Another SoftRock 6.0 ready - and doing well
- I am afraid that the forum is already full of happy people announcing
proudly that they succeeded mounting the kit. But I cannot resist
adding my own remarks after successfuly assembling the kit.
It is really a great kit. I was very afraid of the of SMT/SOIC(I just
soldered one SMT device in my life), but with good magnifying glasses,
good lighting, fine soldering, a fine tip and drinking deccafeniated
coffe during two days all went well. And especially thanks to the very
The result is outstanding using the program Rocky, even on an old Dell
(900 MHz PIII with on board sound card, about 40-50 % cpu used).
Usually toy receivers are overloaded by a 500 Kw AM transmitter just
12 milles from my QTH. But with the SoftRock I was able to decode SBB
and CW without problems.
Viewing the occupation of the band is very instructive too.
A couple of things I learned:
- It is VERY important to systematically checked for short cirtuits
between pads. I case of doubt I used tooth picks to gently clean the
area between two pads.
- I found that I had to add 50C to the iron temperature (a Weller)
when using a very fine tip, as the tip was probably not transfering
heat as efficiently as a regular tip. The very fine tip was useful for
the SOIC, but not so much for the SMT capacitor - the pads are not
that small (however I learned to build watches long long time ago, so
my perception of small may be biased).
- If Rocky shows an image around the central frequency, there may be a
very simple cause: I first pluged the input in the mike entry, which
is monophonic. Using the aux entry solved the issue.
- And naturally one must mute the output of the line out, otherwise
your ears mix again what the SoftRock so painfully separated (don't
laugh so loud... it happened to me!).
73, thanks to Tony and all the people who contributed to this project.
No problem posting a success story ... always nice to hear from folks when
they get it going. Sort of neat to have a little inexpensive kit to try
out some surface mounted parts, and to play with some bleeding edge ham
radio technology. Congratulations on getting it going.
At 03:26 PM 6/5/2006, hb9duj wrote:
>I am afraid that the forum is already full of happy people announcing<....>
>proudly that they succeeded mounting the kit. But I cannot resist
>adding my own remarks after successfuly assembling the kit.