Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [softrock40] Re: New crystal frequencies for CHEAP

Expand Messages
  • k5nwa
    Last year at OzarkCon they had a crystal grinding workshop using old surplus FT crystals, several rank beginners were able to move the crystals 30KHz to 60KHz
    Message 1 of 23 , Apr 2 7:28 AM
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      Last year at OzarkCon they had a crystal grinding workshop using old
      surplus FT crystals, several rank beginners were able to move the
      crystals 30KHz to 60KHz with no problems at all.

      The used fine grit sandpaper.

      At 08:35 AM 4/2/2007, RAY wrote:

      >My approach to increasing frequency was to grind with toothpaste or a dry
      >drafting eraser, also some of these guys required edge grinding, I even
      >calibrated CB channel XTALS this way - Don't laugh it worked and for those
      >of us that had to shake-and-bake our stations it was a great solution. I
      >even had a few XTALs open mounted that I could change the spring pressure on
      >to move off of interference..It was fairly easy buy a complete XTAL kit
      >Military Surplus and get to the interior as these had screwed down cover
      >plates on them. so there were all kinds of concoctions used to play the
      >frequency. It wasn't unusual to see a thumb screw projecting from the case
      >so that a xtal could be trimmed on the fly. The overtone XTALS were
      >toughest to work with and the easiest to destroy. Really makes one
      >appreciate the 746PRO and the 756PRO3, all I can say is I hope the good ole
      >days never come back.
      >
      >73, Ray, N0FY
      >----- Original Message -----
      >From: Gary Winblad
      >To: <mailto:softrock40%40yahoogroups.com>softrock40@yahoogroups.com
      >Sent: Monday, April 02, 2007 7:42 AM
      >Subject: [softrock40] Re: New crystal frequencies for CHEAP
      >
      >This is NOT and April Fool's Day article, it REALLY works.
      >
      >Thanks Ray, my dad W6FFY used to grind them up in frequency, I never
      >remember him leading them down though. In a SR we don't have to worry
      >about chirp! You do have to wait for the ink to dry before they will
      >oscillate again if you put much on.
      >I posted a couple pictures but they aren't there today, did the
      >moderator remove them for April Fool's Day??
      >
      >Gary
      >WB6OGD
      >
      >--- In
      ><mailto:softrock40%40yahoogroups.com>softrock40@yahoogroups.com,
      >"RAY" <WA2HVI@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > I don't know about marker pens but this is an old trick used with
      >second WWII xtals but we used lead pencils - it basically adds
      >mechanical loading that slows the cut frequency of XTAL you can also
      >raise the frequency with a light abrassive and it does have a
      >potential negative effect in that it can add start-up chirp to xtal
      >and if you push the frequency to far it won't oscillate at all or go
      >into another mode. But it does work in my novice days back in the
      >50s' we used this a lot to get the rocks off the same frequency as it
      >was common to have .001% accuracy which meant there was potentially
      >100s' on the same frequency.
      > >
      > > 73, Ray, N0FY
      > >
      > >
      >
      >

      Cecil
      K5NWA
      www.qrpradio.com www.hpsdr.com

      Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscripti catapultas habebunt.
      (When catapults are outlawed, only outlaws will have catapults!)
    • Hank Wolfla
      The comments about changing the frequency of crystals reminds me of my novice days back in 1958. We have come along way, but it is still fun to work with
      Message 2 of 23 , Apr 2 7:34 AM
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        The comments about changing the frequency of crystals reminds me of my novice days back in 1958.  We have come along way, but
        it is still fun to work with receivers and transceivers that use a technology that will be with us for a long time.
         
        73,
         
        Hank
        K9LZJ
         
        Hank Wolfla
        hwolfla@...
         

         

        Upgrade Your Email - Click here!


        --
        No virus found in this outgoing message.
        Checked by AVG Free Edition.
        Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 268.18.24/742 - Release Date: 4/1/2007 8:49 PM

      • rds_6
        It s not a joke. It s a hack. Gary expressed a desire to remove the offset between his PCR100 s 10.7 MHz IF and his Softrock s receive frequency to avoid
        Message 3 of 23 , Apr 2 9:12 AM
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          It's not a joke. It's a hack. Gary expressed a desire to remove the
          offset between his PCR100's 10.7 MHz IF and his Softrock's receive
          frequency to avoid having to juggle numbers when using the
          PCR100/Softrock combination. The "crystal penning" technique has
          allowed him to do that (or nearly so) quickly and cheaply. The fact
          that mechanically altering crystals was "an accepted method" prior to
          the advent of hermetically sealed crystals shows the viability of the
          method.

          You're entirely correct that all bets are off as soon as one cracks
          the seal on a crystal case. I'd expect an altered crystal to drift
          or stop oscillating if someone so much as breathes on it (due to the
          increase in mass of the resonant structure from the deposition of
          condensed moisture droplets from one's breath). In fact, Gary
          mentioned that he had to clean debris off the crystal with a fine
          brush in order to get it to oscillate again after grinding the case
          open. Who is to say what will happen to the frequency as reactive
          environmental contaminants react with the crystal or its electrodes
          over time? Even short-term stability will likely be greatly reduced,
          so I'm not advocating use of altered crystals in transmitters or in
          any critical applications. But remember, amateur radio is a HOBBY!

          The idea is that surplus mass-produced crystals are available at sub-
          dollar price points and can be easily tuned much closer to not-too-
          distant desired frequencies. Obviously, anyone wanting a crystal of
          a specific frequency with more convenience, stability, or reliability
          can simply pick up the phone and call ICM, Bomar, or whomever, but
          that would more than double the cost of Softrock. Alternatively, if
          you're happy with whatever frequency you've got now, don't fix what
          ain't broke (or break what ain't broke, which could quite possibly
          happen).

