T1 Main Board

So, I have spent most of the time since saturday noon on building the T1. I have made good progress so far; I finished almost everything on the main board except the last two coils, L6 and L7.


I found it rather difficult to solder at many places like the relays where there are already SMD parts mounted between the pins. There is really something about it, when Elecraft says that one will need a fine-tip (max 1.3 mm) soldering station. Probably not for the beginner, although I have been getting by just fine so far with the soldering station that I have. On the other hand, when I look at the tip of my soldering iron it does not look like to be more than 1.5 mm at the tip maybe even less.

I found it to be a litlle peculiar that C5A and C7A have to be mounted on the bottom of the main PCB. There is plenty of room on the top of the board, there are even marks for these capacitors. Maybe this way, it will be easier to change the values if it will be necessary during the calibration, but I haven’t seen anything about it in the manual.

The transformer T2 was originally designed to be wound on one FT37-43 core. In this rivision, the errata sheet contains a mod where T1 has to be wound on two FT37-43 cores so that the core becomes wider. Of course, the PCB was designed for one single core so the space is tight. Nevertheless, there were no exceptional problems in fitting the transformer.

The assembly manual is very detailed. So detailed that even people with not much electronics experience can follow it at do it right in the first attempt. On the other hand, because of the pocket-sized design of this device, there is very little space and one must also be very careful when soldering. I think most beginners would run away screaming unless they have a good soldering station with a small iron.

Author: Alexandru Csete

Embedded software engineer in the satcom industry during the day. Radio amateur and SDR hacker during the night.