Nuts Tiny Transmitter

Ham Goes Nuts for Tiny Transmitter

The Netherlands is a tiny country, slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey. I guess Hollanders are used to ‘small’ thinking! Jarno, PA3DMI, certainly can think and ‘build” Small.


What’s the minimal Build-of-Materials for a working amateur radio transmitter? Looks like you can get away with seven parts, or eight if you include the walnut. You’ve got to have a walnut.

Some hams really love the challenge of QRP, or the deliberate use of low-power transmitters to provide a challenge to making long-distance contacts. We’ve covered the world of QRP before and noted that while QRP rigs don’t throw a lot of power, it doesn’t mean that they need to be simple. Some get quite complex and support many different modulation schemes, even digital modes. With only a single 2N3904 transistor,  [Jarno (PA3DMI)]’s tiny transmitter won’t do much more than sending Morse using CW modulation, but given that it’s doing so from inside a walnut shell, we have no complaints. The two halves of the shell are hinged together and hold a scrap of perf-board for the simple quartz crystal oscillator. The prototype was tuned outside the shell,  and the 9-volt battery is obviously external, but aside from that, it’s nothing but nuts.

We’d love to see [Jarno] add a spring to the hinge and contacts on the shell halves so no keyer is required. Who knows? Castanet-style keying might be all the rage with hams after that.

Layne, AE1N

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