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Soldering up a storm on the bench.

Soldering up a storm

Kit are fun projects. Even after hours of soldering and cursing yourself for staying up late, you just keep coming back for more! I'm always impatient when assembling kits. Keep in mind, that I'm no electronics expert - just an amateur - so I'm always a tad over-anxious to get started.

First off, the kit instructions, most of the time, are a joke. Poorly writen and have addendums/warnings that you have to read carefully.

Here are some key points:

  1. Be patient. Don't rush anything. Check if you have all the components for the project.
  2. Buy a *quality* soldering iron and new, *quality* solder. Do not use old solder. Do not use a soldering iron that has 'seen better days.'
  3. Work in a well-lit work station. Use a comfortable chair with strong back support. A large magnifying glass (with light) would be ideal as most kits have a lot of small parts.
  4. Especially with the resistors, buy a cheap plastic parts holder and separate the resistors by value and label it. Don't do it on the fly as some of the resistor colors are VERY hard to make out. The inductor coils look like resistors and their colors are off because of the green tint of the casing material. Purple looks like Brown on those! :)
  5. Have a solder wick or suction pump device handy.
  6. Work slowly and re-check instructions/parts multiple times if you have to. Having to remove a part afterward can be a major pain!
  7. Check your solder joints before moving on.
  8. Regarding point #1, be sure to use a SMALL tip. A big soldering tip will use too much solder.
  9. Be patient. Don't rush anything.
  10. If your tired, GO TO BED AND SLEEP. You'll have a lot less assembly errors.

All in all, if it doesn't work find an elmer. That's pretty much it.

Have fun and don't make it feel like work, after all, it's only a hobby honey...honest!

posted by (VE3XRM) | 01/19/2014 | 21:24

Laboratory Test Equipment Portfolio

These are photos of the lab equipment that I use to service any type of (tube, transistor or integrated digital) electronics. Although, I prefer digital electronics and programming, having been a computer technician for 12 years. Vintage electronics, as always, is a pleasure to service.

Hope, with time on my hands, I'll post more equipment and details available about my lab.

posted by (VE3XRM) | 12/23/2017 | 11:24

Amprobe RS-1 (1969)<br /><br>Analog Clamp-On Mutimeter with leads.<br>AC Voltage 	0-150/600 3% of full sale.<br>AC Current 	0-6/15/40/100 3% of full scale. : Figure 59 :


Astron Corporation VS-20M (1994)<br />Features separate Volt and Amp meters. Output Voltage adjustable from 1.8-14.8 Volts DC. Current limit adjustable from 1.5 Amp to full load. Continuous Duty 16A@13.8VDC, 9A@10VDC, 4A@5VDC. ICS 20A@13.8VDC. : Figure 43 :

Astron Corporation

AVO Multiminor Mk.1 (1950)<br />AVO Multiminor Mk.1 Made in England. Vintage, 1950s meter is fully functional and in very good condition. MMM! Didn`t notice the chip until I saw the photograph. : Figure 95 :


AVO Universal Avometer Model 8 Mark IV (1971)<br />Current AC: 10mA-10A
Current DC: 50uA-10A
Voltage AC/DC: 2.5V-2,500V
Resistance: 0-20M ohm
Decibels: -15dB/+15dB
Accuracy: AC Voltage/Current ±2.25%
DC Voltage ±2% - DC Current ±1% 
Sensitivity: AC 2,000 ohms/V
DC 20,000 ohms/V : Figure 96 :


AVO Test Bridge (1944)<br />Avo Test Bridge, this fine piece of equipment tests capacitors, resistors, leakage of capacitors, power factor, measures against external standards, and last but not least its a valve volt meter, quite impressive for 1944. : Figure 97 :


Bach-Simpson 77 (1948)<br />Absorption Wavemeter-Modulation Indicator : Figure 55 :


Extech EX520 (2014)<br />Extech True RMS Digital Multimeter. My pride and joy of owning a decent meter. : Figure 94 :


Homebrew Bench Power Supply (1995)<br />Linear Dual Isolated Adjustable Output of 1.2-20 Volts 3.5 Amps. Readout displays Voltage and Amperage. Voltmeter has an external conection to channel selected. Four different setups - Isolated, Series, Parallel and Tracking outputs. : Figure 70 :


Jackson 612<br />Vintage Analog Multimeter : Figure 101 :


Marconi Instruments Ltd. TF2700<br />LCR Test Bridge. Portable battery operated. : Figure 100 :

Marconi Instruments Ltd.

Matsushita Co. VP-911C (1965)<br />Vacuum Tube Volt Meter (VTVM) with RF Probe using an Eimac 2-01C UHF tube diode. The best way to directly measure voltage in high impedance circuits. : Figure 62 :

Matsushita Co.

MFJ Enterprises, Inc. MFJ-956 (2002)<br />Antenna tuner helps in rejecting images, intermod, and phantom signals. Tunable from 0.15 to 30 MHz, not very good in the AM Broadcast band. : Figure 39 :

MFJ Enterprises, Inc.

MFJ Enterprises, Inc. MFJ-202B (2001)<br />Receiver Noise Bridge used to adjust any antennas. Works from 1 to 100 MHz. Can measure resonant frequency, feedpoint resistance and reactance. Not very accurate unless calibrated. : Figure 40 :

MFJ Enterprises, Inc.

Monacor FSI-4<br />SWR, Power, Field Strength Meter. Maximum RF power of 100W. Frequency range of 1.5 - 150MHz. : Figure 41 :


Rycom Instruments 3136A (1976)<br />Selective Voltmeter. Now used as a VLF beacon reciever. : Figure 99 :

Rycom Instruments

Superior Tube Tester TV-11 (1964)<br />This is an emission type of tube tester, which some feel is inferior to the transconductance type of testers. However, if you are just trying to see if a tube is good or bad, then this one works for me. : Figure 50 :

Superior Tube Tester

Supreme Instruments Corporation 490<br />Vintage Analog Multimeter : Figure 102 :

Supreme Instruments Corporation

The Service Bench Model Two (2002)<br />This is where it all happens. I service all my radios from this bench. That is an Atwater Kent Model 20C radio currently undergoing testing. All five tubes tested, are good. : Figure 77 :

The Service Bench

The Service Bench Model Two (2002)<br />Dirty hands in the test equipment calibration room. (Ralph VE3XRM) : Figure 79 :

The Service Bench

Weston Elec. Inst. Corp. No.1 (1910)<br /> : Figure 52 :

Weston Elec. Inst. Corp.

Weston Elec. Inst. Corp. 269<br />Vintage Panel Meter : Figure 103 :

Weston Elec. Inst. Corp.


Ralph VE3XRM in the test equipment storage.
Ohms Law Wheel
Don't Touch - Electric Apparatus

posted by Ralph (VE3XRM) | 20170827 10:54 PM