An inexpensive marker generator kit that’s worth its weight in gold!
The VE3DNL Marker Generator, designed by Glenn Leinweber VE3DNL, is one of the most useful tools that a QRPer can have on the bench. It is a small circuit that generates a square wave rich in harmonics that can be heard on a receiver for precise tuning and alignment. It is ideal to mount in an Altoids tin and it is very easy to build and get working. The manual is well written and provides clear assembly and usage directions.
The generator can be set up for marking on 5, 10, 20 or 40 kHz, depending on the output selected. This enables you to find where you are with that NorCal 40, Sierra or SW40 rig that did not come with a digital readout or an AFA. Plus, Chuck Adams showed me how he used it as a poorman’s signal generator when he wanted to align a receiver and there were no signals on the band. Chuck had built the very first SST on 20 meters and we finished it at 3 AM. 20 was dead, but Chuck just reached for his VE3DNL marker generator, and listened for the signal in the receiver. When he wanted to attenuate the signal, he just moved the VE3DNL farther away. I was blown away by the simplicity of it all.
Last fall Jay Bromley decided to not do Arkiecon and he had some VE3DNL kits that were missing parts. He sent the kits to me as NorCal had supplied the pc boards for the kit and suggested that I finish kitting them and offer them to the group. He sent them complete with the manuals. I ordered the parts last week when several people mentioned it on the list. We have 93 kits left of the original FT. Smith VE3DNL kit offering. I suggested this kit in my “What Kit Should I Build” series that I wrote a couple of years ago. It’s a great starter kit for those who have never built before.