1. You can now help support WorldwideDX when you shop on Amazon at no additional cost to you! Simply follow this Shop on Amazon link first and a portion of any purchase is sent to WorldwideDX to help with site costs.
    Dismiss Notice

Browning Mark 4A PITA solution. Another wacky widget.

Discussion in 'CB and Export Equipment and Accessories' started by nomadradio, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. nomadradio

    nomadradio Analog Retentive

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    1,333
    So, here is a so-called "feature" of the Browning Mark 4A transmitter. An illuminated status light to tell you which way the pointer on the Mode switch knob is pointing. As if you can't tell that at a glance. But the Mark 3 had them, so I suppose this model had to, as well.

    [​IMG]

    Key the mike and you get the illuminated "On The Air" that was in the Mark 3 receiver. I guess thay had to include this somehow.

    [​IMG]

    But the mechanical layout behind it is a pure aggravation. Small incandescent lamps with frog-hair thin lead wires are captive inside a white plastic reflector. Those wires hold the circuit board in place that connects the transmitter's wiring harness to the six bulbs. A pretty shaky proposition that nearly always has one or more bulbs with a snapped wire.

    [​IMG]

    I should include some pics of hand-installed LEDs, mobile-radio pigtail lamps and other improvised fixes. Didn't find any on file.

    Pretty ugly, anyway.

    So enter another way to save labor on a PITA part of the job. Could just say "tough" to the customer and invite him to fix his own stupid lights. But if the radio comes with a feature, they will want it to work. Besides, telling a customer he can't have something is not generally considered the straight road to business success.

    [​IMG]

    This board still takes labor to build, and some time if you want all the LEDs standing up straight at the right height.

    But it saves time where it counts, getting the radio ready to send back home.

    The flat-front LEDs diffuse the light well enough to prevent a bright spot at the center of the legends.

    Got the pc board layout to line up the LEDs with the molded reflector. The friction holds this one pretty well. A dab of hot snot wouldn't hurt it.

    [​IMG]

    Labeling the hole where each of 5 wires will solder to it works best when the wire colors haven't faded too badly.

    [​IMG]

    This one might or might not prove popular on Ebay. Only one way to tell. Gotta build some more of them, first.



    73
     

  2. OldTech03

    OldTech03 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2017
    Messages:
    245
    Likes Received:
    277
    "Telling a customer he can't have something is not generally considered the straight road to business success.

    " How very TRUE! There are some on here that claim they would not except any amount of money to do what the customer wants but I had 4 bench techs at one point and their paycheck would have been much smaller and they would not have been nearly as happy about coming to work every day if I had tried that "Holier than thou" approach to this business. I won't say that I never tried to show a customer that what they wanted may not be the best idea but if that didn't convince them the results of what they wanted often did. So much so that I would stamp the receipts "NOT A RECOMMENDED PROCEDURE" even had a red rubber stamp made just for these issues.

    Oldtech
     
  3. Handy Andy

    Handy Andy Do Your Research First, Then Decide...

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2018
    Messages:
    1,359
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    Excellent work Nomad.

    How did you do up those boards?

    :+> Andy <+:
     
  4. sunbulls

    sunbulls Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    237
    Just wait, someone will want one with multi colored LED's. :eek:
     
  5. Dmans

    Dmans Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2017
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    211
    Or color changing LED's!

    I personally don't view this as a "Whacky Widget" but tend to think of you filling a need for all the folks (and there are plenty) that have an emotional attachment to these classics! I guess I have had at least one of every model of the Browning Eagles over the years. In the early to middle 90's I got nervous about owning tube equipment. Sold or traded it all off and went completely transistor. Wish I could turn the clock back. (Only have 2 pieces of tube gear now but covet all of them!)

    73's
    David
     
  6. loosecannon

    loosecannon Sr. Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Messages:
    3,074
    Likes Received:
    1,335
    Nomad, i have found great success using nylon and rubber washers to space LEDs up off of PC boards.

    also, may i humbly recommend a product called Barge contact cement in lieu of the hot snot glue. It has the consistency of rubber cement, but dries with much more holding power.

    perfect for sticking LEDs in holes!

