During the front panel build you are going to eventually arrive at the diffuser and LCD installation. This I have found to be one of the more confusing parts and I have seen many questions asked about this process on the Elecraft reflector. Lets start with the diffuser, you will notice each side of this device is covered in a white plastic. Our first impression is to peal it off or at some point it will be pealed off......DO NOT PEAL OFF THIS COATING....this coating stays on and does not come off at all. The diffuser has to be mounted
not flat against the PC board but 1/8 of an inch above the board. To do this locate the small PC board you used to mount the push-buttons onto the front panel. At one end of this PC board you are able to snap off (being very careful) 4 pieces that are going to be used for the spacers of the diffuser. The Elecraft instructions tell you to use elastics to hold the diffuser in place. This is a great method and has worked very well for me. The soldering of the diffuser has to be done on the top of the board as U1 is on the other side of the board. The only caution is to watch where your soldering iron is while soldering the
diffuser pins. You don't want to melt any of the components with the hot soldering iron shaft. After soldering the spacers are removed and the diffuser will be 1/8 off the board.......it's Elecraft magic!!
Now it's time to mount the LCD and again this has a white plastic on the bottom....DO NOT PEAL OFF THIS COATING.....this has to stay on and be careful as I have found it has a tendency to want to come off. Elecraft is very very clear if you peal this off the LCD will not work and it's not covered under warranty. Now you will notice (and are told in the Elecraft manual) a clear plastic film on the top of the LCD for the time being just leave it alone. They do mention also that a clear protective film could be on the bottom of the LCD as well (I have not come across that) but if it's there it has to come off....BUT NOT THE WHITE PLASTIC.....Make sure the LCD is flat against the diffuser before soldering all the pins and these pins also are soldered on the top of the board. Be aware of where your soldering iron is while doing this as to not damage any other components. Once this is done you have mounted the diffuser and LCD!