Date   

Re: Hilltopper

Dave Benson
 

John-

(still inhaling the first cup of coffee here)

DigiKey also carries the bootloaded version.  At least with them, searching on 'Arduino' ensures that you're getting the right version.

To my knowledge, the '328 doesn't work directly in the Arduino IDE, although the '328P is fine.  The difference is in a table of fuse settings. It's possible to modify the table to make it work.  There's information on the Arduino forums, but for my money, simply ordering the right one makes more sense.

73- Dave, K1SWL



On Tue, Jul 24, 2018 at 9:37 PM, John Lonigro <jonigro@...> wrote:
John:

I know Jameco sells the ATMega328P both with and without the bootloader.  I don't know if Mouser does or not.  The one with the bootloader already burned in is a little more expensive, but I suspect it isn't very difficult to load yourself.  The Arduino IDE has an option under "Tools" labeled "burn bootloader".  I haven't done this myself yet, but it looks pretty straightforward.  Good luck.

72,

John, AA0VE

On 07/24/2018 03:40 PM, John T. Fitzer wrote:

Good afternoon Dave, I have a question about the ATmega328P-PU micro available from Mouser. I would like to purchase another micro chip and load the latest version of the firmware using an Arduino uno to program the new chip. My question is, does the micro as supplied from Mouser have the boot loader already installed or will I have to burn that first prior to downloading the sketch? I have played with Arduino a little but I am no programmer by any stretch of the imagination. I think the first thing I would do is to download the latest version of the IDE. I know there is a way to burn the boot loader in the IDE but I have never done it so it will be an adventure. If the chips from Mouser do not have the boot loader installed, is there a source for the chips that do have it installed? In addition I have several 328 chips that I purchased several years ago that do have the boot loader already burned in. These are not the P (pico power) version. Will the non p 328 chips work in the hill topper at a slightly increased current drain, or is there something in the program that would prevent them from operating correctly? P.S. The rig works great, except the BFO is a bit low but workable I just have to tune the other station in at around 550 hz or so so I will be zero beat. I double checked the caps in the BFO circuit and they seem correct. When I get time I may try removing the 10 pf cap across the trimmer and see what happens. That may give me enough increase in frequency. If not I’ll replace the trimmer with a 3 to 30 pf unit. I’m sure that will work.

 

From: John T. Fitzer
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2018 9:00 AM
To: main@4sqrp.groups.io
Subject: Hilltopper

 

GM Dave and all in the group. I took a couple days off to extend the 4th holiday and used some of the time to build the Hilltopper kit. I followed the manual verbatim, doing each section in sequence. I was rewarded with a radio that worked the first time it was powered up. The only hitch and it was a small one was that my kit only had approximately 12 inches of #24 magnet wire, while 22 inches minimum is required. For me this was no big deal as I keep rolls of magnet wire in various sizes on hand for homebrew projects. The rig puts out 5.4 watts with a 13 volt power supply. Not bad. The frequency calibration and BFO set up went fine. I put the rig on the air yesterday operating portable from my back yard. I had several nice contacts including one DX contact. I used the Hilltopper with a Four States tuner feeding a 20 meter ENFW vertical supported on a Sota Beams 30 ft. travel  mast. I also connected my Hipermite audio filter to test and make sure it would play nice with the Hilltopper. All in all I must say I’m impressed with the quality of the kit. It is very well designed, and the parts are of good quality and fit. The manual is very well written, and does point out possible glitches that a new builder may encounter. Again I would like to thank Dave and all who helped make this a great kit and for making it available for the ham QRP community at a very reasonable price. Great job all. I will not be available for the next couple of weeks as I will be in the field working on medium voltage high power circuit breakers. These are the opposite of QRP, 350 MVA @ 5kv 3 phase power. I will have my QRP portable go bag with me if I get some free time to operate at the hotel. 72’s for now W3BNO.

 

 

From: main@4SQRP.groups.io [mailto:main@4SQRP.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dave Benson
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2018 5:43 AM
To: main@4sqrp.groups.io
Subject: Re: [4SQRP] Ozark Patrol C6 & C13 Capacitors

 

Dave-

 

It shouldn't matter- consider them interchangeable.

