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Author Topic: Good, older HF transceiver  (Read 7686 times)
KD4LLA
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Posts: 462




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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2013, 08:25:07 PM »

Find a Yaesu FT-840 or FT-890.  I bought a FT-890AT a few years ago for $600.  The FT-890 comes w/ FM and a automatic tuner.

Mike
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K8AXW
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« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2013, 08:29:44 PM »

Congratulations Bells and I hope you find a nice rig in MN.  Be sure to check back in here and let us know what you found.
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W8JX
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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2013, 08:30:46 PM »

The 890 used to have a tendency to burnt out finals. I think the device they choose was  not up to task. It was not made very long.
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KB3HG
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« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2013, 10:33:14 AM »

FT-101's finals (tubes) can be hard to get good ones. Relays are not cheap. Some of the FETs are darn hard to find. I speak from having used one in the 70s.
The Kenwoods were highly favored then. cost a bit then. I ended up with I still have a Heath HW-32. I finally got a  FT-707, it fit my bill.  I have used many radios I did not list but the older solid state rigs typically have semiconductors not readily available today.  what every , stay away from single band 10 meter radios, unless it is very cheap and works.The reason is the 10 meter sunspot cycle is short and is primarily a daytime band shot range when the band is not in.Another point some of the older radios are 5 band then some have the WARC bands also 30, 17 and 12 meters. Very few radios have 60 meters ( 5 channels). Stay with the big three Kenwood Yeasu or Icom. I might be tempted by Icom  used radios myself.My &0&s go for about 200 but get the guarantee from the seller it works.

If you can check your local club You could find a gem possibly. A better deal.

73,Tom Kb3hg
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VE4DLA
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« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2013, 05:16:29 PM »

AA5CC covered most of the ground well, but I'm surprised no-one has mentioned Ten-Tec. The Omni A and Omni D transceivers are excellent solid-state units, available in your price range, and easy to service yourself. Ten-Tec still supports these radios, too.
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K2GWK
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« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2013, 02:00:48 PM »

Well, I may as well throw my recommendation in the ring. I see a lot a Drake TXx, RXx and TRx rigs for very modest amounts of money here on eHam and on Ebay. These are excellent rigs and much more easily repaired than some of the older transistor rigs. If you are willing to get your hands dirty I bet you can find a whole Drake station for around $500 to $600. That Drake audio is to die for.
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W8JX
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« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2013, 02:38:05 PM »

Well, I may as well throw my recommendation in the ring. I see a lot a Drake TXx, RXx and TRx rigs for very modest amounts of money here on eHam and on Ebay. These are excellent rigs and much more easily repaired than some of the older transistor rigs. If you are willing to get your hands dirty I bet you can find a whole Drake station for around $500 to $600. That Drake audio is to die for.

Finding new finals for them can be to die for too. 
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AJ8MH
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« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2013, 04:24:34 PM »

Some of the old rigs are difficult to work on.  I’ve had my Yaesu FT-757 GX and matching HD power supply for 27 years.  About five years ago, I replaced crystals and variable capacitors to improve intermittent stability issues.  I also replaced the internal battery.

Replacing the xtals and caps is a major job, simply because of all the wires running to the boards.  Labeling is a must and patience is required.

Every year, something else needs work.  The rig has a million diodes and they’re a know issue, but so far, I haven’t had one go bad.  The rig is currently on the bench going through winter maintenance.  (I only use the radio at camp during the warmer months.)  I replaced the broken headphone jack and the power supply on/off switch, but all else appears good.

The rig looks new, but I would hesitate selling it, because it could die at any minute.  I guess you pay the cash and take your chances.  Try and get a good maintenance history when you buy one. Undecided
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K8AXW
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« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2013, 09:59:54 AM »

MH:  I've never heard of the need to replace crystals and variable caps in a radio to correct intermittent stability problems.  Interesting! 

Batteries, yes.....

My old TS-830S is over 30 years old and so far, and I have my fingers crossed OM, the only thing I've done is clean contacts, put star washers under a couple PCBs to correct intermittents and just recently I replaced the main changeover relay.  I corrected the relay problem but found a new one and decided to put the new on in use instead of just leaving it collecting dust.

