Sunday, January 26, 2003
Saturday, January 25, 2003
Jan 25, 2003 - Now that the board has been assembled it's time to put the package together. I've chosen a tin that used to house a Timex watch called the Expedition. This is where I get the name Rock-Mite Expedition. The tin measures 5 1/4" x 4 1/4", just the right size to install the radio, power regulator and some batteries. To start I will just install the radio and connections to the outside world. I purchased all my parts from Mouser Electronics. See the supplemental guide for a list of parts.
The hardest part of the whole project so far was drilling the holes in the thin metal. I used standard drill bits and slow speed on a hand drill. The tin bent a little and I messed up one hole a little bit. All in all the final product looks good. Just don't look to close (Picture 4).
The board is mounted with 40-4 x 3/4" Bolts with Nuts and 1/4 Long nylon spacers to mount the board inside the tin. The nuts, bolts and spacers were purchases at Home Depot for $2.09. With everything mounted and wired I was ready to smoke test the unit.
Friday, January 24, 2003
Jan 24, 2003 - My Rock-Mite 20 arrived in the mail today, and I'm already to go. After having read numerous articles on The Rock-Mite Files I've decide to build my RM-20 Stock with just one modification. I'm putting in the machined pins from an IC socket for Q6 (2N2222A) so that I can experiment with the final. This will also allow me the ability to easily replace Q6 in the event that I try to send smoke signals instead of code.
After reading the instructions thoroughly and checking for all the parts (Picture 0) I began assembling the circuit board. I started with the surface mount first as suggested in the supplement. A very good suggestion. When the project is done it looks like a small house in the midst of a bunch of high rises. There'd be no way to get that in there after you put any other components in around it (Picture 1). From there I worked towards the closest edges and then down and across the rest of the board (Picture 2). Identification and installation of the components was straight forward and the hairpin style mounting made for compact construction (Picture 3).