Ham Radio Instructions for the Kit

Soldering the Boards || Before You Start || Safety Precautions

Click on "Picture" at the bottom of any image to see the completed board.

Board 1

VFO and Amplifiers

VFO and Amplifiers Testing

TV & FM Filter, RF Amplifier, and Bandpass Filters

First Mixer, Post-mixer Amplifier, Crystal Filters

Mounting/Testing Board 1

Board 2

Second Mixer, Crystal Oscillator and Amplifier

455KHz IF Strip, AGC, and S-Meter

BFO and Amplifier, Product Detector, and Audio Amplifiers

Mounting/Testing Board 2

Final Connections


Tuning the Receiver

Using the Receiver

LED Diagnosis/Troubleshooting

Soldering the Boards

Also see Soldering Stations and Techniques For the Electroluminescent Receiver Kit for more details.

Build the kit with SAFETY in mind. Handle a hot soldering gun carefully and take care clipping leads.

Take your time and don't work on the kit when frustrated with life problems (though working on the kit can be relaxing therapy).

Use solder that does not leave large amounts of rosin on the board. Too much rosin will leave the board a dull color. Quality solder will produce joints with a bright silver color.

The best solder is silver solder available in a small roll (1.5 oz.) from Radio Shack, part no. 64-013 E, .022 inch diameter, 62/36/2 mix, labeled "High-Tech Rosin-Core Silver-Bearing Solder" with a red and white label. One roll will solder the receiver.

Regular lead solder that works well is 63/37 alloy sized .032 inch, 1.0mm, or 0.8mm rosin core.

When inserting the parts on the board, bend the leads at a 45 to 55 degree angle on the bottom side of the PCB to hold the parts on the top of the PCB. Clip the leads after they are soldered. See Soldering Techniques for the ELR.

The soldered leads should "ring" when hit with a finger. An unsoldered lead will feel loose when touched.

Point the board away from your eyes while clipping the leads slightly above the solder. They fly with considerable force. Point the board over a large trash can while clipping to prevent leads flying over the work room.

Another technique is hold the long leads with your finger when cutting. For shorter pieces, place your finger lightly on top of the leads when cutting; they fall on top of the board after being cut.

Before You Start

90% of the active devices in this kit are static sensitive devices.

Protecting Static Sensitive Devices

The highest risk situations are living in a very dry environment (or a day with very low humidity), and wearing rubber sole shoes over carpet.

If you walk across the floor and get a static discharge when you touch a door knob, have a ground lead running across the front of your work table to ground yourself before working on the receiver.

At the very least, have a ground lead handy to give a quick touch when sitting down to work. The instructions will ask you to touch the ground lead before inserting any static sensitive devices.

Checking Your Soldering Iron

Check the ground on your soldering gun by connecting an LED between the tip of the soldering gun (when turned on) and the ground you are using. Polarity does not matter nor do you need a resistor in series with the LED.

If it lights, you do not have your soldering iron grounded properly. If you are not sure, do the test in dim/no light.

If this test blows the LED, you could be in danger of a very nasty shock. Fix this problem before building anything! Two wire electrical systems, with no third ground wire (two prongs only), is the most likely situation where this problem will occur.

The receiver is susceptible to the above problem after it is built and connected to an antenna that has a proper ground. The soldering gun will put 120VAC (or 230VAC) on the trace you solder and travel to the ground of your antenna, blowing any active devices connected to the trace.

If you follow the above precautions, there should be no blown devices when building the receiver.

Safety Precautions

The warnings, cautions, and instructions discussed in this instruction manual cannot cover all possible conditions and situations that may occur. It must be understood by the operator/builder that common sense and caution are factors which cannot be built into this product, but must be supplied by the operator/builder.

Clipping Leads

Do not have the bottom of the board pointed toward your face while clipping the leads after soldering parts to the board. Some of the leads will take off like rockets and fly all over the room and maybe into your eye.

The best place to clip leads is with the board facing down into a large trash can.

Solder and Your Health

Be sure to wash your hands after every soldering session with the kit.

For the residents of California (and should be noted by everyone):

Solder Warning

This product may contain and/or may be used with solder. Solder contains lead which is toxic. Lead is known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.


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Last Update: 4/9/12
Web Author: David White, WN5Y