If you think the old radios are difficult to work on, you ain't seen nuthin yet brother!  Just check out one of the newer radios!!  They definitely are "return to manufacturer for repair!"

I don't do "winter maintenence" or any maintenence unless something breaks....which has been very seldom. 

Give me a boat anchor any day!!   Grin

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AA4PB
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« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2013, 10:05:53 AM »

The IC761 had known issues with plastic trimmers causing intermittent problems and needing replacement after a number of years. There was an Icom service bulletin about it and I had to replace them in the one I had.
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AD6KA
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« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2013, 10:22:04 AM »

The IC761 had known issues with plastic trimmers causing intermittent problems and needing replacement after a number of years. There was an Icom service bulletin about it and I had to replace them in the one I had.

Geeze, what a monotonous task.
About how many were there and how long did it take?
Were they all pretty much standard values?
73, Ken  AD6KA
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W8JX
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« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2013, 11:29:51 AM »

just recently I replaced the main changeover relay.  I corrected the relay problem but found a new one and decided to put the new on in use instead of just leaving it collecting dust.

Where did you find 830 relay source and was it pretty easy to get too? Never changed one in that rig.
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W0BTU
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« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2013, 01:15:24 PM »

The IC761 had known issues with plastic trimmers causing intermittent problems and needing replacement after a number of years. There was an Icom service bulletin about it and I had to replace them in the one I had.

Were they all pretty much standard values?

So did the Icom IC-751A (which I recommend if you can get one of the later ones with passband tuning), but IMO, it was an easy fix to yank the plastic trimmers and replace them with ceramic ones. They were all standard values and I got them all from www.mouser.com. The mods --and common problems-- are on my Icom page at http://www.w0btu.com/classic_icom.html

Besides the Icom IC-751A, another superb rig for the money is the Icom IC-765. That's my main rig now.

I would stay away from the Kenwood TS-520. I've known people who have owned these when they first came out. Among other things, it has one of the worst third order intercept points of any receiver, meaning it is highly subject to signal overload of strong in-band signals. Look it up on Bob Sherwood's excellent Receiver Test Data list at http://www.sherweng.com/table.html
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 01:24:59 PM by W0BTU » Logged

K8AXW
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Posts: 3905




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« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2013, 06:23:05 PM »

JX: John, replacing this relay was easy the second time around!   Roll Eyes  

As you know this relay is on the AF Board.  The original has a clear plastic cover which can be removed in place by separating the cover from the bottom.  It's difficult to get to but it can be done.  The relay contacts cannot be burnished in any manner.  Initially I couldn't get the relay cover off and so I removed the relay.  I hosed the contacts with contact cleaner and operated the relay manually several times.  The relay then was like new.

In the meantime I obtained a replacement relay (drop in) from Avvid Electronics.  Clif has these relays plus many other parts for the older Kenwood radios.

The relay, as I said is a drop in.  It is a Aromat NF4EB 12v. The relay was $25.00.  Researching the Aromat NF4EB provided several sources with prices as low as $9.00.  I considered myself fortunate to just get the relay!

The AF board is held in place by 4 screws.  Initially I removed quite a few more than that but found that most were used for something else, not anchor screws.

To get to the bottom of the board it's necessary to unplug the connectors around the 4 sides of the board so you can turn it over.  It isn't necessary to completely remove the board from the radio and to do so will involve a great deal more work.

The relay has something like 14 pins that need to be desoldered.  A good solder sucker made the easiest part of the whole job.

73

Al - K8AXW

« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 06:30:23 PM by K8AXW » Logged
AF5CC
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Posts: 941




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« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2013, 07:34:12 PM »

The IC761 had known issues with plastic trimmers causing intermittent problems and needing replacement after a number of years. There was an Icom service bulletin about it and I had to replace them in the one I had.


Quite a few of the older Icom rigs had those problems: 745, 751, 751A, 761, 271, 471, I hear mixed things about whether the 735 had that problem or not, but overall, the 735 is a really reliable rig.  They were on the market for 10 years or more and you still see many working ones for sale. Never used one myself, maybe someday. 

Another great older Icom rig is the Icom 740.  want to get another of those someday also.

John AF5CC
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