Wednesday, July 10, 2013

2 Strikes, Then Out of the Park!

I've been working on my Hendricks PFR-3 Build for several weeks now. Admittedly  I was nervous to test everything after assemble and put off casing the unit until this past weekend. Before I put it in the case, everything was working great! Then, just after I turned the last screw on the cover...nothing. The receiver was dead. Power output went from 4.5W on 40m to barley readable. from 5W on 20m to 1W. I was pretty bummed out, but I knew that it had to be something silly, so I tore it back out and began poking around.

That was four days ago. By last night, I had fixed a few solder joints and got 5W or so out on every band. However, for the receiver  I was out of ideas. I sent an email off to Steven Weber, KD1JV. By this morning, I had an email waiting for me. He offered a few suggestions that I implemented after work this evening. Still nothing. So I sent him another email begging for help. A response came ten minutes later (now that's what I call customer service). It seems I had my wires crossed, both literally and figuratively. One of the toroids in the RX section was mis-wound and I had crossed the primary and secondary thereby bypassing the tuning capacitor. No wonder the receiver was deaf.

It's too late to box the whole thing up again tonight, but by tomorrow, I will have officially completed my first kit radio. I am so excited to use this radio out in the field. It's going to be a real charge when some other camper or backpacker asks me what I'm doing. I can't wait to tell them that I'm talking with someone far away on a radio I built in my shack.