          73,
          Ross N0GSZ

          --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, trabem mebart <ttrraabbeemm@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Hi Gary,
          >
          > Yes, it is an April Fool's Day joke.
          >
          > Today, crystals are vacuum sealed, and breaking the
          > vacuum let's in very bad environmental elements, which
          > eventually degrade the performance.
          >
          > It's very possible that removing the case alone causes
          > the crystal to run at a lower frequency.
          >
          > If it was possible to pull a crystal 1 percent by
          > using a simple and inexpensive method such as black
          > ink, I think the manufacturers would be doing it that
          > way themselves using a 100 ppm tolerance blank,
          > attaching wires, connecting it to an oscillator and
          > marking the crystal while it oscillates...until it
          > gets to the exact frequency needed! It's a process
          > that can be automated easily-they'd use that method if
          > it was really reliable.
          >
          > As it is, they use horrifically toxic and potentially
          > deadly hydrofluoric acid to etch the crystals before
          > attaching electrodes.
          >
          > The cost of fine tuning the crystals frequency is a
          > major one-which is why 10 ppm xtals cast 3 times more
          > than 50 ppm crystals::>
          >
          > In the old days before vacuum sealing was so common,
          > this was an accepted method, many such methods shifted
          > the frequency of the old crystals in the
          > non-hermetically sealed holders of crystals made
          > before 1960.
          >
          > The article is cleaver because it capitalizes on the
          > memory many of us have of using these techniques in
          > the old days.
          >
          > T
          >
          >
          >
          > > I posted a couple pictures but they aren't there
          > > today, did the moderator remove them for April
          > Fool's > Day??
          > >
          > > Gary
          > > WB6OGD
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          ______________________________________________________________________
          ______________
          > The fish are biting.
          > Get more visitors on your site using Yahoo! Search Marketing.
          > http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/arp/sponsoredsearch_v2.php
          >
        • Gary Winblad
          Hi T, Well, I am not saying this will make the very best crystal. It remains to be seen how stable Sharpie ink is with regards to aging and temp coefficient
          Message 4 of 23 , Apr 2 9:53 AM
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi T,

            Well, I am not saying this will make the very best crystal.
            It remains to be seen how stable Sharpie ink is with regards to
            aging and temp coefficient but it DID DO exactly what I wanted, and
            I can tell you it is still VERY stable if you consider the alternative
            is a VFO design. I was blown away by the very LARGE frequency
            delta I could get.

            Hey, my pictures are on page two of the Photos section, check it out,
            I didn't use BLACK ink I used a sexy Pink/Purple!! Not sure why, it
            was just the first one I grabbed out of the bin and it was unused I
            think ;-)

            Well, I am sure the crystal factories DO use automated methods and
            they can control their process (what ever it is) to very fine degrees.
            My crystal was labled 10.738635!! BUT too, that is in the matched
            circuit, in the V5 SR, it was closer to 10.735 so we already are
            messing with its accuracy. From what I have seen so far, this is the
            best 87 CENT solution for me. Remember, we are using $12 receivers
            here!!

            I think I can seal it back up to protect it from the outside
            environment when I am done trimming but it will never be in a vacuum
            or whatever it was in to begin with. But the old FT-243s weren't
            hermetically sealed either and they worked pretty well.

            I have an HP counter with the high accuracy crystal with oven, I will
            try to check my penned crystal accuracy more soon. I did measure
            the freq with everything cold this morning and got 10.7021, or only
            about 500Hz higher than when things were warmer and the ink was wetter
            yesterday.

            Gary
            WB6OGD

            --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, trabem mebart <ttrraabbeemm@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Gary,
            >
            > Yes, it is an April Fool's Day joke.
            >
            > Today, crystals are vacuum sealed, and breaking the
            > vacuum let's in very bad environmental elements, which
            > eventually degrade the performance.
            >
            > It's very possible that removing the case alone causes
            > the crystal to run at a lower frequency.
            >
            > If it was possible to pull a crystal 1 percent by
            > using a simple and inexpensive method such as black
            > ink, I think the manufacturers would be doing it that
            > way themselves using a 100 ppm tolerance blank,
            > attaching wires, connecting it to an oscillator and
            > marking the crystal while it oscillates...until it
            > gets to the exact frequency needed! It's a process
            > that can be automated easily-they'd use that method if
            > it was really reliable.
            >
            > As it is, they use horrifically toxic and potentially
            > deadly hydrofluoric acid to etch the crystals before
            > attaching electrodes.
            >
            > The cost of fine tuning the crystals frequency is a
            > major one-which is why 10 ppm xtals cast 3 times more
            > than 50 ppm crystals::>
            >
            > In the old days before vacuum sealing was so common,
            > this was an accepted method, many such methods shifted
            > the frequency of the old crystals in the
            > non-hermetically sealed holders of crystals made
            > before 1960.
            >
            > The article is cleaver because it capitalizes on the
            > memory many of us have of using these techniques in
            > the old days.
            >
            > T
            >
          • Gary Winblad
            Eloquently put Ross! Thanks so much for giving me the link. Yes, this has made my PCR100/SR complete. I can now just set the PCR to my desired frequency and
            Message 5 of 23 , Apr 2 10:11 AM
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment
              Eloquently put Ross!

              Thanks so much for giving me the link.

              Yes, this has made my PCR100/SR complete. I can now just set
              the PCR to my desired frequency and there is the signal right in
              the middle where I want it. Adding 35KHz everytime was driving me
              nuts.

              And it was very easy to do. The only real problem I have now is to
              decide on exactly what frequency I need.. I was pretty sure I needed
              10.705 based on zero-beating WWV when using my Kenwood TS-440S as the
              IF receiver. When I penned the crystal, I DID stop at 10.705(or
              pretty close) but found that MGKSDR didn't show WWV centered.. I am
              finding that modern rigs (hardware and software) seem to be lying to
              me. They seem to be "automatically" compensating for their "BFO" osc,
              and with MGKSDR you can't lower the passband to really hear zero-beat
              either. At least I know I CAN finely tune the crystal.

              It doesn't sound like anyone else wants to use this technique but if
              you do, I did find that WHERE you put the ink is important. Putting
              it on the crystal itself amounts to a very small freq change. Putting
              it on the silverized pads is where it really makes a difference. And
              one side seems to be like a "course" adjust while the other side is
              like a "fine" adjust.

