A Work Of Art That Also Receives AM And SSB

Over the winter, [Michael LeBlanc] thought a good way to spend his time during those long dark nights would be to scratch build his own direct conversion receiver. He was able to find plans for such a project easily enough online, but where’s the fun in following instructions? The final result incorporates what he found online with his own unique tweaks and artistic style.

[Michael] based his receiver on a modified approach to the DC40 created by [Ashhar Farhan], a name likely familiar to readers involved in amatuer radio. He further modified the design by swapping out the audio amplifier for a TDA2003A, and bolted on a digital tuner by way of an Arduino and a Si5351 clock generator. There’s a small OLED to show the current frequency, which is adjusted with a high-quality Bourns EM14 optical encoder so he can surf the airwaves in the comfort and style.

The digital tuner mated to the analog DC40 receiver gives the radio an interesting duality, which [Michael] really embraces with his enclosure design. From a practical standpoint he wanted to keep the two halves of the system in their own boxes to minimize any interference, but the 3D printed case exaggerates that practical consideration into a fascinating conversation piece.

The analog and digital compartments are askew, and their rotary controls are on opposite sides. The radio looks like it might topple over if it wasn’t for the fact that the whole thing is bolted together, complete with brass inserts for the printed parts. The integrated carry handle at the top somehow manages to make it look vintage and ultra-modern at the same time. Rarely do you see a printed enclosure that’s both meticulously designed inside and aesthetically pleasing externally. [Michael] earned his 3D Printing Merit Badge for sure with this one.

5 thoughts on “A Work Of Art That Also Receives AM And SSB

  1. I saw this when he linked it back to my blog (where he got the modified DC40 schematic) and was in awe of how beautiful it turned out. It’s a great build, not without its troubles though! Mine was not nearly as good looking :)

  2. Good work. For my shortwave attempts, I found it very necessary to put the whole thing into a metal enclosure. Otherwise, powerful FM and AM stations are getting through and causing havoc. Ah yes. Band-pass filter was also needed.

    1. Honestly, I’d say the screen/buttons are not up to the standard of the rest of the build. I’m hoping he plans on changing that part up in the future, because it kind of brings the whole thing down.

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