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Streffpilot

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Mukwonago, WI
Hey, I was sitting at work and had a hair brained idea.....how possible would it be to create your own radio....I see websites of ham radio guys using arduino's with a touch screen to control it......what say ye brilliant minds?
 

Wanttaja

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Seattle, WA
Hey, I was sitting at work and had a hair brained idea.....how possible would it be to create your own radio....I see websites of ham radio guys using arduino's with a touch screen to control it......what say ye brilliant minds?
Probably would be possible. However, the FCC has rules for aircraft-band radios to prevent them from bleeding over into other frequencies, etc. Would make the job tougher, and you'd probably need a lot of RF smarts and expensive test gear.

Interesting hobby project, but probably not too cost-effective. One can buy a handheld for $200, and even mount it in the panel like I did....



Ron Wanttaja
 

cluttonfred

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Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA
Hey, this is a family-friendly site, don't answer that, Ron!

Streffpilot, for an alternative project you might consider one of the many Arduino-based avionics (EFIS, gauges, etc.) that have been discussed here on HBA and elsewhere.
 

Arthur Brown

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May 1, 2016
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London
Getting a DIY transceiver past all the approval tests will cost more than buying a good one, the making one is easy!
 

Pops

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At one time many years ago, Jim Weir, (RST) and articles in Kitplanes, sold a kit of a Nav-Com that you built and sent back to the company for aliment . I built about 6 or 7 of his audio panel kits and also his 3 light marker beacon bench tester. Jim is a sharp dude.
 
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cluttonfred

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I was going to recommend Jim Weir's site in this thread but when I visited it I found that right now he only offers air and ground antennas, an ADSB/GPS/transponder, and t-shirts. There are, of course, many great DIY articles available on his, he just doesn't seem to be selling the components. http://www.rst-engr.com/
 

Himat

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Highplains

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Over the Rainbow in Kansas, USA
Given the specifications, and maybe $10K for test equipment rental, a functional radio could easily be built using commonly available purchased hardware. I spent most of a decade designing one of a kind communications hardware for DoD alphabet companies back in the dark ages. Of course back then cost was not the object.
 

pictsidhe

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Jul 15, 2014
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North Carolina
You need some qualifications to legally certify a radio. Being a suitable ham is one option. The others get pricey.
 

Derswede

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Jan 6, 2016
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Central North Carolina
Aircraft frequencies are off limits for ham transmit operation. Even modifying a VHF ham radio to transmit would be a major fine $$$. I see FCC actions against illegal CBers (high power, in the ham bands, etc) all the time, the fines are in the tens of thousands. Also, most Amateur rigs in that range are FM modulation, not AM as aircraft radios are. Now, a RECEIVER is fine. I have built several kits that cover the air band and which allow me to listen to the ops at the local airport. A couple of kits are available with some searching. However, I have found several handheld radios for under $100 off of craigslist and at local hamfests. To build one to FCC specs would take the assets of a Yaesu, an Icom, etc. Is it possible to build one? Yes. Would I want to build a transmitter for such purposes? No.

Derswede (N4ABA)
 
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Pops

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Used to take a First Class FCC Radiotelephone License to tune or adjust any transmitter over 50 milliwatts. I had an appointment to take the test in the mid 1965 but got very sick for several weeks and never got a new appointment to the test.
 

spaschke

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Oct 24, 2012
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Denver, CO
It would be quite easy to build with a lime SDR and a small PC or mac mini. This software approach would need a faster computer than a raspberry pi. The lime SDR is new on the market, is one of the few SDR products that will transmit full duplex and costs around $300 if I remember correctly. A small pc and monitor might cost $500-800. GNU-Radio would be an easy to use programming environment. AM or FM, as well as filters and tuning is implemented in software, thus the need for a fast computer. An output booster may be needed also. I think the output signal strength is up to 10 dBm.
Could you use it? I don't know.
 

mcrae0104

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Too bad the folks at Heathkit don't offer an aviation radio. (They're the modern-day version of the company that produced the Heath Parasol.)

image.jpg
 

TFF

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Apr 28, 2010
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Memphis, TN
It's good someone pried the can open. For years the owners had it locked down. Still a little shy of the old days though. A friends dad built one of the clock radios back in the early mid 70s. Watched him do it at the kitchen table over a couple of weeks. Plugged it in and nothing happened. After fiddling with it he took it to a Ham friend. Friend looked at it for a while and called him to pick it up. My friends dad got there and his friend breaks the radio over his knee, hands it to him, and says its broken. I always wanted to build the RC radios or a SIlver Seven. The stereos were so cool but way above my third grade abilities of the time. The catalog and Edmond Scientific were just as cool as the Sears Christmas.
 
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