The OZARK PATROL

    Back    Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4  

CONSTRUCTION

The kit doesn't come with any instructions. They must be downloaded from the 4 State QRP website. On the first page it states that construction should take about two hours. Under "First Steps" it says to organize the parts first. Don't get the idea that you're going to actually be done in two hours. From the time you open the box till the time you've got your parts counted an hour will have gone by.

Since you have to count the components, line them up in the order they will be used, then double-check as you solder them in.

If you examine the parts closely you might see oxidation on some of the leads. Instead of being bright silver they may be gray. This must be removed if you want a good solder connection. Just pull them through a small piece of "Scotch -Brite" or fine sand paper before you solder them in.

 
When you pick up the variable capacitor, the first thing you do is turn the shaft; it's just human nature. DON'T DO IT. If the screws provided to mount the capacitor are turned all the way in, back them out or remove them. OK, now you can turn the shaft. To tighten the shaft extension, hold the shaft with a pair of needle-nose pliers.
 
While installing the capacitor, spread out the four tabs on the back corners and cut them off. Push all the other tabs forward.

 
The first part to be soldered to the board is the coil. The 22 gauge magnet wire supplied was rather twisted up. It was impossible to get the kinks out, so I used my own wire. I also gave the coil two coats of polyurethane, so it ended up being the last part installed instead of the first.
 
The instructions say to mount the coil flat, but I raised mine away from the grounded panel. For all practical purposes, the magnet field lines in a toroidal coil are inside the coil and should have no unwanted coupling with the panel, but ya never know!
 
My set had too much feedback. I put some space between the coil and the tickler wire to improve the action of the regeneration control.

The manual gives instructions on how to solder the parts in, but I didn't follow them. From the way I saw it, you need three hands.
My third hand was a strip of painter's tape. I used the same piece over and over. Here is the first resistor about to be soldered.

 

Now we come to another reason you will not complete the kit in two hours. The headphone jack is mounted just a little
too close to the transformer for easy assembly. The wiring diagram on the left shows the bottom of the transformer and
the side of the jack. In reality, the bottom of the transformer and the front of the jack both point in the same direction.

This is one way to assemble the two parts:

1. Cut off the center leads from both sides of the transformer.
2. Wire the leads according to the diagram, but with the jack pointing down. Bend and cut the leads after making a test fit.
3. Push the leads into the holes in the jack terminals and crimp them.
4. Solder the connection shown upper left in the diagram. This will hold things together.
5. Crimp the speaker wires around the jack terminals and solder the remaining two connections.
6. Insert the jack into the front panel and attach it with the lock nut. Squeeze the two components together until the
    transformer sits on its solder lugs.

Welp, there goes your two hours. Finished yet?

 
The terminals on the pots face the wrong way! The instructions say to just bend them. Grab a decent pair of wire cutters first.
 
You'll have to bend them AND trim them to make them fit. Add another hour.
 
It took me over six hours to build this, so don't feel bad if the "two hours" has come and gone. Who wants to slap it together in
two hours anyway? Spend an hour on it, put it aside, then come back to it later. Don't forget to unplug the soldering iron.

 
The band switch was wired per the instructions, but it works backward. The low band is up and the higher band is down. No, I didn't put it in upside-down. Nice try. Also, the regen control has a reverse action. You turn it full clockwise, then back it off to add feedback.

 
 NEXT