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Mike, NI2S's Ham Blog

Page 4

On Page 15 of the assembly manual, the instructions indicate to install "all" the capacitors except for the cylindrical electrolytic types.  Well, at the end of installing "all" the capacitors, I was left staring at C44, smack in the center of the board, wondering where I skipped over it.  At the very end of the Control board chapter, it states that C44 is not used.  Better to put that comment in the section where it says to install "all" the capacitors. 

Also on Page 15, the manual says to install all the above capacitors dry, and then solder after all are in place on the board.  I don't agree with this.  The spacing of these components makes it difficult to maneuver the solder iron around to solder them all in one shot.  And it is too annoying to stop and snip leads after each solder.  So, since the installation of these caps generally proceeds left-to-right (from the component side perspective), my recommendation is to break this up into thirds and stop, solder a group, install the next third, solder them and then the last third.  This applies to group resistor installation as well - too many leads jutting out all over the place makes positioning for a good solder annoying.

As with the Heathkit manuals of old, it would be great if a to-scale ruler were printed along the bottom of the page where measurements are called for. 

I am of the opinion that C6 should be installed after the X1 crystal grounding step on Page 16.  This would make positioning the ground jumper a little easier.

Here are pics of the finished Control board:       

Front Panel PCB

4/Aug/06:  Next up for assembly is the front panel.  On the front panel, I had no difficulties at all.  I followed my own advice and broke up the capacitor install to solder fewer at a time.  I found it easier. I did study the cap install to make sure I would not do harm by soldering early, and no harm was done. There are many precision steps on this PCB, and I had no trouble executing these steps.  One piece of advice - READ the entire step before jumping in to a particular task, AND read the next step to be sure there are no land mines ahead.  The instructions for this board were top notch.