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> Mfj 9040 Advice, Getting back in
cgriggs
Posted: December 02, 2016 03:49 am
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Does anyone out there have a suggestion, good or bad, about the MFJ 90xx series of transceivers?
I worked with electronics from 1947 until 2001, receiving my ham ticket in 1962.
I'm playing with getting back in, but need to build up my code speed to work 40 CW. (My only minor vice.) LOL
The only homebrew rig I managed to keep upon leaving ham radio doesn't have a schematic (lost in the shuffle called time) and I thought I might as well purchase something simple to relearn the ropes.
Anyone?
Charlie
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kellys_eye
Posted: December 02, 2016 12:14 pm
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Can't offer any input on the MFJ series but can sympathise with your efforts to 'get back in'....

I've similarly got the bug (again) and having tried to return to the key via purchased equipment (an FT200) I was left disappointed enough to revert to the homebrew route once again.

I've now got various devices ranging from simple DC receivers to SDR devices but all supplemented by a simple CW QRP transmit-only rig from a QST article!

I can do code to 50wpm with my bug key (used to do it by hand but age got the better of me!) but settle for a much slower speed these days.

In short I'd recommend you either study your old DIY rig and get it going or bite the bullet and build another from scratch - it's far more satisfying than opening a box.


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cgriggs
Posted: December 03, 2016 07:24 am
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Kelly,
I think my problem stems from the fact that my homebrew unit consists of a 20 year old purchased 40 xmtr kit and an added homebrew keyer, freq counter, and two other tiny boards that only God remembers the function of. I'm going on 83 and am not sure if my memory is acting its age or dementia is setting in. LOL
In my prime, during the 90's, I was doing 25 to 30 wpm on 40, but spending the bulk of the time building, modifying or repairing my equipment. (Until she put her foot down and reminded me I had a family too. sigh Shame is my middle name!)
I got my General in 1962. She had a Conditional (K3UIL) until our first child seemed to take up most of her time and she had to drop out. (Kids seem to do that! LOL)
Home brewing seems to be a whole new ballgame today. I yearn for the CQ and Ham Radio Magazine building from scratch articles again, but scrounging from old TV sets is a thing of yesteryear and going to Radio Shack for a couple of resistors is out of the question. sigh The newbies today have missed all the fun of putting together a tuned circuit with a toilet paper roll, a spool of wire and a GDO. I think I'm going to cry. LOL
Charlie
PS. I guess you can tell that I was a proud member of the RCC. LOL
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kellys_eye
Posted: December 03, 2016 01:27 pm
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laugh.gif

Can't disagree with anything you say as I followed the same route - pretty much - except for being a decade of three behind you!

But the internet is a vast place of useful information and there are still sites dedicated to 'oldies' and our hobbies to the extent that you can still find articles, components and encouragement to do what you want to do regardless of antiquity - indeed I am already a member of a Vintage Radio forum to get support and assistance for restoration projects.

I'm sure such sites that exist will actually relish the prospect of 'decoding' your existing constructions based on a list of the most prominent/active components and come up with the schematic - potentially even the location of someone locally that may be prepared to assist with it's resurrection.

It's even possible that we have members here that could do the very same armed with just a few close-up photo's of the units - we are certainly a forum that has an above-average age membership and quite a few hams/ex-hams amongst us.

I find that the key to a long life (so far!) is the encouragement of discovery - even if it means RE-discovery as in the case of your aged equipment. Much, if not more, enjoyment is to be had from the journey than the destination. If your search is for simply returning to an on-air status and hammering away at the key then the path is very easy to follow these days - purchase the kit (not necessarily expensive or difficult) and off you go.

But to keep a sharp mind and the drive, indeed the will, to live on then seriously consider using this opportunity to bring other like-minded individuals to your cause and even offer up your problem as the medicine others use to keep themselves active and interested.

At the risk of 'losing you' to another forum (as membership here is always a consideration these days) I would still suggest that you Google either 'antique' radio forums or 'homebrew' ham forums and enjoy the experience (again) of being a member of a community that is always helpful and always encouraging.

You will find far, far greater satisfaction from recovering and repairing your old equipment AND generate further enthusiasm for the hobby - based on my own experiences.

Where ever it takes you I wish you well and hope that you get to scratch that itch!


