Friday, February 7, 2014

The Farhan Minima RF Mixer - Cont'd 2

If you look at the schematic of the Mixer shown as used with LTSpice (see previous post), you will see the center of the lower transformer is not grounded. The original Farhan circuit grounds this point. When I first copied it, that is, created the circuit within LTSpice, I inadvertently forgot the ground connection.

But the LTSpice simulation worked as expected so I assumed the circuit was correct. Later while cross-checking the circuit for another issue, I noticed the forgotten ground. But, then when the transformer ground was connected, the LTSpice simulation did not show the expected 20MHz output via the FFT. Now I am really confused.

To allow the created circuit on the PCB to be tested with and without the transformer grounded, I inserted two Zero Ohm resistors that will be left out of the ground path for initial testing. I am sure they will be needed as I am sure Farhan knows his circuit much better than I.

Without the DC ground path I wonder how the LTSpice solution is discharging the electron build up from the effects of rectification at the junction of the JFET. Perhaps the other JFET junction provides a DC leak to ground. Regardless, I have something to do experiments with.

Also, I laid out the circuit board for smaller coil forms (BN-43-2402), but I could not find my 36 AWG wire to wind the cores.  When found, I plan to load another PCB with the small cores.

UPDATE: Feb 14, 2014
I found a role of #26 AWG wire and decided to try to wind a tri-filer winding on the very small BN-43-2402 binocular core. I was only able to get about three turns on the core, I needs 8 turns for this project. I will continue looking for my much smaller wire.

I had previously mis-posted the part number of the Binocular Cores that I have used. the number and links are now correct.


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