Sunday, June 30, 2013

Something to be aware of

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
Where rubber pad and 2 D fastener meet.
 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. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A bump in the road......

Key setup passed
It's been twelve plus day since the last post, the summer is here now and the out of doors is calling my name! The K2 build has not been on the back burner there has been progress and excitement as well. At this moment the K2 is back in the Panavise and parts are being added to the RF board. Before we get to that I did have a bit of an adventure with my last checkout........Alignment and test part 1.
Volt meter probe check
The relay test was perfect with hearing all the relay's clicking and talking to one another. I did not have to build the RF Probe or the Voltmeter probe as I had them from my last build. The testing of the voltmeter probe was good, the 4 MHz oscillator was within spec, the Audio and tone generator test was great,  I was able to adjust R1 for 3.80 volts no problem, keyer test and AGC threshold tests all were good! It was the S-meter alignment were things went south, my Cal S lo came in at 255 and I was not even able to preform the Cal S Hi at all!!! So it was off to the Elecraft reflector to find out what was going on. Don
R1 adjustment
W3FPR got back to me with the not so good news...."Your Cal S Lo is way  off" I was asked to check various components, make voltage and resistance checks. At one point there was thought I had issues with either U2 or Q12 on the control board. At one point I found the Control board to RF board connector was not seating and it was due to a washer that was under the Control board and not allow
Washer lifting board
connectors to seat fully. I remedied this but the problem was not fixed.  In the end after many emails and checking it turned out to be something very minor. The Front panel board was not fully plugged into the RF board. Once that was looked after the Cal S Lo and Cal S Hi all went as planned. Finally it was off to the bargraph Current test and it went very well. It's now off to Part 2 in the RF board assembly, it was what seemed to be touch and go with the first alignment and checkout but after it was all said and done just a closer look at inter board connections could had saved me over a week of emails, sweating and uncounted voltage checks, soldering connection checks, proper component placement such as diodes and finally the second guessing that goes on throughout the whole event!!
Washer that needed to be moved
One of many emails to sort out issue
Final and good reading
All is well now and it's off to new adventures in the build. I did want to take a moment to thank Don W3FPR for all his help and all those on the reflector who offer their advice to get you over the hurdles. 
 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hold on the k2 is being powered on for the first time!

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.
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. 

Now each time you turn on the K2 you are going to have the friendly greeting of........
I am in the final stages of the first alignment and test. In this section I test the Audio amplifier and tone generator, keyer, AGC threshold, S meter alignment and bargraph current test. Stay tuned as some of these test DID NOT turn out as planned. I turned to the Elecraft reflector for help.....and help they did!