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Author Topic: Inept Ham Needs Help with Old Alinco DR-590  (Read 3589 times)
N2JIE
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« on: July 15, 2007, 08:31:59 PM »

Greetings:

I have been off the air for 13+ years, and just got back on HF, running a new Kenwood out of my kitchen.  But, I digress.

I don't know how I passed the theory portion of my exams all so long ago, but I did, though probably not by much.  Anyhow, to my problem....I am going on vacation next week, and I hope to take my old Alinco DR-590 144/440 MHz with me to Canada.  Over the past decade plus, the pigtails for the antennas came disconnected from the inside of the radio.  Not only do I not know how to put the wires back in, but I don't know whether the top or bottom connector is the 2m connector (if you have such a rig, you will know what I mean).

My soldering skills are next to none (I know, and I call myself a ham), and when I took the bottom and top portions of the case off, I saw where some mods had been done by the prior owner, so the bottom aluminum plate that allows me access to one of the antenna ports is physically inaccessible to me.

That leaves access from the outside of the radio.  I stripped the insulation off of the braided copper (yes, I CAN do that), and attempted to just stick the ends into the antnna ports, but of course they didn't stay in.  Of course they didn't, that would be too easy.  I also noticed that inside the ports, there appeared to be the remnants of some type of fastener/connector that held the wire in place.  

However, I STILL don't know whether the top port or the bottom port is the 2m port, which is probably what I'll be running while in, and en route to, Canada.

ANY HELP WHATSOEVER will be greatly appreciated, with how to Mickey-Mouse rig the antenna wires to the proper ports, and hold them in place, would be GREATLY APPRECIATED.

Oh, did I mention my new Kenwood 570 is being run out of my kitchen, next to the microwave, without a ground, and with a G5RV in the attic?

Sorry, guys and gals, that I had to bother you with such trivial details, but I really do hope to learn how to do more than just talk on the radio one of these days.

73s,

Tom
N2JIE
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KE3WD
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2007, 09:54:45 AM »

All I can tell you is that you should not try transmitting on the thing if you just 'stuck the cable into the port'.  

Find someone who can properly resolder the pigtail.  

For the experienced, this is easy and should not even require schematic, service manual or the like.  

Those likely aren't mods you are describing, IIRC the shielding tin on that model was soldered in place.  A good technician will know what to do.  

This may be an easy one for the local Mom 'n Pop TV repair place, too.  

I googled up a free .pdf service manual for the DR-590 here:

http://hamradio.online.ru/ftp/dr590ser_sch.pdf

Apparently the bottom one is the UHF.

Alinco website still has the user's manual as downloadble free .pdf file here:

http://www.alinco.com/usa.html

This one confirms that top is VHF, bottom is UHF.

I'm surprised it isn't written on the back of the rig somewhere, maybe hard to see or embossed or something.


.
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NL7SX
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2007, 11:53:53 AM »

I've worked on those before (adding an 800 MHz antenna) and as I recall there are brackets with two screws to hold the coax into the board. I'll go open one up and get back here within the hour.
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NL7SX
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2007, 12:18:09 PM »

Yep, there's a soldering project there! Remove screws, unsolder from board, clean up connector, trim coax, solder to connector, resolder to board and replace screws. VHF is on top.
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NL7SX
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2007, 01:05:14 PM »

Might just strip back the shield to where it will just contact the connector (part with screws holding it). Solder the center conductor of the coax for rigidity (unless it is solid already).Leave the insulating sleeve as long as possible or surround the center conductor with a fine piece of duct tape to reduce the chance of it shorting out to the connector. Then duct tape the cable to hold it into the connector securing the cable to the back of the transceiver.

PS.  the interior cover is steel

 
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N2JIE
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2007, 02:02:56 PM »

That's what I'm talking about....good old duct tape!!

I've got a few days.  I should be able to figure out the right way to do it by then.

73s,

Tom
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N2JIE
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2007, 03:21:26 PM »

When you say "connector", do you mean whatever it is I see inside what I am calling the "port"?  It looks like the "ports" are threaded, and the coax goes through the connectors.  From what I can see, they sort of like mini wire nuts with holes in both ends.

73s,

Tom
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NL7SX
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2007, 09:49:01 AM »

I haven't resoldered one in the last year but as I remember and can observe from removing the covers is that the shield is normally crimped/maybe soldered to the connector/feedthrough and the center conductor soldered to the board. The connector/feedthrough is also soldered to the board (between two vertical pins?). Done right, it is a solid connection mechanically and electrically.  
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NX7T
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2012, 11:57:03 AM »

Just ordered 2 batteries with tabs for a couple of bucks each

https://www.alliedelec.com/search/productdetail.aspx?SKU=70196840

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KX0Z
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2012, 01:10:08 AM »

I had something similar happen with my Icom28H.  I had noticed simplex range had been steadily decreasing.   Finally the recieve totally died.   I took the radio apart and unsoldered a metal shield that was over where the coax attached to the circuit board.  Sure enough the center conductor of the coax was broken and pulled away from the board.  There is a strain relief that I had to remove to get a little slack in the coax so I could solder it to the board again.  I stripped back abt 3/8 of inch of center insulator and resoldered the center conductor to the board.  I put the strain relief back on and also used a zip tie to hold the coax to the heatsink.  That also acted as strain relief.  Recieve was drastically improved to say the least.  It's worked great ever since..
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K1CJS
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2012, 05:32:50 AM »

Tom, a ham that calls himself 'inept' really isn't.  You know what you do not know and are willing to admit it and ask for help.  Rather than inept, that makes you a lot smarter than a lot of other hams who frequent this website!  

You obviously have other skills that caused you to take up the hobby, so stop worrying about asking for help.  Have a wonderful vacation and 73!

Added--BTW, be sure you bring a copy of your license certificate with you on your vacation.  Sometimes using just the little pocket 'card' the FCC sends you along with your certificate when crossing the Canadian border doesn't work too well.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 05:36:53 AM by K1CJS » Logged
WA2OLZ
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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2012, 06:03:22 PM »

Tom, a ham that calls himself 'inept' really isn't.  You know what you do not know and are willing to admit it and ask for help.  Rather than inept, that makes you a lot smarter than a lot of other hams who frequent this website!  

You obviously have other skills that caused you to take up the hobby, so stop worrying about asking for help.  Have a wonderful vacation and 73!

Added--BTW, be sure you bring a copy of your license certificate with you on your vacation.  Sometimes using just the little pocket 'card' the FCC sends you along with your certificate when crossing the Canadian border doesn't work too well.

I rather suspect his vacation was over quite some time ago Smiley
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K1CJS
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« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2012, 04:44:44 AM »

Yep.  I suppose.  I try to check posting dates, but I miss it sometimes.  Oh well, only human!
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WA2OLZ
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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2012, 04:59:20 PM »

Sorry. My attempt at humor was feeble
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K1CJS
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2012, 05:07:16 AM »

No sweat, Jack--and no offence.  The person who makes a mistake and then cannot laugh at himself is a sorry person indeed!

On reflection, the person who can't even admit making the mistake is even sorrier.  73!
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