Good progress today with the transmit side of my Tenbox 10m AM transceiver.
The series modulator was breadboarded a few days ago, so today I built the 3rd overtone oscillator, the buffer and the modulated PA stage. Results were as expected with around 50-60mW of clean well modulated AM available at the output. With a single linear amplifier with around 10-13dB gain (easy at 29MHz) this will take me into the 500mW-1W carrier level, which is my design aim. As I did not have a suitable 29.05MHz crystal (anyone know where these can be obtained cheaply?) I used a 28.500MHz one on a dummy load. With this frequency, any range tests will have to be done at night to avoid QRM to SSB stations.
When the linear is added , maybe even before then, I'll do a local "drive around" test with the TX on "speech beaconing" mode (using an MP3 file on the PC) and with the RX attached to a mag-mount antenna on the car. This will establish the useable local coverage. Assuming this power level is OK, I'll then complete the full design on a tidy breadboard and publish the initial schematics on my blog and website. After that, a PCB may be in order and a neat enclosure.
This project is great fun: a simple, straightforward and easily reproducible design and a project that will be useful at the end. Much more fun than working DX with 400W and a 5 el beam in a contest with a £5k commercial HF transceiver. Honestly, I'm having a real ball with this.