June 01, 2019
13cm or 2.4GHz is a fun band for contesting. With more and more stations moving to the higher bands for bigger multipliers means everyone can enjoy building gear for such a weekend.
I’ve picked up an SG Labs 13cm transverter which took a considerable time to get from Bulgaria to Australia. 2-3 months to be precise. Out of the box, this 13cm transverter requires an IF of 435MHz to produce a 2.403GHz output at 2 watts. Its frequency range is 2.3GHz to 2.425 GHz which takes us to a little bit of the FM section of the allocation.
I had an old IC7000 in the junk box which was capable of 430MHz SSB so it was a perfect match for the job. The transverter can be powered by an external DC power supply or up the coax for remote mounting. You’ll need a bias tee or rig capable of doing this like the IC9700 or IC9100. There are others. It also has an always-on RF VOX circuit.
With an output TX power of 2.5 watts, you’ll need to provide 13.8v at 1A. Now if you’re going to use a bias tee, make sure it can deliver what this transverter needs. The local Mini Kits company sell bias tees which only deliver 300mA which isn’t enough, so check out the MFJ-4119N as it can supply 1A.
One problem in built-up suburban areas is 2.4GHz WIFI. The QRM can be quite intense for 2403.15 as the channel 1 WIFI is 2.412GHz. Some filtering is required, and that’s still under investigation at the time of writing.