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Author Topic: Advice on new radio  (Read 1198 times)
2E0BSS
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Posts: 85




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« on: October 16, 2007, 05:11:56 PM »

Hi me again with another question, which I know I'll get great advice.

I'm planning on buying a home base radio as my FT101E is on the way out due to it transmitting on a variable 6-10kc's above and below, depending on its mood, the receive frequency which is not good. I'm going to have it serviced so I can use it for the receiver and until I've made my mind up on what radio to buy.

I'm currently using my FT857D for both mobile and home although it's a touch small for home so I'm wondering what do you recommend my budget is small around £700 ($1400) I'm thinking of the FT450AT as well as the AT 480SAT, IC718 or the FT897D.  I'm also planning a trip over to the USA so I will be able to get a radio for half the uk price.

I know radios are a personal choice but I'd love some thoughts, one thing I have noticed is speaking to russian stations they seem to be using Kenwood radios so thats a plus I guess. Why can't yaesu bring out a home base version of the FT857/897D's I be first in queue for it, or a new upto date FT101ZD

Charlotte 2E0BSS
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2007, 11:00:49 PM »

That 101 is likely suffering from a very common and easily repaired malady where the critical 6VDC line has lost regulation -- or possibly a bad connection, dirty board contact, solder joint, etc.  

PB1314 is the board where it lives.  


There should be *plenty* of info on this one around the web if you search.  



KE3WD
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G3RZP
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2007, 05:02:05 AM »

It's worth considering a second hand radio from a reputable UK dealer. One advantage is that any 'infant mortality' problems are likely to have been sorted, and also, you may well get a lot more radio for your money. Remember too, that bringing in a radio from the US (or Japan for that matter) has certain problems. The warranty won't be worth much, because of shipping. You will be liable for import duty and VAT, because it will be above the £185 limit for duty free. Unless the radio is CE marked (which admittedly, it might be) selling it on eventually is strictly speaking, illegal.

A second hand radio bought in the UK could well be loaded up with crystal filters bought more cheaply in the US.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2007, 08:54:12 AM »

>Advice on new radio  Reply  
by 2E0BSS on October 16, 2007  Mail this to a friend!  
Why can't yaesu bring out a home base version of the FT857/897D's I be first in queue for it, or a new upto date FT101ZD<

::They have done this, several times, and still do it.  The FT-1000MP/MkV/Field rig was for years an "up to date FT-101ZD.  That's precisely what it was, and it was very successful, selling by the thousands.  Those have now been replaced by the FT-2000 which is also doing well and is the "newest" version of the FT-101ZD.  It's a full-sized home-station rig with an internal tuner & power supply and they've added six meters as a bonus.

WB2WIK/6
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2E0BSS
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2007, 10:29:40 AM »

Hi thanks for the update. Tried to send you an email but can't I'd be interested in how the board will cause the 6VDV line loss of regulation, I am searching the internet for help too. If you could Email me with some pointers I have the board out it doesn't look damaged although a few of the solder joints have gone black (like bad joints)

I have the manual from Yaesu so will be checking that tomorrow.

Charlotte 2E0BSS
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N0ZLD
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2007, 11:56:14 AM »

How about a IC-7000?  It's under $1400 although a bit on the smaller side but it performs pretty decent if you know how to use all it's capabilities.  Being small also allows you to take it mobile.  If you don't like messing with small buttons when using it as a base, you could always interface it to your pc and control it via Ham Radio Deluxe.

Cheers
N0ZLD
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KE3WD
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2007, 10:13:52 AM »

>> I have the board out it doesn't look damaged although a few of the solder joints have gone black (like bad joints) <<

Examine closely to see if that isn't the black marker pen of the factory inspector first.  

If it isn't, then don't gloss over the (very) obvious.  

When you see *anything* out of the ordinary in a circuit that you are troubleshooting, correct it.  That might be all you need do.  Clean out those suspect solder joints and resolder and test.  

If that doesn't do it, the method of troubleshoot is simple enough, all you need is a good DMM set to the 20VDC scale, then monitor the 6V line while operating, the regulator on the board is there to keep that voltage absolutely constant.  Any fluctuation at 6V output pin 13 on the board is the clue.  

It is a rather simple regulator circuit using Integrated Circuit Q4 as the pass element  --  *Everybody* new always suspects that IC! -- I have seen very few of them actually go bad, although it does happen.  Suspect this last would be the smart troubleshooter's path.  

Download this particular Service Manual if you have not already done so.  

Fox Tango site has it:

http://foxtango.org/FT-101SVCMan/Foxtango%20101%20Service.htm

Don't overlook this particular manual -- almost everything you will need to know, right down to even soldering techniques on the PCBs, is in there!

And don't be too overly concerned with model suffix difference here, either.  "E" - "EE" - "EX" or whatever, the basics are the basics on these and don't change that very much.  The power supply is a basic.

Some things that can cause this problem other than the black solder joints (perhaps that black is marker pen, too, examine closely -- inspectors often used marker pen to proof that they had inspected):

*VR4 (sometimes id as "VR-3) located near that IC is an adjustment trimmer resistor on the board and can get dirty, I've also seen some give up the ghost.  This controls both receive and transmit voltage and is the adjustment internally for that.  Often a quick spritz of control cleaner plus turning it end to end to clean, then realign for the critical 6V reading is all there is to it.  

*If, once you have cleaned up all solder joints on Q4 IC and associated components, cleaned, checked and/or replaced VR adjustment trimmer and still cannot acheive a locked 6VDC situation, suspect the 1000mFd and 100mFd electrolytic capacitors associated with the circuit before decrying that you need that new IC.  

*Attach the DMM + lead securely to pin 13 (without an extender card this can be done by tack soldering an insulated small gauge wire at aan appropriate point to tap the regulator output to pin 13 thus bring the testpoint out where you can safely attach and alligator clip) and securely attach the negative lead of the DMM to chassis Common (GND).  Use a "spudger" -- and insulated tool such as a bamboo or plastic chopstick -- to tap lightly around the IC regulator circuit, looking for changes in that voltage with mechanical vibration.  

*The board end connections and its mating socket can get corroded or dirty over time, too, clean the board contacts with a common pencil eraser and reinsert a few times to wipe the female side clean.  


KE3WD
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W6GF
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Posts: 161




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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2007, 03:00:25 PM »

I have an ICOM 718 and the FT-897 and the FT-450 and the FT-2000 and a FT-950....If you can swing the price, get the FT-950.  The FT-950 in my humble opinion is an outstanding radio

George, W6GF
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2E0BSS
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Posts: 85




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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2007, 03:11:00 PM »

Good choices unless I can get a used FT 950 that's out as it's way above my budget a new one is around £1200+. I quite like the new FT 450 AT as it offers almost all of what I need or want with the exception of the 2m part. I quite like the Icom 718 or the Kenwood 480 SAT. If I can get anything used within the set budget then I'll be considering more but at present the three finalists and possibly the 4th are

FT 897D
FT 450AT
IC 718
480 SAT

I will continue to look though.

Charlotte 2E0BSS
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