Does anyone want to build anything these days?  

Page 1 / 3 Next
 
sideband
(@sideband)
Famed Member Moderator

The last thing I built (not counting the original Minimalist Radio during development) about two years ago was a headphone amplifier...

 Actually I've just realised that isn't quite correct! I built an ESR meter for checking the condition of electrolytic caps (mainly in Switch Mode Power Supplies). It was built mainly from parts already in the spares box and all I bought was the I.C. The idea had been bubbling away for some time and I built a prototype on a piece of veroboard but never finished it. Then I found a small instrument box that once housed a capacitance bridge (not my build) so decided to 'repurpose' the box. It also had a suitable meter in the box so I rebuilt the ESR meter properly on a new piece of veroboard with an additional 'Low Battery' indicator just to make use of a 'spare' hole on the front panel that was suitable for the additional LED.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/04/2018 11:34 am
Nuvistor
(@nuvistor)
Famed Member Registered

I don’t have a SG so the last item I built on a piece of veroboard was a simple Xtal osc, I wanted to check alignment of some radios so 10.7Mhz was useful and a couple of frequencies on MW were good. 465Khz would have been nice but I couldn’t find a xtal.

It was a ‘Lash up’, just enough to do the job.

 

Frank

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/04/2018 12:08 pm
PYE625
(@pye625)
Famed Member Registered

Building something yourself can be a very exciting experience, to end up with an item you have created and got working is very rewarding. It has been a while since I have made anything, but I can certainly recommend it to anyone. Whether it is a simple device or something more complex, the fun to be had is amazing. I built my own valve amplifiers a while back and it became an all consuming project....

http://www.forum.radios-tv.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=10686

To understand the black art of electronics is to understand witchcraft.
Andrew.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/04/2018 12:18 pm
crustytv
(@crustytv)
Vrat Founder Admin

I wonder if the lack of enthusiasm for construction is due to the changes in availability?

Back in the day purchasing ready made test equipment was beyond most folks pockets, so needs must, get Practical Wireless/Television etc find a circuit, order the parts and build. Now with access to the internet and companies like Banggood and e-bay, what was once highly expensive kit can be had for pennies, well not quite but certainly just a few pounds.

The only homebrew thing I've built was a function generator (see here). It worked but I ended up buying a Chinese one which was way better with more bells and whistles. It arrived with a broken LCD display (see here) but I fixed that.

So for me personally I would only be really interested in constructing something that cannot be easily bought. Perhaps a wrong attitude but maybe not an isolated one. Now if there was a circuit available to build a Tripler tester, I would be encouraged to have a go at that as you can't readily buy one. I'm also tempted after reading Tony's recent project, to build a dedicated cap reformer, though I've never bothered thus far as the HUNTS CRB-3 has served me well in that function for over 8 years. I do have enough bits to make a start but as ever making the start is the hurdle and knowing where to make the start, especially if homebrew is not a field you've dabbled in before.  So mostly I just quietly stick to my TV repairs.

Will be interesting to read other members views, on the questions you pose. 

 

Crusty's Collection: Read the repair blogs
VRAT-Tube: Please subscribe and help the channel grow.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/04/2018 12:23 pm
PYE625
(@pye625)
Famed Member Registered

There used to be loads of ad's in magazines and many kit's in Maplin that could be bought, but now it's all PC stuff and raspberry pie's.  ☹️ 

To understand the black art of electronics is to understand witchcraft.
Andrew.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/04/2018 1:01 pm
raditechman
(@raditechman)
Trusted Member Registered

I remember as a youngster we always built things from go carts made from old wood and pram wheels to cranes and many other things from  Meccano sets. Then when older and radio became interesting making an AM transmitter for Top Band using 807's etc. Most amateurs built there own gear back then.

I do not make much now, I recently built a transistor Pantry transmitter and and over voltage protection circuit for my rigs powers supplies.

Young people seem to be only interested in the latest smart telephones.

John

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/04/2018 1:07 pm
Nuvistor
(@nuvistor)
Famed Member Registered

I had a spell of building things, from simple DC receivers and CW transmitters, a 80M SSB transceiver, various types of simple test equipment, two tone audio gen,  broadband noise gen, FET volt  meter and RF probe, probably many other items I have forgotten about.

Enjoyed the work, must be 25 years ago though.

Interest change so unless it is something to do a quick test with I don’t see me building anything else.

 But (I should not start a sentence with but) as my dad would say, never is a very long time so who knows things change.

Frank

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/04/2018 1:51 pm
PYE625
(@pye625)
Famed Member Registered

Kits used to be popular from the very start of radio, later on with names such as Heathkit, where almost anything electronic could be assembled. With a kit, such as provided by Heathkit, almost anyone who could hold a soldering iron would be able to assemble it. Trade magazines were awash with kit's for decades. Sadly almost all gone now. I think Maplin was the last, up until fairly recently of course. They used to have pages of interesting items from Vellemen....   http://www.velleman.co.uk/contents/en-uk/d2_kits.html  

To understand the black art of electronics is to understand witchcraft.
Andrew.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/04/2018 5:32 pm
crustytv
(@crustytv)
Vrat Founder Admin
Posted by: PYE625

Kits used to be popular from the very start of radio, later on with names such as Heathkit, where almost anything electronic could be assembled. 

