Z11 Op Man 2 - Funkamateur

Z11 Op Man 2 - Funkamateur
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Introduction: The Z11 is a full featured QRP auto or semi automatic antenna tuner designed for
HF (1.8 to 30 MHz) transceivers using between 0.1 to 30 watts. The tuner uses a switched "L"
configuration with 256 capacitor, 256 inductor and Hi/Lo-Z settings to provide over one hundred and
thirty thousand tuning combinations. The tuning range is 0 to 2700 pF and 0 to 20 uH. The "L"
network works great with just about any coax fed antenna (dipole, vertical, beam, etc). Users with
long wires can install a balun between the tuner and the antenna. Tuning time is between 0.1 and
3.0 seconds with the average being about 1.5 seconds.
Latching relays are used to switch tuning components into and out of the tuning circuit. These
relays will hold the tuning configuration even if power is removed from the tuner. Once a tune has
been made the tuner enters a low power mode where it only draws 0.008 amps. Placing the tuner
into Standby can further reduce this power consumption, where it draws zero amps. During tuning,
the tuner may temporarily draw up to 0.4 amps. This current draw usually only last a second or two.
Three LEDs provide an indication of SWR while RF is present. Green indicates SWR of less than
1.5, Green/Yellow is 1.5-2.0, Yellow is 2.0-2.5, Yellow/Red is 2.5-3.0 and Red indicates more than
3.0. The fourth LED is a tuning indicator. It is lit only when the tuner is trying to find a match.
Operation: Turning on the unit with the front panel Power switch will initialize the microprocessor.
All four LEDs will flash once to indicate the power up process was initiated. Turning the unit off by
the front panel Power switch places the tuner into Standby. The tuning configuration is maintained
with the Power switch in either position.
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The Auto/Semi switch controls how the tuning process will be envoked. In Auto mode (Auto/Semi
toggle switch in Auto), the tuner will seek a 1.5 match (or better) anytime the SWR rises above 3.0.
In Semi mode (Auto/Semi toggle switch in Semi), the tuner will seek a match only when the Tune
push button is pressed. Both modes require that more than 0.1 watts of RF power be present. If the
Tune button is pressed and there is less than 0.1 watts of power, the four front LEDs will flash once
to indicate that there was not enough RF to tune properly.
The Capacitor and Inductor Up and Down switches are used for fine tuning the inductors and
capacitors and can be used in either, Auto or Semi mode. Pressing either of the Up switches will
increment that tuning section until it reaches the maximum range. When the maximum value is
reached, all four LEDs will flash. Conversely, pressing either of the Down switches will decrement
that tuning section until it reaches the minimum range. When the maximum value is reached, all
four LEDs will flash.
Besides envoking the tuning process, the Tune push button has some other functions. Pressing the
Tune and Ind Up push buttons at the same time will cause the Hi/Lo-Z relay to move to the Hi-Z
position. The Tuning LED (red) will flash to indicate the change. Pressing the Tune and Ind Down
push buttons at the same time will cause the Hi/Lo-Z relay to move to the Lo-Z position. The 1.5
SWR LED (green) will flash to indicate the change.
Pressing both Down switches at the same time will reset the processor and place all relays in a
bypass position.
The back panel has SO-239s for connecting UHF type connectors to the antenna and transmitter. A
coaxial power jack is used to provide DC power to the tuner. Between 11 and 15 volts DC can be
used. The power supply must be able to provide up to 0.4 amps for up to two seconds. For portable
operation, two rechargeable 9V batteries in series will provide about 14 volts DC at about 0.120
AHr. With the Z11 drawing about 0.0002 AHr per tune, the user should get about 500 tunes on a
single charge. Do not use regular alkaline 9-volt batteries without regulating the power to below 15
Notes: Most tuning situations with the Z11 is very straightforward. Simply transmit a continuous
carrier and press the tune button. The tuner will find the best match and stop tuning.
