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Mike, NI2S's Ham Blog

Page 8

Problems, problems, problems.

My return to finish the Front Panel board assembly was foiled by a bad part.  This is not Elecraft's fault.  There is a piece of transparent green film that is supposed to be glued in place over the bar S Meter opening on the Front Panel.  Elecraft supplies two small strips of two sided tape.  Unfortunately, that tape has been sitting around decaying for about 4 years, so it is no longer 2 sided tape.  The glue separated from the tape, and that is the end of that.   I have to order the replacement switch cover anyway, so I will order this up too.  It does mean probably a two week delay in finishing the Front Panel assembly.

But wait - there's more bad news.

In my enthusiasm for the build, I intentionally skipped over some resistance tests that Elecraft specifies for the Front Panel and Control boards.  Well I decided it was high time to go back and take those resistance measurements, and see where I stood.  How the mighty fall:  About 30% of the total resistance tests across both boards failed to meet the specification (Yikes!).  Several of the resistance tests indicate an open somewhere.  I have done some circuit tracing but so far I haven't turned up any component install mistakes.  Due to my color blindness problem, I may have to bribe someone for a 2nd pair of unimpaired eyes to make sure I've got my resistors correct.  It's also possible that I may have fried an IC or transistor with too much heat during soldering.  The sleuthing begins.  I will exhaust all my troubleshooting options before I throw in the towel and seek out Elecraft support.  While this is both a set back, and certainly a disappointment, my enthusiasm for this kit build is un-diminished!

 While I wait for the needed parts to finish the Front Panel.....I will split my time between the RF (Mother) Board assembly, and the troubleshooting of the Control and Front Panel boards. 

Here is a pic of the RF Board before component install begins:     I don't call it the Mother board because I am attached to it in an odd-ball sort of way, it's the main (and largest) board in the kit.  Can you tell?

21-Aug-2006: Having revisited the resistance measurements for the front panel board, I find that I am slightly off on one measurement and I suspect the others are fine.  Just to be safe, I will email tech support and ask, however, I am feeling confident enough to continue with the Front Panel Assembly.  Elecraft shipped out the new double sided tape and button caps, so I continued.  Here is a pic of the finished Front Panel Assembly  .  So cool.