MISSION: Find those HC6 crystals that are floating around your workshop and put em to work.

OBJECTIVE: Convert your HC6/U crystals with the little sissy thin pins to big man sized HC17U(FT 243)pins.

INFO: Both the HC17U and the FT 243 have the same pin spacing of .486 inches, by using pins removed from bad or weak octal tubes you can easily convert your HC6 crystals to fit a FT-243 socket.

WARNING : You must be able to solder and use small hand tools, the soldering iron is hot. The smell of Rosin can be addictive.

Additional Comments: In celebration of my extended residence on the East Coast, I will be using the adjective "da'h" repeatedly in this presentation.


Carefully grasp the pin and wiggle back and forth

      Don't break the wire connecting to the pin. You will be sorry if you do
because you will have to get to extract that small wire out
of the pin.



                                  Heat the pin.

   By leaving the wire unbroken you can heat the pin and grasp the tube and pull the pin off of the wire, resulting in a hollow pin ready for installation.

    Clean and tin the HC6 pins, use a small amount of rosin to aid in tinning. Fill the pins with solder and fit on the crystal pins while the solder is hot. Requires some manual dexterity but give it a shot. Shown is one of my favorite tools an alligator clip. Named after its inventor.

                        click to enlarge

   Leave clearance on the bottom of crystal to prevent shorting to the crystal case.

    Clean the pins, shown is one of the favorite weapons of choice, a emery fingernail board "borrowed" from the Commander In Chief. Any of you two way radio tech's that have been in the business for a while may recognize the GE crystal.

   Testing a crystal, my favorite is to use a Grid Dip Meter. Looking for indications of activity on the meter. During your spare time you can take some of the rosin paste and deposit a small amount on the work bench. Dip your hot soldering iron into the paste and a pleasant aroma arises, remember do not inhale just puff.

                  Crystal checks OK

   Comparison of the modified crystal with a FT 243. Close enough for government work.