My PA100-D Build

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My PA100-D Build

Postby KD4PWU » 26 Dec 2012 04:40

Hello Everyone,

I started my PA-100D build this afternoon with the Digital Control Module. I suspect that I am going to have more questions before I finish this build, so I decided to make the subject on this topic fairly broad and any future questions related to the build here as well.

I have been soldering a long time and consider myself more than competent in this area. But, this is the first time I have tried to solder a package as dense as the PIC chip on this board. I found it rather intimidating when I opened the kit and after an email exchange with Robert Holsti, one of the Juma 'Builders', I decided to give it a whirl. Its is a much easier risk to accept when you know there is someone out there to help if you screw it up (thank you, Robert).

The smallest tip in my soldering tool kit prior to this was 1.5 mm. I invested in a couple of 0.5 mm tips and a spool of 0.5 mm solder. It was a good decision and I don't think I could have pulled it off without these tools. I must admit that I still bridged several pins on the PIC and it took some persuasion with a small piece of solder wick to get it done.

Soldering the rest of the board was no more challenging than one of the Softrock_40_R SDR kits. (At less that $30, I would recommend building one of these to anyone considering a PA-100D kit.)

I was thrilled when I applied power to the completed module and the display fired up. The various buttons seem to function too. The display presents a flash screen with the firmware version and beeps at me. At this point I don't know if this is simply because the signals it is trying to monitor are missing, or there is a problem.

Can anyone tell me what the display normally does when you power up the digital control module as a standalone sub-assembly?

Is there any diagnostic process that I should or can execute to verify the module is working correctly?

Bob Segrest
KD4PWU
KD4PWU
 
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Re: My PA100-D Build

Postby KD1NA » 27 Dec 2012 18:32

Though it has been some time ago. I built my PA-100D I did the same as you. When testing the board I got the splash screen but afterwords I could use the Display button to select all the prameters that were able to be viewed. On viesing the SWR screen I got beeps and a flasing message stating the SWR is N/A. When I finished the rest of the kit everything worked. You should be able to adjust your LCD contrast and brighteness by going into setup. ( turning on the front panel dsp board by prelling and holding the power button). According to your message things you know for sure are working are 1, voltage regulators, 2 interconnection from the CPU and LCD screen, 3 the CPU, 4, button connections. I found the final PA board very challangeing because it is very populated. You will love the linear when you finish it. Do be sure and install the latest firmware. I use mine with the Elecraft KX3.
73 and happy new year
Dave KD1NA
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Joined: 25 Jul 2012 21:03
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