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Author Topic: New ft817 owner with 'issues' a little help please!  (Read 5468 times)
M6ILG
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Posts: 16




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« on: March 30, 2017, 06:28:51 AM »

Good day everyone!
New foundation license holder. EBay 817 about ten years old, 1/2 wave inverted v in the back garden with a balun and 10m of rg58. No detectable swr, it all seems well matched. The radio has allegedly had new finals.
I have had two signal reports on 40meters, one in Germany said I was off frequency (I wasnt) and a more helpful report from a guy in Scotland who said it sounded like I had rf on the audio and asked if I was using the original mic (I am). There is clearly a transmit problem, although I've listened to my audio on 2m and it sounds fine. So I'm saying an hf audio problem... Does anyone have any thought on where I should start to try and diagnose/fix this? Or know of a reputable repair place that can fix it? Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thanks in advance for any input,
73s
M6ILG, justin is my name!
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W4KYR
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Posts: 1550




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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2017, 07:38:42 AM »

Good day everyone!
New foundation license holder. EBay 817 about ten years old, 1/2 wave inverted v in the back garden with a balun and 10m of rg58. No detectable swr, it all seems well matched. The radio has allegedly had new finals.
I have had two signal reports on 40meters, one in Germany said I was off frequency (I wasnt) and a more helpful report from a guy in Scotland who said it sounded like I had rf on the audio and asked if I was using the original mic (I am). There is clearly a transmit problem, although I've listened to my audio on 2m and it sounds fine. So I'm saying an hf audio problem... Does anyone have any thought on where I should start to try and diagnose/fix this? Or know of a reputable repair place that can fix it? Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thanks in advance for any input,
73s
M6ILG, justin is my name!


Coil the feed line and see if the feed back stops. As far as the off frequency, was that the only report? Could be their radio was off frequency. Go check your frequency with a local amateur.
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M6ILG
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2017, 08:04:01 AM »

Thank you,I'll give that a shot. Could the mic be knackered possibly? The guy in Germany said what frequency he was on and I was on the same.but he was busy I think and wanted to talk to other people..
Thanks for your reply,
M6ILG
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M6ILG
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2017, 12:21:59 AM »

Just a thought. Could the power lead from my battery be picking up and feeding back my transmitted RF? I'm sat under the antenna after all, which is 8.5 meters at the apex...
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W9IQ
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2017, 02:46:54 AM »

I would find it hard to believe that with 5 watts into an inverted V with a balun, that you would get any meaningful RF in your shack. You might try listening to (recording) yourself on the air using a web SDR to see if there really is a problem. Also try reducing your output power to see if it makes a difference.

What are the dimensions of your inverted V?

- Glenn W9IQ
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- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
W8JX
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Posts: 12052




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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2017, 03:43:35 AM »

Just a thought. Could the power lead from my battery be picking up and feeding back my transmitted RF? I'm sat under the antenna after all, which is 8.5 meters at the apex...

If it is getting in it is getting in thru mic/audio circuits not power lead.
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
M6ILG
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2017, 04:30:26 AM »

Thanks for the replies, antenna dimension are a half wave dipole for 40m, apex about 28 feet, ends about 17 feet off the ground. Web sdr is a great idea, I'll figure that out and try it. I did vary the power, with no reported improvement in audio (from 5watts down to 2.5). I'm not totally convinced that it is Rf. Possibly a bad mic..
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W8JX
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2017, 05:30:45 AM »

Thanks for the replies, antenna dimension are a half wave dipole for 40m, apex about 28 feet, ends about 17 feet off the ground. Web sdr is a great idea, I'll figure that out and try it. I did vary the power, with no reported improvement in audio (from 5watts down to 2.5). I'm not totally convinced that it is Rf. Possibly a bad mic..

RF feedback in audio has a unique sound unlike a bad mic element. But a "bad"bmic with a open shield or ground could cause this problem.
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--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
M6ILG
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2017, 07:04:31 AM »

At least that's something I could investigate without breaking anything expensive. I imagine Rf sounds like a frequency, as in it oscillates, is that right?
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M6ILG
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2017, 02:36:19 PM »

So I did a test with Web sdr tonight.weird band conditions unfortunately. On 40 meters a managed to hit a  server 800miles away. Readable but sort of muffled, sounded pretty much the same as everyone else ( that I could hear on the same server) Not useful because so far away I guess, but I couldn't hit any servers in the UK where I'm based.i guess that's a propagation thing. The only thing I've changed is taking the internal battery out and just running off my slab.if I'd been listening to me from Andorra I'd probably given a 4/5.  I need better conditions for a more useful test,but maybe the internal battery pack (nmih batteries) was causing some issues.i couldn't consistently hit the server so no time to put them back in and test.
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LA9XNA
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Posts: 185




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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2017, 10:29:48 AM »

Check the setting of the mic in the back of the radio, if it is on 1 it iset for Asian langues. See p 28 in the manual.
It is also possible to ajust the MIC gain at item 46 in the set menu. This will give some more punch, but might also distort the audio. Be carefull!
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M6ILG
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2017, 11:16:03 AM »

Thanks, I did investigate the mic, it's always been set to two, and I've experimented between 40 and 60 ssb mic gain. I'm going to call cq tonight on 40 and see if I can get a signal report, may even try the Andorra web sdr again if conditions are any better. I'll post here with any updates. Be good if I could record some audio..
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M6ILG
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2017, 02:16:43 PM »

so, here is a bad recording, from an SDR server 800 miles away on 40meters. there is a lot of noise, but i think the mic issue is obvious (maybe, to be honest i didnt hear anyone else doing much better) i'll do a daytime test to a closer server so i can try to reduce the noise and have a better signal to start with

https://youtu.be/oVEjLdPuQrk
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M6ILG
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2017, 02:00:55 PM »

ok, ya know, im not convinced about any of this. When i do a test on 2meters.. with my mobile whip in the back yard on a baking tray (5 watts) and record the results on my HT in the house. the audio is perfect. no issues at all.

This must mean, that the mic is good. Because if it were bad, it would be bad on every frequency.

i can hear myself about 3/6 on a server 800 miles away on 40 meters. So something is definitely working properly. I heard a VK station tonight, very weak, but definitely there. These two facts lead me to believe that the antenna is doing what it should.

Surely if i was getting noticeable RF in the rig, a mobile whip sat virtually beside the rig at the same level would produce some noticeable effect (2 meters or 40 meters should not make any difference). But there isn't a noticeable effect.
Unfortunately, no one answers my CQ calls - so getting a signal report is proving difficult. I rarely get to operate in the daytime, so local contacts are going to be difficult (these would be the best thing of course). I wont keep bumping this thread, instead, I'll get to the bottom of it one way or another, and then post an update. Thanks for your time and input gentlemen,
73s
M6ILG, Justin, Justin is my name ;-)
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KB1GMX
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Posts: 1482




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« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2017, 02:32:53 PM »

Doing a test on 2M fm and then comenting on SSB at HF are two different worlds that
do not intersect.

The best thing is someone local to you and a QSO.  And walk through the settings
to make sure they are as believed.

I've not found the FT817 to be problematic for RF in the audio even with a 100W amp!

What does mess up the SSB audio is weak battery (especially the too small internal
battery) as current peaks for SSB can pull the battery down if its weak or in need of
a charge.  Try running with a known good external 12V battery or power supply.

Allison/KB1GMX
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