The Art of Rebuilding the HW-101
In the recent discussion on the HW-101 VFO on the Heath list (on puck.nether.net), I mentioned about having detailed notes on how I got my own HW-101 to work so nicely. I recently traded it for something awesome (see https://puck.nether.net/pipermail/he...er/038505.html).
If it is OK, I'd like to post the notes here, so that you all can enjoy/try them and comment. I'm certainly going to write to enjoy myself. Anyway, here we go...
As with any big project I am about to begin, I wrote down my strategy so that I had a good chance of success, and to see if I REALLY wanted to do this. Here was mine, written on loose-leaf paper:
"HW-101 Restoration Strategy"
(I assumed that I'd already done a complete visual inspection and found no major issues. Start with a good rig, it isn't worth it to do this to a rotten one - crap joints and burned/melted insulation is a good hint)
1. Restore 'as-built' functionality
a) Rebuild the HP-23 supply (with PCB kit).
b) Replace components for safety (two electrolytics in rig)
c) Test tubes for gross performance issues in emission tester
d) Connections, controls and mechanisms cleaned and lubed.
e) Follow the manual and schematics; perform all tests, checks and alignment specified
f) While performing resistance checks, replace out-of-tolerance components with like components
g) Perform only the most basic modifications and reworks to restore expected performance
h) List all remaining deviations from expected performance.
2. Apply all applicable Heatkit Technical Bulletins
a) Determine which TBs are 'applicable', many are conditional.
b) Apply modifications and procedures, one at a time, oldest first (except where an old TB has been superceded by a new one). Retest following each modification (in scope to sections repaired and modified)
c) Repeat 1e, and list remaining deviations.
3. Apply modifications - following technical review
a) Locate all known good HW-101 modifications (I think RIT sucks).
b) Evaluate effectiveness, degree of modification, risks
c) Choose modifications, list from lowest risk/effort to highest
d) Apply modifications, one at a time, then test for effectiveness and possible side-effects.
a) List remaining deviations
b) Evaluate costs of developing modifications, limitations of rig design
c) Choose modifications of low risk/cost/effort.
d) Apply modifications, one at a time, etc.
So, first, I am an engineer, so I hope that explains why I wrote like this. Or I'm mental - that would explain it too. In the end, I followed the plan, and met my goals too. Notice I didn't have a stage 5 - enjoy your new rig. That is a very important stage if you want to justify all that work you put in, unless you are doing it for the fun of it.
Next Part - Feng Shui of Radio Restoration
Last edited by W1EUJ; 05-18-2012 at 10:00 PM.
Reason: clarification of profession
Well, that should be written in stone! Thanks.
"Rescue Ham Radio on QRZed"
"Ban Political Posts and Conspiracy Whacking"
As promised: Part 2, Feng Shui of Radio Restoration
Recommend listening: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrXmeQgUT44
Play it now, as you read this.
The most important tool you have is your brain. To get that into shape, and to know WHY you are doing this, read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" Don't worry - it has little to do with either.
The second most important tool you have is a good workspace. Like any tool, poor quality will lead to poor results. So, what makes a high quality workspace?
1. Built and dedicated to its purpose.
For any complex project (or anything that takes more than a day), you need a space that you can step away from for extended periods of time (heck, even months!) and come back to without anything out of place. You will fail if you are constantly moving it into boxes, off to the side, etc. So, find SOMEWHERE where you can do this. Most anything you want in a hamshack, you want to make this space a place you don't mind being for several hours at a time. Make it so interruptions are minimized - one of the worst being the wife-yell. Get yourself an intercom (or cordless phone with intercom mode). Install a telephone. Get some sort of computer in there.
I think it is also important that stuff be in quick reach (frequently used stuff within an arms-length, most other stuff within a couple steps). If you are having to dig under stuff to get the thing you need, or reaching under the table and pawing through boxes to get your flathead, you need to stop and fix that. My layout is a set of rack shelves behind me with the chemicals, spare parts, and some test equipment. My workbench is a huge butcherblock table with drawers on both sides. I hardly ever had to walk more than a step to get what I needed. Whatever you do, make it work for you but also work efficiently.
