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Mike, NI2S's Ham Blog

Page 22


04-Jul -08 - RF Board Final Assembly




All pcb board construction is now finished.  As I mentioned these last few assembly steps were some of the most difficult, with T4 being the toughest of all, but I did it


Here is a pic of the component side of the completed Motherboard:




Here is a pic of the solder side of the completed Motherboard:



After re-assembling the basic rig components into the chassis, the first step is to do a few resistance measurements.  All but one measurement was nominal.  The manual doesn't offer any instructions on what do if a resistance measurement comes out abnormal, so I emailed Elecraft.  They told me it was probably nothing and I should continue with final alignment.


So, ready for initial transmitter alignment, I sat down to take the plunge, and realized I overlooked something important....I don't own a dummy load!!  Yeah, that's right, I am building a kit all these years, and I don't even own a dummy load.  Well, now I do.  I bought Elecraft's 20w dummy load.  Now I can align the transmitter.  The initial alignment went smoothly with no problems. 


After the xmitter alignment, Elecraft has you go through another receiver alignment step, which I did, but with mixed results.  Maybe I am going deaf in my old age, but I could not hear any signal noise difference for almost all the bands as I tuned the coils.  This worries me a bit, but on the flip side, I am able to hear signals, so.....I dunno.  As I've have mentioned before, I think the audio output is a bit weak.  I still think there is something going on with the receiver.  I will have to do some debugging I think.  But for now, I set the weak audio issue aside to continue alignment.


The final xmitter alignment steps are next, These I did not have a problem with.


And the rig is now ready for basic operation & use.  However, I purchased a number of modules that need to be installed.  While Elecraft recommends you play around with the rig in basic configuration for awhile to get used to it.  I am too impatient.  So I am starting to install the modules.


Because it's one of the smallest, I decided to install the 160m/2nd RX mod first.  Installation was a breeze.  No problems found other than one - I don't have an 160m antenna!  So obviously this mod was for future use, so I did not go through all the 160m alignment steps at this time.  I did put the 2nd RX antenna connection through it's paces to make sure it worked.  It does.  Here is a pic of the partially assembled radio with the 160m/2nd RX mod installed in the upper right back corner of the rig:



This is where I've stopped for now.  Still to install is the noise blanker, the Auto Antenna Tuner unit, the SSB module, and the battery pack.