Monday, April 15, 2013

K2 PLL Issues But I'm Getting There!

The problem with alignment continues but the good news is that as I go along checking each part, measuring the capacitance or the resistance I'm getting to know how everything works. 

The interesting fact now appearing to me is I'm no longer scared of this kit, it's actually quite fun to learn and slowly understand how each individual part works in conjunction with another.

I think I know the problem with the PLL testing, for K2 owners its D17 one of the varactors. At the moment when I switch to PLL testing I get a good 12099.00 Khz reading and when pressing the plus button it stays as it should, but when pressing the minus button it drops to 00.450KHz , way out. 

So I kept plugging away trying to find the problem and by chance found with the DMM probe that if I touched D17 instead of the one good reading of 12099 it reverted to 00.450 so that both plus and minus was then out. By touching D17 again I got the 12099 back up. Definitely a varactor problem and a new one has been ordered and I suspect once replaced should hopefully fix the issue. 

You find yourself checking your soldering, (is it any good and up to spec?) are there any bridges? Have you made some gigantic cock up somewhere? And all your confidence vanishes as the hours go by and you find yourself getting nowhere and even dare I say think about giving up!

But then you realise that hundreds of kit builders have gone through the process where somewhere along the line they've come across a problem and find themselves scratching their heads wondering what the hell to do.

Inevitably it something simple like one component that refuses to play or a simple soldering issue and once its rectified, bingo, the kit works and you wonder what all the fuss was about! 

A friend of mine who has just completed his K2 took 18 months and had various issues, he is I might add is a true experienced home-brew builder, having built many transceivers and other more complicated pieces of kit and I dare say was building other kits along with the K2 (hence the 18 months). 

Yet he had similar PLL problem besides others issues. An interesting thing he said to me was that he knew builders who had lot less experience and had sailed through the kit with absolutely no problems. It's the luck of the draw.

However, he is now happily singing its praises and telling me what a superb rig the K2 is and that I will get there in the end and no doubt I will, but it will not take me 18 months I can assure you!

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