Sunday, April 28, 2013

Diffuser and LED confusion

Front panel with diffuser and LCD
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
Diffuser
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 spacers
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!  

White plastic on LCD
diffuser spacers

4 comments:

  1. Hi Mike, I did the classic at this stage and missed soldering no 1 pin. Once I'd realised my mistake (testing the control panel and no LED light!) I had to retrace my steps, it wasn't a repair.... more like gentle surgery! - Richard M0AUW

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    1. Good evening Richard and very nice to hear from you. I trust your K2 is working well? It is very easy to miss any other the pins. I bet you were sure nervous about things before you had seen what happened? It's funny when I run into similar troubles and the Elecraft manual asks to you to check all solder connections! I think "come on only the new guys can miss a solder joint"....WRONG....I have done it many times. Thanks for taking the time to comment Richard and enjoy your K2.
      Mike

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  2. Mike, Really pleased with the completed K2, I still cannot get over how good the receive is. The KPA/100 build went well and have been happily QSO'ing with both QRP and full power. The only two issues for me were the soldering of LED pin 1 and the PLL oscillator alignment test, which became a bit of a nightmare. But with the help of Don from the forum we managed to put in a fix by replacing the resistor pak for two 10k resistors. At a bit of a loss now, not sure what to build next, maybe the SSB option?? Watching your build with interest and strangely jealous - 73s Richard

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    1. Good evening Richard, there were many times when Don helped me out with my Elecraft builds on many occasions. I too once a build has finished am lost as to what to do next. I have not as yet added the SSB option but I may add it to this unit as it may help out the sale of it.
      Thanks for tracking the build....it's a bit slow at times as I have other ham radio related stuff to do as well.
      Mike

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