10GHz White Box Conversion Notes

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

To convert the MaCom 10GHz `White Box` (or `Whitebox` for the search engines) unit for ham radio use. Since we`re following in the path of others who`ve already modified these units, there isn`t much new here in the way of modification instructions, but I`ve done a lot of evaluation of the unit and hopefully the performance data presented here will be useful.

10GHz White Box Conversion Notes
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There are two source documents that virtually everyone converting the White Box uses. The first is a paper by WA6CGR that was published in the 1991 Microwave Update. It`s available several places on the web, but I have put a copy of Dave`s paper (in PDF format) here. The second conversion document is by G3PHO. The current URL for Peter`s paper is. I also have a. zip file of Peter`s material here. These documents are interesting to compare because each focuses on doing fairly extensive mods to different parts of the White Box unit. But neither one does much in the areas that the other hacks on. You can apply mixer theory to these papers and do a conversion that`s the sum of the changes both Peter and Dave made (i. e. , lots of work), or the difference (i. e. , not much work at all). Our group took the simple approach and didn`t do any major modifications. We just retuned the existing circuits, and used "high side" LO injection which avoids a major retuning of the local oscillator module at the cost of living with a reversed sideband and tuning direction compared to those who use the more complex LO modification. I`ve spent most of my time on this project characterizing and optimizing the local oscillator`s frequency stability. See for details of my experiments, and plots of the LO frequency stability. The LO requires 18-20 volts for operation. Since I want to take my 10GHz rig out on the road, I`d like to be able to run the...

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