Progressive Receiver

The Progressive Receiver first appeared in November 1981 QST. The design was done by Wes Hayward, W7ZOI, and John Lawson , K5IRK. The basic circuit also appears in the ARRL Handbook 1990 and is entitled " A High-Performance Communications Receiver". Original .pdf files can be obtained from the ARRL website. The receiver pictured below is my first version. I used "Manhattan Style" construction on all the boards. I choose to use a N3ZI DDS VFO in lieu of the VFO described in the article. My first attempts with the analog VFO in the original schematic proved to have too much drift. A Ten-Tec 2.4 Khz crystal filter was used in the 9 MHz. IF. Audio filtering was used in the audio stage to enhance the SSB and CW performance. I used junk box parts where they were available, as the parts count in this project is high. Purchasing all new parts will prove to be very costly....but it will provide a great receiver after completion !

(click above photo for larger image)

Below is my third version Progressive Receiver. It uses the N3ZI DDS VFO, Ten-Tec 9 MHz. crystal filters and a hybrid cascode amplifier for the 9MHz IF. I also used crystal controlled local oscillators as described in the original article. On top of the receiver is the variable BFO and NESCAF audio filter. At this point I have built 3 of these receivers, each time incorporating some different ideas and changes. I am now working on a general coverage version for shortwave listening. I've found an AM detector that works good and the next challenge is to implement decent band pass filters. Building all three of these "Progressive Receivers" has been an exceptional learning experience for me !

(click above photo for larger image)

Progressive Receiver Links and

  • AA3SJ's website - Beautiful build of the Progressive Receiver
  • N9SKN's website - A step by step build of the Progressive Receiver
  • N3ZI Kits - DDS vfo
  • EM Series Enclosures - A nice enclosure for the receiver
  • LCD Bezel - Used with the N3ZI DDS
  • International Radio (INRAD) - Crystal IF Filters
  • Hybrid Cascode IF Amplifier - An alternative IF Amp
  • Broadband RF Amplifier - Great circuit!
  • E-Mail : K2BLC