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Warbler now finished and working

August 3, 2010

Warbler smoke test

Warbler smoke test

I finally finished my Small Wonder Labs Warbler kit last night.  This was started probably two years ago and then was shelved for no particular reason other than I was working on other projects.  Last week I decided it was time to get it finished and so have been working on it in the evenings.  It is a nice kit with a clever design based around colour burst crystals and the receiver is direct conversion.  It was straight forward to build but note there are two SOIC components, the SA612 mixers (look for U1 and U2 in the photo above).

When it came to the smoke test it worked first time. I adjusted the one tuning capacitor (the only adjustment), for frequency alignment and checked power out.  Alignment was done as recommended with W1AW which was coming in well (see the screenshot below). On transmit, I get 2W out on my Radio Shack power meter.  It is expected that you can get 3 to 4W out of the Warbler.  Given the accuracy of the meter I happy with what I measured.

Warbler working and decoding W1AW

Warbler working and decoding W1AW. Software is Fldigi running on Xubuntu

I have an aluminium enclosure, which is a tight fit for the board, so there is some careful drilling and filing to come.  You can see in the photograph I have already cut out the corners to accommodate for the enclosure screw mounts.

Given the simplicity of the transceiver I am very pleased at how well it works. No contacts yet, so will have to see what the IMD is later.  Anyone within 100 miles or so of Ottawa want to try a QSO?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Graham VE3GTC permalink
    August 4, 2010 8:28 pm

    Very cool Alan. I have often looked at Small Wonder Labs PSK offerings and have seriously considered one or more to supplement my old TS-520 on both digital modes and on bands the old Kenwood doesn’t have.

    So far I have resisted. However, I have also just today in fact put in an order for a new as in brand new HF rig. I have in fact never owned a new from the factory HF rig before having lived on hand me downs, hamfest rebuilds, and other what not.

    After much consideration I think I picked one that will serve my needs well and will let me get on all the digital modes with ease. So, will I couldn’t give you signal report on your warbler today, soon, very soon, I hope.

    On that last comment, I seem to recall that you are a Linux user. I am slowly weaning myself off of Windoze and have been using Ubuntu about 80% of the time now. Why Ubuntu? Why not? I have messed around with Linux since the very early days and have always found it’s early incarnations “too geeky” even for me what with needing constant configuration changes and updates and installs that where less than RFM once, twice, three times and then a fourth just to get something going. These later builds like Ubuntu have made it almost as easy as installing Windows.

    In any case, that is a long winded round about way of saying that I have found Baudline and may be calling upon your experience with said application and other digital apps on Linux when I run into some issues.

    I always enjoy your postings on your blog. I haven’t had the chance to listen cornbread road yet but will before too long.

    cheers, Graham ve3gtc

    • va3stl permalink*
      August 4, 2010 8:55 pm


      Thanks for the comment.
      Congratulations on the new rig. Let us know what it is and how it performs once you have it.

      The Small Wonder Labs kits are great and very good value. I have a SW+ for 80m built and a PSK 20 waiting to be built.

      I do use Linux especially in the hamshack. Used to use it for my professional work too but recently swapped to a Mac. As I write I am loading Kubuntu 10.04 netbook version on my little Asus netbook. I have used Ubuntu since that distro first came out, although mostly used Kubuntu or Xubuntu as I am not too keen on Gnome. If you are using an older PC try Xubuntu, it is fast and light. That is the OS in the hamshack.

      As for Baudline, download it and it should run. I even had it running on my netbook under the supplied Xandros distribution.


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