In either mode (Auto or Semi), if power (either RF or +12) is removed after the tuning cycle starts,
but before it finishes, the LEDs will go out and the tuning will stop. The resultant tune will be
undetermined; it may or may not be a match.
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Performance: The actual performance from the small package will surprise you. It really tunes a lot
of antennas to a lot of places! Here are some of the actual test results.
A 40-meter dipole (at 30 feet) would tune just about anywhere from 3.1 to 30 MHz! We had some
problems at 19 and 28 MHz finding a 1.5 match. The Z11 usually found a 2.0, and then we had to
use the manual switches to get below 1.5.
Next, an Antron-99 (at 40 feet) would again tune just about anywhere from 30 to 5 MHz. The auto
mode worked great the whole time. We just dialed down the band and the Z11 would kick in
whenever the SWR went over 3.0.
Then we tried out the unit on a 3-element tri-band (20,15,10) at 70 feet. It would tune any of the
ham bands (including WARC) except 160 and 80. We had some problems finding a match around
27.200 MHz, but got around it by moving to 27.000, letting the Z11 find a match, then moving back
to 27.200.
The 80-meter inverted Vee was next. It tuned everything from 3.1 to 30 MHz. We were hoping that
it would tune all of 160 meters, but it only found good matches from 1.900 to 1.800 MHz.
We've tried many other antennas with similar good results. There may be a place or two that your
antenna (dipole, inverted-Vee, vertical, beam, etc.) won't tune. Also, the farther away from
resonance you try to tune, the harder time the tuner will have. The Z11 will tune a 10 meter vertical
to 80 meters, but your performance will not be that great (you can't get something for nothing).
For balanced lines and random wires, you may get better performance by using a 4 to 1 or 6 to 1
balun between the antenna and tuner.
We used the Autek RF-1 analyzer to give us more information about how well the Z11 was working.
We found that it would consistently tune impedances from about 6 ohms to about 850 ohms. This
corresponds to an SWR of about 10:1.
The SWR bandwidth (usable bandwidth of 1.5 SWR without retuning) averaged about 200 kHz. On
the lower frequencies it was smaller (about 75 kHz on 80 meters) and on the higher frequencies it
was larger (about 400 kHz on 10), no surprises here.
Tech Support: Telephone technical support at 410-586-2177 is available most days from 8 am to
9pm Eastern Standard Time. Replies by FAX (410-586-8475) are welcome; e-mail
(ldg@ldgelectronics.com) is also answered on a daily basis.
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Last Resort: As a last resort only, LDG Electronics will attempt to repair any problems. We have a
flat fee of $50 plus parts to repair a Z11 (most resistors and capacitors are included in that fee). The
68HC11 chip is the most expensive at $20. Relays are $5 each. The 78L05 is $1.
We will not attempt to repair any unit that has been soldered with acid core. We reserve the right to
refuse repair due to excessive problems or damage due to construction.
Before any unit is sent to us, you must first call to get return authorization. All units sent back must
be prepaid, either by check, money order or Credit Card unless other arrangements are made.
Package the unit carefully and keep in mind that we will use your packaging to return the unit back
to you. Include a description of what problem you are having along with your name, address and a
phone number that you can be reached at in case we have questions. Repairs average about 2 to 4
weeks, depending on the particular problem.
If you have an idea of how the unit can be made better (in software or hardware), please send a
description of your upgrade. If we use it for the Z11, we'll send you a free upgrade. Future upgrades
will be available for about $10 with 68HC11 chip trade in. If you purchased the kit from LDG, we will
notify you when future upgrades and modifications are available through the LDG Newsletter. If you
purchased the Z11 through a distributor and would like to be added to our mailing list, just drop us a
note by mail, fax or e-mail.
Feedback: We encourage everyone who uses the Z11 kit to drop us a note (card, letter or e-mail
preferred) to let us know how well it works for you. We're also always on the lookout for
photographs of the Z11 in use. We frequently place pictures that we receive into the LDG
Newsletter or on our Web site (www.ldgelectronics.com).
