|The K2 is packed and ready for the move|
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Friday, September 27, 2013
|Packing things up for a short time|
|Coming up Bifilar toroid winding|
Thursday, September 5, 2013
|It's crystal time|
Installing the crystals1. I check and double check to make sure I am mounting the proper crystal and mounting it in the proper place.
2. I tape the crystal in place by using some painters masking tape (very easy to remove) with a row of crystals I will run one long piece of tape across the top of the crystals and then to the board. Don't worry about a flush fit to the board at this moment that can be tweaked once the crystal is in place.
|5 crystals that were taped|
4. Remove tape and reheat each leg single soldered leg while pushing down on the crystal to seat in firm and square on the board. Again applying heat at short intervals.
5. Solder all second legs of crystals and then trim flush with board.
Grounding the can of the crystal
Now comes the fun part and when you really have to take your time and check and double check things. I like to make the final build look as neat as possible and here is a step that takes some to to get it right. In the kit building process the manual has been asking you to keep the clipped leads and this is where they come in handy. You can take these clipped leads and use them to ground the cans of the crystals. Again care must be taken to not heat the crystals up to much as to damage them. I have a few trick up my sleeve to help the builder to avoid heat damage while grounding the can.
Here are the steps I do to ground the crystal can's
- I find a discarded lead in my container of "discarded leads" I take my time to shape the lead to fit neatly on the top of the crystal (some leads you are told to solder to the side as well).
Add flux to top
- I then add some flux to the top of the crystal to be grounded and then add some solder to the top of the crystal. The flux allows the solder to flow nicely and not much heat is needed to do this.
- I then fit the preformed ground lead in place. I make sure the lead has an extra long tail as it goes through the board. This way I can hold it in place as I add a little solder to the soldering iron tip and then tac the ground lead to the top of the crystal.
- Making sure the lead looks neat I then solder the lead at the circuit board.
- I now can go back to the top of the crystal and add more solder if needed.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Last week I received an email from Patrick ON4CDJ he was asking me to break down the solder blob method I use to strip off the coating on the magnet wire. So instead of writing a long post with pictures I decided to put a video together. So here it is and do email me if you have questions or something you would like to see added.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
When I first started kit building some years ago it was the dreaded toroid winding that I never looked forward too. After winding and rewinding over time it has not become a dark task, it has taken some time to get the hang of it but I can say that I no longer get uptight about the process. I have learned some tricks and some never ever skip steps when it comes to toroids.
I am in the process of building my second K2 rig from Elecraft and there are lots of toroids to be wound. Now having said that if you want you can order per-wound toroids from the toroid guy. If you do order toroids that are per-wound I would encourage you to try to wind your own as well. What I have found is it's only practice that is needed to get the hang of the winding thing. In the past I have built many Elecraft kits were toroids have been involved, I have learned as I said some tricks, some must do stuff and things to stay away from when it comes to this art.
Saturday, August 3, 2013
My other blog on the other hand has in and around 400-500 visits per day. But 20-30 visits per day is not bad I think for a brand specific blog. Not everyone is building things and an Elecraft k2 to even narrow it down more. I am very happy with this blog to just put it out there to help out fellow builders and those who are building an Elecraft K2. To my surprise today I was checking the visit to this blog and between yesterday and today it has spiked to 80!!! Not sure what is going on there but I hope it keeps up.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
|The three components|
|Here is the spot...notice trace humps to right|
|The completed result|
Sunday, July 7, 2013
|It's just not going to fit on the board|
|First bend 90 degrees out|
|Second bend to bring them parallel.|
Sunday, June 30, 2013
There something to be aware during the front panel build that was not included in my first K2 build. On page 28 of the Elecraft manual you are asked to place 2 rubber pads in the upper corners of the front panel board. I did this and forgot all about it.....until.......the first alignment and test part 1 on page 43. In this checkout you get the privilege to assemble the K2's RF board, Front panel along with the front plate and control board. The rig at this point is really starting to take shape. When I tried to secure the front panel (including the front plate) to the 2 D fasteners that are on the side panels the bottom was easy but at the top there was some resistance in lining up the hole on the front panel with the thread on the 2 D fastener each
side panel. I have built lots of Elecraft products and have come to learn that when feeling resistance like this it's not a good thing and something is just not right. After removing and re-assembling the front panel board many times!!!! Even filing away at some parts of the board I felt at the time was causing the problem it jumped out at me....it was those rubber pads on the front panel board that were coming to rest on the 2 D fasteners that was causing the resistance!!! So after about 2 hours of mucking around it turns out that all was ok. So just be aware that when the front panel board goes together there is going to be some resistance between the upper front side panels 2 D fasteners and the upper left and right front panel board.
|Where rubber pad and 2 D fastener meet.|
Saturday, June 15, 2013
|Key setup passed|
|Volt meter probe check|
|Washer lifting board|
|Washer that needed to be moved|
|One of many emails to sort out issue|
|Final and good reading|
Saturday, June 1, 2013
This is going to be the first time I have powered up the K2 and more or less it's the first (of many) moments of truth. There are some messages you should see when you turn the radio on for the first time.
Now each time you turn on the K2 you are going to have the friendly greeting of........
|The K2 is alive and well|
There is a short time that goes by (seems like forever) and then a second message will appear if all is well.
|This is the next screen you want to see.|
Monday, May 27, 2013
|The K2 is starting to take shape|
|removing the tape|
|2D on bottom installed correct|
|Proper mating of "P" and "J" connectors.|
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
|Front panel almost complete.|
|Installing encoder wires|
The VFO encoder requires some assembly onto a circuit board as well as some components to install as well. Elecraft introduced a new encoder in March 2012, the old encoder did not have a circuit board. Also the encoder's shaft is a bit larger and a new style VFO knob is included. Old K2 VFO knobs will not fit over this shaft. Regarding the PC board make sure you trim the leads on the bottom of the PC board. If the leads are not trimmed there is a possibility the leads will come in contact with the control board. The control board and front panel board are in time going to be attached to each other and the tolerances between the two boards at certain point are very close. I did find a 4 pin SIP (J connector as Elecraft calls them) connector in the bag of VFO parts. I emailed Elecraft as I thought this could be used in place of running the 4 component leads. They had no idea how the 4 pin "J" connector made it's way into the parts bag. I was advised to use the 4 component leads as the assembly manual states. When the time comes to fit the front panel PC board to the front cover you will also add the nut that secures the VFO encoder to the front cover plate. Just a word of caution here is to make sure you DO NOT over tighten the encoder nut. If over tightened the VFO readout (once you get to that part of the build) will be very erratic. I find the nut if torqued to just beyond finger tight is good.
Monday, May 13, 2013
|The RF board|
|Relays are in|
Sunday, May 5, 2013
|Starting to look like a K2|
Sunday, April 28, 2013
|Front panel with diffuser and LCD|
|White plastic on LCD|
Monday, April 22, 2013
|Switches added to front panel board|
|The boss keeps a close eye|
|Rework parts for SSB Mic option|