IF OUT for the TenTec Orion

My friend Angel, EA4CJI, wanted to use a LP-PAN panadapter with his Ten-Tec ORION, which does not have IF OUT port as it comes from the factory, and he asked me to do the modification. You should take a look at his guide if you are working on this modification.

The connection to the IF PCB is made soldering the braid of the thin coax to the shield pad, which is there but not actually soldered to the shield by Ten-Tec. It is mandatory to use teflon coax so that the dielectric does not melt. This way of connecting the cable gives some strength to the connection and I believe is electrically better (not a big deal at 9Mhz anyway). Note the size of the SMD resistor in the picture, although simple, it is not for beginners:

This is how the cable comes out of the shield once everything is in place. The shield and cable could be soldered together to the PCB track, but the gains would be probably negligible and it would make the disassembly ver difficult if needed:

The connection to the input and output of the Z10000 amplifier is done in the same way. There is little risk of ripping the ground pad off the PCB thanks to the via that goes to the other end. Here is the detail:

Power for the Z10000 amplifier comes from the same place as the power going to the sweep PCB, the TO220 IC next to the PCB connector, at the far right corner:

Routing of the IF output cable is done thru hole to the compartment directly above it. Note the use of heat-shrink tubing to protect the coax from damage caused by vibrations:

Ten-Tec designed the Orion with a spare RCA connector, which is very desirable. Connection to this jack is done as the others. This time is a bit difficult if you don’t want to disassemble the rig completely, there is not much space to work:

This is a view of the rig after modification, where the complete route of the IF output coax can be seen:

Finally, a Dymo sticker is placed on top of the “SPARE” label. Here is where the LP-PAN goes!

Good luck and 73.