Monday, 25 May 2015

Don't always believe the manuals (+ more about Flex 1500).

I am reading CQ-GTZM by Ross Bradshaw, G4DTD. He describes a "Fool's fault" - for example, if the brightness control on the radar is turned down, you might better to realise that if the fault is "no display". That would be better than taking it apart only to find everything seems fine.

This is a bit of a "Fool's fault".

After using the IC-7100 at the caravan I re-installed it in my shack shelving. I left the accessory plug until last. By then I could not see round the back of the rig so I looked in the manual. The manual diagram shows the 13pin DIN goes with the single pin at the top and the guide slot at the bottom.

I pushed it home and all worked fine on data until about two weeks later for the RSGB 70MHz contest. Then I wanted to use the IC-7100 as I was still testing the transverter. I was testing before the contest with Eddie, G0EHV, on SSB. The linears would not switch using the PTT line. I had not spotted that, since reinstalling, they had been working on RF sensing (now that I knew, I could see the spike in the SWR on the rig display when going to tx - this is not present on PTT switching).

A fairly easy issue to spot as the 144MHz linear was also not switching either. Neither the HF nor VHF PTT lines were working. It looked like the ACC plug was not seated, though it was fully pushed in.

Disconnecting everything and pulling it out of the shelving again revealed that the manual may show the ACC socket being slot down, but it is actually mounted 180 degrees the other way, with the slot at the top. No wonder it was not working.

The DATA 2 socket - the standard 6 pin mini-DIN for audio in/out and PTT switching - is also mounted the opposite way to the manual. Both manuals are the same, in my versions anyway. All the other sockets seem to be the right way up.

OK, a simple issue when you are standing with the back of the rig facing you, but awkward when it is mounted in shelving and you have decided to trust the manual. Maybe there is a correction somewhere, but I did not find it. If someone has pointed this out before I apologise for not having registered this strange fact.

I got it right every time before, but then I always trusted my own judgement - it only went wrong when I believed the manual.

I have been doing more tests with the IC-7100 and the Flex/ME4T combination. There is almost no difference between the FT-817/ME4T and the IC-7100, and what difference there is looks like random variation. This is what Iwould expect and it shows how odd the Flex results were.

I am pretty sure that there is nothing wrong with the Flex, but there may be something wrong with my setup. Possibly the VACs are causing a problem. Anyway, for the moment, and once again, I have swopped everything round.



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