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cgriggs
Posted: December 03, 2016 05:25 pm
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Kelly(?)
I think I've found a solution of sorts. I've purchased and installed three CD's of my homebrew "bibles." CD from 1960 - 1970, CQ, Ham Radio Magazine from 1968 - 1990, and 73 Magazine from Jan 92 - Sept 03. Needless to say, there goes a few gigs of my hard drive!
Maybe, with time and patience, I'll spot the other boards. I'm thinking I may end up buying things in kit form though.
I'll never forget, when our youngest, 2 years old at the time, was in the shack watching me soldering and shouted out to mom, "Mommy! Daddy makin moke!" Some memories never die.
Charlie
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cgriggs
Posted: December 03, 2016 05:28 pm
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CD from 1960 - 1970, CQ,
Should be "CQ cd from 1960 - 1970"
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kellys_eye
Posted: December 03, 2016 06:12 pm
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Charlie - I have those very CQ and 73 magazine collections myself and make constant reference to them. I'm even sad enough to enjoy an evening simply browsing the contents, much to my wife's chagrin and bemusement!

I'm sure something will trigger your memory and that you'll stumble across the actual project eventually. Let me know the outcome - it may be that the circuit you originally built will end up on my 'to-do' list for winter projects!

Dave


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cgriggs
Posted: December 04, 2016 01:36 am
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Sounds like our wives are related. LOL
I'll keep you up to date on my luck.
Charlie
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cgriggs
Posted: December 23, 2016 12:20 pm
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Kelly, Eurika! I figured it out! I have it up and running, but need to find a good schematic or kit for a VFO. The Ramsey covers the entire 40 meter band but was evidently meant for only novices to operate. I'm going to play with it to build up my confidence and code speed and then add the vfo. Seems like I've forgotten most of the Q signals too. (I even sent for a 2004 copy of the RAH. That ought to help me too. LOL) More later.
Charlie
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kellys_eye
Posted: December 23, 2016 01:42 pm
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Nice one Charlie! You'll have to upload pictures, schematics and/or links to the finished item.

You're probably more familiar with standard VFO design/construction but if you felt like adopting any modern practises you could opt to get a digital VFO based on the AD9850/AD9851 DDS chip. There are many examples on eBay and even Ham sites. Very cheap too.

Such a DDS VFO offers digital readout (usually as part of the whole kit, LCD readout), supreme accuracy and programmable offsets for modes/IF's etc. It's a small outlay and little effort to get an accurate and repeatable result without the hassle and mechanical contrivance that the usual VFO solution requires.

LOL on the Q-code problems! I had a career in merchant marine (radio operator) and had to learn ALL the codes plus CW to 20wpm with 100% accuracy to pass the exams - the Q-codes almost all forgotten but I can still do code to 40wpm minimum.

Looks like you'll have a New Years resolution you can offer up as an 'almost guarantee' - rather than the usual offerings (if you're me) that end in failure!

Off to visit relatives this holiday so if I don't get online whilst away hope you and your family have a happy, peaceful and prosperous time.

Dave




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cgriggs
Posted: December 23, 2016 03:52 pm
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Ooh-ooh!! I just found what I think you were talking about and I feel the "home-brewing juices" flowing!!
The item is: 0-55 Mhz Signal Generator - Digital Ham Radio VFO SSB RIT AD9850.
Now, Am I to understand/hope/pray, that that means it generates a frequency that can be, (or is), that of a VFO? Is this what I'm looking for, ready to mount and use? (There's got to be a catch! It was never that easy in my day! LOL) It sells for 36.50 and I figure it would cost much more than that to build one from scratch. I got to get a brandy to calm my nerves! LOL
Charlie

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cgriggs
Posted: January 17, 2017 03:36 pm
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I just sent for the MFJ-9040. Now I'll have something to do while waiting for all of my Chinese orders to arrive. LOL
Charlie
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MacFromOK
Posted: January 17, 2017 11:24 pm
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Sweet. thumbsup.gif

Glad to have you onboard Charlie, your enthusiasm is refreshing. Makes me wish I had more available bench time. beer.gif


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cgriggs
Posted: January 21, 2017 02:32 am
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As per Jan. 17, 2017:
Just received an email letting me know the 9040 is on back-order and it should be shipped in 2 to 4 weeks. ...
<sound of muffled sob in background>
Gotta get a Christian Brothers snifter going here!
"A.D.D." Charlie

On edit Feb. 07, 2017:
I just called MFJ in ref to the possible shipping date for my transceiver. They replied that the line has been in arrears since before Thanksgiving.