 

73- Dave, K1SWL

 

On Sun, Jul 1, 2018 at 10:02 PM, Dave TRX via Groups.Io <w5trx_dave=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

C6 and C13 both require a 1m eletrolytic cap. The two that came in my kit are 50v and 100v and the spec
doesn't say which to use where, so can someone tell me which one goes to C6 and C13?

Many Thanks...

Dave

 




Re: Hilltopper

John Lonigro
 

John:

I know Jameco sells the ATMega328P both with and without the bootloader.  I don't know if Mouser does or not.  The one with the bootloader already burned in is a little more expensive, but I suspect it isn't very difficult to load yourself.  The Arduino IDE has an option under "Tools" labeled "burn bootloader".  I haven't done this myself yet, but it looks pretty straightforward.  Good luck.

72,

John, AA0VE

On 07/24/2018 03:40 PM, John T. Fitzer wrote:

Good afternoon Dave, I have a question about the ATmega328P-PU micro available from Mouser. I would like to purchase another micro chip and load the latest version of the firmware using an Arduino uno to program the new chip. My question is, does the micro as supplied from Mouser have the boot loader already installed or will I have to burn that first prior to downloading the sketch? I have played with Arduino a little but I am no programmer by any stretch of the imagination. I think the first thing I would do is to download the latest version of the IDE. I know there is a way to burn the boot loader in the IDE but I have never done it so it will be an adventure. If the chips from Mouser do not have the boot loader installed, is there a source for the chips that do have it installed? In addition I have several 328 chips that I purchased several years ago that do have the boot loader already burned in. These are not the P (pico power) version. Will the non p 328 chips work in the hill topper at a slightly increased current drain, or is there something in the program that would prevent them from operating correctly? P.S. The rig works great, except the BFO is a bit low but workable I just have to tune the other station in at around 550 hz or so so I will be zero beat. I double checked the caps in the BFO circuit and they seem correct. When I get time I may try removing the 10 pf cap across the trimmer and see what happens. That may give me enough increase in frequency. If not I’ll replace the trimmer with a 3 to 30 pf unit. I’m sure that will work.

 

From: John T. Fitzer
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2018 9:00 AM
To: main@4sqrp.groups.io
Subject: Hilltopper

 

GM Dave and all in the group. I took a couple days off to extend the 4th holiday and used some of the time to build the Hilltopper kit. I followed the manual verbatim, doing each section in sequence. I was rewarded with a radio that worked the first time it was powered up. The only hitch and it was a small one was that my kit only had approximately 12 inches of #24 magnet wire, while 22 inches minimum is required. For me this was no big deal as I keep rolls of magnet wire in various sizes on hand for homebrew projects. The rig puts out 5.4 watts with a 13 volt power supply. Not bad. The frequency calibration and BFO set up went fine. I put the rig on the air yesterday operating portable from my back yard. I had several nice contacts including one DX contact. I used the Hilltopper with a Four States tuner feeding a 20 meter ENFW vertical supported on a Sota Beams 30 ft. travel  mast. I also connected my Hipermite audio filter to test and make sure it would play nice with the Hilltopper. All in all I must say I’m impressed with the quality of the kit. It is very well designed, and the parts are of good quality and fit. The manual is very well written, and does point out possible glitches that a new builder may encounter. Again I would like to thank Dave and all who helped make this a great kit and for making it available for the ham QRP community at a very reasonable price. Great job all. I will not be available for the next couple of weeks as I will be in the field working on medium voltage high power circuit breakers. These are the opposite of QRP, 350 MVA @ 5kv 3 phase power. I will have my QRP portable go bag with me if I get some free time to operate at the hotel. 72’s for now W3BNO.

 

 

From: main@4SQRP.groups.io [mailto:main@4SQRP.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dave Benson
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2018 5:43 AM
To: main@4sqrp.groups.io
Subject: Re: [4SQRP] Ozark Patrol C6 & C13 Capacitors

 

Dave-

 

It shouldn't matter- consider them interchangeable.

