Tuesday, February 5, 2019

KD1JV's "Slop Bucket II" on the way; orders being taken by John AE5X John Harper

Steve KD1JV opened the gates for orders and I now have a Slop Bucket II on the way. This is one of the few SSB-capable kits Steve has produced - I think I've built one of every kit he has designed over the years, but for this one I'll utilize a new (for me) type of construction.

I've assembled each of Steve's prior kits - all with many SMD components - with the same standard soldering techniques we all use for through-hole components. It works if you're very careful, have good light and use very fine solder.

Immediately after ordering the SB-II I ordered a syringe of solder paste and a 300-watt embossing tool. The plan is to follow the practices recommended in the assembly manual which is the technique used by most builders of these types of kits. I'm late to the solder paste party but here I come.

The SB-II is a dual-mode kit operating on both SSB and CW. I'll use it on both those modes but the main enjoyment will be the build and I can't help but ponder the reason for that. I think it's because I've never outgrown the fascination of having a collection of parts, adding some time and effort to them, and then ending up with a usable or inspiring product.

This started with Revel models when I was 8 or 9 years old - Messerschmidt ME-109's battling P-51 Mustangs, all in plastic, with decals applied (mostly in the right places).

Whatever neurons made such an activity appealing are still in place ☺

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