Sunday, March 25, 2012

Almost done ...

I managed to get in some very good construction sessions in the past couple of days and have almost finished up stuffing parts into the KSB2 board. I thought I would post some pictures that folks might find useful.

Here's a view of the bottom of the board; that's where all but one of the resistors are installed. The instructions for prepping the resistor leads and installing the parts were excellent. Overall, I'm finding the KSB2 build instructions to be about the best I've seen from Elecraft so far.
Here's a close-up of the crystals, installed and grounded. Here again, the instructions for grounding the crystals were very good. I also referred back to my posting here on grounding the K2's crystals, which was still helpful.

All that remains to be installed on the KSB2 board are the two transformers and two RFCs; these are all wound and ready to go. Next following that is opening up the K2 and modifying the RF board to accept the new plug-in board.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Capacitors, Diodes, Resistor Networks

I've managed to put in a small number of hours over the past several days and the project is coming along, as usual, slowly but surely. I'm still checking each component's label and placement on the board two or three times before soldering, and then checking each soldered connection immediately.

Over the weekend, while waiting for the two missing parts to arrive (which they did in the morning USPS delivery on Monday), I wound T1 and T2, so they will be ready when I get there.

You can see in the picture that there were a large number of the small blue caps to be installed; fortunately, for all of them, I was able to follow the initial instruction, and didn't have to bend their leads at all.

Diode installation was no sweat. The instructions were very clear. The right side of the board is so crammed that several of the diodes were not labelled on the board at all, but were very clearly marked in the pictorial in the installation manual. The "check it twice" method caught the fact that I had initially put D4 in in the wrong direction; the cathode goes up, not to the right.

Here's what the KSB2 looks like so far. The right side is crowded. The holes for the cathodes of the two diodes at the extreme right side of the board are actually right at the edge of the board.

Transistors next ...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Adding the KSB2 SSB Adapter

A bit more than a year has gone by since I completed building the KPA100 and the building bug has bit again. I spent a big chunk of this winter someplace warm and I brought my K2 (sans the KPA100), and kind of wished I had had voice capability. So, I decided to add the KSB2 SSB Adapter to my K2.

The kit arrived by UPS yesterday in the late afternoon, and I did the inventory last night. The kit was complete except for one capacitor and one resistor; I wrote to Elecraft about it last night, and the parts have already been shipped as I write this (thanks, Elecraft!!).

Here's the kit, sorted into a variety of containers, and ready for assembly. As you can see, there's really not a lot of parts to this kit. However, as you can see here, the adapter board is pretty small, and there are a lot of small capacitors and 7 crystals, etc., crammed into a pretty small space. Should be interesting!

The KSB2 board is Rev. G, dated 2011. I started construction this afternoon; I couldn't get too far because the missing capacitor is one of the earliest parts to be stuffed (and I really don't want to get ahead of the assembly instructions). Assembly is prefaced with a comment about not needing to straighten the leads on small capacitors, but also to keep them no more than 3mm above the board. However, as the leads were formed on C30 and C36, there was no way the capacitors would be that close to the board; so I straightened the leads (and fortunately did not break them!).