              And contrary to T's concerns, it is still VERY stable, but I am sure
              too that it is NOT as good as it was when it came from the crystal
              factory.

              Gary
              WB6OGD


              --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "rds_6" <rds_6@...> wrote:
              >
              > It's not a joke. It's a hack. Gary expressed a desire to remove the
              > offset between his PCR100's 10.7 MHz IF and his Softrock's receive
              > frequency to avoid having to juggle numbers when using the
              > PCR100/Softrock combination. The "crystal penning" technique has
              > allowed him to do that (or nearly so) quickly and cheaply. The fact
              > that mechanically altering crystals was "an accepted method" prior to
              > the advent of hermetically sealed crystals shows the viability of the
              > method.
              >
              > You're entirely correct that all bets are off as soon as one cracks
              > the seal on a crystal case. I'd expect an altered crystal to drift
              > or stop oscillating if someone so much as breathes on it (due to the
              > increase in mass of the resonant structure from the deposition of
              > condensed moisture droplets from one's breath). In fact, Gary
              > mentioned that he had to clean debris off the crystal with a fine
              > brush in order to get it to oscillate again after grinding the case
              > open. Who is to say what will happen to the frequency as reactive
              > environmental contaminants react with the crystal or its electrodes
              > over time? Even short-term stability will likely be greatly reduced,
              > so I'm not advocating use of altered crystals in transmitters or in
              > any critical applications. But remember, amateur radio is a HOBBY!
              >
              > The idea is that surplus mass-produced crystals are available at sub-
              > dollar price points and can be easily tuned much closer to not-too-
              > distant desired frequencies. Obviously, anyone wanting a crystal of
              > a specific frequency with more convenience, stability, or reliability
              > can simply pick up the phone and call ICM, Bomar, or whomever, but
              > that would more than double the cost of Softrock. Alternatively, if
              > you're happy with whatever frequency you've got now, don't fix what
              > ain't broke (or break what ain't broke, which could quite possibly
              > happen).
              >
              > 73,
              > Ross N0GSZ
              >
              > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, trabem mebart <ttrraabbeemm@>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > Hi Gary,
              > >
              > > Yes, it is an April Fool's Day joke.
              > >
              > > Today, crystals are vacuum sealed, and breaking the
              > > vacuum let's in very bad environmental elements, which
              > > eventually degrade the performance.
              > >
              > > It's very possible that removing the case alone causes
              > > the crystal to run at a lower frequency.
              > >
              > > If it was possible to pull a crystal 1 percent by
              > > using a simple and inexpensive method such as black
              > > ink, I think the manufacturers would be doing it that
              > > way themselves using a 100 ppm tolerance blank,
              > > attaching wires, connecting it to an oscillator and
              > > marking the crystal while it oscillates...until it
              > > gets to the exact frequency needed! It's a process
              > > that can be automated easily-they'd use that method if
              > > it was really reliable.
              > >
              > > As it is, they use horrifically toxic and potentially
              > > deadly hydrofluoric acid to etch the crystals before
              > > attaching electrodes.
              > >
              > > The cost of fine tuning the crystals frequency is a
              > > major one-which is why 10 ppm xtals cast 3 times more
              > > than 50 ppm crystals::>
              > >
              > > In the old days before vacuum sealing was so common,
              > > this was an accepted method, many such methods shifted
              > > the frequency of the old crystals in the
              > > non-hermetically sealed holders of crystals made
              > > before 1960.
              > >
              > > The article is cleaver because it capitalizes on the
              > > memory many of us have of using these techniques in
              > > the old days.
              > >
              > > T
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > > I posted a couple pictures but they aren't there
              > > > today, did the moderator remove them for April
              > > Fool's > Day??
              > > >
              > > > Gary
              > > > WB6OGD
              > > >
              > > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > ______________________________________________________________________
              > ______________
              > > The fish are biting.
              > > Get more visitors on your site using Yahoo! Search Marketing.
              > > http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/arp/sponsoredsearch_v2.php
              > >
              >
            • k5nwa
              It would not bother me to use this method to get a frequency not available, I will reseal it afterwards though. ... Cecil K5NWA www.qrpradio.com www.hpsdr.com
              Message 6 of 23 , Apr 2 10:18 AM
              View Source
              • 0 Attachment
                It would not bother me to use this method to get a frequency not
                available, I will reseal it afterwards though.

                At 12:11 PM 4/2/2007, you wrote:

                >It doesn't sound like anyone else wants to use this technique but if
                >you do, I did find that WHERE you put the ink is important. Putting
                >it on the crystal itself amounts to a very small freq change. Putting
                >it on the silverized pads is where it really makes a difference. And
                >one side seems to be like a "course" adjust while the other side is
                >like a "fine" adjust.
                >
                >And contrary to T's concerns, it is still VERY stable, but I am sure
                >too that it is NOT as good as it was when it came from the crystal
                >factory.
                >
                >Gary
                >WB6OGD
                >

                Cecil
                K5NWA
                www.qrpradio.com www.hpsdr.com

                Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscripti catapultas habebunt.
                (When catapults are outlawed, only outlaws will have catapults!)
              • RAY
                I serriously doubt that the sealed can holds a gas charge for long maybe a year or two - there are pretty cheap enclosures. I have opened them, never
                Message 7 of 23 , Apr 2 12:17 PM
                View Source
                • 0 Attachment
                  I serriously doubt that the sealed can holds a gas charge for long maybe a
                  year or two - there are pretty cheap enclosures. I have opened them, never
                  witnessed a blow or vaccuum and reassembled by heating them to outgas
                  whether I could and then flash solder the access hole. I have seen a few
                  drift in New Jersey on the infamous Hi-Humidity days but that was on a few
                  and it was also beyond the ambient range of the equipment.. IU also have
                  seen a few (may 10 in my life time that sputtered over an intermediate
                  resonance of 35Khz, in a way this is as much an art as a science, so it must
                  be done correctly or as you have indicated avoid transmitting with it. I
                  used this method for years, in Marine, FM, AM, SSB and commercial Broadcast
                  under scrutiny of Robert Welsh of the FCC and I can gaurantee that he was a
                  nice guy until one of us screwed up then he was not to mild mannered. He
                  had no qualms about suspending a commercial ticket and asking the engineer
                  to justify his actions - embarrasing to say the least and costly .