 

73- Dave, K1SWL

 

On Sun, Jul 1, 2018 at 10:02 PM, Dave TRX via Groups.Io <w5trx_dave@...> wrote:

C6 and C13 both require a 1m eletrolytic cap. The two that came in my kit are 50v and 100v and the spec
doesn't say which to use where, so can someone tell me which one goes to C6 and C13?

Many Thanks...

Dave

 



Wednesday Evening 40 and 80 meter Nets - Wed, 7/25/18 8:00pm-9:00pm #cal-reminder

main@4SQRP.groups.io Calendar <main@...>
 

Reminder:
Wednesday Evening 40 and 80 meter Nets

When:
Wednesday, 25 July 2018
8:00pm to 9:00pm
(GMT-05:00) America/Chicago

Where:
40 and 80 Meters

Description:
The 40 Meter Net will be at 8:00 pm central or 0100 UTC on 7.122 +-.
NCS will be Bill KV6Z.

Wednesday evening 80 Meter CW Net. will be at 0130 UTC Thursday (8:30PM Central Time Wednesday). 
The net will be called on 3.564 MHz +/- QRM.



Net control operators are Johnny AC0BQ or Paul N0NBD.

View Event.


Re: Hilltopper

John T. Fitzer
 

Good afternoon Dave, I have a question about the ATmega328P-PU micro available from Mouser. I would like to purchase another micro chip and load the latest version of the firmware using an Arduino uno to program the new chip. My question is, does the micro as supplied from Mouser have the boot loader already installed or will I have to burn that first prior to downloading the sketch? I have played with Arduino a little but I am no programmer by any stretch of the imagination. I think the first thing I would do is to download the latest version of the IDE. I know there is a way to burn the boot loader in the IDE but I have never done it so it will be an adventure. If the chips from Mouser do not have the boot loader installed, is there a source for the chips that do have it installed? In addition I have several 328 chips that I purchased several years ago that do have the boot loader already burned in. These are not the P (pico power) version. Will the non p 328 chips work in the hill topper at a slightly increased current drain, or is there something in the program that would prevent them from operating correctly? P.S. The rig works great, except the BFO is a bit low but workable I just have to tune the other station in at around 550 hz or so so I will be zero beat. I double checked the caps in the BFO circuit and they seem correct. When I get time I may try removing the 10 pf cap across the trimmer and see what happens. That may give me enough increase in frequency. If not I’ll replace the trimmer with a 3 to 30 pf unit. I’m sure that will work.

 

From: John T. Fitzer
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2018 9:00 AM
To: main@4sqrp.groups.io
Subject: Hilltopper

 

GM Dave and all in the group. I took a couple days off to extend the 4th holiday and used some of the time to build the Hilltopper kit. I followed the manual verbatim, doing each section in sequence. I was rewarded with a radio that worked the first time it was powered up. The only hitch and it was a small one was that my kit only had approximately 12 inches of #24 magnet wire, while 22 inches minimum is required. For me this was no big deal as I keep rolls of magnet wire in various sizes on hand for homebrew projects. The rig puts out 5.4 watts with a 13 volt power supply. Not bad. The frequency calibration and BFO set up went fine. I put the rig on the air yesterday operating portable from my back yard. I had several nice contacts including one DX contact. I used the Hilltopper with a Four States tuner feeding a 20 meter ENFW vertical supported on a Sota Beams 30 ft. travel  mast. I also connected my Hipermite audio filter to test and make sure it would play nice with the Hilltopper. All in all I must say I’m impressed with the quality of the kit. It is very well designed, and the parts are of good quality and fit. The manual is very well written, and does point out possible glitches that a new builder may encounter. Again I would like to thank Dave and all who helped make this a great kit and for making it available for the ham QRP community at a very reasonable price. Great job all. I will not be available for the next couple of weeks as I will be in the field working on medium voltage high power circuit breakers. These are the opposite of QRP, 350 MVA @ 5kv 3 phase power. I will have my QRP portable go bag with me if I get some free time to operate at the hotel. 72’s for now W3BNO.

