I completed phase of the the 7 construction phases for the Ten-Tec 1340. It took several hours. Fortunately my soldering technique was fine. Finished work shows shiny solder and good wicking. I must say the kit documentation continues to be problematic as it sometimes fails to provide good direction in terms of component installation.
I was really glad to have the “third hand” tool as it made soldering significantly easier, not to mention that having a good magnifier makes soldering and checking my work much easier.
Won’t be able to move on to phase 2 until I have the power supply and DMM. In the meantime, I’m reading sections of the ARRL handbook on antennas, propagation and transmission lines. Great stuff!
The kit arrived in perfect shape. I spent last evening (4 Dec 9) reviewing the documentation. Although I’m confident I’ll be able to build this kit I have to say that the documentation, graphics and other supplemental information is disappointing. There are errors and misspellings throughout the manual and often the graphics are so muddy that it can be difficult to make out part numbers. Even the inserts that claim to be corrections to the existing manual have errors. So, it’s a bit difficult to have confidence in what Ten-Tec says.
All that aside, I read through the entire manual, made notes and highlighted potential problem areas or sections of the kit building process that require a bit more care.
I realize I really can’t build this kit without a real power supply (as opposed to the motorcycle battery I currently use to power the Icom). So, last night I ordered a Jetstream JTPS28 13.8 V power supply from Universal Radio in Ohio.
I’m guessing it will take a week or so to get here.
In the meantime I still need to possibly obtain a DMM. I do have an analog meter but am not sure it will suffice.
I plan to take some time to prepare my work area, get parts sorted out and labeled as needed and make sure I have everything I need to get started. I plan to take the month of December to build the radio, so, no hurry.
I’m really looking forward to this and can’t wait to take it out for a spin early next year.
Now that I’ve seen what Ten-Tec provides in a kit I a bit more basis for comparison for the next kit.
The kit arrived on 2 December 2009 along with a free copy of the 2009 ARRL Handbook. I’m hoping to get started this weekend. Still need a DMM but will probably pick one up in the next few weeks.
After building a Heathkit HW-9 many years ago I’m aware of the need to go slow and get it right the first time. I was fortunate to have had a ham friend (now SK) back then who was able to trouble-shoot my finished HW-9 to get it working. I had soldered some components without observing correct polarity and had several solder bridges as well.
This time my plan is to take my time and use K7QO’s assembly guide along the way too supplement Ten-Tec’s construction manual.
On another note, I had my first opportunity to participate as an FCC Volunteer Examiner on Tuesday evening at the University of Idaho. There were 7 folks taking exams (1 for upgrade and 6 for first-time Technician licenses). All passed, including a couple in their 60’s! They had all completed a study course with Harvey Howard, N7SIF from the Palouse Hills Amateur Radio Club in Moscow, ID.