Learning from an Elmer

Over the Thanksgiving week, I had the opportunity to learn a few more radio things from Connie’s dad, WA4BXC. He’s been doing amateur radio for 40 years now, and knows a lot about radio. It’s pretty cool to be able to learn from someone like that.

He showed me the schematics for an old CB radio he’s planning on converting into a beacon for 10m. Apparently it just needs one crystal to be replaced. He pointed out the different areas on the schematic and told me what was responsible for generating and mixing the frequencies and the receive and transmit parts of the radio.

We also spent time looking over an older Kenwood “project” radio (a TS-820) that he picked up from a hamfest a few months ago. Parts of it were singed and scorched a bit, but he’s been able to get the receive part of the radio up and running. Found a modification the/a previous owner had done to try to make the radio receive CB frequencies which may or may not have been successful. I haven’t exactly been much help with it, aside from looking at the components and spotting things that he’s already seen, but it’s been educational having him show me around the innards of the radio. Once you start learning the components of the radio, seeing all the bits and pieces becomes a little less daunting.

I asked him about antennas and he explained to me about putting antenna tuners outside at the antenna rather than inside at the radio (where it’s convenient) so that you don’t have to worry about feedline losses.

It’s got me excited to learn more electronics and ham radio from him, from others and discovering things for myself.