Building a Software Defined Radio

I have decided to melt solder once more and build another QRP radio. This time it’s a Softrock RXTX v 6.3 that Wal, VK4CBW gave me. He said his eyesight doesn’t allow him to tackle such projects anymore.

The kit is fairly complex as one would imagine and although this particular model is now no longer in production, there is still detailed build information on the internet.

The first stage of the build involves constructing the power supply section. This contains many surface mount components, which are tricky to install due to their small size. First to do was to install the board mounting hardware that consisted of nuts, bolts and spacers. Then it was a matter of those pesky little capacitors: eight 0.01 uF caps and eighteen 0.01 uF caps.

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The SMT caps all soldered into place.

Next came U5, the tiny 3.3v regulator. At first I couldn’t find this item it was so small. But after about 20 minutes of searching, I noticed it tucked away in a fold of the anti-static bag the ICs came in. Phew.

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That’s U5 nestled in among the SMT caps. Notice the liberal amount of flux I used just to help the parts ‘stick’ in place prior to soldering.

I am taking this project nice and slowly so will post regular updates as I go along.

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