The crystal oscillator is the simplest form of transmitter. Normally, oscillators are used to drive buffer amplifiers and power amplifiers, which provide increased output, as well as prevent the output circuit from adversely loading the oscillator.
Most transistors exhibit a characteristic impedance different from the 50-ohm impedance of a well-tuned antenna system. An improper match between the impedance of the transistor and the load (e.g. antenna system) can cause severe power degradation, and worse, can seriously affect the signal, including shifting the oscillator frequency in unpredictable ways.
In the NOGAnaut transmitter, the 2N2222A transistor, which exhibits a characteristic impedance of approximately 200 ohms, is matched to a 50-ohm load via the pi-network filter composed of C1, C2 and L2. The values of these components were chosen to provide a close match between the 200-ohm transistor and a 50-ohm antenna (it is therefore critical that a good 50-ohm antenna system be used with this transmitter). It so happens that these values also form the familiar half-wave harmonic filter, thus satisfying FCC spurious emissions requirements.
Figure 1. NOGAnaut 80M Transmitter Schematic.
Capacitor C5 provides the necessary feedback to begin oscillation. You may find that you can operate your NOGAnaut without this capacitor--stray capacitance in the circuit provides a certain amout of feedback without C5. However, it was found during development of this circuit that the oscillator can have troubles starting at times, therefore it is recommended that you leave C5 in the circuit.