Sunday, 25 April 2010

So I am an Elecraft builder what does that mean?

I write this as asked a few questions about my name on the Elecraft UK builders list.... http://www.elecraft.com/k2_builders.htm

I don't get paid by them to build for anyone and I don't pay them to include me on the list.

Exchange with one amateur from UK and I am building his K1 right now:
> I hope you don't mind me asing... I wonder how much you charge for your services? I am just in the process of buying a K1-4 and unfortunately just do not have the ability to build kits anymore due to a disability just don’t have the feeling in my fingers anymore since an accident last year).

My response:
Don't mind at all.

Yes I do build some things for others including now being asked to build Elecraft kits. Right now shack is insulated (and now heated so maybe less vfo drift!) with power etc. I have an IQPro DDS near completion, a PIC-A-STAR and a 500KHz TX needs finished off. I have just finished a number of softrock SDR builds but I only tend to work on my own things couple hours at a time. I can push these to one side easily and focus on this. If not in a rush I should be able to complete it pretty quickly. One self imposed rule is I would not build for more than one at the same time.

Charges... I have never charged to build anything yet. I work in IT and my normal charge rate is way too much to make this a way of earning a living and as this is a hobby I am happy to help others as many helped me early on :-) If work takes me away from home I suspect will not take with me but we can discuss this if it happens.

I was recommended to offer to build things by Elecraft after some saw my GQRP kit build display last year at Rishworth of BTX-20, PFR-3, MKARS80, HB-1A, numerous SMT Softrock SDR builds, an N2PK VNA and ATS-3 (6 band 100% SMT build and fits in an altoid tin!). Anyway I was asked if I would build for others and as I built a K1 a while back thought why not. I bought the K1 as a part build from a rally, thought it was SSB too initially as miss labeled and I sold it at another rally on a bring and buy stall as my CW wasn't/ still isn't that good and I was not using it. I don't have any contact with who bought it though.

No charge to build but you'd have to buy the kit and send it to me and cover the costs of the kit and postage to me and back. Buying from US if sent direct to me I 100% expect there will be some customs charge of one sort or another. But how about helping with things I'd maybe use to build it:

As this is through hole the irons I'd use are 18W Antex and a temperature controlled iron also from Maplin so suggestions are:
LeadFree Solder 100g N29AR £5.99 or 250g N30AR £9.99
No Clean Flux Disp. N63AA £7.99 Sometimes a flux pen helps but might not even need it as no SMT involved
Tip Tinner Cleaner JG06G £7.99 I like this and not the brillo pad thing GQRP sells but the little tin does appear messy after 25 hours soldering use. I replace these about cnce every 2 months.
Antex Tip Set4 3Pk N15FR £9.99 I have found lead free solder does 'eat' tips so will need one at least
Solderbraid 1mm N47FX £2.69 Small reel is more than sufficient.

I'd not expect I would need to clean the board up after with isoprop alcohol and an old toothbrush but Maplin do it in a hand spray can.
PCB Cleaner 200ml N64AN £3.49

Anyway that is what I'd use to build so pick a couple and add them into the kit you send. Any of the solder, braid, spray or flux left over I send back with the built kit.

Note what Elecraft say about solder if you don't get the Maplin one:
We recommend small-diameter (.02 to .04") rosin-core solder,
similar to Kester type 44. Solder with 2% silver is used by some
builders and will work equally well. If you use a minimum of solder,
there will be no need to clean PC boards. The use of acid-core
solder, water-soluble flux solder, or any corrosive or conductive flux
solvent is likely to damage components and/or PC boards.

If you note the K1 manual... I'd build with a print off and make notes on findings as I build, this would come back to you too. Don't send me a manual unless Elecraft say something new not available from them by PDF.
If a K1-4 that means the K1 and KFL1-4 module manuals.

Just let me know which bands you need.

A guarantee can offer is if I totally mess the build up I'll pay for the components from Elecraft to fix or buy you a new kit.

So hopefully that will answer any questions.

2 comments:

Derek said...

Hi Dominic, are you still providing an Elecraft building service? I have a fully built KX1 but I'm looking for someone to add the KXB3080 kit. regards, Derek

M1KTA said...

Derek send me an email... qrz has it.

72

Dom
M1KTA