild it or something similar using a 1U5 and a 1R5 so I could be completely battery powered. I probably would use a "B Battery" of AA pen light cells.
    Worst kit I have found from the 1950's was a ONE TUBE ham station offered (for about $15) by a one man company in Kearney, Nebraska. It was 1/2 triode oscilator transmitter, 1/2 triode Regenerative reciever. You were lucky to be heard across town. A PI network to match it to the antenna might have helped it to get out better.
    I was thinking of using a tube like that double triode as a push/pull crystal oscilator transmitter.
    I also have plans for an early 1950's camper's 2 tube superhet reciever ( 1U5, 1R5) from "Popular Mechanics" magazine.

    Oh, yes, my call is KC0KBG.

    Very nice - there should be more ham radio stuff on Instructables.

    1 reply

    Amen. It seems like a perfect place for ham projects.

    I like it! This is the true spirit of HAM radio! I have to make one of these soon!

    -KC2VDM

    The biggest issue for a FM receiver is the detector stage, and a limiter. The limiter stage is simply an amplifier that is followed by a diode clipper stage. Insertion of these 2 stages into an AM radio will net you a FM receiver. Schematics for FM detectors, and limiters abound on the Internet, so a google search should net you what you need. If you can follow a schematic, then you should do quite well with this project.
    IC versions of these radios are also very common, and readily available.

    what tubes do you use? I'm preaty sure there is a 6l6 there

    1 reply

    You're right - it is early Russian 6L6-GB's clone - 6P3 http://timelesson.blogspot.com/2010/02/6p3-beam-power-tetrode.html

    6P3-6P3S-Beam-Power-Tube.jpg
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    nice, it has a steampunk look to it, I like it, you should really post a how to...

    1 reply

    Did you use published circuits, or design your own?

    1 reply

    Hi there. Using my own - it is The Main Rule :-)