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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 11, 2015 8:17 am 
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Location: Black Hills, SD 57745
I got mine with the chip installed as well. But one developed a problem with screwy and distorted sound, with settings that didn't seem to work properly. Diagnosed it as a chip failure, ordered a replacement and installed it with care and my very near-sighted eyes just a few inches from the work.
-Ed


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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 11, 2015 10:14 am 
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Location: Sarasota, Florida
I find it interesting that, in the past, I've heard complaints here about the SSTRAN products being hard to assemble. Then I've heard about homebrew transmitters - here's the schematic, build it!

The fact remains that this forum has everything from newbies to retired engineers, and everything in between. Some people find this kit to be a challenge, while others breeze through it in no time.

This kit reminds me so much of Heathkit that I find myself looking for that Heath sticker to put on. The assembly instructions are VERY well written, and if you follow them exactly you'll do fine.

I personally have built two AMT-3000's and one 5000. How long? Couple hours. BUT -- bear in mind that I'm a technician with over 40 years' professional experience, and many years of electronic tinkering before that. I assemble stereos every day. I've got four benches, two of which equipped with Weller WES-51 soldering stations and various other specialty tools, many out of the price range of the typical hobbyist. So yes indeed this kit is a breeze. But not everyone here has this type of experience. There's no need to beat the clock; better to take your time and do it right. Be as neat as you can, so you'll be proud of your work as you use it. If unsure of a component's value, check it with a loupe -- or with a meter. The time you spend building it will not compare with the amount of time you'll spend putting it to use!

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Gary Tayman, Sarasota, Florida


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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 11, 2015 10:41 am 
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Gary Tayman wrote:
There's no need to beat the clock; better to take your time and do it right.

Precisely.

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\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\He Who Dies With The Most Radios Wins//////////////////


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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Sun 15, 2015 7:53 pm 
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Location: Lake in the Hills, IL
jmsent wrote:




Doesn't your second sentence contradict your first? Yes, I agree everyone moves at their own pace, and having just built one of these myself, my opinion is that 2 hours from start to finish is breakneck speed. Heck, just sorting out the parts and organizing them took me the better part of an hour. The resistors are tiny, and sometimes I needed a magnifying glass and bright light to confirm the colors. Maybe I'm just a slowpoke, but I've built many a kit and have found that taking one's time is a good way to avoid mistakes.


No, not only does my second sentence not contradict my first, but your statement explains why it is true.

When I was younger, I was an auto mechanic. I was paid by the task. The faster I finished one, the faster I could start another. This speed has stayed with me all of my life. From taking out the garbage to washing my car, to recapping a radio or building a kit. Nothing goes slowly.

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Member: ARCI, Philco Phorum, ARF Radiomuseum.org


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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Mon 16, 2015 12:34 am 
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ea327 wrote:
jmsent wrote:




Doesn't your second sentence contradict your first? Yes, I agree everyone moves at their own pace, and having just built one of these myself, my opinion is that 2 hours from start to finish is breakneck speed. Heck, just sorting out the parts and organizing them took me the better part of an hour. The resistors are tiny, and sometimes I needed a magnifying glass and bright light to confirm the colors. Maybe I'm just a slowpoke, but I've built many a kit and have found that taking one's time is a good way to avoid mistakes.


No, not only does my second sentence not contradict my first, but your statement explains why it is true.

When I was younger, I was an auto mechanic. I was paid by the task. The faster I finished one, the faster I could start another. This speed has stayed with me all of my life. From taking out the garbage to washing my car, to recapping a radio or building a kit. Nothing goes slowly.


Maybe it is time to slow down. IMHO speed relates to mistakes. I can't think of anything radio related that has to be done ASAP.
Stan Ski


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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Mon 16, 2015 1:12 am 
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Stan, I understand your way of thinking. In my case, after over 50 years of moving fast, mistakes are not an issue. It works for me. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Mon 16, 2015 3:47 am 
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Joined: Feb Sun 24, 2008 4:21 am
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Location: Sedona, AZ/ Placentia CA
Depending on skill and experience, time to put it together will vary. It really doesn't make any difference. It probably took me five hours but I work slow. A 20 watt soldering iron with a small tip and solder quickly. The instructions are the best. Just double check everything before soldering. You can't find a better transmitter that you can run 24/12 without any worry.
Jerry