                  I would have most problem with the small round vapor depositioned overtone
                  XTALS - working with these one had to very careful not smear or degrade the
                  vapor area. So I guess the black ink would work to drop the frequency ( I
                  have used that technique) as far as raising it I would advise caution to not
                  sacrap the vapor area create multimode load or electrical phenome that will
                  keep you guessing for days.

                  http://home.netcom.com/~wa4qal/crystal.htm
                  http://www.bliley.net/XTAL/docs/misc/XTAL_grinding/grinding.html

                  I would guess that if you preheat the solder sealed sealed can so it
                  outgases a little that you have enough negative differential to reduce
                  interloading of the xtal extremes - you could also do any inert safe low
                  density gas if you have a keep very minute presuure on the can while
                  sealing.

                  My last word of advise is if your are transmitting with it is to make sure
                  that XTAL stays where you think is over its full temperature range.
                  Improperly ground xtal can operate in two or more modes if it is fractured
                  (absolutely no chips or missing edges or has had a lop-siding lapping so
                  see the links above - these guys have been doing XTAL s when I was a baby
                  kicking the rails in my crib. Hi Hi

                  As indicated the best approach is to buy the XTAL ground by professional
                  thay understand the electron alignment in the X.Y,Z lattices and that part
                  is science. Sp if you do this, especially with a sealed can or a round
                  XTAL, do it as a tempoaray measured - most of what we hams did early on was
                  influenced by high heat from multigrid valves (we called them bottles and
                  tubes and the bigger one got monikered 807 and beer was the brown bottle)
                  Oh well enough of ham radio and how it related to Roman Empire - most of us
                  have left that phase in the dark ages. The electron tube error for
                  compensate drift oscillators was another science in it self. Frequently a
                  Vaccuum tube oscillator had a position or two on the outside to plug a
                  xtal - that should tell you a lot about how drifty that world was.

                  73, Ray, N0FY


                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: rds_6
                  To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Monday, April 02, 2007 11:12 AM
                  Subject: [softrock40] Re: New crystal frequencies for CHEAP


                  It's not a joke. It's a hack. Gary expressed a desire to remove the
                  offset between his PCR100's 10.7 MHz IF and his Softrock's receive
                  frequency to avoid having to juggle numbers when using the
                  PCR100/Softrock combination. The "crystal penning" technique has
                  allowed him to do that (or nearly so) quickly and cheaply. The fact
                  that mechanically altering crystals was "an accepted method" prior to
                  the advent of hermetically sealed crystals shows the viability of the
                  method.

                  You're entirely correct that all bets are off as soon as one cracks
                  the seal on a crystal case. I'd expect an altered crystal to drift
                  or stop oscillating if someone so much as breathes on it (due to the
                  increase in mass of the resonant structure from the deposition of
                  condensed moisture droplets from one's breath). In fact, Gary
                  mentioned that he had to clean debris off the crystal with a fine
                  brush in order to get it to oscillate again after grinding the case
                  open. Who is to say what will happen to the frequency as reactive
                  environmental contaminants react with the crystal or its electrodes
                  over time? Even short-term stability will likely be greatly reduced,
                  so I'm not advocating use of altered crystals in transmitters or in
                  any critical applications. But remember, amateur radio is a HOBBY!

                  The idea is that surplus mass-produced crystals are available at sub-
                  dollar price points and can be easily tuned much closer to not-too-
                  distant desired frequencies. Obviously, anyone wanting a crystal of
                  a specific frequency with more convenience, stability, or reliability
                  can simply pick up the phone and call ICM, Bomar, or whomever, but
                  that would more than double the cost of Softrock. Alternatively, if
                  you're happy with whatever frequency you've got now, don't fix what
                  ain't broke (or break what ain't broke, which could quite possibly
                  happen).

                  73,
                  Ross N0GSZ

                  --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, trabem mebart <ttrraabbeemm@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi Gary,
                  >
                  > Yes, it is an April Fool's Day joke.
                  >
                  > Today, crystals are vacuum sealed, and breaking the
                  > vacuum let's in very bad environmental elements, which
                  > eventually degrade the performance.
                  >
                  > It's very possible that removing the case alone causes
                  > the crystal to run at a lower frequency.
                  >
                  > If it was possible to pull a crystal 1 percent by
                  > using a simple and inexpensive method such as black
                  > ink, I think the manufacturers would be doing it that
                  > way themselves using a 100 ppm tolerance blank,
                  > attaching wires, connecting it to an oscillator and
                  > marking the crystal while it oscillates...until it
                  > gets to the exact frequency needed! It's a process
                  > that can be automated easily-they'd use that method if
                  > it was really reliable.
                  >
                  > As it is, they use horrifically toxic and potentially
                  > deadly hydrofluoric acid to etch the crystals before
                  > attaching electrodes.
                  >
                  > The cost of fine tuning the crystals frequency is a
                  > major one-which is why 10 ppm xtals cast 3 times more
                  > than 50 ppm crystals::>
                  >
                  > In the old days before vacuum sealing was so common,
                  > this was an accepted method, many such methods shifted
                  > the frequency of the old crystals in the
                  > non-hermetically sealed holders of crystals made
                  > before 1960.
                  >
                  > The article is cleaver because it capitalizes on the
                  > memory many of us have of using these techniques in
                  > the old days.
                  >
                  > T
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > > I posted a couple pictures but they aren't there
                  > > today, did the moderator remove them for April
                  > Fool's > Day??
                  > >
                  > > Gary
                  > > WB6OGD
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  __________________________________________________________
                  ______________
                  > The fish are biting.
                  > Get more visitors on your site using Yahoo! Search Marketing.
                  > http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/arp/sponsoredsearch_v2.php
                  >
                • gw8lxo
                  I am no pro at modifying crystals, but have been using this method with surpluss crystals from *bay with success. So far the penned crystals have either
                  Message 8 of 23 , Apr 2 4:09 PM
                  View Source
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I am no pro at modifying crystals, but have been using this method
                    with surpluss crystals from *bay with success.

