The original W2EWL articles from QST and the ARRL SSB book are available here:
Copyright © 2020 KG7TR. Technical information on this site may be shared in the interest of promoting the hobby of amateur radio. I do ask that you give proper credit to KG7TR for my equipment designs.
The 20 meter Cheap 'N Easy II next to K5LYN's Drake 1-A and L-4B. Lynn used this very station when serving as net control on the Vintage SSB net.
20 Meter Cheap 'N Easy II
I prepared a comprehensive manual covering operation and maintenance of the 20 meter Cheap 'N Easy that is available at the button below:
As a result of the Vintage SSB Special and Octalmania projects I had a lot of junk Command set parts left over, including some chassis. Just for the heck of it I decided to homebrew my own Cheap and Easy phasing rig, closely based on the original W2EWL designs. I still had a B&W 3502Q4 phase shift network I got when I was in high school. About the only things I didn't have were the three audio transformers, but some modern units from Mouser Electronics filled the bill nicely.
I call my version the Cheap 'N Easy II, and it incorporates some modern updates to make it easier to operate and work better. These features include a separate mixer stage, Colpitts VFO, ALC, built in antenna and T/R relays, freq spotting function and a meter. The 80 and 20 meter Cheap 'N Easy II radios were featured in the November and December 2013 issues of Electric radio Magazine.
This radio is now owned by Lynn, K5LYN. It has achieved some notoriety as Lynn has used it when net control for the Vintage SSB net that meets Sundays at 1300 CST on 14.292.5 MHz (He has since converted it to 80 meters, see below).
Bob, W9RAN, has put together a nice slide show about the original Cheap 'N Easy and my modern versions. Plus there's audio of Lynn's Cheap 'N Easy on the air courtesy of Wade, K0MHP. Here's the link to Bob's presentation:
In 2019, K5LYN converted his 20 meter Cheap 'N Easy II to operate on 80 meters, since propagation on 20 meters became very poor. He now uses it on the Wednesday night Boat Anchors net on 3.870 MHz. New picture and schematic are below and to the right.
Bottom view. The three audio transformers are mounted on perf board. Toroid coils are used in the low level stages.
The schematic is available at this button:
Here's a copy of the instruction sheet that came with the B&W 3502Q4 phase shift network:
The 20 Meter Cheap 'N Easy II, KG7TR's 21st century rendition of W2EWL's famous homebrew radios from the 1950s.
The schematic below incorporates the modifications made by K5LYN to convert the radio to 80 meters:
Side view of K5LYN's conversion to 80 meters. Like the 20 meter version, new PA coil is wound on one inch PVC pipe. The rest of the radio pretty much looks the same.
Rear view. 12SK7 is the Colpitts VFO, 6SN7 is the new mixer stage, and the 6AG7 drives the PAs.
Side view of the 20 meter version. PA coil is wound on one inch PVC pipe
Top view. The B&W phase shift network is in the octal tube can right next to the green power resistor. Original Command set 1625s put out about 40 watts PEP with external Heath HP-23B supply.