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  • Can the MP+ kits be purchased separately as the total cost of $252.00 is somewhat out of my reach at present.
    You can buy the kits individually. My suggestions is you start with the the PLL kit. It can be used as a stand alone freq generator or as a VFO for another project. Then get the FCC kit. It houses the Freq Counter and other circuits, but you can use the freq counter to display the PLL freq or use it as a general lab counter. Here is the order I would build the MP+: PLL, FCC, BPF, RCVR, LPF, XMTR
  • From where can I get those Header pins and housings ? I am badly in need of them !!
    Try Jameco 1-800-831-4242 Page 79  part#157382 3_contact_housing .25/10 .19/100 .15/1000, part#100765 female_pin .11/10 .09/100 .06/1000, part#159265 pin_crimper 9.95/each 8.95/10 or try W8DIZ ! link
  • R27 in PLL board shows 50K multi turn potentiometer. I have only a 5K 20 turn pot. Help !
    The value of R27 is not critical. Any multiturn pot in the range from 5K to 200K will work. People have used 1K 10 turn pots successfully. link
  • How can I get the PLL to lock on frequency bands outside the standard listed values ?
    In the lower right edge of the PLL board, between a yellow varicap and L1 are 2 solder holes. One is ground, the other is an optional connection to an external variable capacitor. You can connect a 365 pF broadcast cap here to give you a very wide lock range. link
  • How was the prototype MP+ built ? I mean the construction technique !
    The prototype MP+ was on a wood board, that is covered with a sheet of copper clad board, used as a ground plane. Each small PCB sub-assembly was mounted on the board with 1/4" aluminum spacer. link
  • Why doesn't MP+ use  front panel mounted band switching controls, ... like my $1000 rig ?
    It was not the intent to design the MP+ to use a FRONT PANEL. Not that you can't, but all the manual switching and manual jumper selections make the MP+ an experimenters rig. MP+ was designed to be as good as or better than anything you can build for $1000. "as good as", in terms of performance, not ergonomic design. link
  • What will happen if I solder the PLL chip backwards ?
    Aha ! this opens up some interesting .possibilities Thoroughly covered eelsewhere for details see the link !
  • From where can I get more information about the K10 keyer chip used in the FCC board ?
    Try the K10 manual link
  • What is the best way to solder the FCC ribbon cable to the socket ?
    Leave the sockets together while attaching the ribbon. The socket has a tendency to warp from the heat and will melt easily if one is not careful. link
  • Is it all right to use dip sockets on all ICs on FCC and all other boards ?
    The IC leads add extra capacitance and inductance to some of the RF circuits so it is better  to avoid using sockets. link
  • I just want to build the receiver part of MP+. How do I do that ?
    If you want to build a receiver capable of receiving any frequency band between 160m and 10m you can do that. All you need are the following kits: the PLL, the FCC, the RECEIVER and the BPF. link
  • I was wondering if this rig is for the CW subbands only, or will it also cover the phone section of the bands?
    You can use MP+ to receive both CW and SSB by adjusting the variable bandwidth Crystal Filter. link
  • How much bandwidth control is possible using the varicap tuned xtal filter of MP+ ?
    It should be possible to get from about 300 Hz to 2,100 Hz, based on the original MP. link
  • When was the fist recorded QSO using an MP+ ?
    Probably on 9 December 2002 on 40m. W8DIZ using MP+ #1 link
  • To get a 15 meter signal, I cannot connect my transmitter to the frequency counter. Will putting a 15 m signal to my dummy load be enough? I do not have a signal generator.
    Dummy Load is fine. Run a wire from the hot end of the dummy load and a wire from the center pin of the frequency counter input. Twist these wires together to couple them. That will be enough to get a signal to the frequency counter. link
  • I am fed up with calculating the number of turns for toroid windings. Is there an easy way ?
    Sure ! Try the toroid calculator (Hmm... unfortunately only for M$ Windows) link
  • If there is more than one winding on a toroid what will be the winding direction (like for toroids on the RX PCB) ?
    All toroid windings will be in the same pitch/direction - unless otherwise specified. link
  • Is the tab/heat sink of the XMTR final connected to ground ?
    For 2SC1945 final tab is connected to the emitter (middle pin) - no insulator should be used. For 2SC1969 final tab is connected to the collector  - you will need an insulator between the tab and the heat sink. link
  • What is the suggested lineup of the various boards on a mounting plate ?
    For straight line mounting: LPF, XMTR, BPF, RCVR, FCC and PLL link
  • Can I use external BCD switches in place of the PCB mounted switches provided on the PLL board ?
    Yes you can link
  • How do I do this dual VFO thing ? I am confused. Help !!
    Dual (or more if you wish) VFO controls are just separate external potentiometer controls connected with proper switching see for details link
  • Do I need to apply  Heatsink Compound between the final transistor tab and the hheat sink?
    Not essential. Heat is not an issue with the XMTR as long as your SWR is 1:1 link
  • My receiver is functioning, but looks like I have very low audio output. What should I check first ?
    It is very easy to reverse the positions of R23 and C39 on the RX board - this is a common mistake. link
  • How do I connect a straight key to the FCC board ?
    The K10 keyer has a programmed mode that allows use of a straight key on J4 paddle input. The key command is "K". You will be able to enter this "K" using the straight key itself, if the straight key is wired to J4 properly (on J4 key between pin 2 and  pins1,3 tied together - a momentary push button switch on J6 between pin2 and pins 1,3 tied together). Check the K10 manual for details. link
  • What is the best way to calibrate the frequency counter/display ?
    Get the "frequency calibrator" from Diz or do a rough calibration using something available (like a spare RX) - make the 30m band receive work and use the 10.00MHz Standard frequency time signal to calibrate the display. link
  • I am hearing a 3 Hz tick on my RX what is this ?
    Freq Counter Clock Ticks - This is a 3 Hz clock tick that comes from the Freq Counter. If you hear this ticking, you may have a ground loop problem. link
  • Some of the digits (from KHz down) of my display jumps. Why is that ?
    This a known problem. The problem is that the MEDIUM pot is up against the far end of travel, placing the wiper very near the 5 volt limit. Usually
    the display will become stable under certain combinations of the pot settings. link
  • Is there a rough list of external controls and jacks generally required ?
    Yes there is. See the link.
  • What is the best way to adjust the BPFs ?
    When you adjust the BPFs, peak them initially on receive. This will get you in the ball park. Then optimize them on transmit. They are very sharp and you can easily miss the peak on transmit. link
  • Can I use a 10 turn 1k pot panel mounted to replace R18 on the TX board to allow me to adjust the output?
    NO ! R18 needs to be as close to the LT1252 Amp a possible. It carries low level RF. If you were to place the pot on the front panel, you would most likely case instability in the XMTR when in XMIT mode.! link
  • Argh ! Is there an easy way to calculate the PLL board switch settings ?
    There is ! Use the PLL calculator. Get it from (Hmm ... Unfortunately only for M$ Windows !). link
  • On the PLL board; where should the tune be set while adjusting the varicaps, in middle of tune range?
    The correct way is to set the PLL freq to its highest value for the span; place the highest voltage on the ref freq varactor. Then adjust the variable capacitor so the green led just comes on while moving from the HIGH RED LED to the GREEN LED. link
  • How can I disable the RX AGC ?
    I connect the center of a SPDT switch to the center pin of J11 on the FCC board. One outer contact of the switch goes to the AGC input on the RCVR board and the other to GROUND. link

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