In the great tradition of Heathkit, Dynaco, and Eico, Lectrosonics is introducing user-assembled kits as a cost-saving alternative to its popular (and pre-assembled) SRb Series dual-channel receivers. The kits reduce the cost versus finished products by "approximately 50%" says the company. "Along with saving money, users can enjoy the exciting challenge of sorting, correctly identifying, placing and soldering all the tiny parts – over 1,100 in all!"
The SR Series Digital Hybrid Wireless diversity receivers offer two independent channels and fit into the standard video camera slots found on professional cameras. The two audio channels can feed separate inputs or can be mixed internally to feed a single input. The 5P variant is equipped with an external audio output for cameras that only have one audio input in the slot: both audio channels can be connected with an external cable.
Included in the kits are all the mechanical housing components such as metal parts, membrane keypad, screws, RF shields, nuts and washers, gaskets, and electronic components such as blank circuit boards, capacitors, resistors, transistors, diodes, microprocessors, DSPs, graphic LCD and connectors. Two antennas in the correct frequency block are also in the kit. To save time, the electronic components for the RF circuit board and the Audio circuit board are carefully separated into two labelled bags. A detailed assembly instruction manual is also included in printed form and on a USB memory stick, along with an alcohol wipe and two yards of fine-gauge, lead-free solder.
Required tools: small Phillips screwdriver, digital multimeter, soldering iron. Recommended additional equipment for best results include a high-quality stereo microscope, a precision soldering iron with extremely fine soldering tips, an Audio Precision APx or similar high-frequency analyser, and the patience of a saint. Approximate time required for assembly: 200 hours.
The SRb kit costs $1,499, the SRb5P kit: $1,599. Available now. Mounting kits such as SRSNY or SRUNI sold separately. Kits are available until midnight on 1 April 2014.