One of the greatest thrills you can have in amateur radio is to make your first contact with a radio that you built from pieces. It's said that the Golden Age of Radio was the first half of the 20th century. If that's true, then we must currently be in the Platinum age of Radio. It has never been easier, cheaper, or faster to make something with your own skills. On this page we help you find resources that you can use to design, create printed circuit boards, assemble, specify, and build a number of creations.
If you need some help getting started, there's a number of SCARS members who would be happy to help you make something. Look on the Elmer page for details, or come to one of the meeting locations. If you've built a project that you're proud of, send pictures, and documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part, parts, parts, we all need more parts. Here are some sources for parts you may need:
- Ebay! is a great source of parts from near, and far. Look here first, use PayPal for purchase protection, watch for counterfeit parts, but here's where you get the real bargains.
- Digikey is a parts warehouser that has just about everything.
- Mouser Electronics is another great way to get the pieces and parts you need.
- Diz, W8DIZ runs http://www.partsandkits.com and has some great options for you to build.
- Tayda Electronics is another great source of pieces and parts for you to use in your build project.
- Meridian Tool has all of the tools you need to get started. Soldering irons, screwdrivers, pliers, nippers, sockets, and a whole lot more.
- Harbor Freight has power tools, hand tools, and a whole lot more.
- Parts Express has all kinds of audio parts, and components.
- Hamfests are a great way to obtain pieces and parts that can be used in future projects. These are also great places to learn from others that have been building their own equipment.
Nightfire, of Ocala, FL has a ton of kits available on their web site. Here are a number of small kits for the first time builder. Lighting kits, amplifiers, and Arduino kits for many different projects.
QSL.net has a great article on a collection of circuit ideas from YO3DAC.
Ashhar Farhan has a BITX-20 bidirectional transceiver on his website for you to review, along with a number of other projects.
Steve Weber KD1JV has a wide variety of projects that you can build, and adapt to your needs at his website on QRPRadio.
If you're looking for a number of radios to view, or build, Ed Skelton EI9GQ has a bunch of project, including antennas, at his site.
The Tonne Software page has a ton of great software that can be used to design and simulate electrical circuits that you want to test, or build. Try it out virtually before you break out the soldering iron.
Kicad Software is an open source printed board circuit layout tool that will let you lay out a circuit board, like a pro. This software will let you draw, layout, simulate, and render in 3-D, like software that costs tens of thousands of dollars. Available, for free, for a bunch of different platforms.