Sbe Sidebander

The SBE SB-50 "SIDEBANDER 6" is an all solid-state 6 meter (upper) SSB and AM transceiver. Frequency coverage is from 50.050 to 50.280 in 23 switched segments of 10 kHz each. The heterodyne oscillator is a frequency synthesized arrangement of 10 crystals combined with the 7.8 MHz j-f to produce the frequency range mentioned. One switch selects the proper pair of crystals to provide any frequency within this range. To cover the frequencies between the 10 kHz points, one of the crystal oscillators is pulled +3 kHz. This control is labeled "RIT." Turning the RIT control to the extreme counterclockwise posi tion switches off the RfT feature and locks the receiver and transmitter together.

Squelch is provided with a front panel control to set the operating point. At first I thought this was a useless item, but believe me it isn't if you are the type who leaves the rig on for long hours listening for an opening. The only other panel control is the receiver af gain. On/Off, AM/SSB and Noise Blanker in/Out functions are controlled by push-push variety push buttons. Also on the panel is an illuminated meter which reads signal level to 30 over 9 in receive and relative output in transmit.

All tuned circuits normally tuned by panel controls have been broad-banded, This allows instant operation within the stated frequency range without the bother of peaking, tuning and loading. As could be expected there is some compromise involved, but in this case the difference from one end of the range to the other is no more than 3 dB with maximum sensi tivity in the normally utilized mid-range. The transmitter output variation could not be noted on ihe wattmeter. Output on SSB was measured at 10 watts, and the AM output half that. Signal reports over a two-month period averaged about 2 J'S" units (or 12 dB) down from the parallel 6146's in the rig used for reference. Ale is included in the trans mitten

The receiver is excellent; good enough, in fact, to make me suspect there was something wrong with my regular rig. There wasn't, The rig was loaned to K0RIR for several weeks so I could hear it and Don experienced the same situation. This rig hears better than i thought was the state of the art.

While intended to operate from an automotive electrical system, it can and was used at the home station with the addition of a small 3 ampere, 12 volt supply. The mobile intent is obvious in the amount of af output available for masking background noise and the lack of VOX circuitry. The noise blanker works extremely well on ignition noise. On SSB or AM, turning on The blanker in the presence of high ignition noise levels produced a full and complete removal of alt evidence of the noise. In a rig intended for operation in an automobile this is a necessity to my way of thinking-you will not be disappointed.

There will be those who question the power output level. For Es and local ragchews 10 watts is perfect, but for scatter or groundwave it is somewhat lacking - for that matter so are the 200 watt transceivers. If anything, 10 watts is a more reasonable output level, perfect for driving a linear without swamping loss, and I might add that 1 experienced no TVl on a cheap, unfiltered TV which goes bananas when my old rig is keyed.

The quality of design, components and workmanship are first class in all ways. The component side of the single PCB is silk-screened with every designation and all internal controls are clearly marked for ease of adjustment, should you ever feel the need. The size and weight remind you of 2 meter FM, Does it sound as if I like the SB-50? It should, because I do.

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