Homebrewing Equipment

Circuit Board

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 [email protected].

How To Homebrew

Kenn Goodson KA5KXW gave a presentation to the South Canadian Amateur Radio Society, and his powerpoint slides can provide you with a good starting point to building your own equipment.

Sources For Parts

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.

SCARS Soldering Page

If you’re needing to touch up your soldering skills, take a look at the http://w5nor.org/soldering page for lots of resources to learn how to solder.

SCARS Pixie 1/2 Watt 40 Meter CW Transceiver Kits

To help you start your building project, we’ve put together a low cost kit to start your building career. Take a look at the Pixie CW page.

Nightfire Kits

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.

Homebrew Circuit Ideas From YO3DAC

QSL.net has a great article on a collection of circuit ideas from YO3DAC.

Lots and lots of projects from Mig, PY2OHH

PY2OHH, from Brazil, has a great page that lists lots of projects for you to design and build on his PY2OHH web site.

And his friend in Europe, PA2OHH

And a European site that has a number of additional projects for you to review at the QSL.net site of PA2OHH.

How about Ashhar Farhan’s BITX-20?

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

Steve Weber KD1JV has a wide variety of projects that you can build, and adapt to your needs at his website on QRPRadio.

Ed Skelton EI9GQ

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.

Useful Homebrew Software

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 PC Board Layout Software (Free)

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.

Build Your Own Vacuum Tubes

Claude Paillard F2FO has a wonderful video that you can watch that shows him making his own vacuum tubes. Enjoy the video!