Monday, August 28, 2006

Not recommended !!!

This evening, I started working on my KAT2, the internal autotuner for my K2. It was a tough day at work; and my brain was a bit fried. But I pressed on anyway. I began soldering capacitors on the control board when I realized the first 12 capacitors to be installed were NOT all the same value! Fortunately 9 of the 12 were of the same value and I had only installed 2 of the wrong value before I caught my error.

I carefully desoldered the two wrong ones without incident; although I have to admit .... realizing you made a mistake by soldering something in the wrong position does get your heart pumping! If you find yourself in this position, the first thing to do is stop and take a deep breath. Calm down, work slowly and methodically and you can probably fix your screw up without damaging anything.

I applied heat to the capacitor legs to soften the solder and pulled each leg out. Then using solder wick and a solder sucker, I cleared the holes out. Isopropyl alcohol on a Q-tip cleaned off the excess flux. Then it was just a simple matter to solder the correct capacitors in. The two capacitors that I removed still have legs long enough where I will be able to solder them in later in their correct locations without a problem.

I've built dozens of Heathkits, a K1 and a K2, two Rockmites and untold numbers of smaller kits like keyers, battery chargers, tuners and the like. It just goes to show, that no matter how many kits you've built and how much experience you have - don't work when you're tired! That's when things get messed up! Fortunately, I was able to catch it and avoid a disaster.

73 de Larry W2LJ

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