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Building the Kit: Before getting the soldering iron out, go through all of the parts in the kit and
familiarize yourself with each component and its placement. Most of the parts are common, but a
few of them may be new to some builders. There are just over 100 parts and 450 solder
connections, so take your time.
You will first wind the inductors on the nine T50-2 toroids (they are red and just over an inch in
diameter). Take care not to drop them, they will break. Using the #24 gauge wire provided, you will
wind a total of 8 inductors. L8 is two of the toroids placed together and the wire wound around
both of them. You can use super glue to hold them together so they will not slip when winding. L14 wind in one direction and L5-8 wind in the other. The PC board is laid out with offset solder pads
for the toroids. If you wind them backwards, the offset will not match. Trim the wire to about ½ inch
and scrape away the insulation from the end. Don’t solder them in until later. Save the left over
wire for later. It is used for connections on the SO-239s and grounds.
Refer to figure 1 for winding methods, and to the winding chart for lengths of wire and number of
turns. For consistency, we count one turn when the wire passes through the center of the toroid.
Winding Chart
L8 [double] 10.0
7 bottom
5 bottom
3 bottom
2 bottom
Inches needed
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Figure 1
L1-4 Example
Figure 2
L5 - L8 Example
Using the winding chart on page 5, cut a 38 inch length of wire for L8. Hold about one inch in one
hand with the toroid and wind the wire around the toroid as shown in figure 1 for 33 turns. You
should space the wires evenly around the toroid as you wind them. Once you have completed
winding L8, trim both ends to one half inch and scrape away the insulation from them. Do not
install L8 until later.
In a similar manner, wind L7 through L5, using the winding chart for lengths and turns. Trim and
scrape thermaleze coating from #18 wire. The thermaleze wire cannot be soldered unless the
thermaleze coating is scraped off.
Wind L1 through L4 as shown in figure 1. Place all windings of the bottom of the toroid.
Wind T1 with 10 turns using the red and green #28 gauge wire. T1 is the small, black toroid just
under one half inch in diameter. See figure 2 and wind this in bifiliar fashion by using two lengths
of wire and winding them at the same time. It doesn’t matter if you twist them or wind them side by
side. Note: you must wind this in the direction shown in figure 3.
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After scraping the insulation from the ends of all four wires, connect the green 2 wire to the red 1
wire and twist together. You will now have three leads: the red wire on the left, the twisted pair,
and the green wire on the right. Do not install T1 yet.
Fig 3. T1 winding example
You will now install (locate, place, and solder in place) the parts on the PC board. Use the silk-screen layout in the back of this manual to assist in locating where parts are to be installed. Parts
are installed and soldered in order of height, from shortest to tallest.
Install all of the resistors, R1, 11-21. Be sure to check the values with the parts list. Most of the
resistors are 1/8 watt and may be hard to read. Use an ohmmeter to verify the values if you have
trouble identifying them.
R1, R17, R21 - 100 ohm – brown-black-brown
R18 - 150 ohm - brown-green-brown
R12-13, 15, 20 - 1K ohm – brown-black-red
R19 - 3.3K ohm - orange-orange-red
R11, 14 - 10K ohm – brown-black-orange
R16 - 1M ohm – brown-black-green
Install the 1N4148 diodes, D1, 2, 4-9. Note the band polarity.
Install the larger 1N4001, D3. Note the band polarity.
Install the 10K 10 Pin SIP resistor, RSIP1. Be sure to note the orientation of the SIP resistor. A
small line (or dot) on the side with writing marks pin 1.
Install T1. It lies flat against the PC board and the #18 wire from the SO-239 will pass through the
center (you will install this later). You may wish to use a small amount of silicon RTV or hot glue to
hold T1 in place, but wait until after the unit is tested before applying it in case there are problems.
Install the .01uf monolithic capacitors, C3-8, 10, 12-13, 23-24, 35.
