Posted on Jul 21, 2012

The circuit is a simple rf-actuated switch which will respond to any strong field in the region of the pickup wire. The length of the wire will depend on how much coupling is needed, but a 250-mm length wrapped around the outside of the coaxial cable feeding the antenna should suffice for most power levels. If only one band is used, the wire can be made a resonant length-495 mm for 144 MHz band operation for example.

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When rf energy is picked up by the device, diode Dl will conduct on the negative half-cycles, but will be cut off on the positive half-cycles. The result will be a net positive voltage at the base of transistor Trl, forward biasing it into conduction. On ssb and cw transmissions, where the transmission is not continuous, that bias would be constantly varying and the relay RLA would chatter. However, capacitor C2 holds the bias voltage steady until a long gap in transmissions occurs.

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