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Re: [softrock40] Thanks for the help!

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  • Zack Widup
    I have one of those Weller 25 watt pencil soldering irons. What I do is remove the regular tip, put in a screw that fits the threads (I think it s a 10-24
    Message 1 of 11 , May 11 12:43 PM
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      I have one of those Weller 25 watt pencil soldering irons. What I do
      is remove the regular tip, put in a screw that fits the threads (I
      think it's a 10-24 thread) and wrap a piece of #16 or #18 bare copper
      wire around the end of the screw. I leave about 3/8 to 1/2 inch of the
      wire sticking out beyond the end of the soldering iron barrel and the
      screw. It gets plenty hot to melt 0.031" and 0.015" solder for
      surface-mount devices. I have soldered thousands of SMD parts on with
      this arrangement.

      73, Zack W9SZ

      On 5/11/13, Alan <alan4alan@...> wrote:
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Joe
      > Subject: [softrock40] Thanks for the help!
      >
      >
      >
      >> For any other newbies here: I found the SMC components very intimidating
      >> at first. Never done that before. Practiced a bit and
      >> then jumped in with both feet. Using the solder paste / hot air method.
      >
      > Congratulations, but others may find your method intimidating. I'm not quite
      > a newbie but always have used an ordinary iron and
      > solder on Softrocks and all other SMDs. Occasionally solder wick may be
      > needed.
      > Try the solder paste method if you wish but it is certainly not required.
      >
      > 73 Alan G4ZFQ
      >
      >
    • Tom Hoflich
      Hi Tony, Remember the XTALL?  That would give you 16 different frequencies settable with dip switches. Seems like that would be a good place to start since
      Message 2 of 11 , May 11 1:31 PM
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        Hi Tony,

        Remember the XTALL?  That would give you 16 different frequencies settable with dip switches.
        Seems like that would be a good place to start since the work is basically done

        73, Tom

         
         


        From: Tony Parks <kb9yig@...>
        To: softrock40@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Saturday, May 11, 2013 1:40 PM
        Subject: Re: [softrock40] Thanks for the help!

         
        Thanks Joe for the positive remarks about the Ensemble II receiver kit.  It always pleases me when someone has success and fun with one of the kits.

        I have built more than 200 of the Ensemble II receivers over that last 12 months and I continue to have fun with the receiver design.  It continues to really be a pleasure for me to see signals appear on the spectrum display immediately after connecting DC power, USB cable, audio cable and antenna coax to a freshly built receiver board.

        I am thinking about doing an IF signal receiver version of the kit where a small board would include an Si570 for better setting of the IF center frequency.  DC power would be taken for all circuits from the USB 5 volt source and efforts would be made to isolate USB noise form the receiver circuits.  The kit would include components such that it could be built for IF frequencies from 455 kHz through about 9 MHz but the kit builder would need to build the kit for his IF application since only one BPF provision would be included on the circuit board.  The circuit board would be much smaller than the RX Ensemble II board and narrow with a USB connector at one end.  The only other connections on the board would be for IF signals input to the board and I/Q output from the board to the soundcard.

        I would be interested in feedback about such as kit possibility.



        Thanks for the kit orders Joe.

        73,
        --
        Tony Parks
        kb9yig@...
        http://fivedash.com
        


        On Sat, 2013-05-11 at 17:46 +0000, Joe wrote:
         
        Just like to thank all who answered my questions about the Enseble II kit. Finished it a week or so ago and like it a whole lot. Ignored the abnormal voltages I was seeing on U6 (since it did tune) and proceeded to complete the rest with no problems. Installed and set up HDSDR with an Asus Zonar soundcard and it is beautiful! Like it so much I just ordered another one for the low frequency bands!

        For any other newbies here: I found the SMC components very intimidating at first. Never done that before. Practiced a bit and then jumped in with both feet. Using the solder paste / hot air method. And it works! Very easy to do, it saves a lot of time and makes perfect solder joints every time. The key seems to be to first apply the right amount of paste with a small syringe, and then drop the SMC onto it as close as possible to where it belongs, so you don't have to slide it around too much to position it because excessive positioning / sliding can wipe the paste off the pads and casue problems.

        Again - thanks too all!






      • Alan
        ... From: Tony Subject: Re: [softrock40] Thanks for the help! ... Tony, I m not too keen on the need for the USB to be connected just for power. I favour USB
        Message 3 of 11 , May 11 11:35 PM
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Tony
          Subject: Re: [softrock40] Thanks for the help!


          > DC power would be taken for all circuits from the USB 5 volt
          > source and efforts would be made to isolate USB noise form the receiver
          > circuits.

          Tony,

          I'm not too keen on the need for the USB to be connected just for power.
          I favour USB for setup, any frequency may be easily preset and reset.
          But power might well be available from the radio PSU and removes the chance of USB noise and ground loops.

          And it seems to me a higher frequency option is worthwhile. My 47.05MHz version works well with a preamp.

