12 Apr 2013

Simple, fool proof 1296MHz transverter?

Thinking about my new QTH on top of our East Anglia "hill" (aka 20m bump) I am wondering if I should consider 1296MHz operation for the first time, if only to monitor/try the band in UKAC contests with relatively local stations. Although I have listened (briefly) on 23cm years ago with a borrowed RX converter, I've never transmitted on the band with any mode.

What I am looking for is a SIMPLE transverter for the band, either a no-tune kit or a simple ready built unit. I have no test gear for this band, which is why I've not really considered the band before. The driver would be the FT817, so any suitable band could be used for the IF.

The Down East Microwave 1296MHz transverter may be a possibility. See http://croatia-microwave.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/w1ghz-rover-transverter-for-1296-mhz.html for a report of one built.

Incidentally I remember the 23cm antenna I used back in the 1970s with the borrowed converter: it was a 4 element yagi made with 2.5mm silver plated wire. The whole antenna sat in the palm of the hand, but worked well, even indoors mounted on a piece of bamboo cane as the mast! If I remember correctly, the design was in an early edition of VHF Communications, a magazine I subscribed to back in the 1970s.


Paolo ik1zyw said...

I have been looking for a tx-verter only to pair with an RTLSDR USB stick which already does a decent RX on 23 cm... No results yet. Not even a simple 23cm CW TX.

Will monitor this post for replies. :-)

Roger G3XBM said...

Interesting idea to use a USB stick RX for the band.

Steve Bunting said...

Have a look at mini kits in Australia. They are modular and therefore can be cheap? Haven't tried a transverter from them though.