 

 

From: main@4SQRP.groups.io [mailto:main@4SQRP.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dave Benson
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2018 5:43 AM
To: main@4sqrp.groups.io
Subject: Re: [4SQRP] Ozark Patrol C6 & C13 Capacitors

 

Dave-

 

It shouldn't matter- consider them interchangeable.

 

73- Dave, K1SWL

 

On Sun, Jul 1, 2018 at 10:02 PM, Dave TRX via Groups.Io <w5trx_dave@...> wrote:

C6 and C13 both require a 1m eletrolytic cap. The two that came in my kit are 50v and 100v and the spec
doesn't say which to use where, so can someone tell me which one goes to C6 and C13?

Many Thanks...

Dave

 


Re: Wednesday Evening 40 and 80 meter Nets - Wed, 7/25/18 8:00pm-9:00pm #cal-reminder

Charles W. Powell
 

Sorry I’ll have to miss it this week. Out of town and my only radio is the Hilltopper 20.

72,

Charles


On Jul 23, 2018, at 8:00 PM, main@4SQRP.groups.io Calendar <main@4SQRP.groups.io> wrote:

Reminder:
Wednesday Evening 40 and 80 meter Nets

When:
Wednesday, 25 July 2018
8:00pm to 9:00pm
(GMT-05:00) America/Chicago

Where:
40 and 80 Meters

Description:
The 40 Meter Net will be at 8:00 pm central or 0100 UTC on 7.122 +-.
NCS will be Bill KV6Z.

Wednesday evening 80 Meter CW Net. will be at 0130 UTC Thursday (8:30PM Central Time Wednesday). 
The net will be called on 3.564 MHz +/- QRM.



Net control operators are Johnny AC0BQ or Paul N0NBD.

View Event.



Wednesday Evening 40 and 80 meter Nets - Wed, 7/25/18 8:00pm-9:00pm #cal-reminder

main@4SQRP.groups.io Calendar <main@...>
 

Reminder:
Wednesday Evening 40 and 80 meter Nets

When:
Wednesday, 25 July 2018
8:00pm to 9:00pm
(GMT-05:00) America/Chicago

Where:
40 and 80 Meters

Description:
The 40 Meter Net will be at 8:00 pm central or 0100 UTC on 7.122 +-.
NCS will be Bill KV6Z.

Wednesday evening 80 Meter CW Net. will be at 0130 UTC Thursday (8:30PM Central Time Wednesday). 
The net will be called on 3.564 MHz +/- QRM.



Net control operators are Johnny AC0BQ or Paul N0NBD.

View Event.


Re: 4 S Tuner Malfunction Query

Bob Zolecki
 

Check that D1 and D2 is installed the right way also if leds are installed backwards they wont light...


-----Original Message-----
From: griffithsesq.robert via Groups.Io <signalnaut@...>
To: main <main@4SQRP.groups.io>
Sent: Mon, Jul 23, 2018 4:18 pm
Subject: Re: [4SQRP] 4 S Tuner Malfunction Query

Thank you Bob, I will check the LED circuit again. 73.
Griff NE3I

Robert Alan Griffiths
> On Jul 23, 2018, at 8:26 AM, Bob Zolecki via Groups.Io <bobzolecki=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
>
> Sounds like bad solder joint around led circuit as seems tuner part is working and noise will not be as loud in tune mode as it is with tuner out.
>> On Jul 22, 2018, at 9:21 PM, griffithsesq.robert via Groups.Io <signalnaut=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
>>
>> I recently built the 4S Tuner. Neither light illuminates. In the tuning mode, adjusting the switch and capacitor positions varies the noise level however, in no position is the noise level as loud as it is without the tuner in the line at all. I have checked the wiring of the components as best as I could with a VOM. Perhaps I damaged a component during soldering. Any suggestions? Nice unit. Would like to have a working one for along side my Bayou Jumper and any future rig I build.
>> Griff NE3I
>> Robert Alan Griffiths
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>
>