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Install the .01uf 50v 8 pin SIP Capacitors, C11, 17, 19-22. Pin one is marked on the PC board
with a box, and marked on the SIP capacitor with a line.
Install the 78L05, U4. Note the orientation.
Install the 2N3904 transistor, Q1-2. Note the correct orientation.
Install the variable resistors, 100K pots, R22-23.
Install the trimmer capacitor C1. Note that C1 has two pins that are common (connected). They
should line up with the two holes on the PC board that are connected together with a trace on the
Install the socket for U1, 52 Pin PLCC socket. Note the orientation of the socket. The flattened
corner on the socket matches silk screen. Do not install U1 (the 68HC11) until later.
Install the socket for U2, 44 Pin PLCC socket. Note the orientation of the socket. The flattened
corner on the socket matches silk screen. Do not install U2 (the UCNQ5818) until later.
Install the socket for U3, 8 Pin DIP socket. Note the orientation of the socket. The notched edge
on the socket matches silk screen. Do not install U3 (the LN311) until later.
Install the ceramic capacitors, C2 and 14 100pf 1KV, C15-16 & C25-27 10pf 500V, C28 39pf
500V, C29 82pf 500V, C30 150pf 1KV, C31 330pf 1KV, C32-34 680pf 1KV.
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Install the relays K1-K17. Be careful not to bend the pins over pushing them in.
Install the 4.5 MHz crystal, X1.
Install the electrolytic capacitors, C9 10 uf radial and C18 1 uf radial. Note the polarity.
Install the 14 Pin header, J3. Solder the shorter ends of the pins to the PC board.
Install inductors L1-L8 on the PC board. Note that the mounting holes are offset slightly to help
keep the inductors straight after installation. Make sure the insulation is scraped off the ends of
the wires on each inductor. Push in each inductor until the windings touch the PC board. The #18
wire is stiff enough to support L5-L8, but RTV or hot melt glue may be needed for L1-L4 to hold
them in place. In you plan to use the unit in a mobile application, you should use the RTV or hot
melt glue on all inductors.
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Install a two inch length of left over #24 wire left over from winding the inductors through the hole
in T1. Be sure to scrape the thermaleze coating off of the ends of the wire before soldering.
Solder this from beneath the circuit board. Attach one SO-239 to the other end of this wire. Cut
another 1 ½ inch length of wire for the antenna connection. Solder one end to the PC board next
to L8, and then attach one SO-239 to the other end.
Using left over pieces of #24 gauge wire, cut one piece 1 ¾ inches – for J1, and one 1 ¼ inches
long – for J2. Crimp the terminal lugs onto one end of each of the wire, and attach the other ends
to the PC board at J1 & J2. At this time go ahead and solder the terminal lug to the wires to insure
a good ground. Be sure to scrape the insulation off the wires so they can be soldered.
You are finished with the assembly of the main PC board. Proceed with the assembly of the front panel
PC board.
Install the 14 pin header with 0.1 inch spacing to the side of the front panel PC board that has the
white silk screen. Solder the shorter ends of the pins to the PC board.
Install the resistors on the opposite side of the PC board as the header (either side will actually
work). R1 & 2 are 470 ohm 1/8 watt resistors (yellow-violet-violet). R3 & 4 are 100 ohm 1/8 watt
resistors (brown-black-brown).
Unwrap the chassis of the enclosure (the one with the white silk screen writing on it) and put the 4
rubber feet on the bottom. Take care not to cover the wholes that are there. These are used when
mounting the PC board in the chassis.
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Install the 2 SPST toggle switches (S1 & S2) in the chassis in the power and the auto positions.
Remove the nut and one washer from the switch. Place the switch in the hole with the 2 prongs
toward the bottom. Then replace the lock washer and nut on the switch. You may need to realign the switches later, so don't tighten yet.
