Saturday, December 05, 2009

Between a SoftRock and a hard place

A couple of weeks ago I posted a message on the Elecraft reflector to the effect that if anyone was using a SoftRock SDR kit as a panadapter for the K3 and was planning on replacing it with the Elecraft P3 panadapter that is shortly going to be available, I was interested in experimenting with it and would give the SoftRock a good home. Craig, VK3HE replied that he had a kit which was mine for free if I would send my address. I thanked him very much, sent my address and a small jiffy bad with an Australian stamp plopped on to my doormat this morning. Thanks again, Craig!


What I hadn't expected, since I'd anticipated that someone would be replacing a SoftRock they'd built and used, was that "kit" meant it was an unbuilt SoftRock 6.2 Lite kit! Inside the jiffy bag was a polythene bag containing one of the most densely packed printed circuit boards I'd ever seen. There hardly seems space for all the components, which include a few SMT parts. This is going to be a baptism of fire for sure!

However, no building instructions were included. I guessed there was a PDF file on the web that can be downloaded and printed out, but so far I have been unable to find it. I went to the SoftRock Radio website and clicked on the Documentation link and bizarrely, it opened some pages about installing WordPress! This reminded me that during a couple of other wet weekends in the last couple of years I had toyed with the idea of building a SoftRock kit and couldn't even find on the website where to order one!

Google found some pages by Jack Smith that describe building a Softrock and even using it as a panadapter which are going to be required reading, but he doesn't mention where he found the instructions on how to build it. Hopefully one of my more savvy blog readers will help me out here. Otherwise I'll probably have to send Jack an email and ask where he found them.
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