In a group buy sponsored by W8ISS, I bought the PCBs and parts for LO/transverter boards to build W1GHZ transverters for 902, 1296, 2403, and 3456 MHZ. I have stuffed the LO and transverter boards for 902 and 1296 MHz, but had no way to check them out. I was recently able to borrow a spectrum analyzer for a few weeks, so now I'm scrambling to get as many of these boards up as I can. I've just applied power to the first piece in the line-up, the 756 MHz LO board for the 902 MHz transverter. It's definitely oscillating at 756 MHZ, but unfortunately the signal is at about -28 dBm. The docs for the W1GHZ design say I should be seeing about +5 dBm. Well, I guess that's why they call it troubleshooting. Still, this is extremely cool. I never thought I would be into VHF-UHF-SHF operating, let alone building my own gear for these freqs!
Paul Wade, W1GHZ, has done the amateur community a real service in these simple transverter designs. If you have to buy all the parts outright, you can expect to pay about $70-80 per band which is still darn cheap. But if you can get in on a group buy, that price will drop to sub-$50, which is really incredible. What a fantastic way to experiment with SHF. I have already learned a ton of good stuff and I'm sure both learning and fun have just begun.
73 de W9HQ