Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Salmoncon 2010

This is a late posting of our Puget Sound QRP SalmonCon weekend of July 9th, 10th and 11th.

I went to Salmoncon with the idea of working some QRSS and WSPR on my IC-730 in the fresh air and camping environment. Most attendees were there to work SSB and CW with a little PSK, and attend the technical lectures. There were two or three K3's, an SDR, many other commercial rigs and some HomeBrew equipment all available for use.

I also, took the parts and projects of my QRSS and Marker Beacons along with my intended project to put together - a "Softrock RX Ensemble Kit". My goal was to get it started, finished and tested before leaving the event - Boy, was I wrong! - I should have known better.

The technical talks where very interesting, entertaining and occupied most of the day. Afterwards, chatting with friends about HAM Radio occupied the evening. There were too many great conversation to enjoy and with so many people with ideas and experiences to attend.

I finally settle down to do some real "Kit" building. The "Softrock RX Ensemble Kit" represents the project that I have had on my minds drawing board for several month as a HomeBrew project. When this Kit was found and revieled it's block diagram and schematic, I just had to have one! The HomeBrew Project I was planning was the same, only I did not have all of the parts and values worked out - this Kit is Great!

Well, . . the first part went in, the second, third and forth. Then I noticed the first part was in backwards - a 1N4007 Diode! - What was I thinking! - It had to come out!

I worked for the next hour taking that one part out, I did not want to damage the board - so I worked very carefully. Unfortanatlly, I did not take my PCB vice with me on this trip. Removal of the "one" part was difficult - holes are small and I wanted to salvage the part. The part was removed and the board was not damaged or marred.

Afterwards, I decided to plan on a new replacement as the top of the diode hairpin loop is a test point that will be used later. The old cut part would not work and provide the test point in the right part of the circuit. Note: the photo shows the correct installation from the manual page.

This set back, dampened my spirits and killed all hope of getting this Kit on the air during Salmoncon. I decided to abandon the effort, and wait until I return home with more time to work the problem.

This is now July 20th - I have not returned to the Kit yet, but maybe soon.

BTW: I now recommend that you read ahead in a kits construction instruction manual - I wonder if I can follow my own advice!


No comments:

Post a Comment