Softrock Lite 6.2
Adventures in Electronics and Radio
Elecraft K2 and K3 Transceivers
30 July 2006
I've received enough of the quotations to be able to provide a pricing
schedule. The prices quoted are contingent upon receiving a minimum of at
least 25 orders for the Z90 and Z91, with the mix heavily skewed to the Z90
or the Z91. (The worst case is about half for each model, as the setup
charges for small runs of the enclosure become prohibitive. As long as one
or the other model is in the 25 or more range, the other can "piggyback" on
Assuming sufficient commitments, I believe the kits will be shipped
during October. The longest lead items are the enclosures, and quotations
I've received say delivery 8-10 weeks after receipt of order.
What I expect from Prospective Purchasers
Here's what I expect from prospective purchasers:
- Let me know what you wish to purchase (including options), preferably
- Give me your firm undertaking that, absent some unexpected
circumstance, you will carry through with your intention to buy.
- If you change your mind, you won't wait until the last minute to tell
|There will be one production run, and the cut-off date to
get in on the run is Friday, 18 August 2006. There might be some extra
places in the production run after that date, as I will likely round up some
volume-sensitive components to take advantage of price breaks, but you can't
count on it. I will also reserve a small number of components for spares and
I will not ask for payment until I have kits ready to ship.
This means that I will be writing checks totaling $10,000 or more to various
suppliers, on the basis that those who have indicated they will buy will
I'm not set up to receive payment via credit cards, but if necessary I
will look into it. I will accept personal checks or money orders. If you
wish to pick up a unit personally and pay cash, that's OK also, but I will
have to charge you Virginia sales tax.
What Will You Receive?
- Solder-masked and silk screened printed circuit boards. The Z90
consists of three PCB units:
- Main board
- DDS Daughter board
- Softkey switch board (omitted in the Z91)
The DDS Daughter board
will be supplied only as a wired and tested unit. This is necessary to
avoid assembly problems with the AD9851 DDS chip, in a 40 pins/inch
surface mount package. My personal success rate in installing this chip
with reasonably good tools and a fair bit of experience is only about 85%.
All parts necessary
to assemble the board, including 8 matched crystals for the
crystal filter resonators. (The Z91 omits parts needed only for the Z90,
of course, such as the softkey switch board.) The parts include an 18F4620
PIC, programmed with the then firmware current release.
Black and white printed
copy of the Assembly and Operating manuals, including 11 x 17 inch
schematic and troubleshooting voltage and waveforms.
A CD-ROM with the then
current version of the Z90-Control software for Windows (object code), the image (HEX)
file for the current 18F4620 firmware and a boot loader for flashing new
firmware into the PIC. The CD-ROM will also include color PDF versions of
the manuals as well as the schematics and troubleshooting information.
Access to updates and
bug-fixes for both Z90-Control and the PIC firmware, as I may develop them
from time to time.
An enclosure for the PCB.
The Z91 enclosure is a TenTec BK-929 model, and the Z90 enclosure is a TenTec BU-959 model.
(The enclosures are available in both blue (BU-series) and black (BK-series). I
have not yet decided which colors to use, but I'm leaning towards blue for
the Z90 and black for the Z91. This can be changed if there's a groundswell of opinion one way
or the other, but the volume constraints do not
permit me to economically offer both colors for both enclosures. The
enclosure will come with laser cut front and rear panels, powder coated,
with silk screened legends. My current plan is that the front and rear
panels will be in textured "sand" color powder coat. I hope to have photographs of the sample
panels available in mid September. These are expensive, high quality metal
cabinets, and represent a significant percentage of the total cost of the
Accessory BNC-BNC cable
and 9-pin D connector for serial communications.
RoHS. I'm trying to
supply only RoHS compliant parts, but I cannot guarantee that 100% of the
parts will be RoHS compliant. If this is a concern to you, drop me an
E-mail message and we can discuss it.
Support and Terms and Conditions
I will provide the usual and customary
support, should your kit not function. I've detected a high degree of
experience at kit building in my E-mail correspondence with prospective
purchasers, but I have to add the usual disclaimer that if the kit does
not work because you have violated the rules of decent craftsmanship, I
reserve the right to make a reasonable charge for repair service. I
think this is highly unlikely to be the case, however.
I'll warranty the parts for 90 days. In the
event you can't find the fault yourself, if you pay shipping to me, I will
find the trouble and return it to you, postage pre-paid. If the problem is
not a defective component, but a problem with your craftsmanship, I
reserve the right to make a reasonable charge for the repair service.
Shipping will be charged at my actual cost
and will be quoted upon request. I plan to use Federal Express Ground
(alternative is US Postal Service Priority
Mail) wherever possible, with insurance.
International orders will be handled on a
case-by-case basis and the purchaser should contact me to work out the
details. I'll work with you to get the delivery done in a cost-efficient
fashion, but please don't ask me to declare it as a "gift" or "no
commercial value," or to provide an incorrect invoice. International
orders are also subject to any export control restrictions that might
apply with respect to integrated circuits used in the products.
All prices are in United States dollars.
I reserve the right to increase these prices
for anyone not providing their commitment to purchase by Friday, 18 August
The sales will be
governed by the warranty and other terms and conditions provided in the
documentation as of the date of the sale and will be available for
downloading and review at this web site in the near future.
- Complete, including LCD, as above. $575 .00
- Complete as above $390.00
- PCB and electronics parts only (includes CD-ROM). No enclosure, no
printed manual. $295
I reserve the right to withdraw PCB-only sales if they push the volume of
the kits sold with enclosure to the point where the economies of scale make
it uneconomical to complete the initial "with enclosures" run.
- 13.5 V DC power supply. $15.00
I highly recommend this power supply option if you are unsure that you
have a source of regulated 13.5 V DC at 1 Ampere available for the
Z90/Z91. This is a "universal" "wall wart" style switching supply and
functions with an input voltage of 100 V to 250 V AC.
- Z10000 Buffer Board. This is a small interface board provide a
buffered 50 ohm output impedance copy of the IF signal inside your
transceiver for those without a built-in IF output jack. The Z10000 will be available in two versions, one customized
for Elecraft's K2 transceiver and one general purpose buffer. The price is
TBD, but should be in the $25 range. Although I have designed the Z10000
board with reasonable care, you will solely be responsible for any damage
to equipment in which you install the buffer.
||One of the things I most dislike about working with surface
mount parts is how easily they disappear on my bench or on the floor. I'll
offer a kit of at least one extra of every surface mount part (more than one
extra for common items, such as 0.1uF capacitors),. The price and contents
will be determined closer to shipping time, but I hope it will be in the
$10-$12 range. If you drop a small part and can't find it, I'll supply a
spare by mail without charge, but this kit will reduce the turn around time
and provide a spare parts source as well.
|Long Term Running Spares
||It seems that the half-life of electronic parts is
diminishing rapidly. Not that the parts don't last a long time, but rather
they are discontinued by the manufacturer after a brief run. I'll put
together a kit of long-term running spares, such as one of each semiconductor used,
including a spare programmed PIC, spare switches, fuses, connectors, etc.
The price and contents are TBD. This package will not include spares related
to either the LCD module or DDS Daughter board.
|DDS Daughter Board
||Spare wired and tested DDS Daughter board: TBD
||Parts necessary to convert a Z91 to a
Z90. Includes electrical parts, enclosure and LCD. Price and availability
|Wired and Tested Units
||Dario, N5QVF, has agreed to offer an
assembly service for those wishing to have a Z90 or Z91 built for them.
Dario's charges are:
In addition, shipping to the customer will be charged.
If you are interested in this service from Dario,
please contact him directly at email@example.com