First, to my subscribers, thanks for following this blog! Knowing that there are people actually reading it “out there” makes writing it all the more fun.
So, today we’ll look at the installation of the IEC power section. This is the first part of the build that involves soldering, so there’s a milestone for you.
The first step is to mount the ON/OFF rocker switch and the IEC power cord socket in the chassis. This involves, respectively, snapping in the power switch and affixing the power cord socket with screws, which is so easy it didn’t even seem worth posting a photo. Suffice it to say that these two elements are next to each other on the right of the chassis rear panel.
The mains transformer has one pair of black wires and one pair of white wires that need to be attached to the tabs on the rear of the power rocker switch. You do this by cutting the wires to the proper length, stripping insulation off the ends, twisting the bared ends of the same-colored wires together, “tinning them with solder,” soldering each joined pair onto the little crimp connectors, and then, finally, dressing them with some snazzy shrink tubing. AN Kits thoughtfully includes extra crimps, which is a GOOD THING. Properly affixing the crimp connectors to these wires is not a trivial task for a novice (or out of practice) solder jockey like yours truly, and I can definitely see one or two of them getting trashed before the would be kit builder gets it right. Although I didn’t ruin any crimps, I did go through – shall we say – more than the minimum amount of heat shrink tubing before getting my crimp connectors to look like the manual’s photos.
And at last, after more time than I’d care to admit, I ended up with these lovely specimens:
By the way, what highly advanced, alien civilization invented shrink tubing, anyway? Don’t most materials expand when you heat them? It boggles the mind.
Skipping ahead, here’s the finished wiring to the rocker switch and power cord socket. The red and black wires come pre-twisted and pre-terminated, which is nice. The black and white ones are the two that the builder fashions.
The only other element to this IEC wiring step consists of running some wires from the transformer to the designated ground screw, which is the underside of one of the mains transformer bolts. When I first received my kit and saw that the paint around this one hole had been scraped away on the underside of the chassis, I wrinkled up my nose and thought, “Product defect! Must complain to Brian!” But then I realized that this is deliberately done to afford exposed metal for the ground connection. Silly me. Anyway, the only real chore in this is soldering a round lug onto one of the transformer wires (specifically the green one, below…)
As of this post, I’ve already started the next step of the build, which fashioning the hard wired part of the 300B tube section. I’ll post again when that step is completed.
Best to all of you.