                    So far the penned crystals have either oscillated fine or remained
                    dead - no zombies or weird modes!

                    Fortunately they came in lots of 100 - for many a crystal met its end
                    on my bench. First in finding a reliable method of opening them, and
                    second in over-zealous penning and cleaning.

                    I used alcohol to remove the marker - which may be my mistake, rather
                    than nail varnish remover.

                    Anyway, too much and it will remove the elecrode, and say bye to your
                    crystal...

                    Most of the crystals I obtained were welded, so there was no option of
                    unsoldering them. They were also of the HC49U/smx variety ie low
                    profile HC49, suitable for SMD mounting.

                    In the end they actually proved EASIER to open than the regular HC49
                    crystals. I put them in a vice-grip and slice the very top off, using
                    a sharp Stanley knife.

                    There is no debris to contaminate the crystal - just very sharp edges.
                    One side of the crystal is then exposed and can be penned.

                    This method also works fine on crystals on the canned 4pin
                    Oscillators. In this case I usually leave one end uncut so the lid can
                    be bent over like a flap, and folded back again as a cover.

                    The SMX crystals are not as lively as full size crystals, but 30-50k
                    is fairly straight forward at 28Mhz. The best pull so far of the SMX
                    variety is 80k and that is still running fine in a Softrock RX

                    With the full size HC49, or clock Oscillator using full size crystals
                    , a 100k was straight-forward.

                    Others have outlined the method. Try and avoid the edges and make sure
                    that the ink is quite dry. They do not oscillate wet!

                    With just a hint of alcohol on the swab, I get perhaps 2-3 cleaning
                    attempts before the elecrode wears off.

                    It is simple and repeatable, so I think great for experimenting on
                    the Softrock!

                    MIke




                    --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Gary Winblad" <garywinblad@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi T,
                    >
                    > Well, I am not saying this will make the very best crystal.
                    > It remains to be seen how stable Sharpie ink is with regards to
                    > aging and temp coefficient but it DID DO exactly what I wanted, and
                    > I can tell you it is still VERY stable if you consider the alternative
                    > is a VFO design. I was blown away by the very LARGE frequency
                    > delta I could get.
                    >
                    > Hey, my pictures are on page two of the Photos section, check it out,
                    > I didn't use BLACK ink I used a sexy Pink/Purple!! Not sure why, it
                    > was just the first one I grabbed out of the bin and it was unused I
                    > think ;-)
                    >
                    > Well, I am sure the crystal factories DO use automated methods and
                    > they can control their process (what ever it is) to very fine degrees.
                    > My crystal was labled 10.738635!! BUT too, that is in the matched
                    > circuit, in the V5 SR, it was closer to 10.735 so we already are
                    > messing with its accuracy. From what I have seen so far, this is the
                    > best 87 CENT solution for me. Remember, we are using $12 receivers
                    > here!!
                    >
                    > I think I can seal it back up to protect it from the outside
                    > environment when I am done trimming but it will never be in a vacuum
                    > or whatever it was in to begin with. But the old FT-243s weren't
                    > hermetically sealed either and they worked pretty well.
                    >
                    > I have an HP counter with the high accuracy crystal with oven, I will
                    > try to check my penned crystal accuracy more soon. I did measure
                    > the freq with everything cold this morning and got 10.7021, or only
                    > about 500Hz higher than when things were warmer and the ink was wetter
                    > yesterday.
                    >
                    > Gary
                    > WB6OGD
                    >
                    > --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, trabem mebart <ttrraabbeemm@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Hi Gary,
                    > >
                    > > Yes, it is an April Fool's Day joke.
                    > >
                    > > Today, crystals are vacuum sealed, and breaking the
                    > > vacuum let's in very bad environmental elements, which
                    > > eventually degrade the performance.
                    > >
                    > > It's very possible that removing the case alone causes
                    > > the crystal to run at a lower frequency.
                    > >
                    > > If it was possible to pull a crystal 1 percent by
                    > > using a simple and inexpensive method such as black
                    > > ink, I think the manufacturers would be doing it that
                    > > way themselves using a 100 ppm tolerance blank,
                    > > attaching wires, connecting it to an oscillator and
                    > > marking the crystal while it oscillates...until it
                    > > gets to the exact frequency needed! It's a process
                    > > that can be automated easily-they'd use that method if
                    > > it was really reliable.
                    > >
                    > > As it is, they use horrifically toxic and potentially
                    > > deadly hydrofluoric acid to etch the crystals before
                    > > attaching electrodes.
                    > >
                    > > The cost of fine tuning the crystals frequency is a
                    > > major one-which is why 10 ppm xtals cast 3 times more
                    > > than 50 ppm crystals::>
                    > >
                    > > In the old days before vacuum sealing was so common,
                    > > this was an accepted method, many such methods shifted
                    > > the frequency of the old crystals in the
                    > > non-hermetically sealed holders of crystals made
                    > > before 1960.
                    > >
                    > > The article is cleaver because it capitalizes on the
                    > > memory many of us have of using these techniques in
                    > > the old days.
                    > >
                    > > T
                    > >
                    >
                  • Gary Winblad
                    Thanks Mike, That confirms my suspicions, re: the electrodes are fragile.. they must be porus that s why the ink affects their regions the most. I have been
                    Message 9 of 23 , Apr 2 4:35 PM
                    View Source
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Thanks Mike,
                      That confirms my suspicions, re:
                      the electrodes are fragile.. they must be porus that's why the ink
                      affects their regions the most. I have been afraid as of yet to take
                      the nail polish remover or anything to them to try to move back up in
                      frequency.
                      I am using HC-18 crystals so they are big enough to get hold of. I
                      was pretty sure I could Dremel them apart and managed it on my first
                      try. As Ross told you, it didn't oscillate at first, I must have had
                      some ginding debris that I could not even see through my magnified
                      desk light. Brushing it off with my camera lense brush fixed it right
                      up however.
                      Because I sliced the "cap" off, it fits back exactly just minus the
                      width of the cut. When I am done penning, I will just solder it back
                      together.