Re: 4 S Tuner Malfunction Query

griffithsesq.robert
 

Thank you Bob, I will check the LED circuit again. 73.
Griff NE3I

Robert Alan Griffiths

On Jul 23, 2018, at 8:26 AM, Bob Zolecki via Groups.Io <bobzolecki=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

Sounds like bad solder joint around led circuit as seems tuner part is working and noise will not be as loud in tune mode as it is with tuner out.
On Jul 22, 2018, at 9:21 PM, griffithsesq.robert via Groups.Io <signalnaut=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

I recently built the 4S Tuner. Neither light illuminates. In the tuning mode, adjusting the switch and capacitor positions varies the noise level however, in no position is the noise level as loud as it is without the tuner in the line at all. I have checked the wiring of the components as best as I could with a VOM. Perhaps I damaged a component during soldering. Any suggestions? Nice unit. Would like to have a working one for along side my Bayou Jumper and any future rig I build.
Griff NE3I
Robert Alan Griffiths





Re: 4 S Tuner Malfunction Query

griffithsesq.robert
 

Thanks Dave, I will check it out.
Griff NE3I

Robert Alan Griffiths

On Jul 23, 2018, at 11:01 AM, David Furst <dfurst@...> wrote:

Robert, I also just built the 4S tuner and had similar problems to what you described.  I found that the wires from switch SW1 were touching the switch body (the metallic part) thus shorting the XCVR line to ground.  Check to see if you have very high resistance from the center pin of the XCVR BNC (J2) to chassis ground with the switch in the OUT position and the antenna disconnected.  You should also have some resistance (abt 94 ohms) with the switch in the IN position.  You don't have to disassemble the unit to measure this point. If you have a grounded J2, check the wires at the switch:  NONE should be touching the switch body.  This was just a careless mistake on my part and once I moved the wires away from the switch, the unit worked fine. Initial visual checks didn't reveal the wires touching unless you look at the switch from the side. Hope this helps.
Dave Furst WA3INF


Re: 4 S Tuner Malfunction Query

David Furst
 

Robert, I also just built the 4S tuner and had similar problems to what you described.  I found that the wires from switch SW1 were touching the switch body (the metallic part) thus shorting the XCVR line to ground.  Check to see if you have very high resistance from the center pin of the XCVR BNC (J2) to chassis ground with the switch in the OUT position and the antenna disconnected.  You should also have some resistance (abt 94 ohms) with the switch in the IN position.  You don't have to disassemble the unit to measure this point. If you have a grounded J2, check the wires at the switch:  NONE should be touching the switch body.  This was just a careless mistake on my part and once I moved the wires away from the switch, the unit worked fine. Initial visual checks didn't reveal the wires touching unless you look at the switch from the side. Hope this helps.
Dave Furst WA3INF


Re: 4 S Tuner Malfunction Query

Bob Zolecki
 

Sounds like bad solder joint around led circuit as seems tuner part is working and noise will not be as loud in tune mode as it is with tuner out.

On Jul 22, 2018, at 9:21 PM, griffithsesq.robert via Groups.Io <signalnaut=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

I recently built the 4S Tuner. Neither light illuminates. In the tuning mode, adjusting the switch and capacitor positions varies the noise level however, in no position is the noise level as loud as it is without the tuner in the line at all. I have checked the wiring of the components as best as I could with a VOM. Perhaps I damaged a component during soldering. Any suggestions? Nice unit. Would like to have a working one for along side my Bayou Jumper and any future rig I build.
Griff NE3I
Robert Alan Griffiths



4S-Tuner: What is minimum TX power to drive the SWR and Power LEDs?

