Hello, and thanks for stopping by my blog! I’m currently in the process of switching over to WordPress and have updated the URL from G7VGY.co.uk to G7VGY.blog. I’ll move some of the old posts and will start writing new ones, but for now appologies for the lack of content!
I had an unplanned day off work to play radio, so with a brew in hand I headed off down the garden to the shack to play radio! With the Kenwood tuned in to GB3IW I was all set for a few hours listening in to the local chatter and rolling coverage of the local weather and travel conditions.
Sat on the workbench in the shack I noticed that I had some Messi & Paoloni ULTRAFLEX 7 left over from my earlier End Fed antenna installation and I thought it would be a good idea to make up some 1m patch leads to use in the between my antenna switches and my HF and VHF/UHF radios.
No better time than now, so I set about cutting the coax into 1m lengths, then prepared each end for the Pl259’s to be fitted, firstly by sliding the locking nut, flat washer and rubber sealing gland over the coax before removing around 17mm of the outer sheath. Next, the top hat piece was carefully slid over the inner conductor and pushed tightly against the end of the coax, with a sharp knife the inner insulator was removed and the braid cut nice and neatly. For the next stage the main body of the connector was fitted, and the inner conductor soldered. Once cool two 16mm spanners were used to tighten the locking nut and connector body together.
Full instructions for fitting different connectors including N Type, SMA and PL259 can be found on the M&P website, along with pictures that show each step.
Whilst not exactly technical this turned out to be a nice little project and within a few hours I’d made up 6 patch leads ready for fitting.
To make use of the Tuner button on my IC-7100 I needed a cable to connect between the rig and my LDG Z-100 Plus Autotuner. A quick Google revealed several sources of such a cable, however at over £20 I thought it was a bit expensive, so I decided to make one myself.
I had in the shack some suitable cable, some heat shrink and some cable sleeving, I just needed a DC power plug, a 3.5mm stereo jack and a 4 pin Molex connector. All three items were purchased via eBay for just £6 including delivery.
Once all the parts had arrived in the post, I measured out a suitable length of cable, then cut three more, ending up with red and black for power and white and green for the key and start functions needed in order to operate the ATU.
A simple pin out diagram for the cable is available on the LDG website here and I used this to wire up all of the connections, I opted for soldering the Molex connector as I didn’t have a suitable crimping tool to hand, although I guess a pair of long nose pliers would have made a good enough bodge! After that I slid over the cable sleeving, previously purchased via eBay, then two lengths of heat shrink, one for each end of the cable. At the other end of the cable I soldered the DC power plug next, then finally the stereo jack.
At this point I switched my IC-7100 and the Z-100 Plus off, and connected up the cable to test it. Once connected, and the rig powered back up again, a TUNE icon appeared on the IC-7100 display indicating it had detected my ATU, and a press of the TUNER button set off the Z-100 Plus tuning up my antenna.
After the quick test, I powered everything down, then got the heat gun out to shrink the heat shrink tubing completing my little cable assembly.
Now it is all connected back up, all I have to do to tune my antenna is to press the TUNER button on the IC-7100 and wait a couple of seconds for a match to be made. How simple is that?!
After using the IC PAC cable for about 6 months now, I can defiantly say that making one to use with my Icom IC-7100 was a great idea and it has made operating just that little bit easier. I’ve now re organised the shack and I’ve been able to locate the ATU on a shelf out of the way above my operating bench.
I watched a clip on an episode of Ham Nation detailing making use of the ACC socket on the back of an Icom rig and this prompted me to make a simple lead to take the audio feed out via the socket to one of my shack speakers.
Included in the box of the IC-7100 was a little bag containing a few spares and accessories, one of which was a pre wired ACC connector. All I had to do was to figure out what two wires I needed, and which ones I could cut off. I found that information in the user manual, the light blue wire is the AF Detector output whilst the red wire was the ground.
To make the lead I cut off a 3.5mm jack on an existing 3.5mm jack to RCA audio lead that I had, I then stripped the wires back, twisted the grounds together and then the AF signal wires together. A quick solder permanently fixed the wires, and a bit of heat shrink covered everything up nicely without shorting together.
A quick test with the DMM confirmed there were no shorts, so I went ahead and connected the lead to the ACC socket on the rig, and the RCA plugs to the speaker.
Once the rig was powered up audio could be heard through the speaker, a bit too much so I instinctively turned the AF knob on the rig down, however this had no affect, due to the AF out at the ACC socket being a fixed level. Luckily, the speaker I am using has a volume control on it, so I will have to get used to using that instead!
A nice simple project that took about an hour to complete, now I have a nice clean fixed line level audio feed from the 7100 connected to my speaker.