HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN Q METER...

This article appeared in the January/February issue of Amateur Radio (the journal of the Wireless Institute of Australia) and is reprinted here for the convenience of others. (Aussies who are not members of the WIA are urged to join our new streamlined national body- it is the only way we have of defending our spectrum allocations against an increasingly greedy mixture of government and private enterprise).

Download the files for the "Q Meter" here by right clicking on the appropriate link and using the "SAVE TARGET AS" Windows feature.

The PCB track pattern was produced using PROTEL AUTOTRAX (download FREE from the Altium site at http://www.protel.com/downloads/eula_autotrax.htm) and to allow easy reproduction in a magazine, have been drafted by viewing the PCB from the bottom. i.e. most unconventionally. Only the track pattern for the PCB has been provided. The copper ground plane on the other side of the pcb is produced by completely covering that side of the pcb with Contact (the stick on plastic film that kids use to protect the covers of school books) to protect it while the tracks are etched. After etching, all holes for component leads are then drilled. The Contact is then removed, and where appropriate, the groundplane surface is counterdrilled with a 1/8" (3.2mm) dia. drill so that component leads are isolated from the groundplane. Use a relatively flat faced drill and just break through the copper. NOTE THAT YOU MAY HAVE TO HORIZONTALLY FLIP THE TRACK PATTERN, DEPENDING ON HOW YOU CHOOSE TO MAKE THE PCB.

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