George H. Gates
 

I have built several tuners using a led as a indicator. Works ok with my 1/2 watt rigs. 72 George/W2BPI


Murania Broadcast Band Receiver

Larry Hastings
 

Opened up 4SQRP lastest Kit. "Murania AM Broadcast Band Receiver".
Wow this is a great beginners kit. If they are old enough to read instructions, and
you help them a little on soldering they will love it.
It's not a DX machine, but if you have a couple of local AM station it will work fine.
I love the case. Make sure you print off the color picture file. It helps alot. .
The only change I made was to change the feedback loop from 1.5 " to 2.0" long.
 Thanks David, Great kit.
Larry Hastings AB0AH


4 S Tuner Malfunction Query

griffithsesq.robert
 

I recently built the 4S Tuner. Neither light illuminates. In the tuning mode, adjusting the switch and capacitor positions varies the noise level however, in no position is the noise level as loud as it is without the tuner in the line at all. I have checked the wiring of the components as best as I could with a VOM. Perhaps I damaged a component during soldering. Any suggestions? Nice unit. Would like to have a working one for along side my Bayou Jumper and any future rig I build.
Griff NE3I
Robert Alan Griffiths


4S-Tuner: What is minimum TX power to drive the SWR and Power LEDs?

Michael Sciascia
 

In the tune mode, the power to drive the SWR/Power LEDs is provided by the transmitter.   I understand that the tuner is good to 10W, but what is the minimum power that will adequately drive the SWR/Power LEDs?    500mW?  100mW?


Re: Kit building solder station

David Wilcox K8WPE
 

No matter what soldering set you use I have found that one should order two (especially if they are inexpensive.  Mine were about $40 each)!  I ordered two in error but have found that having one set up with a fine tip and the other set up with a larger tip (for larger parts, coax connectors, etc.) allows me to continue working without having to let it cool down and change tips.  Also, if one goes bad you still have the other.  My first one went bad until one day the sun showed on the iron tip cord just right and it showed cat teeth marks.  Now I have two again and the cat is not allowed in the shack.

Just my not so humble opinion,

Dave K8WPE since 1960.

On Jul 21, 2018, at 1:40 PM, Donald Sanders <w4bws1@...> wrote:

Rob, There are many choices for a good solder station. I looked at several and decided to buy the Solomon SR-976 from Circuit Specialists. It is variable temp and about $45 if I remember correctly.  I bought several solder wicks and a couple other tips for the iron. I saved a few bucks each month and am glad I found this station. Not fancy but after 6 months I am very satisfied.

Dr. Don W4BWS


On Sat, Jul 21, 2018 at 11:54 AM, Dan Reynolds <on30ng@...> wrote:
Rob, I recently purchased one of those YiHua 936 (actually a Hakko clone and will take their tips). My favorite soldering iron power supply shot craps and wanted a backup. I think it's pretty good especially for the price - almost a ridiculous price in fact. I used it a little bit and I'm pleased. Like I said I wanted it as a backup.
My main iron is a Metcal. I'm not bragging -- I fell into an incredible deal and I think the Metcal irons are probably the best there is. It's a big heave black box - all heat sink, with a slender super flexible cable going to a very comfortable handle. The tips are more like cartridges that determine the heat range and tip size etc. There must be 100's of tips for them.There are several generations and styles of these stations including rework stations with vacuum and such. 
I was very fortunate to get one. I couldn't normally have afforded one and wouldn't pay that much for a soldering iron! But a great ham I met online and I horse traded some kits and stuff and that's how I got one. He worked where he got the old ones from his workplace and restored/refurbished and sold them at hamfests and such to make mad money to supply his hobby. These are professional stations and sell for BIG $$ when they're new. They're induction heated. Mine can melt solder in about 2 seconds. Seriously. The cord as I said is super flexible. It's actually coax. The induction part runs at 27 MHz. Talk about a dummy load just heating up!
If you get a chance to get one that works, with handle, power supply and some tips you need to try one. Mine has this heavy iron base with sponge and it won't move - it's great. Trust me you will never turn back. 
PS One thing I absolutely learned - have a back up! That's why I kept the YiHua till I replaced the power supply on mine.
--
Dan Reynolds -- KB9JLO
<><



Re: Kit building solder station

Rob Roberts
 

Thanks everyone for the replies and ideas!

kd0wkv


Re: Kit building solder station

Donald Sanders
 

Rob, There are many choices for a good solder station. I looked at several and decided to buy the Solomon SR-976 from Circuit Specialists. It is variable temp and about $45 if I remember correctly.  I bought several solder wicks and a couple other tips for the iron. I saved a few bucks each month and am glad I found this station. Not fancy but after 6 months I am very satisfied.