                      Gary

                      --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "gw8lxo" <gw8lxo@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > I am no pro at modifying crystals, but have been using this method
                      > with surpluss crystals from *bay with success.
                      >
                      > So far the penned crystals have either oscillated fine or remained
                      > dead - no zombies or weird modes!
                      >
                      > Fortunately they came in lots of 100 - for many a crystal met its end
                      > on my bench. First in finding a reliable method of opening them, and
                      > second in over-zealous penning and cleaning.
                      >
                      > I used alcohol to remove the marker - which may be my mistake, rather
                      > than nail varnish remover.
                      >
                      > Anyway, too much and it will remove the elecrode, and say bye to your
                      > crystal...
                      >
                      > Most of the crystals I obtained were welded, so there was no option of
                      > unsoldering them. They were also of the HC49U/smx variety ie low
                      > profile HC49, suitable for SMD mounting.
                      >
                      > In the end they actually proved EASIER to open than the regular HC49
                      > crystals. I put them in a vice-grip and slice the very top off, using
                      > a sharp Stanley knife.
                      >
                      > There is no debris to contaminate the crystal - just very sharp edges.
                      > One side of the crystal is then exposed and can be penned.
                      >
                      > This method also works fine on crystals on the canned 4pin
                      > Oscillators. In this case I usually leave one end uncut so the lid can
                      > be bent over like a flap, and folded back again as a cover.
                      >
                      > The SMX crystals are not as lively as full size crystals, but 30-50k
                      > is fairly straight forward at 28Mhz. The best pull so far of the SMX
                      > variety is 80k and that is still running fine in a Softrock RX
                      >
                      > With the full size HC49, or clock Oscillator using full size crystals
                      > , a 100k was straight-forward.
                      >
                      > Others have outlined the method. Try and avoid the edges and make sure
                      > that the ink is quite dry. They do not oscillate wet!
                      >
                      > With just a hint of alcohol on the swab, I get perhaps 2-3 cleaning
                      > attempts before the elecrode wears off.
                      >
                      > It is simple and repeatable, so I think great for experimenting on
                      > the Softrock!
                      >
                      > MIke
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • FRANCIS CARCIA
                      Vodka is the best crystal cleaner....learned from an old timer. gw8lxo wrote: I am no pro at modifying crystals, but have been using this
                      Message 10 of 23 , Apr 2 5:04 PM
                      View Source
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Vodka is the best crystal cleaner....learned from an old timer.

                        gw8lxo <gw8lxo@...> wrote:

                        I am no pro at modifying crystals, but have been using this method
                        with surpluss crystals from *bay with success.

                        So far the penned crystals have either oscillated fine or remained
                        dead - no zombies or weird modes!

                        Fortunately they came in lots of 100 - for many a crystal met its end
                        on my bench. First in finding a reliable method of opening them, and
                        second in over-zealous penning and cleaning.

                        I used alcohol to remove the marker - which may be my mistake, rather
                        than nail varnish remover.

                        Anyway, too much and it will remove the elecrode, and say bye to your
                        crystal...

                        Most of the crystals I obtained were welded, so there was no option of
                        unsoldering them. They were also of the HC49U/smx variety ie low
                        profile HC49, suitable for SMD mounting.

                        In the end they actually proved EASIER to open than the regular HC49
                        crystals. I put them in a vice-grip and slice the very top off, using
                        a sharp Stanley knife.

                        There is no debris to contaminate the crystal - just very sharp edges.
                        One side of the crystal is then exposed and can be penned.

                        This method also works fine on crystals on the canned 4pin
                        Oscillators. In this case I usually leave one end uncut so the lid can
                        be bent over like a flap, and folded back again as a cover.

                        The SMX crystals are not as lively as full size crystals, but 30-50k
                        is fairly straight forward at 28Mhz. The best pull so far of the SMX
                        variety is 80k and that is still running fine in a Softrock RX

                        With the full size HC49, or clock Oscillator using full size crystals
                        , a 100k was straight-forward.

                        Others have outlined the method. Try and avoid the edges and make sure
                        that the ink is quite dry. They do not oscillate wet!

                        With just a hint of alcohol on the swab, I get perhaps 2-3 cleaning
                        attempts before the elecrode wears off.

                        It is simple and repeatable, so I think great for experimenting on
                        the Softrock!

