Heathkit SB-610 Monitor Scope Solid State Conversion Project

I wrote an article about converting a Heathkit SB-610 station monitor scope to solid state and it is published in the September 2014 issue of QST Magazine. I'll be providing additional details about the project here so keep checking back for more information.

You can view the complete photo album of the project here: https://picasaweb.google.com/114796403235994604385/SolidStateScopeConversion?noredirect=1

Corrections and Clarifications

The biography information was not updated from the original manuscript submission. Here is the one I intended to be published:

Dave Cook, WA0TTN, is a software developer and technical writer licensed in 1968. He graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering Technology from the University of Southern Colorado and holds a First Class Radio Telephone license. Through his interest in microprocessors he migrated into software engineering, which subsequently lead to a career in technical writing and instructing. His interest in software and ham radio lead to wrote lead to collaboration with Moe Wheatley, AE4JY, the prolific developer of the PSKCore DLL and SpectraVue software and resulted in several software components intended to help other hams in writing their own custom PSK31 programs. Dave lives at 2810 Severn Dr., Reno, NV 89503 and can be contacted at wa0ttn@netdave.com. Website: netdave.com/wa0ttn.

The original intent of this project was somewhat modified during the article editing, which gave the impression that this was a "repurposing" of an SB-610 monitor scope. In reality, my intention was to start with a solid state conversion, adding the analog clock display functionality, and then to add the original monitor scope capabilities. Those capabilities would include RF monitor circuitry and a two-tone generator. However, the editor (and I am in complete agreement with him) wanted to only describe the scope conversion as it existed at the time I wrote the article.

Another thing I wanted to mention in the article is that all this project requires is a chassis and a CRT. The SB-610 provided that, and there are plenty of "parts only" SB-610s available on eBay, swap-meets, and in grandpa's garage. Howver, anything with a chassis for mounting the CRT, a decent front panel, and a CRT that's in good shape will do for this project - this is not just about the SB-610. Using the components described in the article you can build a custom monitor scope that matches the style of your station.

Thanks to Paul Schaefers, VE3PHS, for pointing out that Q1 on Figure 5 is a 2N3906 PNP transistor. This was an editing mistake that wasn't caught before the article publication.

Early in the development of this project I met Richard Blackman, VA3NDO, who also did his own version of the SB-610 solid state conversion. Here is his version of the conversion: http://va3ndo.tripod.com/SB-610_Clock_Conversion.html

The original PCB I received from Jon Stanley for this project completely integrated the power supply, deflection, sweep generator, and the Duchtronix clock circuits on a single board. The current incarnation that Jon is providing is just the power supply and deflection circuitry. As mentioned in the article, the clock board can be obtained from SparkFun.com. However you'll still need to build the sweep generator yourself. After several requests I'm providing the schematic and PCB layout files for the free softare available from Express PCB. This software gives you the option of either ordering PCBs from PCB Express or simply using the PCB layouts to wire up your own circuit on a project board, such as can be obtained from Radio Shack.


Send e-mail to Dave:

Go to the WAØTTN Web page.

Go to the Dave Cook Consulting Web page.

Last updated: August 18, 2014