Dr. Don W4BWS


On Sat, Jul 21, 2018 at 11:54 AM, Dan Reynolds <on30ng@...> wrote:
Rob, I recently purchased one of those YiHua 936 (actually a Hakko clone and will take their tips). My favorite soldering iron power supply shot craps and wanted a backup. I think it's pretty good especially for the price - almost a ridiculous price in fact. I used it a little bit and I'm pleased. Like I said I wanted it as a backup.
My main iron is a Metcal. I'm not bragging -- I fell into an incredible deal and I think the Metcal irons are probably the best there is. It's a big heave black box - all heat sink, with a slender super flexible cable going to a very comfortable handle. The tips are more like cartridges that determine the heat range and tip size etc. There must be 100's of tips for them.There are several generations and styles of these stations including rework stations with vacuum and such. 
I was very fortunate to get one. I couldn't normally have afforded one and wouldn't pay that much for a soldering iron! But a great ham I met online and I horse traded some kits and stuff and that's how I got one. He worked where he got the old ones from his workplace and restored/refurbished and sold them at hamfests and such to make mad money to supply his hobby. These are professional stations and sell for BIG $$ when they're new. They're induction heated. Mine can melt solder in about 2 seconds. Seriously. The cord as I said is super flexible. It's actually coax. The induction part runs at 27 MHz. Talk about a dummy load just heating up!
If you get a chance to get one that works, with handle, power supply and some tips you need to try one. Mine has this heavy iron base with sponge and it won't move - it's great. Trust me you will never turn back. 
PS One thing I absolutely learned - have a back up! That's why I kept the YiHua till I replaced the power supply on mine.
--
Dan Reynolds -- KB9JLO
<><



Re: Kit building solder station

Dan Reynolds
 

Rob, I recently purchased one of those YiHua 936 (actually a Hakko clone and will take their tips). My favorite soldering iron power supply shot craps and wanted a backup. I think it's pretty good especially for the price - almost a ridiculous price in fact. I used it a little bit and I'm pleased. Like I said I wanted it as a backup.
My main iron is a Metcal. I'm not bragging -- I fell into an incredible deal and I think the Metcal irons are probably the best there is. It's a big heave black box - all heat sink, with a slender super flexible cable going to a very comfortable handle. The tips are more like cartridges that determine the heat range and tip size etc. There must be 100's of tips for them.There are several generations and styles of these stations including rework stations with vacuum and such. 
I was very fortunate to get one. I couldn't normally have afforded one and wouldn't pay that much for a soldering iron! But a great ham I met online and I horse traded some kits and stuff and that's how I got one. He worked where he got the old ones from his workplace and restored/refurbished and sold them at hamfests and such to make mad money to supply his hobby. These are professional stations and sell for BIG $$ when they're new. They're induction heated. Mine can melt solder in about 2 seconds. Seriously. The cord as I said is super flexible. It's actually coax. The induction part runs at 27 MHz. Talk about a dummy load just heating up!
If you get a chance to get one that works, with handle, power supply and some tips you need to try one. Mine has this heavy iron base with sponge and it won't move - it's great. Trust me you will never turn back. 
PS One thing I absolutely learned - have a back up! That's why I kept the YiHua till I replaced the power supply on mine.
--
Dan Reynolds -- KB9JLO
<><


Re: Kit building

John - KK4ITX
 

Rob,

One of your questions was the diameter of the solder.... my preference is to start with is .015 for the tight work and maybe .031 for the larger components, when you get to cables and wires you might move toward .062.

Just to recap, chisel tip, “lead” solder, heat the component lead and feed the solder to it.

Oddly, I used to have trouble with trembling and gave up stuff like that until I got back into radio. I believe that it was lack of patience causing my issues as now (75yrs) my work actually does (work) and it looks good too !

Glad that I found the 4SQRP, the kits are a blast, hope you have the same experience.

John
KK4ITX

If you need a parachute and don't have one you probably won't need one again.

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