Friday, 25 November 2016

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, 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. 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?!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

If you would like to give Ubuntu 16.04 LTS a try without the risk of damaging your existing PC you can download an ISO file and create a Live DVD. With the DVD you can boot your PC into a Live Desktop mode, this will load the operating system into memory and will allow you to try Ubuntu without making any permanent changes to your PC.

Follow these steps to get going:

1. Download the ISO file from the Ubuntu website
2. Load a blank DVD into your DVD drive
3. Go to your Downloads Folder
4. Right click on the ISO file and select Burn Disk Image, the following window will appear:

5. Select the current DVD drive that you want to use to burn the image
6. Click Burn, after a few seconds the burn process will start and the status bar will update:

7. Once the image has been successfully burnt to the DVD, reboot your PC
8. Enter your PC’s boot loader options menu, normally by pressing either F2 or F12
9. Select the drive containing the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS DVD and press enter
10. Allow the boot process to begin and run, when prompted select the Try Ubuntu button to boot into Ubuntu.

Once the boot process has completed you’ll be able to explore Ubuntu using the Live Desktop preview. You’ll be able to try out many of the included applications and you’ll be able to test any hardware such as printers and graphics cards.

Whilst running the Live Desktop you won’t be able to save any data or make any changes, and as soon as you reboot your PC you’ll be able to go back to your original operating system. You can however install the operating system from the Live DVD should you wish by double clicking on the Install Ubuntu 16.04 LTS icon.

For more information and to read the guide on the Ubuntu website, click here.