Tuesday 9 February 2010

Upgrading The LDG Z-11 and AT-11MP Tuners

0948 It’s been at least a couple of years since I ordered new microcontroller chips for both my LDG Z11 and AT 11MP tuners. It’s a simple upgrade but the board is jam packed near where the new parts need to be soldered. There’s an electrolytic cap and a new microcontroller – the old 1.4 software controller needs to be pulled and the cap has to be installed with one leg soldered to a tiny diode – the other leg to a tiny tantalum cap near the controller.

Here are a couple of close-up macro shots of the area I’ll be working on:


The new microcontroller will upgrade each tuner to version 1.6; you can see these photos show the original 1.4 software that’s at least 9 years old. The new electrolytic cap goes to one leg of C35 shown in the photos to the small adjacent diode – this will require some good steady handed soldering. I use a low wattage iron and work with a magnifier over the work area for this type of work.

The new software controller will add 200 fast memories to the Z11 and the AT-11MP, saving the last tuned position when power is removed (MP only), saves the audio mode setting (MP only), and increased meter accuracy on the AT-11MP. The resolution of the meter driver was doubled and the lower power accuracy was improved on the 11MP.

The small Z11 tuner is used with my original FT-817 (not the ND) when I’m out in the field or camping. The larger AT-11MP is used with the main station when required. I’ve had them both for over 9 years and they are real performers and will tune a salad fork if need be.

The AT-11MP includes a meter on the front panel and can be used with 100 watt radios.

New microcontroller kits can be ordered directly from W4RT or CheapHam.

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