4 - State Microwave Group
Arkansas - Kansas - Missouri - Oklahoma

The W1GHZ "Simple and Cheap" Transverters

Paul, W1GHZ, has developed a series of five transverters for the 902, 1196, 2304, and 3456 MHz microwave bands. He's detailed it on his web page with photos and links to several PDF documents. The reader is referred to the following web pages or documents for first hand information:

  • W1GHZ general web page - http://www.w1ghz.org
  • W1GHZ main rover transverter page - http://www.w1ghz.org/MBT/multiband.htm
  • 2008 Microwave Update conference paper - http://www.w1ghz.org/MBT/Multiband_Four_Microwave_Transverters.pdf
  • 902 MHz transverter PDF document - http://www.w1ghz.org/MBT/902_MHz_Transverter_for_the_Multiband_Rover.pdf
  • 1296 MHz transverter - Right Side Up version - PDF document - http://www.w1ghz.org/MBT/1296MHz_Transverter-Right_Side_Up.pdf
  • W1GHZ powerpoint (with audio narration) from SVHFS conference - http://www.w1ghz.org/MBT/MBT_SVHFS_audio.ppt
  • As Paul has pointed out in his presentations, this is a fairly simple and less expensive design which should do a good job in introducing hams to the microwave bands and an acceptable job for low power (QRP!) hill-topping and rover contest work. Of course, we don't expect the performance that a much more costly DB6NT or DEMI transverter would bring us, but one might be surprised what these transverters can do when mated with a good antenna in a good location.

    The 4SMicrowave Group Buy

    In March-April 2009, our group conducted a group buy for the majority of parts required to construct these transverters. Forty-nine hams from all over the U.S. participated. It is not expected to be repeated, however for certain parts (namely Mini-Circuits parts), members of our discussion list may wish to organize mini-buys of a few parts if enough interest is shown. Historical notes on the group buy are still found here.

    Here's a photo showing one of the surface mount packages we included in the group buy. Note that the strips of surface mount parts are taped to the printed sheet of paper showing their values and schematic designators. Parts are easily removed with a hobby type Xacto knife as they are needed in construction. The static sensitive semiconductor parts remain protected in their original packaging until the builder removes them. Through-hole type parts are packed together and easy to identify by the markings on them (not the case with some SMT parts!). It is suggested you only remove one (or one value) part at a time, just before soldering it to the board.


    We've started with some notes, ideas, hints, etc. for these transverters. Please refer to the sections here for further information.

    Typical Wiring Diagram

    Bills of Material

    Parts Placement



    We'll add to this information shortly! In the meantime, please read the FAQ and stay tuned to our discussion list. We'll reproduce many of the ideas and suggestions on the discussion list here when time permits.


    He writes:

    I plan to write about the simple transverters in my next QST Microwavelengths column, and would like to include some pictures from others, showing how they have packaged them into a complete transverter. so, if you'd like to be included and can send me a picture of a completed (or almost complete) transverter by mid-July, this is your chance to be slightly famous!

    a few suggestions for photos:

    everyone has a digital camera - 4 to 6 megapixels is adequate (not a cellphone camera)

  • put it on a tripod, if possible
  • a solid color background is preferred - I use disposable tablecloths from the supermarket
  • even lighting is important. in the morning or late afternoon of a bright day, in the shade on the shady side of the house with an open sky will give even light
  • turn off the flash, shiny metal reflects too much
  • fill the frame, so you use all the pixels you paid for. a small image in the middle of a photo loses resolution. use macro setting when close
  • shoot from different angles - try to show the important parts
  • even if you don't get it done in time, send a picture when you do -- I like to see hams homebrewing


    Blog on 1296 construction

    The blog page of 9A4QV found at http://croatia-microwave.blogspot.com/2010/12/w1ghz-rover-transverter-for-1296-mhz.html has some interesting comments and ideas and worth a read.

    Copyright © 2009,2011 by AE5K - Last Modified on 2011-January-27