Indeed and just some of those HeathKit possibilities are shown here

Crusty's Collection: Read the repair blogs
VRAT-Tube: Please subscribe and help the channel grow.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/04/2018 6:03 pm
Cathovisor
(@cathovisor)
Famed Member No longer Member

The last two things I built from kits were a DDS function generator and a basic oscilloscope. Neither are going to win prizes for waveform purity or accuracy, but the 'scope was always intended to be 'disposable' - i.e. if it came to grief with a car's ignition system it was no biggie.

Besides which, I built so many Dinosaurs and its FM-AM predecessor I view that as a 'get out of jail free' card!

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/04/2018 7:04 pm
Katie Bush
(@katie-bush)
Famed Member Moderator

Biggest hurdle for me to building kits these days is my wonky eyesight, and I guess, my rather shaky hands - tiny components on tiny PCBs don't stand a chance, but I do remember the days when I would order kits from Doram Electronics, and Josty Kit. The simplest was a wideband RF amplifier kit that I assembled (Josty Kit) to allow me to explore far away VHF television stations. The crowning glory was a pretty good pattern generator by Doram Electronics - Blank raster, white raster, dot matrix, cross hatch and grey scale. Used it extensively during the "G6 years".

One of the most satisfying 'kit builds' was a junkbox audio amplifier. It would not impress anyone, but from a diagram sketched out by my granddad and his mate Bob on the back of an envelope, it was aimed at a troublesome record player (one valve wonder) with an incurable buzz. The amplifier I/we built was at least a proper triode - pentode effort with a basic tone control. I found the diagram some months ago and planned to bring it to the forum with a view to offering it up and see if we could develop it into something a tad more advanced. In about 1972 I built my own version of it from used parts, all pinched from scrap TV and radio sets - even built it on a small section of used PCB from a scrapped Bush TV80. It was thoroughly enjoyable thing, and very educational to experiment with - it had one useful bonus, it would work at 24V HT, though it was intended to run at around 100V - moreover, the 90V tapping of a BSR record player motor!

Neither Doram, nor Josty seem to exist today, nor the hosts of others that once graced the pages of a myriad electronics magazines. Trouble is, in part, I fear, that it's also partly down to today's desire for instant gratitude, and the throw away mentality - no one wants to make the effort in the first place, and then throw it away a few weeks later. And afterall, if they're all busily recording six TV programmes whilst watching a seventh, when would anyone ever find the time?

If it ain't fixed, don't break it!............

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/04/2018 8:05 pm
PYE625
(@pye625)
Famed Member Registered

Mind you, googling "electronic kits" brings up quite a number of hobbyist items so there must be a market with people out there who do build things. Otherwise I'm sure the maker's (eg Velleman) would not bother with kits. True, there is nothing quite like Heathkit, but there are still small projects to be bought and built.

And some more pricey ones too, if you fancy building your own Hifi valve amplifier for instance.....

http://www.audion.co.uk/Kits/kits.html

To understand the black art of electronics is to understand witchcraft.
Andrew.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/04/2018 9:02 pm
crustytv
(@crustytv)
Vrat Founder Admin

Having got a new multimeter to play about with it struck me it might have been nice to have a voltage reference source to check it against and my other meters and scopes come to that. 

I then remembered this thread about building. Of course these little reference source modules can be had for a few quid from e-bay.  That defeats the object of Rich trying to encourage folk to build. I suspect there's a few out in Vrat land that might find a voltage reference source useful, so how difficult would it be to build something from parts we all might have in stock? Can it be achieved with a 9V battery, a few resistors, Zeners and transistors? As I mentioned above, homebrew is not my strong point and I was just wondering, if its a lame idea fair enough.

Crusty's Collection: Read the repair blogs
VRAT-Tube: Please subscribe and help the channel grow.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 01/05/2018 10:36 pm
Doz
 Doz
(@doz)
Noble Member Registered

Always building things ....

Here's my latest. A Hifi preamp with full digital control... just assembling the main PWB..

DSC 0015

ReplyQuote
Posted : 02/05/2018 9:24 am ntscuser and PYE625 liked
Cathovisor
(@cathovisor)
Famed Member No longer Member

If you want to build something to check the calibration of a meter, you are going to need a voltage source that is orders of magnitude more precise than a zener diode; luckily, there are precision voltage references cheaply available from the main suppliers. One thing that has never been made clear to me is how much current they can source - it might be enough for an AVO 8, but I doubt it would be enough for an AVO 7. Luckily, a Wheatstone Bridge will help here 🙂 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 02/05/2018 3:08 pm
Page 1 / 3 Next

We are using cookies on our website

Please confirm, if you accept our tracking cookies. You can also decline the tracking, so you can continue to visit our website though you may find that certain features of Radios-TV website may not function properly without the aid of cookies. Our cookie policy
  
Working

Please Login or Register