                        MIke

                        --- In softrock40@yahoogro ups.com, "Gary Winblad" <garywinblad@ ...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hi T,
                        >
                        > Well, I am not saying this will make the very best crystal.
                        > It remains to be seen how stable Sharpie ink is with regards to
                        > aging and temp coefficient but it DID DO exactly what I wanted, and
                        > I can tell you it is still VERY stable if you consider the alternative
                        > is a VFO design. I was blown away by the very LARGE frequency
                        > delta I could get.
                        >
                        > Hey, my pictures are on page two of the Photos section, check it out,
                        > I didn't use BLACK ink I used a sexy Pink/Purple! ! Not sure why, it
                        > was just the first one I grabbed out of the bin and it was unused I
                        > think ;-)
                        >
                        > Well, I am sure the crystal factories DO use automated methods and
                        > they can control their process (what ever it is) to very fine degrees.
                        > My crystal was labled 10.738635!! BUT too, that is in the matched
                        > circuit, in the V5 SR, it was closer to 10.735 so we already are
                        > messing with its accuracy. From what I have seen so far, this is the
                        > best 87 CENT solution for me. Remember, we are using $12 receivers
                        > here!!
                        >
                        > I think I can seal it back up to protect it from the outside
                        > environment when I am done trimming but it will never be in a vacuum
                        > or whatever it was in to begin with. But the old FT-243s weren't
                        > hermetically sealed either and they worked pretty well.
                        >
                        > I have an HP counter with the high accuracy crystal with oven, I will
                        > try to check my penned crystal accuracy more soon. I did measure
                        > the freq with everything cold this morning and got 10.7021, or only
                        > about 500Hz higher than when things were warmer and the ink was wetter
                        > yesterday.
                        >
                        > Gary
                        > WB6OGD
                        >
                        > --- In softrock40@yahoogro ups.com, trabem mebart <ttrraabbeemm@ > wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Hi Gary,
                        > >
                        > > Yes, it is an April Fool's Day joke.
                        > >
                        > > Today, crystals are vacuum sealed, and breaking the
                        > > vacuum let's in very bad environmental elements, which
                        > > eventually degrade the performance.
                        > >
                        > > It's very possible that removing the case alone causes
                        > > the crystal to run at a lower frequency.
                        > >
                        > > If it was possible to pull a crystal 1 percent by
                        > > using a simple and inexpensive method such as black
                        > > ink, I think the manufacturers would be doing it that
                        > > way themselves using a 100 ppm tolerance blank,
                        > > attaching wires, connecting it to an oscillator and
                        > > marking the crystal while it oscillates.. .until it
                        > > gets to the exact frequency needed! It's a process
                        > > that can be automated easily-they' d use that method if
                        > > it was really reliable.
                        > >
                        > > As it is, they use horrifically toxic and potentially
                        > > deadly hydrofluoric acid to etch the crystals before
                        > > attaching electrodes.
                        > >
                        > > The cost of fine tuning the crystals frequency is a
                        > > major one-which is why 10 ppm xtals cast 3 times more
                        > > than 50 ppm crystals::>
                        > >
                        > > In the old days before vacuum sealing was so common,
                        > > this was an accepted method, many such methods shifted
                        > > the frequency of the old crystals in the
                        > > non-hermetically sealed holders of crystals made
                        > > before 1960.
                        > >
                        > > The article is cleaver because it capitalizes on the
                        > > memory many of us have of using these techniques in
                        > > the old days.
                        > >
                        > > T
                        > >
                        >


                      • gw8lxo
                        Gary, I think you are right to be wary of damging the electrode, use the bare minimum of fluid and a light touch, damp is almost too much. With the alcohol
                        Message 11 of 23 , Apr 2 5:38 PM
                        View Source
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Gary,

                          I think you are right to be wary of damging the electrode, use the
                          bare minimum of fluid and a light touch, damp is almost too much.

                          With the alcohol swab it discolours and pieces flake away from the
                          crystal. I have had a few which kept bravely on after this, but they
                          would not tolerate further penning and were discarded.

                          In my limited penning experience - the bigger the crystal the more
                          leeway you have!

                          One other thing - there has been some mention on the list of poor
                          activity in some of the new crystals, potentially a problem for the
                          penned crystals.

                          I have been using the oscillator from one of the canned Oscillators
                          [one where I broke the crystal] as a test jig while penning.

                          Its a bit awkward to solder inside the can but I ran two thin wires
                          from the crystal contacts inside the can so that I can tack on the
                          test crystal.

                          [There is usually a difference of a few kHz between the two
                          oscillators Softrock VS Canned - due no doubt to different loading,
                          conditions etc.]

                          It appears that the canned oscillator is less tolerent [ie worse] than
                          the softrock oscillator regarding activity.

                          So in this case if it oscillates in the test jig it always fires up ok
                          in my softrock and so I dont end up using what might be the marginal
                          crystals after penning. When I do my next batch I'll look at this
                          some-more.

                          MIke

                          --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Gary Winblad" <garywinblad@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Thanks Mike,
                          > That confirms my suspicions, re:
                          > the electrodes are fragile.. they must be porus that's why the ink
                          > affects their regions the most. I have been afraid as of yet to take
                          > the nail polish remover or anything to them to try to move back up in
                          > frequency.
                          > I am using HC-18 crystals so they are big enough to get hold of. I
                          > was pretty sure I could Dremel them apart and managed it on my first
                          > try. As Ross told you, it didn't oscillate at first, I must have had
                          > some ginding debris that I could not even see through my magnified
                          > desk light. Brushing it off with my camera lense brush fixed it right
                          > up however.
                          > Because I sliced the "cap" off, it fits back exactly just minus the
                          > width of the cut. When I am done penning, I will just solder it back
                          > together.
                          >
                          > Gary
                        • gw8lxo
                          Francis, Definitely would not use those crystals in a transmitter Drinking and driving dont mix! ... MIke
                          Message 12 of 23 , Apr 2 5:41 PM
                          View Source
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Francis,

                            Definitely would not use those crystals in a transmitter

                            Drinking and driving dont mix!

                            :)

                            MIke



                            --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, FRANCIS CARCIA <carcia@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Vodka is the best crystal cleaner....learned from an old timer.
                            >
                            > gw8lxo <gw8lxo@...> wrote:
                            > I am no pro at modifying crystals, but have been using this method
                            > with surpluss crystals from *bay with success.
                            >
                            > So far the penned crystals have either oscillated fine or remained
                            > dead - no zombies or weird modes!
                            >
                            > Fortunately they came in lots of 100 - for many a crystal met its end
                            > on my bench. First in finding a reliable method of opening them, and
                            > second in over-zealous penning and cleaning.
                            >
                            > I used alcohol to remove the marker - which may be my mistake, rather
                            > than nail varnish remover.
                          • FRANCIS CARCIA
                            vodka does not leave a film on the quartz after it dries. It may be lazy while wet though....frank gw8lxo wrote: Francis,
                            Message 13 of 23 , Apr 2 5:58 PM
                            View Source
                            • 0 Attachment
                              vodka does not leave a film on the quartz after it dries. It may be lazy while wet though....frank

                              gw8lxo <gw8lxo@...> wrote:
                              Francis,

                              Definitely would not use those crystals in a transmitter

                              Drinking and driving dont mix!

