Tubes for FT-101E

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I inherited a Yaesu FT-101E, the Drake twins, and other miscellaneous equipment from my father, but bits & pieces are either missing or not working in everything. I recently earned my Technician license (Oct) and then my General ticket (Nov), and I am trying to get on the air.

The Yaesu seems to be my best bet for getting on the air quickly. I have a mic ordered from KK4WS, but I need (according to a local ham who looked at my rig) the 6JS6C tubes replaced in the final.

Doing a lot of reading, it appears that Sylvania tubes are not a good bet. I've been offered a pair of Fox Tango tubes for $50. Is that a "too good to be true" deal? Will Fox Tango tubes work in my rig?

Thanks! Sandy

Alan Applegate:
Maybe. No one has made any 6JS6 tubes for well over a decade. Since most glass seal tubes don't age well when they just sit, there is always a chance they won't work.

There are published mods for the 101 series to upgrade them to 6146s, due to the shortage of the originals. But even 6146s in usable condition are getting rare.

I'm not saying you should junk the radio, but you have to weigh out the cost of doing.

Alan, KØBG

Duncan Carter:
I bought a set of FT-101E tubes from who advertises on ebay.  They were original NEC green band type tubes and didn't need any change in neutralization and cost about $90 with shipping.  My original tubes lasted 34 years.

73, Dunc, W5DC

After 30 years of off and on use, I had to re-tube my FT-101E.  Yes the original Japanese green banded 6JS6C tubes will last that long if you don't abuse them during tune-up and if you run a fan to keep them cooler.

Unfortunately I had to buy several sets of supposedly NOS tubes before I got a pair that actually worked properly on all bands.  IN MY CASE RCA and GE tubes did not work well.  Mine are Sylvania.  I get around 160 watts "key down" out on 80 and around 110 on 10.  PEP is more.  Most of the other supposedly NOS tubes worked OK on 80-20, but power fell off drastically on 15 and 10 - down to 50 watts or less.

In order to use USA tubes in the FT-101E you have to change the value of the neutralizing capacitor.  This is an easy job.

By today's standards the FT-101E leaves a lot to be desired, especially the receiver, but it is still a good rig, very stable, and worth new finals if you can find a decent pair.

Dick  AD4U

John Sample:
I have had three of the FT 101 series xcvrs over the years.  I went through several sets of 6Js6 tubes because I was not careful in the tuning process.  I would definetly not recommend converting to 6146s.  I did that with great regret.  It runied a perfectly good piece of antique gear.  Your best source for online line information about this series of radios is FoxTango (

You are better off paying the price for NOS green label Toshiba or NEC sweep tubes (if you can find them), and just be careful when tuning up the rig.

My solution was to buy a FT 101ZD which uses 6146s and now I am a happy camper.

John K4ZNC


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