Sunday, November 13, 2011

I'm finally on 902 Mhz!

After 2 DOA ebay Spectras, and a maxtrac with an unhappy VCO, (won't transmit on 902 but receives 927 beautifully)  last night I converted a funky-looking EFJ 8640 to 902/927 with N2CMI's kit, and it works great! I have a 6 element yagi pointed to where I believe the N6EX repeater is at over in Pasadena (I'm in Burbank) which is linked to NC9RS. Chatted briefly with a fellow in ID who was on yet another link.

The hardest part of the mod is the actual removal of the old SMT chip cap on the VCO stripline... it must be glued to the board or something, as even with two soldering irons on it, it wouldn't budge, I had to crunch it with the wire cutters while holding the vacuum cleaner nozzle over it. A lot of times if I'm removing SMT parts, I'll just use my single soldering iron, and the little hot air gun I use for shrink tubing. (craft store "embosser.") Because of the "angle of attack" inside the VCO box within the radio chassis casting, and the proximity of MANY other important-looking parts, I didn't attempt this. Good thing too, as it wouldn't have worked.

Today I'm bribing a "real" radio tech with a bucket of chicken, we're going to use his hot air/tweezer rework station to recap the Spectras, and hopefully we have time to tune up the VCO on the Maxtrac and fully convert it to a conventional rig. I'm also going to bring along the converted EFJ and  hopefully we can put it on the service monitor just so I can gather some data points.

I guess I need to post some pictures. ;) I've got some "retroactive" posts to add here, the free time just hasn't been cooperative.

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