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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 17, 2015 5:04 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 216
Location: Vermilion, Ohio
I purchased my SSTRAN about 10 years ago, with the processor already soldered in place.
I planned to spread construction over a few evenings. On the first evening, I soldered in the diodes for the power supply(?) and a few other components.
The next evening, my ~13yo son stopped in the shop for a bit (he could solder pretty well and had just basic electronic knowledge). He asked if he could work some on the kit. I said "sure", intending to thoroughly recheck his work later, then continue construction.
After about an hour, he said "hmm, it looks like it's time to try it out". Wait..what??
He had finished the assembly and I saw no mistakes!
We powered it up and it didn't work. It turned out that I had installed one of the diodes backward!
He fixed my mistake, then we tuned and tested the unit. It still works fine today.
That was a humbling moment, for sure. :)

The SSTRAN kit was almost idiot proof back then. Now, 10 years later, it just might even be Tom proof. :)
Don't fret the construction. It's really easy if you take your time and follow the directions. .


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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 17, 2015 5:22 am 
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lsrx101 wrote:
We powered it up and it didn't work. It turned out that I had installed one of the diodes backward!
He fixed my mistake, then we tuned and tested the unit. It still works fine today.
That was a humbling moment, for sure. :)

OMG you blew it! Shoulda told him that you installed it backward on purpose, to test his recognition skills! Youth and enthusiasm are no match for age and treachery...:wink:

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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 17, 2015 7:13 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: MS
Tom, you had a good idea involving your son and I am sure he enjoyed learning to solder almost as much fun as you did teaching him what you could, and it worked in the end. He will always remember it. I have 3 grand boys but they live a few hundred miles away. Hope I can have some type of experience in electronics with them. My Dad help me or mostly built my first kit. Don't remember the name of it but it took a small 90 volt and 2 d cells and had 2 tubes. That had to be in the late 50s. Kept it in my bedroom for years and it was a great radio at night. We ran a long wire antenna in the attic and a ground through the window. It has a 4 inch speaker and sounded good, do not remember the tubes, but it did not need headphones. Finally had a big cleanup a few years when we built out last house I hope. And I think I put it in a dumpster. Wish I had kept it. My Dad has been gone for years, but still remember, working late and finishing the next day. Hope your son had as much fun as you did. Glad you got him involved.


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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty+computer connection
PostPosted: Mar Tue 17, 2015 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Jun Tue 10, 2014 12:39 am
Posts: 145
I have completed my sstran kit and am ready to power it up....now I find that I am in trouble...my laptop computers don't appear to have any cable connections that are compatible with the 2 RCA audio jacks on the sstran....so, does anyone out there know of a cable adapter or cable that will get them hooked up? BTW, it has been a blast learning to solder and building this kit. any advice would be appreciated, Tim in Florida


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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty+computer connection
PostPosted: Mar Tue 17, 2015 11:31 pm 
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lifewithoutparole wrote:
so, does anyone out there know of a cable adapter or cable that will get them hooked up?
You are looking for a 3.5 mm stereo plug to RCA plug Y adapter cable. They are pretty common. You can get them in various lengths.

Example: http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=1 ... 1&format=2

Curtis Eickerman

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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 18, 2015 12:05 am 
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Joined: Jun Tue 10, 2014 12:39 am
Posts: 145
Curtis, you are all right! I really got worried when I started looking at the computers......I found this forum and all the great guys here and I have found a new hobby. I appreciate your reply. I'll get the fire extinguisher out just in case when I power it up! Tim


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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 18, 2015 10:10 am 
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Quote:
Tim in Florida


Where? Florida's a big state. Possibly I'll see you at the Sarasota Radio Meet, the FAWG Meet in Orlando, or the next Central Florida Radio Exchange?