<Sound of brandy being poured into large snifter, accompanied with sound of cat being drop kicked down cellar steps and hysterical lady screaming, "Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!">

"Let me die" Charlie
LOL

As per 2-20-17:
"Possibly shipped after the middle of March."
I think I'll be checking Ebay for 40 Meter, QRP, CW Transceivers!
Charlie
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cgriggs
Posted: February 23, 2017 11:57 pm
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I was really disgusted with MFJ and decided I may just cancel my 9040. I went to ebay and checked out a really, really nice QRP rig that had everything I'd like to have, plus 9 bands.

It was going for 315 and I figured I'd take it to 350 in the last minutes and get it. It had 20 hours left with only 8 bids so looked like I had a fair chance.

I just checked and, with less than 2 hours, here is what I found:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sierra-Wilderness-...r-/262856828075

... sigh ...

"Born Loser" Charlie

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MacFromOK
Posted: February 24, 2017 12:10 am
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Lol, your luck sounds about like mine. Went to a farm auction years ago, and saw an offset disc I was willing to pay $1800 for.

Bidding started several hundred dollars higher... biggrin.gif


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cgriggs
Posted: February 24, 2017 03:24 am
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We're leaving in the morning for Baltimore. Getting on Royal Caribbean for 11 days of cruising southward. Hopefully the 9040 will beat us home. Later;
Charlie
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kellys_eye
Posted: February 24, 2017 10:38 am
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Enjoy your voyage Charlie.

You could have purchased and BUILT a nice DIY kit in the time you've waited for that MFJ to arrive laugh.gif

Ebay isn't a nice place any more but there are still real people out there willing to part with kit for a reasonable sum - you need to broaden your horizons a bit (says 'me' as you stretch your horizon on a voyage laugh.gif )



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cgriggs
Posted: February 24, 2017 02:30 pm
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I'm hoping the 9040 will be coming soon after we return, but I doubt it. LOL

I put together/repaired a keyer and a CPO for the eventual home-brew rig, whatever it might be. (Checking out my work I find I still send a decent 20 wpm, but copying 20 ????? LOL Time heals everything so it's just a matter of time and practice.

Later,

Charlie
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cgriggs
Posted: March 07, 2017 02:30 pm
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We're back to reality. Over 400 messages in the email to sort out. Sheesh!! LOL
I'm back to ebay looking for a decent lil QRP rig or kit. Haven't cancelled the 9040 yet though, until I find something better(?).
I have the QRP Pixie kit here that maybe I can figure out how to connect my VFO to and eliminate the crystal. Maybe I'll end up putting the Pixie kit together one of these days and forget the 9040. I don't know. Not getting any younger, that's for sure. (83 tomorrow! Oy vey! LOL)
Charlie
On Edit:
Dave, What do you think of this? Should I take a chance on putting it together or wait on MFJ to ship the 9040? Does this have SMT's? (I have nothing to solder those in, ect.) 30 years ago I'd not give it a second thought, but jumped right in and ordered it. LOL
http://www.qrpkits.com/tribander.html
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kellys_eye
Posted: March 07, 2017 08:05 pm
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There are no SMD devices in that receiver and it looks to be a pretty good project - in fact I'm putting something similar to that together on some matrix board right now!


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cgriggs
Posted: March 07, 2017 09:14 pm
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Yes, and having seen your final product, I won't bet whose will look best. LOL
I'm thinking I might just give it a try. Gotta talk to the lil woman and see what she says. (El Jeffe.)
Charlie
On Edit: I have cancelled the 9040 order. Waiting on confirmation. Going to order the tri-bander!!!
Charlie
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kellys_eye
Posted: March 08, 2017 09:59 am
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How can she refuse you - given it's your birthday laugh.gif

Congratulations Charlie beer.gif


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cgriggs
Posted: March 08, 2017 04:24 pm
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T. C. O. !!!
<Sound of fiendish laughter moving out of building, down street and out of hearing. Female voice in background offering thanks to the almighty for deliverance from foaming-at-the-mouth, criminally insane, mad man>
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MacFromOK
Posted: March 09, 2017 01:18 am
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Lol, congrats to both of you... biggrin.gif


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