|I built the FCC-1 to use as a digital display for an OHR-400 transciever. |
The kit is outstanding on the following points. I give it a 5 for:
Ease of construction
Ease of calibration
Documentation and assembly instructions
Features and operation (this kit does anything you could want in a frequency counter for ham use)
Cost (feature packed for the money)
So what's not to like?
1. Parts they left out.
The assembly instructions describe the use of 2 and 5 pin headers for input, power, and band selection connections. These headers, and the corresponding connectors are not supplied, you have to purchase them separately. It took a while to track down the part numbers for these, here are the parts I ordered from Mouser:
538-22-23-2021 Molex .100 2 pin verical PCB header tinned
538-22-23-2051 Molex .100 5 pin verical PCB header tinned
538-08-50-0114 Molex .100 crimp terminals 22-30 tinned
538-22-01-2027 Molex .100 2 pin connector housing with locking ramp
538-22-01-2057 Molex .100 5 pin connector housing with locking ramp
2. If you want to package this kit in an enclosure, you will have to cut out a rectangular opening for the LCD display, and drill holes for the push buttons with fairly high precision. I don't have an easy time of this kind of mechanical work, and I was a little disappointed with the way my enclosure turned out. I used a small LMB painted aluminum enclosure.
3. Band selection is based on a 4 bit binary input -- I used 4 toggle switches because I happened to have them on hand, but it is a clumsy arrangement. I wondered whether an encoder input directly to the PIC could have been used to select the band in firmware.
All in all, it is a great kit and well worth the money, but I think it could be an even better kit if it were supplied with a custom enclosure. I realize that would increase the cost, but the resulting instrument would be a bargain at twice the current kit price.
If you are not daunted by the challenges of putting this kit in an enclosure, you will find it well worth the effort and the money. I give it only a 4 over all, because of the packaging issues.