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Old 10th Aug 2018, 5:40 am   #1
Beechcraft100
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Default Project Omega PCB's.

Hi All

After building it 30 years ago I wish to build it again, I have all articles but struggling with the boards,
Tony Bailey will not help in stating who made PCB's not supply the foils, specifically the CIFPU and VCO boards.

Long shot I know but does anybody either have an old unused PCB in their cupboards I can buy or does anybody know who manufactured the original boards?

Happy to purchase any boards that anybody has left in any reasonable condition

Andy G0JIA
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 9:01 am   #2
Ed_Dinning
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Default Re: Project Omega PCB'S

Hi Andy, a bit more detail on the circuit and its functions please; you may then generate some interest and you may be able to get a batch of boards run off cheaply

Ed
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 9:16 am   #3
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Project Omega PCB'S

It's not quite correct to say that Tony 'won't help' - he's explained on his website that he can't help.

For a few years he was a prolific designer of many well regarded amateur radio projects, some of which have continued to be popular, but time moves on. As far back as 2008, when he was being pestered for help, he explained on his website that he'd been out of amateur radio since 1989 and didn't retain any information about his projects, most of which were supplied in kit form by the long since defunct AMBIT company.

To quote from his website, here is what he wrote in August 2008:

"Unfortunately, I haven't been active nor involved with Amateur Radio at all since 1989, although I still hold my licence, and am now retired. This page is here to say that with some of this happening over 30 years ago and with no involvement in the hobby or electronics since (I turned to computer programming and writing), I can remember next to nothing of practical use about the design and operation of the various projects. So if you are looking for information on one of them and have ended up here, sorry but I really am unable to help you. I don't have any copies of the articles nor any parts, all having vanished or been disposed of to local clubs/sold during several house moves".

End quote.

https://www.tonybailey.co.uk/g3wpo.php

If you have the magazines and no-one responds to your request for unused PCBs, as I recall, the artwork to produce the PCBs for the Omega was included in the articles with homebrew PCBs in mind. There are lots of firms who will make one-off PCBs almost as cheaply as you could make them yourself, even if you're geared up for it. (I design and make PCBs for my own projects, but it makes no economic sense - I do it because I enjoy it). I've no experience of sourcing commercially produced PCBs and I think most makers need 'Gerber Files' of the artwork, whatever those might be.

I'm sure there will be members of the forum who can recommend firms who can produce PCBs from the artwork, albeit such firms may well be made in China, and even if they're UK based, may manufacture in China. EG: This firm, (who I have no experience of), have no minimum order quantity and are based in Hertfordshire, albeit the PCBs are made in China:

https://www.quick-teck.co.uk/index.php

If you check their FAQs, you'll see what they say about files:

Quote:

Q: Do you accept ExpressPCB format file?
No.

Q: How can I check the manufacturing data before I send it to you?

We recommend GC-Prevue and Gerbv as Gerber viewer. Try GC-Prevue from Graphicode which is free of charge. It will allow you to check the Gerber and drill data. For Linux customers, please use Gerbv which can run on many common Unix platforms.

End quote.

You can input your requirements online and get a quotation, or give them a call for advice.

I think some PCBs were ordered by forum members for the 'Sussex' valve tester project, so maybe they could give some advice?
(Assuming that no-one comes to your rescue with Omega PCBs).

Best of luck in your endeavours and your rekindled homebrew interests Andy.
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Old 11th Aug 2018, 11:24 pm   #4
Dual Standard
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Default Re: Project Omega PCB's.

I too built an Omega transceiver almost 35 years ago (the 1st article appeared in Ham Radio Today around September 1983) but the rig spent most of the time just gathering dust so moved it on some time ago. I did have a spare PCB or two and a spare complete IF module but sold these on too, so sorry I can't help with the PCBs.

There is very little information on the web about the transceiver so before selling the rig I scanned all the paperwork that came with the kits, essentially copies of the articles in Ham Radio Today but with some additional notes plus all the newsletters that Tony mailed out to kit builders. The series ran for many months and the complete zipped PDF file is way too big to attach here but for anyone who has never seen or heard of an Omega here is the first page and a half from the series which explains the plan, lists the modules and has a simple block diagram. Plus a few photos of my completed transceiver.
Note that although both FM and AM boards are mentioned these never appeared due I think to lack of demand, the separate speech processor met the same fate (though to be fair a VOGAD was incorporated in the SSB module) hence the empty holes on the front panel!

These transceivers do appear for sale occasionally, I have seen them both at amateur radio rally's and on Ebay. I am told that they are really excellent for CW but found the filtering rather inadequate for SSB and once I had used a commercial transceiver with dual receivers then there was no going back.
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Last edited by Dual Standard; 11th Aug 2018 at 11:27 pm. Reason: added () for clarity
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 5:45 am   #5
Radio Wrangler
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Default Re: Project Omega PCB's.

Did the 100W PA design ever get finished?

I followed the articles back in the day and it was plagued with instability and kept being delayed. I can't remember reading of a successful conclusion. There was also an idea for a distributed amplifier made from QRP sized SMPS mosfets.

David
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 10:31 am   #6
Andrew2
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Default Re: Project Omega PCB's.

AFAIR it was never completed and was just stuck on an everlasting back-burner until everyone forgot about it. I think we've had a thread on this before somewhere.
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 11:13 am   #7
Dual Standard
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Default Re: Project Omega PCB's.

The QRO (100W) PA was delayed somewhat because attempts to use the then commonly available 2N608x devices proved to be all too easy to break and a redesign had to be done using a pair of TRW PT9784/A devices. The design was finally published in the January & February 1985 editions of HRT with a followup article in the April edition with additional details. Tony also offered an alignment and testing service for completed PAs.

The completed QRO PA & heatsinks can be clearly seen in one of the photos on my previous post but here is a better shot showing closeup of the PA & the TRW devices.
The perforated screened box contains the QRP PA/driver and the relay switched LPF is just visible on the rear of the aluminum screening partition. On the right hand side is the solid state T/R switch enabling full break-in, hence the rigs desirability for CW ops.
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 12:00 pm   #8
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Default Re: Project Omega PCB's.

Ah, thanks. That's a rather nice piece of construction and I can't help thinking what those feedthroughs would cost nowadays!

David
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