                              :)

                              MIke

                              --- In softrock40@yahoogro ups.com, FRANCIS CARCIA <carcia@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Vodka is the best crystal cleaner....learned from an old timer.
                              >
                              > gw8lxo <gw8lxo@...> wrote:
                              > I am no pro at modifying crystals, but have been using this method
                              > with surpluss crystals from *bay with success.
                              >
                              > So far the penned crystals have either oscillated fine or remained
                              > dead - no zombies or weird modes!
                              >
                              > Fortunately they came in lots of 100 - for many a crystal met its end
                              > on my bench. First in finding a reliable method of opening them, and
                              > second in over-zealous penning and cleaning.
                              >
                              > I used alcohol to remove the marker - which may be my mistake, rather
                              > than nail varnish remover.


                            • Art
                              I m not sure whether they are actually vacuum sealed or whether they are just sealed to keep the environment out. In the FT-243 days, vacuum was much harder to
                              Message 14 of 23 , Apr 3 10:03 AM
                              View Source
                              • 0 Attachment
                                I'm not sure whether they are actually vacuum sealed or whether they
                                are just sealed to keep the environment out.

                                In the FT-243 days, vacuum was much harder to come by then it is today.

                                I have a magnetron disassembled right now in my basement, in an
                                attempt to pull it down to the 2304 Mhz by modifying each cavity
                                mechanically so it will operate at a lower frequency. When I get
                                done, I can restore the vacuum myself-a task that would not have been
                                practical 30 years ago.

                                So, we have many ideas that are good ideas at the time of conception
                                that aren't practical until the passage of time makes then so....the
                                softrock is a classic example.

                                I seem to remember an occasional cleaning of the guts of the old
                                ft-243 crystals was necessary-presumably because they weren't
                                hermetically sealed.

                                I wonder how much a crystal will change frequency by breaching the
                                case to allow air inside instead of vacuum? If the corner of a
                                crystal was removed with a dremel tool so that air could be let in,
                                the hole could be soldered closed afterwards. Maybe this one shot
                                method might be worth investigation?

                                Regards,

                                Art




                                >I think I can seal it back up to protect it from the outside
                                >environment when I am done trimming but it will never be in a vacuum
                                >or whatever it was in to begin with. But the old FT-243s weren't
                                >hermetically sealed either and they worked pretty well.
                              • rds_6
                                Art, I like your idea. I ve got C25 gas (75% argon + 25% carbon dioxide (my apologies to Al Gore)) for MIG welding that s free of moisture and other
                                Message 15 of 23 , Apr 3 11:11 AM
                                View Source
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Art,
                                  I like your idea. I've got C25 gas (75% argon + 25% carbon dioxide
                                  (my apologies to Al Gore)) for MIG welding that's free of moisture
                                  and other contaminants. Maybe I can "pour" a cubic foot or so into
                                  the bottom of a five-gallon bucket and solder an opened crystal shut
                                  and see what that does to the frequency.

                                  Maybe I should just solder an HVAC flare fitting on the crystal can
                                  so I can pull a vacuum and either leave it evacuated or fill it with
                                  any desired gas (e.g., C25, R-12, R-134, R-22, etc.) at any desired
                                  pressure. Tube radios aren't necessarily the only ones that are not
                                  entirely "solid state"...hihi...

                                  73,
                                  Ross N0GSZ

                                  --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Art <KY1K@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > I'm not sure whether they are actually vacuum sealed or whether
                                  they
                                  > are just sealed to keep the environment out.
                                  >
                                  > In the FT-243 days, vacuum was much harder to come by then it is
                                  today.
                                  >
                                  > I have a magnetron disassembled right now in my basement, in an
                                  > attempt to pull it down to the 2304 Mhz by modifying each cavity
                                  > mechanically so it will operate at a lower frequency. When I get
                                  > done, I can restore the vacuum myself-a task that would not have
                                  been
                                  > practical 30 years ago.
                                  >
                                  > So, we have many ideas that are good ideas at the time of
                                  conception
                                  > that aren't practical until the passage of time makes then
                                  so....the
                                  > softrock is a classic example.
                                  >
                                  > I seem to remember an occasional cleaning of the guts of the old
                                  > ft-243 crystals was necessary-presumably because they weren't
                                  > hermetically sealed.
                                  >
                                  > I wonder how much a crystal will change frequency by breaching the
                                  > case to allow air inside instead of vacuum? If the corner of a
                                  > crystal was removed with a dremel tool so that air could be let in,
                                  > the hole could be soldered closed afterwards. Maybe this one shot
                                  > method might be worth investigation?
                                  >
                                  > Regards,
                                  >
                                  > Art
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > >I think I can seal it back up to protect it from the outside
                                  > >environment when I am done trimming but it will never be in a
                                  vacuum
                                  > >or whatever it was in to begin with. But the old FT-243s weren't
                                  > >hermetically sealed either and they worked pretty well.
                                  >
                                • Art
                                  ... Soldering it closed after the vacuum has been released shouldn t affect the frequency. But, it might oscillate at a different frequency when surrounded by
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Apr 3 2:54 PM
                                  View Source
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    At 02:11 PM 4/3/2007, you wrote:
                                    >Art,
                                    >I like your idea. I've got C25 gas (75% argon + 25% carbon dioxide
                                    >(my apologies to Al Gore)) for MIG welding that's free of moisture
                                    >and other contaminants. Maybe I can "pour" a cubic foot or so into
                                    >the bottom of a five-gallon bucket and solder an opened crystal shut
                                    >and see what that does to the frequency.


                                    Soldering it closed after the vacuum has been released shouldn't
                                    affect the frequency. But, it might oscillate at a different
                                    frequency when surrounded by different gasses. If the vacuum is
                                    breached while the crystal was cold and surrounded by cold air, very
                                    little moisture would enter the crystal. It could then be soldered
                                    closed while still surrounded by cold air.

                                    I use that trick to seal photodiodes in closed containers so that
                                    moisture can't condense on the lens on the inside. Between closing
                                    the container when surrounded by cold air and leaving a small amount
                                    of desiccant inside, I've never had any moisture problems in any of
                                    my sealed light receivers.

                                    If you are serious about playing, I strongly suggest you use reagent
                                    grade gas though, or any grade of gas rated for gas chromatography.
                                    Welding grade might contain small amounts of contamination.

                                    Enjoy::>

                                    Art
                                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.