An initial report from Mike (callsign not known) of distorted audio on a v4 main circuit board was tracked down to the audio amplifier. The v4 main board is the new board shipping from HF Signals from around the beginning of June 2018.
Mike solved his problem by bypassing the audio amp and using an output amp as indicated bottom left in the photo above. You can see that he has also incorporated a mic amp board in his prototype.
We will be watching out (or rather listening out) with interest to see if others are experiencing the same distortion issues from the audio amplifier section. Hopefully this is just a one-off!
Mike has now fixed the problem with crossover distortion. It was a biasing issue in the audio final.
Raj VU2ZAP suggested lifting up D15 or 16 and disconnecting one end from the board. Then, solder the center and one end of a 47 or 100 Ohm preset between the two diodes. Make sure the preset is at minimum. Power up and slowly increase the preset till distortion goes away, while also checking that Q72 and Q73 don’t get hot when the volume is low.
It is possible that this problem may reappear on other new v4 rigs.
Redoing the biassing as suggested by Raj VU2ZAP solved the issue. Mike took a 500 ohm pot and paralleled that with a 125 ohm resistor. He says, “The mod doesn’t look so good (LOL) but it works. One of the transistors became warm if the voltage difference due to the pot became too large. I adjusted this while feeling the temp and listening to a CW carrier”. The setting point was where he observed low/no distortion AND low temperature.
The photo below shows how Mike fixed the issue.