Sorry Kelly, for the problems you are having! But you will eventually conquer them.
Kits tend to have an additional component packed in the box, that doesn't show up on the Bill of Materials, nor on the Schematic.
If someone could name it, it might come out as "OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN THROUGH CONSIDERABLE TRIALS GETTING THIS DARN THING TO WORK"
My first radio built from a heathkit, didn't work for the first SIX MONTHS that I owned it, despite I think 2 trips back to Benton Harbor Michigan. They engineered in the most horrible KEY CLICKS you could imagine. As a teenager that taught me a ton
about voltmeters, and RC circuits and time constants. I certainly didn't have an oscilloscope to try and understand it! But the kit gave me tons of chances to learn about components, circuits and all things electronic.
That's the way it is in ham radio when you venture out from "store-bought" $$$$$ rigs. Within a few years of that ignominious beginning, I was designing my own triple 811A amplifier.
In an effort to comply with good engineering practices I've decided to twist and shorten my wires, trying to route them efficiently. I made the wires to encoder as short as possible, and twisted them. Well in doing that I must have been careless; I verified
my connections but something's wrong. The encoder is not working as it should as I rotate it will hop into a menu, almost as if I had pushed it. I can salvage another from my other projects and try to fix it. The other two things are initially I had very
low audio and by poking around the wires from the volume it went from low to very loud. I verified my connections and resoldered volume wires again, but same result. It seems that the entire radio might be in need of shielding or maybe snap on ferrite beads.
Going to look around YouTube and try CEC fw for the stock lcd. Anyone have any other ideas? Any suggestions are appreciated