Orion II Model 566

General Description

High performance HF transceiver, analog + IF-DSP. Dual 32-bit ADI SHARC processors. Optimized amateur bands transceiver plus general coverage sub-receiver.

The Orion II was announced on July 20, 2005 and began production shipment in December 2005. The very first serial numbers were 06C10XX5, indicating June 2005 manufacture date.

The last Orion IIs were shipped in June 2013 (see reflector posting). The serial numbering scheme changed sometime after 2010. The last serial numbers are believed to be 3052691XXO. The six encoder knobs above the vfoA knob changed from black/chrome to all black sometime in 2008 or 2009.

Reviews

Operating Hints / Tips

Orion SSB Transmit Audio Adjustment

RX-366 Subreceiver

  1. On power up, Orion screen displays "RX-366 Receiver Installed"
  2. With SUB RX button enabled, you can turn on PREAMP and ATTN
  3. In MENUS-Filtr, the bottom 3 displayed lines are Sub-Rx Slot 1-3

Mods / Adjustments / Repairs

9MHz if output / Panadapter

Note: The only truly acceptable 9MHz i.f. output is from the Clifton Labs/VE7TK mod. The 9MHz i.f. output from the RX366 subreceiver does NOT work well. Many late Orion II's were supplied by the factory with this output wired to the SPARE connector unfortunately.

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Specifications

General

  • Frequency range: 500 kHz-30 MHz sub RX; 1.79-2.01, 3.49-4.07, 5.1-5.42, 6.89-7.43, 10.09-10.16, 13.99-15.01, 18.06-18.175, 20.99-21.46, 24.88-25.01, 27.99-29.71 MHz TX and main RX.
  • Tuning Step Size: Selectable 1, 10, 100, 1k, 10k and 100 kHz
  • Frequency stability: +/- 1 ppm. TCXO equipped.
  • Antenna impedance: 50 ohms nominal.
  • Antenna connectors: 2x SO-239; 1xRCA female.
  • Modes: USB, LSB, AM, FM, CWUSB, CWLSB, AFSK; advanced Panoramic Stereoâ„¢.
  • IFs: IF1=9 MHz, IF2=455 kHz, IF3=14.0 kHz main; IF1=45 MHz, IF2=450 kHz, IF3=14.0 kHz sub.
  • Display: 320x240 TFT color screen with CCFL backlighting. Adjustable brightness. User selectability of several color screen layouts plus white/black, black/white "monochrome" modes.
  • VFOs: Receivers operate on any two bands simultaneously; either VFO may be assigned to transmitter using the A/B system.
  • Supply voltage: 13.8 Vdc nominal; reverse-polarity and over-voltage protection standard.
  • Operating temperature range: 0-50 degrees C
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 5.25" x 17.0" x 18.75" (13.3 x 43.2 x 47.6 cm)
  • Weight: approx 20 lbs. (9.2 kg)
  • Construction: Al chassis, steel cabinet, glass-epoxy printed-circuit boards.
  • PC control port: EIA-232 standard, DE-9F.

Receiver

  • Digital AGC system: Programmable AGC threshold; programmable hold and decay times, fixed attack. Independently selectable on each receiver.
  • RX audio equalizer: In addition to passband tuning, bass/treble boost/cut up to 6 dB/octave.
  • RX audio output power: 2 W into 4 ohms, < 3% THD. (see figure 8 below).
  • RX headphone output: Designed for 16-32 ohms headphone impedance.
  • Line-level output: 0 dBm into 600 ohms.
  • RX notch filter: IF DSP, adjustable width, depth> 50 dB, notch reflected on S-meter; multi-tone auto-notch, adjustable 0-9.
  • RX noise reduction: IF DSP, adjustable 0-9.

Main Receiver

  • SSB sensitivity: <0.18 uV for 10 dB SINAD at 2.4 kHz BW, pre-amp on typical; <0.5 uV for 10 dB SINAD at 2.4 kHz BW, pre-amp off typical.
  • AM sensitivity: <1.50 uV for 10 dB SINAD at 6.0 kHz BW, 30% modulation, 1 kHz, pre-amp off.
  • FM sensitivity: <2.50 uV for 12 dB SINAD at 15 kHz BW, 3-kHz deviation, 1 kHz, pre-amp off.
  • Selectivity: 590 built-in DSP filters from 100-6000 Hz, SSB, CW; 4 & 6 kHz AM, 15 kHz FM (-3 dB points, typical). Four 9-MHz-IF crystal filters standard, 15 kHz, 6 kHz, 2.4 kHz, 1.0 kHz; three others optional, 1.8 kHz, 500 Hz and 250 Hz.
  • IP3: +25 dBm typical, 20-kHz spacing at BW=2.4 kHz, pre-amp off; +24 dBm typical, 5-kHz spacing, BW=500 Hz, pre-amp off. (see Figure 1 below).
  • IMD3 dynamic range: 101 dB typical, pre-amp off, 20-kHz and 5-kHz spacing.
  • IP2: +75 dBm typical.
  • LO phase noise: -136 dBc/Hz typical from 0.5-20 kHz. (see Figure 2 below)
  • Image rejection: >70 dB.
  • IF rejection: >70 dB.
  • Other spurious response rejection: >90 dB, dF>1 MHz.
  • Internal birdies: None stronger than specified sensitivity.
  • Current drain: 2 A typical, audio reduced.
  • RIT range: +/- 10 kHz.
  • S-meter: S-9=50 uV.
  • Recovery time: < 20 ms
  • Noise blankers: Hardware, on/off and software, adjustable 0-9; operate together or separately.

Sub Receiver

  • Sensitivity: 0.35 uV typical for 10 dB SINAD at 2.4 kHz BW, SSB mode.
  • Selectivity: 590 filters built in from 100-6000 Hz, SSB, CW; 4&6 kHz AM; 15 kHz FM (-3 dB points, typical).
  • IP3: +5 dBm typical, 20-kHz spacing.
  • IP2: +71 dBm typical.
  • Image rejection: > 70 dB.
  • IF rejection: > 70 dB.
  • S-meter: S-9=50 uV
  • Recovery time: < 20 ms.
  • Noise blanker: Software, adjustable 0-9.

Transmitter

  • Power output: Adjustable 5-100 W, +/- 1 dB, ALC controlled.
  • Duty cycle: 100% intermittent service; continuous with user-supplied cooling fan.
  • Microphone input impedance: >10 kohms at 1 kHz.
  • Microphone sensitivity: 5 mV for full power output; internal gain adjustment; dc available for electrets.
  • Speech processor: RF compression 0-9.
  • Line-level input: -6 dBm into 600 ohms for full output.
  • TX bandwidth: 100-3900 Hz in 10-Hz steps.
  • TX frequency response: 50-3900 Hz max -6 dB points, adjustable.
  • TX equalizer: Up to 6 dB/octave bass/treble boost/cut.
  • TX speech monitor: Audio taken after filtering, processing.
  • SSB carrier suppression: > 50 dB.
  • Unwanted sideband suppression: > 60 dB at 1 kHz.
  • Harmonic and spurious outputs: > 50 dB below 100 W;> 40 dB below 5 W.
  • T/R switching: PTT or VOX on SSB, AM, FM, AFSK; adjustable QSK on CW; adjustable rise and fall times on CW 3-10 ms;
  • CW keyer speed range: 5-50 wpm; adjustable weighting.
  • CW offset: Programmable 300-1000 Hz in 10 Hz steps. Sidetone pitch automatically matches selected offset.
  • XIT range: +/- 10 kHz
  • FM deviation: +/- 5 kHz peak nominal.
  • Current drain: 25 A max.