    You might find a better market for them by selling a bunch of those boards to Barkett Electronics, or Mike at MikesRadioRepair. those guys would probably buy a bunch from you just to have on hand.
    LC
     
  7. nomadradio

    nomadradio Analog Retentive

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    1,333
    Andy, I used ExpressPCB. Their CAD is free, downloaded from http://www.expresspcb.com

    When I first started using their service in 1999, there were not a lot of circuit-board fabs available online. They were the first one I stumbled across. Until then, you would snail-mail a floppy with your CAD files on it to a PCB vendor.

    Now you have numerous choices, both in the USA, China and elsewhere. All of them are cheaper than ExpressPCB, based in Oregon, USA. Well, the offshore choices are cheaper.

    All of those accept the "standard" file formats, a Gerber layout file, and an Excellon drill file. Standard PCB CAD software produces these file formats.

    But ExpressPCB's software produces an output file in a proprietary format that you upload to their server to place your order. Haven't found an alternate vendor who accepts their CAD file format.

    I keep getting advice to use the cheaper services, but I would have to switch CAD programs, and redraw all the boards we buy now.

    I tend to stick with a tool that works, rather than try new ones. Even if they are cheaper.

    Only bought a dozen of these. One of ExpressPCB's services is a fixed-size 2.5 by 3.8-inch board, three of them for 80 bucks, depending on shipping. I can get four of these LED boards on one of those, for a total of 12 once they are cut apart.

    This reduces risk. If a new board has a fatal flaw, you don't want to have to ditch more junk boards than you have to.

    Good chance the next batch of them will be 50 or 100 pieces. It would get combined with other small boards onto a larger one and ordered that way. Once they're sheared apart, the unit cost gets more affordable.

    I have never had a problem with their quality, so that's worth something all by itself.

    73
     
    Shadetree Mechanic and OldTech03 like this.
  8. Handy Andy

    Handy Andy Do Your Research First, Then Decide...

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2018
    Messages:
    1,359
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    Wow.

    Thank you Nomad, helps to hear from experience. Was planning on some prototyping of some work I wanted to try and to be honest I'm more worried about theft of ideas in working platforms than the concept itself.

    I have a "Hitch" against sending ideas overseas - lots of times you're paying for their cloning and they reap profits from the work you paid up front for.

    When I worked at other places, you did have to follow protocol and adhere to signed non-disclosure agreements - simply because you can lose you lively hood, not just your job.

    There is some truth to the saying - "Loose Lips Sink Ships" - moreso today due to the wide advances in technology - it is getting harder to find niches in a market that is already saturated.

    I am looking for ways to install ideas and would need fab boards to work out the sizing details - like "DPI" and fine point - but if they also drill it for you - that'll save me a lot of effort in locating stuff I haven't seen in years. We as a consumer society, sent that all overseas when it got too expensive here to make it.

    So the 3-D printer thing was not going to work well for these ideas - has to be planar boards - single sided is perfectly fine.

    Again, thank you.
    Regards!
    :+> Andy <+:
     
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.
  9. nomadradio

    nomadradio Analog Retentive

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    1,333
    Well, if you have some REAL money for making your own pcbs, these guys have the stuff to do it.

    https://www.lpkf.com/products/rapid-pcb-prototyping/index.htm

    I have always considered their stuff to be in the "If you have to ask" price category. But they have been advertising the desktop pcb router in the engineering mags for years, now.

    Probably not economical for production, though.

    73
     
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.
  10. Handy Andy

    Handy Andy Do Your Research First, Then Decide...

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2018
    Messages:
    1,359
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    REAL Money?

    What's that?

    All I get is an Allowance - you know - You work to earn this...$$$ but we feel all you deserve to get is this ¢¢¢...

    (Just ask my XYL...)
    :+> Andy <+:
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    The WorldwideDX Radio Forum was originally established in 2001. We pride ourselves on welcoming Radio Hobby enthusiasts of all types, while offering unbiased, informative, and friendly discussion among the members. We are working every day to make sure our community is the best Radio Hobbyist's site.
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Premium VIP Member

    The management works very hard to make sure the community is running the best software, best designs, and all the other bells and whistles. Care to buy us a beer? We'd really appreciate it!

    Donate to us!