August 24, 2009 at 4:19 am #173WD0DXDKeymaster
In my continuous search of the Internet, last year I came a crossed Brian Wood's site http://dzkit.com. Since I am an avid collector of old Heathkit radios and test equipment, Brian's concept really intrigued me.
This June, the family and I planned a vacation to Estes Park Colorado. I was excited, because they also agreed to allow me a little time to stop by DZKIT's store and visit with Brian. Brian was nice enough to show me the prototype radio and give me a tour of his new facility.
After we got back from vacation I talked to the XYL and decided to go ahead and get on the list to purchase one of the first units that Brian shipped. I decided to get the S-100H kit which included no face controls and didn't include the built in PC. It did include the transmitter and the 100W Power Amp. One of the nice things about the Sienna line is that you can add any of the options later on. So I plan to add some more of the filters, the front panel and one of the embeded PC's later this year or early next year.
So I waited patiently while Brian finished up gathering orders and parts and last Tuesday, August 18th, the first boxes of my kit showed up via UPS.[thumb]http://w0wwv.org/images/sienna/sienna1.jpg[/thumb]
As you can see, it was well boxed and there was no damage during shipping.
Each subcomponent is boxed separately inside the main box.[thumb]http://w0wwv.org/images/sienna/sienna2.jpg[/thumb]
Since these kits are the first of its kind being shipped, Brian sent out the chassis and the receiver components in the first shipment. That allowed us early adopters to get started building the kit while he finishes up the final parts for shipment.
You can see that in this photo:[thumb]http://w0wwv.org/images/sienna/sienna3.jpg[/thumb]
Inside each box are the components to complete that particular module.[thumb]http://w0wwv.org/images/sienna/sienna6.jpg[/thumb]
Small parts are put in individual bags with a packing slip in each bag that has the corresponding component number that matches up to the location on the board. It is very easy to locate the proper place to install the parts.[thumb]http://w0wwv.org/images/sienna/sienna22.jpg[/thumb]
So the first step in building the kit is to assemble the chassis. The manual is as straight forward as the old Heathkit manuals. In the following pictures you can see the chassis construction. I am very impressed with the construction. All of the stampings are clean and precise. One thing I prefer about this kit over the kits of old is the use of captive nuts on the chassis and KEPS nuts in other areas. No more fumbling with lock washers and nuts while assembling the chassis.[thumb]http://w0wwv.org/images/sienna/sienna4.jpg[/thumb][thumb]http://w0wwv.org/images/sienna/sienna5.jpg[/thumb][thumb]http://w0wwv.org/images/sienna/sienna7.jpg[/thumb]
In this photo, you can see the chassis that is about 80% completed[thumb]http://w0wwv.org/images/sienna/sienna9.jpg[/thumb]
The next step is to construct the RS-232 module. It is pretty straight forward, you follow the steps in the manual.
Here you can see the components of the module.[thumb]http://w0wwv.org/images/sienna/sienna23.jpg[/thumb]
I used the packing slip in the bag that came with the module to find the location of the parts.[thumb]http://w0wwv.org/images/sienna/sienna24.jpg[/thumb]
I pre-bent the leads of the components before placing them on the circuit board.[thumb]http://w0wwv.org/images/sienna/sienna25.jpg[/thumb]
On the bottom of the board I bent the leads out to keep them in place for soldering them.[thumb]http://w0wwv.org/images/sienna/sienna28.jpg[/thumb]
Then I used a good solder with a soldering workstation with a small conical tip to solder the components to the board. I set the soldering station to 750 degrees Fahrenheit or about 397 degrees Celsius. You almost have to have a good soldering station to do this, the 10 dollar shack special won't work on this. I found a nice digital unit at http://circuitspecialists.com]Circuit Specialists for under $50.00.[thumb]http://w0wwv.org/images/sienna/sienna29.jpg[/thumb]
After soldering, I clipped the leads from the board.[thumb]http://w0wwv.org/images/sienna/sienna17.jpg[/thumb]
Here you can see the components on the board after soldering.[thumb]http://w0wwv.org/images/sienna/sienna15.jpg[/thumb]
In the next installment, I will build the DCD board. I have to say at this point I am very happy. I have told the other hams in the area, that when I am working on the kit, I feel like I am 15 again building that HR-1680 receiver all over again. From a business stand point I can't believe the amount of engineering and process design that Brian had to do on this.
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