Troubleshooting Tips for Novices


Markus KC1PIP
 

Greetings, All -

Hoping this group will be able to help me troubleshoot my Cricket 40, which I have assembled; but, which I can't seem to operate.

Intro: I'm a new Ham and got into this hobby to develop some fundamental "STEM" knowledge and skills, which I never picked up in school or life up to this point.  All of this is brand new to me; and, while I tried to go beyond simply learning the answers to the test questions and actually understand some of the science and engineering - but I still have a lot more questions than I have answers.  This is also the first thing I've ever soldered.  All of which is fun, but also limiting.

Specific Questions:
  1. Can I use headphones with an integrate microphone with my Cricket 40 (e.g. iPhone earbuds); or, I do I need to dig-up / buy plain non-mic'd headphones ? ( All the headphones in my house have a microphone built-in )
  2. When my Cricket 40 is connected to the antenna, with the crystal in place, and I flip the switch to "On," what should I hear ?  Static ?  Silence ? ( I hear silence )
  3. Is it possible for me to transmit even if the circuits / components associated with the "sidetone" are compromised ?  Or am I still transmitting when I press down on the key even if I don't hear anything ?

Extra Context:
When I first assembled the radio, I plugged in headphones and flipped the switch - I heard a continuous tone.  Convinced that I had sloppily soldered somewhere and created a "short," I examined the circuitry diagram and my soldering and [somewhat crudely] scraped away the solder bridging the contacts between R8 and C16.  After doing this, when I turn it on, I hear nothing [ though I can still "hear" the headphones come to life when I flip the switch ] ... I don't hear anything even if I do press down on the key.

Gotta cut this short and run to work - "Seventy-Three"
Markus, KC1PIP


Curt
 

Markus

Ham Radio is a life long learning permit. Even though my boss considers me an EE, I am still with you learning. 

You need a headphone that has wires that properly connect. I am thinking traditional stereo headphones or earbuds, with the plug having tip, ring, and sleeve contacts. Maybe this could be why you don't hear anything. Now I do have an audio headset, with separate headphone and microphone connects that works here. But not a fancier single integrated connector. 

You should hear some static without antenna, then it should get louder when antenna is attached. 

The sidetone is an extra feature that works in parallel with transmit. 

Most of us will admit to troubleshooting most projects.  

Curt wb8yyy 


Dave Redfearn
 

Markus,

According to the schematic one end of R8 & C16 are connected together to the gate of Q5. 
If you break that connection the sidetone will not work as C16 provides the feedback path for oscillation.

Also, you probably need to use standard stereo headphones. 

From the manual:
The receiver is designed to drive a stereo output, either earbuds or speakers. If a mono speaker is plugged into the output jack, the receiver will still work, but the sidetone will no longer be audible.

On a nearby receiver, can you hear the signal from the oscillator?
and hear it shift when you key the transmitter?

What are you using for an antenna?

73 - Dave, N4ELM


W6BOW
 

Curt,

Great post. 

W6BOW


-----Original Message-----
From: Curt via groups.io <wb8yyy@...>
To: main@4SQRP.groups.io
Sent: Wed, Sep 29, 2021 2:46 pm
Subject: Re: [4SQRP] Troubleshooting Tips for Novices

Markus

Ham Radio is a life long learning permit. Even though my boss considers me an EE, I am still with you learning. 

You need a headphone that has wires that properly connect. I am thinking traditional stereo headphones or earbuds, with the plug having tip, ring, and sleeve contacts. Maybe this could be why you don't hear anything. Now I do have an audio headset, with separate headphone and microphone connects that works here. But not a fancier single integrated connector. 

You should hear some static without antenna, then it should get louder when antenna is attached. 

The sidetone is an extra feature that works in parallel with transmit. 

Most of us will admit to troubleshooting most projects.  

Curt wb8yyy 


Curt
 

Appreciated OM. All of us began once, let's insure Markus gets the help he needs. If we can guide him into fixing it, then we will accomplish something. Yes he needs more than a few inches of wire, and we just educated him on headphones prior to now technology. He will catch up with us soon enough. 

Curt


W6BOW
 

Curt,

I'm all in.

W6BOW


-----Original Message-----
From: Curt via groups.io <wb8yyy@...>
To: main@4SQRP.groups.io
Sent: Thu, Sep 30, 2021 4:18 pm
Subject: Re: [4SQRP] Troubleshooting Tips for Novices

Appreciated OM. All of us began once, let's insure Markus gets the help he needs. If we can guide him into fixing it, then we will accomplish something. Yes he needs more than a few inches of wire, and we just educated him on headphones prior to now technology. He will catch up with us soon enough. 

Curt