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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 18, 2015 8:15 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 216
Location: Vermilion, Ohio
fifties wrote:
lsrx101 wrote:
We powered it up and it didn't work. It turned out that I had installed one of the diodes backward!
He fixed my mistake, then we tuned and tested the unit. It still works fine today.
That was a humbling moment, for sure. :)

OMG you blew it! Shoulda told him that you installed it backward on purpose, to test his recognition skills! Youth and enthusiasm are no match for age and treachery...:wink:


Drat! I never thought of that. :)


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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 18, 2015 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 216
Location: Vermilion, Ohio
Bill Mc wrote:
Tom, you had a good idea involving your son and I am sure he enjoyed learning to solder almost as much fun as you did teaching him what you could, and it worked in the end. He will always remember it. I have 3 grand boys but they live a few hundred miles away. Hope I can have some type of experience in electronics with them. My Dad help me or mostly built my first kit. Don't remember the name of it but it took a small 90 volt and 2 d cells and had 2 tubes. That had to be in the late 50s. Kept it in my bedroom for years and it was a great radio at night. We ran a long wire antenna in the attic and a ground through the window. It has a 4 inch speaker and sounded good, do not remember the tubes, but it did not need headphones. Finally had a big cleanup a few years when we built out last house I hope. And I think I put it in a dumpster. Wish I had kept it. My Dad has been gone for years, but still remember, working late and finishing the next day. Hope your son had as much fun as you did. Glad you got him involved.


He always liked hanging around the shop with me from the time he was a tyke. It was fun watching him come up with his own projects as time went on. He's 22 now and is still likes to see what's on the bench. He has recently gotten into Arduino projects, Raspberry-Pi projects, etc. A while back, the relays in the Lighting Control Module of his Ford Crown Vic started failing. He just popped it open and wired in external relays with parts from my collection of parts. He is always tinkering or fixing something.
I'm pretty proud of him. I like to think I had some small part in his interest in things electrical. :)


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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 18, 2015 10:31 pm 
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Very nice story and I'm certain you played a large part in his interests. I wish I could get to the link on your sign-off. I suspect it is some type of train engine?
My grandkids interest seem to lay in computer games and social networks. I will keep trying!
Jerry

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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 18, 2015 11:18 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: MS
Jerry when and if you came get them off the games and the social networking let me know what you did. My daughter that used to help me is able to teach school but does not want to do it anymore. A friend asked her to apply at a large hear and air contractor. They asked her about her office skills and to their surprise she told the interviewer that she had limited office skills and thought she would be better at fixing a/c than doing something in the office. She is in her mid 40s and would probably rather do something like that than teach anymore. Her outside exhaust vent motor went out on her central unit a few years, I told her I had one she could have. She took it home (300 miles) only to find out it would bolt up and turn the right way, but stood out too far to put the side panel back. Not to worry, she cut a hole in the panel so that it would and found a cake pan to cover the hole. Some sheet metal screws and a little calking and it worked several years, they even went through a house inspection when they sold the house and the inspector did not even notice. It really looked like it was just made that way. She told me later that it was something that I would have done. Her husband was laughing the whole time until she finished, saved him a couple of hundred and gave her bragging rights. I was glad she had picked up on even trying to fix the thing. Now if I could help her 3 boys.


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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Wed 18, 2015 11:24 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 216
Location: Vermilion, Ohio
JerryHawthorne wrote:
Very nice story and I'm certain you played a large part in his interests. I wish I could get to the link on your sign-off. I suspect it is some type of train engine?
My grandkids interest seem to lay in computer games and social networks. I will keep trying!
Jerry


Hey Jerry,
I totally forgot that link was in my sig. That site was replaced last year. The new one is http://www.lsra.org.
I belong to a group that is restoring a 25 mile rail line in Lorain County, Ohio for excursion service. We are starting to pull out of a long economic slump and have a lot of exciting events planned for this season. The 2015 schedule should be up shortly. If you are ever in the area, stop in and see us.
<sorry for the thread hijack>


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 Post subject: Re: sstran kit-difficulty?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 19, 2015 12:44 am 
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Location: Tennessee 38058
jmsent wrote:
ea327 wrote:
Hi Mike,

If you can follow instructions, you'll have it together and working in a couple of hours...


A couple hours? I think that's a bit optimistic.

Reminds me of an old boss of mine. I had just started working for him and I had to travel quite a bit. I'd ask him, "how long does it take to get to this place," and he'd say, "oh, only a couple of hours." So 3 hours later I was still traveling to the destination! I learned to add about 50% to whatever time he would tell me. Not sure if he drove a lot faster than me, or if he didn't have any concept of time.

Same with me and kit building and electronic repairs in general. Always takes me longer than it does someone else :)

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KN4GGM

"This is the last radio I will ever buy, dear; I promise"


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