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Mike, NI2S's Ham Blog

Page 7

07/Aug/06: I ran into a snag tonight which required me to stop and email Elecraft for guidance.  The basic issue is a vague discussion of installing R14/R15, on the SSB PCB, and whether they are installed on the solder side, or the component side. In the spirit of "never assume", I must ask for clarification here.  I am also a little concerned about the fact that all of my add-on modules are Rev A, and I am going to be installing them into my newly minted Rev B.  I am looking for assurance from Elecraft that this will work, and that there are no other Rev parts needed for the various optional modules I purchased along with the Transceiver way back when (as noted in my Kit Inventory above). 

I did make progress today, I just had to stop before I got too far ahead of the step in question, and perhaps caused problems for myself down the road.   Thus far, the Kit Build Fun-o-meter is pinned.  I am having a blast.

 09/Aug/06: Elecraft has spoken - the mystery of the R14/R15 position has been solved (resistors installed on solder side of the PCB).  Got an email from Elecraft yesterday on this, and I installed the resistors as instructed.  I continued on tonight, installing electrolytic caps, more resistors (of which one is AWOL) and a handful of DIP IC's.  I stopped at the crystal filter install on the SSB board.  For my three inquiries with Elecraft thus far, they have been both responsive, and quite helpful.  They get high marks so far for customer support.  

Here is a pic of the board before the crystal filter install: 

10-Aug-2006:  The SSB board is complete.          There are 4 toroids to wind on this board - the first to be wound for this kit.  Winding toroids is everything it's cracked up to be - tedious.  I counted the winds on each toroid 4 times, so they'd better be right.  The wires for the toroids were red and green colored, which made me groan, being color blind in both colors, as I mentioned above.  I took a guess, and went with it.  I think I guessed right.  I found the solder blob technique of removing the enamel insulation for the end leads easy.  It just requires patience - I went over and over the leads with the solder iron, building a solder blob up on the tip of the iron, then slowly running the solder blob down the lead to burn off the enamel.  All the toroids soldered into the PCB just fine, so I am confident the enamel removal was a success.  As a result of my email to Elecraft, they told me to install RFC1 and RFC2 on the component side of the board instead of the solder side.  If I had not had a doubt about R14/R15, and emailed Elecraft, I would have missed that change because the manual that I had said to install on the solder side (and the Errata sheet did not mention this change).  Moral of the story:  if you are not sure about something - don't hesitate to email Elecraft Support and ask.  You'll be glad you did!

There are a few parts to install on the RF board in support of the SSB module.  I decided not to install these just yet.  I packaged the RF board SSB parts, and included them in the RF Board parts bag along with the manual for the SSB module.  The SSB manual is written with the assumption that the SSB board is being retro-fitted into a built kit.  Since mine is un-built, I will incorporate the RF board changes as I come to them in that PCB build.  Now, back to finish the Front Panel.