Install the 2 SPDT momentary switches (S3 & S4) in the chassis in the CAP and the IND
positions. Remove the nut and one washer from the switch. Place the switch in the hole. Then
replace the lock washer and nut on the switch. You may need to re-align the switches later, so
don't tighten yet.
Install the 1 push-button switch (S5) in the tune position. Remove the nut and washer from the
switch. Place the switch in the hole and replace the washer and nut on the switch. Be sure the
solder terminals of the switch are aligned one on top of the other. You may need to realign the
switches later, so don't tighten yet.
Place the LEDs in the front panel board, LED1 Green, LED2 Yellow, LED3 & 4 Red. Be sure to
place ground leg down. The ground leg of the LED is the one with the notched plastic next to it.
Do not solder them at this time.
Install the Front Panel PC Board on the switches. The side without the white silk screen will be
placed on the solder terminals of the switches. Gently push the PC board onto the switches. The
LEDs should slide into the holes in the chassis. They should be in this order -- Tune Switch,
Green, Yellow, Red and Red. Once you have checked the alignment, then solder the switches to
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the PC board. Tighten nuts on switches at this time. Next, slide the LEDs into the chassis and
solder the legs to the PC board. Then clip the legs of the LEDs.
Install the panel mount power jack. Place the jack so the middle pin is facing the S0-239 Holes.
Pin 1 will be towards top and Pin 3 will be towards the bottom. You can also attach the ground
wire from J1 to Pin 2 of the power jack. See picture on page 10.
You are now ready to mount the Z11 PC board in the chassis.
Install the Z11 PC board in the chassis using four screws, nylon spacers, washers and nuts. Do
not drill out the holes in the PC board. Insert the four screws through the bottom of the chassis
with the head on the outside next to the rubber feet you installed previously. Then place a nylon
spacer on each screw. Set the PC board on top of the spacers with the toroids toward the back
and the microprocessor sockets and header toward the front panel. Next place the lock washers
and nuts on next. Tighten down gently, taking care not to damage PC board.
Install the SO-239s in the holes on the back panel of the chassis. Attach the terminal lugs to the
top mounting screws of both the SO-239s.
Install U1 (the 68HC11) by carefully pressing it into place in its socket. Note that U1 has a
flattened corner that should match the socket.
Install U2 (the UNCQ5818) by carefully pressing it into place in its socket. Note that U2 has a
notch that should match the socket.
Install the ribbon cable with the connecting pin 1 of J3 to pin 1 on the 2 x 7 header on the front
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Install a piece of insulated wire from J4 – Pin 2 – to Pin 1 of the panel mount power jack.
(J4 Pin 1 is square…Pin 2 is round)
Apply 11 to 14 volts DC to the power input. The center pin is positive. Turn the unit on. The LEDs
should all flash once simultaneously.
Check for +5.0 volts on the output of U2 (the 78L05). The output is the pin closest to the oscillator.
Current draw should be around 8 mA (anything from 5 to 10 mA is acceptable).
Set R23 (REV) and R22 (FWD) to the center position.
Connect the transmitter and antenna (or dummy load) to the proper ports. With a voltmeter on test
point REV and about 5 watts applied and a dummy load or resonant antenna on the output, tune
C1 for minimum DC voltage. The voltage should be just about 0.0 volts (0.1 is OK). You MUST
use a 50 ohm load (either dummy or resonant antenna) to properly do the alignment.
Again with 5 watts and with your voltmeter now on test point FWD, adjust R22 for 2.5 volts (2.0 to
2.5 is OK). This is a fairly course adjustment, so you do not need to be exact.
Reverse the coax cables for the transmitter and antenna ports. With 5 watts and with your
voltmeter on test point REF, adjust R23 for 2.5 volts (2.0 to 2.5 is OK). This is a fairly course
adjustment, so you do not need to be exact.
If you cannot get 5 watts out of your transmitter, use 2 to 3 watts and adjust for 1.5 volts. Once
calibrated, the tuner is now ready to be placed on the air.
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