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SMK-1 Project

On this page are several photos of my SMK-1 kit from NorCal. It took me about 2 1/2 hours to solder all the surface-mount parts on, a few minutes for the thru-hole parts, and then well over a half hour trying to figure out how to get the transformer on! Call it 3 1/2 hours from start to finish. I also ordered the NJ-QRP SMK-1 case kit, but as of today (3/28/01) it has not yet arrived. So while waiting I decided to look for something else to put it in. Aha! There are some old plastic VHS cases that I picked up for 10 cents each. Looks like a pretty good fit, so I drilled a few holes and started stuffing.

Here you can see that the SMK-1 PC board is mounted upside-down. Minor mistake on my part, the holes I drilled for the pot shafts weren’t in the right position. The terminal strip screwed to the side is only used for power hookup right now, and makes it easy to hook up the power switch. That’s an Anderson PowerPole on the end of the wire, a nice sexless connector that the local ARES group has standardized on. I think this size is capable of handling 15 amps.

Here you can see the front panel layout. It’s not quite what I wanted since the board is upside down, but that will be fixed soon. Everything will be transferred to a new case with the right holes in the right spots. From left to right; headphone jack, power switch, XIT/RIT/RF pots. The pots will be in the opposite order when I make the new case.

Here is a nice size comparison with the HTX-10. Actually pretty good - not too big, not too small. And not as easy to loose.

A view of the front panel.

A view of the back. The BNC connector was not a pleasant experience... Be very sure that you put everything together in the right order!!! It had to be redone twice. Also the exit point for the power cable. Soon to be added, after a trip to Radio Shack for a phone jack, will be the jack for the key to the left of the BNC.

The future of my VHS SMK-1? First, a new case! Gotta get it right. After that I’ll probably add one of those cool little LED SWR meters. There’s definitley lots of room in there, so a Tick keyer may come soon after that.

Email me with any questions of comments.

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