2. Good Lighting
Can't fix what you can't see. It has taken alot of bad workspaces to figure out what is good. I have found that bright light, illuminating the entire workbench, but NOT having a direct path to my eye - that is the perfect balance. You need to flood the bench with as much light as you can - for my space, I bought a cieling-hanging flourescent fixture with metal shading (shop-light). I hung it low so I didn't get all that brightness directly in my eyes. In addition, a couple desk-type spot lamps, that you can perch over areas you need MORE light in, is very helpful. And a bright little LED flashlight will help with the most challenging spots, like checking tuning slugs.
Don't forget this place still have to be inviting to you - so if you are in a room where the shop light may not fill the space, fill in the darker areas with nice, warm and diffuse light - floor standing lamps with warm bulbs and no direct light path are the best.
3. Good Sound
There is alot of this work that is going to be immensely boring if you had your entire focus on it. Take it from a fellow that unsoldered and resoldered every wire connection in an HW-101 - I was not spending all my thinking power on that. Audio entertainment works best. I listen to my public radio stations alot, because inside this young man is a Subaru driving greybeard trying to break free! Whatever you pick, put some thought into the audio quality and don't use one inch of your workspace for that stuff. Put in a shelf if you have to.
4. The Workbench
At least 9 square feet. Solid. Not covered in other projects. Should have an outlet strip mounted on it. High/low enough for good ergonomics. CLEAN. And light colored. From there it is up to your own preferences. I tacked on strips of cardboard back and side edges, so that screws/pens/tubes didn't roll away from me.
I found that, when I left my project over the summer, that the humidity would cause the front panel paint to stick to the bench. From this point on, I got a low-pile bath mat on the bench - it helps to keep from stuff from getting stuck/chipped/scratched. Carpet scraps are good to - go for light colors.
It is so much nicer if your frequently used tools are in drawers below the bench, so that you can keep them from piling up on the working surface.
Write EVERYTHING down. Plans, actions, purchases, everything. Trust nothing to memory - only to paper. Keep them in a binder with your radio's schematics, your receipts, article printouts. All in one spot. So, of course, you are going to need pens - I have a mug full of them. Write this like somebody else is going to read it to pick up where you left off.
There is going to be alot of parts moving around, and you'll need to keep track of that stuff. Cardboard shipping boxes suck, so do this:
1. Big plastic storage bins for spare chassis, subassemblies, other junk
2. Shoebox sided plastic boxes with lids, for most electronic parts, subassemblies
3. Wide and flat plastic containers for screws and small parts. Cups SUCK, they always get knocked over. I had a ton of petri dishes from work, anything like that (with some cover) will do nicely.
Size the container to the part being held and its frequency of use - have several small containers instead of one larger one. That allows you to organize them according to so many more categories than being forced to lump them together. And you can put the small containers into the larger one anyway.
Have a roll of tape and a fine Sharpie to label everything - this is part of writing EVERYTHING down. Again, think about what you would need to do if somebody else was going to pick up where you left off.
Either I need to loosen up or get amped up. On the loosen side, I like to have a sipping liquor or a hoppy beer. I did not start my work until I got a shot of applejack down. It helped to calm down the noise of the day's concerns. Restoration is a 2 shot maximum hobby. If you can get into the state of calm and clear without this, then you are fine.
Weekends I needed coffee; only think I need to say is if you are lazy like I am and forget to bring your mugs back to the kitchen and they get mold spots, you may want to use paper cups or hose the mug outside of the view of your significant other.
Next Part - Tools and Equipment
See you then.
What the... Well don't stop now.
Great tips. I've managed to come up with the same lessons learned over the past year, most of them the hardway.
As for sound...
Often I just listen to the dead air on another radio something tuned to a dead spot on forty meters for example... This aids in concentration and I find it relaxing.
You cannot rule an educated population.