Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Boo-hoo - my HillTopper is ailing

4 Nov UPDATE: Turns out that others are having the same problem and that 4S-QRP Club shipped a NC switch instead of the required NO switch by mistake. They are sending the correct switch to those who recently ordered a HillTopper 40.
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I've dreaded this moment and knew it would happen someday...

Upon completion of the HillTopper 40, the next step is to apply power and perform a two part calibration routine. For me though, the next step is to find where I goofed because she ain't playing.

As they say on the Murdoch Mysteries: "Bloody hell"!

I'll go over all my solder joints tomorrow and look for bridged joints or a poorly soldered connection; or a part put here when it shoulda gone there. Unfortunately, I really went through the build meticulously...inspecting each part for certainty of identification and proper soldering.

What that means is that the problem probably isn't going to jump out at me and scream "Here I am!" I'm going have to go looking for it, and looking hard.

Here are the symptoms for those interested:

CAL Mode (jumper in place) - works as described. 5 watts out and I'm able to use Tuning control to match sidetone with tone in Big Rig's receiver.

With jumper removed for normal operation, I get the R? and B? followed by 30r0 that I'm supposed to. And the volume control works, however:

I can't change freq with Tune control
Paddles have no effect, ie won't key the rig
Pushing the Function button causes a 5-second transmission, no freq readout. Long-pressing it causes the same as short press.
No "bee-boop" when pushing-holding Tuning knob.

I do hear background noise, even a CW signal, but I can't tune around nor can I hear a signal I generate with another rig on 7030 kHz (so whatever signal I heard while connected to an antenna wasn't on 7030)..
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