          73 Alan G4ZFQ

          he kit would include components such that it could be built
          > for IF frequencies from 455 kHz through about 9 MHz but the kit builder
          > would need to build the kit for his IF application since only one BPF
          > provision would be included on the circuit board. The circuit board
          > would be much smaller than the RX Ensemble II board and narrow with a
          > USB connector at one end. The only other connections on the board would
          > be for IF signals input to the board and I/Q output from the board to
          > the soundcard.
          >
        • Alan
          ... Subject: [softrock40] Re: Thanks for the help! ... Joe, The regulator might be where solder wick could be necessary. But, yes, everyone develops their own
          Message 4 of 11 , May 11 11:36 PM
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            ----- Original Message -----
            Subject: [softrock40] Re: Thanks for the help!


            >Seems like the solder iron would take a lot longer and would be harder. And I doubt I could have handled the very small regulator
            >chip with an iron and my soldering skills. But, each to his own.
            >

            Joe,

            The regulator might be where solder wick could be necessary.

            But, yes, everyone develops their own method. From posts here I think most use conventional irons and solder. Slower? maybe, harder?
            not in my opinion. Iron, solder, wick, easy to get, simple, cheap.

            My attempt with paste was not good.
            The main problem I have is finding a quick, cheap source of fresh paste.

            I'm not trying to stop people learning but your first post seemed to indicate that paste is only way.

            73 Alan G4ZFQ
          • edingraham
            I ll be watching for your release announcement! 73, Ed WX4S
            Message 5 of 11 , May 12 5:12 AM
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              I'll be watching for your release announcement!

              73, Ed WX4S

              --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, Tony Parks <kb9yig@...> wrote:
              >
              > Thanks Joe for the positive remarks about the Ensemble II receiver kit.
              > It always pleases me when someone has success and fun with one of the
              > kits.
              >
              > I have built more than 200 of the Ensemble II receivers over that last
              > 12 months and I continue to have fun with the receiver design. It
              > continues to really be a pleasure for me to see signals appear on the
              > spectrum display immediately after connecting DC power, USB cable, audio
              > cable and antenna coax to a freshly built receiver board.
              >
              > I am thinking about doing an IF signal receiver version of the kit where
              > a small board would include an Si570 for better setting of the IF center
              > frequency. DC power would be taken for all circuits from the USB 5 volt
              > source and efforts would be made to isolate USB noise form the receiver
              > circuits. The kit would include components such that it could be built
              > for IF frequencies from 455 kHz through about 9 MHz but the kit builder
              > would need to build the kit for his IF application since only one BPF
              > provision would be included on the circuit board. The circuit board
              > would be much smaller than the RX Ensemble II board and narrow with a
              > USB connector at one end. The only other connections on the board would
              > be for IF signals input to the board and I/Q output from the board to
              > the soundcard.
              >
              > I would be interested in feedback about such as kit possibility.
              >
              >
              >
              > Thanks for the kit orders Joe.
              >
              > 73,
              > --
              > Tony Parks
              >
              > kb9yig@...
              > http://fivedash.com
              >
              >
              >
              > On Sat, 2013-05-11 at 17:46 +0000, Joe wrote:
              >
              > >
              > >
              > > Just like to thank all who answered my questions about the Enseble II
              > > kit. Finished it a week or so ago and like it a whole lot. Ignored the
              > > abnormal voltages I was seeing on U6 (since it did tune) and proceeded
              > > to complete the rest with no problems. Installed and set up HDSDR with
              > > an Asus Zonar soundcard and it is beautiful! Like it so much I just
              > > ordered another one for the low frequency bands!
              > >
              > > For any other newbies here: I found the SMC components very
              > > intimidating at first. Never done that before. Practiced a bit and
              > > then jumped in with both feet. Using the solder paste / hot air
              > > method. And it works! Very easy to do, it saves a lot of time and
              > > makes perfect solder joints every time. The key seems to be to first
              > > apply the right amount of paste with a small syringe, and then drop
              > > the SMC onto it as close as possible to where it belongs, so you don't
              > > have to slide it around too much to position it because excessive
              > > positioning / sliding can wipe the paste off the pads and casue
              > > problems.
              > >
              > > Again - thanks too all!
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
            • Joe
              Didn t mean to imply that paste was the only way to go. But, with these old shaky hands, it seemd right for me. For those deciding to go with the paste, I
              Message 6 of 11 , May 12 7:21 AM
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                Didn't mean to imply that paste was the only way to go. But, with these old shaky hands, it seemd right for me.

                For those deciding to go with the paste, I strongly suggest getting the paste preloaded in a syringe from KD5SSJ. You can get cheaper paste on Ebay that seems to work OK from the soldering aspect. But it needs to be put on very sparingly and unless you can figure out how to load it into a small syringe....go with the KD5SSJ stuff.


                --- In softrock40@yahoogroups.com, "Alan" <alan4alan@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: "Joe
                > Subject: [softrock40] Thanks for the help!
                >
                >
                >
                > > For any other newbies here: I found the SMC components very intimidating at first. Never done that before. Practiced a bit and
                > > then jumped in with both feet. Using the solder paste / hot air method.
                >
                > Congratulations, but others may find your method intimidating. I'm not quite a newbie but always have used an ordinary iron and
                > solder on Softrocks and all other SMDs. Occasionally solder wick may be needed.
                > Try the solder paste method if you wish but it is certainly not required.
                >
                > 73 Alan G4ZFQ
                >
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