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Mike, NI2S's Ham Blog

Page 17

25-FEB-08:  RF MotherBoard Assembly Continued.

I have been a busy little Ham of late.  In addition to redesigning this web site, I continued working on the RF PCB.  I have installed a lot of components since my last post.  I am now up to the first series of alignment steps. I estimate the board is 60% complete.  There were few individual operations worthy of notation during this phase of assembly.  Just a lot of installs of capacitors, resistors, coils and toroids.  A lot of close in work as the board is now getting pretty crowded.  I found it easiest to solder one component at a time when installing those parts with very tight clearances


The trickiest operation of this series of component installs was a pre-manufactured toroid that is bridged by a resistor.  The leads off the winding are very fine and hard to work with even under magnification.  Here is a pic of this component:

Also in the spirit of grousing, the manual tells you to install piggy-backed Diodes D16 & D17 on the bottom of the board.  That's fine, but the manual doesn't say what the values of these diodes are, so you have to fish for the diode id's in the back of the manual.  An annoying oversight that happens from time to time in this manual.  Elecraft should never refer to a part with identifying it clearly within the install step instructions!

I am currently stymied from proceeding to the alignment steps due to a missing 4.7pf ceramic capacitor.  I ordered replacements from Ken's electronics - they only had 5pf caps, but according to the Elecraft manual, 5pf should be fine.  I also ordered another roll of fine solder.  Doing so produced this news flash - Ken says "the price of solder is skyrocketing".  Take note kit builders and homebrewers, stock up on solder now.  The Chinese are still driving the price of raw materials up, up and away (that and the declining dollar are a double whammy)!  In addition to this, I also ordered the pesky missing toroid core.  I expect these parts to show up this week.