FT-817nd won’t charge or operate on external power

The title of this post was chosen to hopefully return at the top of a possible web search.

This is exactly what happened to me today and it took several hours of researching and repair to fix, I hope this post helps someone shorten their time spent and misery when this happens.

Although it is still unclear exactly why this is a somewhat frequent occurrence with 817’s, the fact that Yaesu sells their radio with a power cord without a fuse is without doubt a big contributor to many possible reasons.

So before you do anything, do yourself a big favor and either put a fuse in your existing external power cord or get one that is.

On with the fix
What has happened is internally a miniscule ‘trace’ of the radio’s printed circuit board has burned up, right near the power connector.
I found this documented in several yahoo newsgroup postings with instructions and images on how to go about fixing the problem.
The instructions that helped me most came from Paul (K3PG) and are as follows:

Several folks on the list helped me located a burned power trace on the ‘817. My radio was only working on the internal battery and would not accept power from the external power jack. At first I thought the problem was the switch in the power connector but it turned out to be a burned trace from the power jack. I was unable to find the burned spot with my eyes but with the help listers it was located with an ohmmeter. I tried to put a single strand of copper wire over the repair but could not get it to stay in position. SMT type soldering aids would be helpful. The burned spot was quite narrow only a few hundreths of an inch. The jpg in this folder shows the repaired spot which seems to be working well. I hope this helps you. My repair was made with a Weller soldering station at half power with the ‘stock’ tip which is really too large. Be careful not to move any of the SMT caps nearby. Do it quickly and with a steady hand and it should work fine.

Paul K3PG

He posted a picture with his instructions

I found several others that, when viewed in order totally helped me understand what needed to be done. [ 1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Sure its a bit daunting to open the rig and stick a hot piece of metal into it, but take a deep breath, relax and it can be over and done with in a matter of minutes, minus all the screws to put the top back on the rig 🙂
I hope this was helpful if you landed here in a panic.

24 thoughts on “FT-817nd won’t charge or operate on external power

  1. tnx—–I had tried wrong coaxial power plug which had the positive exposed just enough to spark on the frame—filed my soldering pen point down, screwed up the courage and bingo—-done–thanks -73, K0FNR, Jim

  2. Hi, Can you tell me if this trace is on the GND, -NEG line or the +POS line? I have a FT-817 that will not work from external power unless you ground from the antenna socket and +POS power from the center of the normal power socket. It is my second FT-817. The first is still a member of the “Blown Final Club” 😦 these radios truly are crap and of poor design. 😦 Regards, Ken – vk4akp@gmail.com .-.-.

  3. Adam, Thanks for your post. I am trying to figure out were you found the open trace. I have measure the trace that goes under the large cap back to the SMT cap and even back to the neg of the plug and haven’t found an open yet. It appears from your picture that you just place solder on the trace that goes under the large cap back to SMT caps. Is this right or did you bridge to traces together?

  4. I found my problem and it was with the rear power connector. Only the DC adaptor makes connection to contacts in the power socket and my AC power supply doesn’t.

  5. Just reading your comments now, so I’m happy you were able to diagnose the problem. Being a connector and not a trace is a lot more fun to repair 🙂

  6. I suddenly lost external power and ‘Googled’ the problem and found the simple repair here ☺
    Many thanks,
    73 Ian G7HFS.

  7. Thought it was a faulty socket..found this great article…magnifying glass, AHHH..!
    Relatively easy providing you have a steady hand!! thanks a lot!!! Yaesu wanted £50 +post and 3 weeks without rig!

  8. Scary as !@#$ but I did it. Even with a magnifying glass, that’s some TINY real estate to work with, and it took me an hour just to identify the offending location. The trace had lifted up from the PCB and was so fragile that touching it with a sewing needle caused it to crumble into assorted dust. It’s a shame that my soldering iron is not a sewing needle, because what I ended up with is a blob of solder that I am fairly certain is not well bonded on either end, but the radio powers up now.

    I am so lacking in confidence about this repair that I’m afraid to move or significantly bump my radio, which totally sucks for a rig designed and intended for portable/packing use. I think, rather than sticking my ogre-hands into the mess again, I will try to squirt some non-conductive sealant (silicon?) around my blob of solder to help keep it in place. The warranty was surely voided long ago, anyway.

    Has your repair held up to standard use/abuse? I am actually quite offended that this is a point of what appears to be common failure. I did not arc my power supply against the case. I used the radio. Everything happy. I turned it off. I unplugged the battery end of the power cable from the gel pack. I got inside and tried to turn it back on and it didn’t turn on. I can swear ’til the cows come home that this failure was not a result of abuse or misuse on my part, but how is it proven? What appears to be a fair number of people having the same problem is discounted due to abuse or neglect.

    Anyway, I want to thank you. I was in a decidedly desperate mood when I found your article, and the only reason I went ahead and tried what was WAAAAY out of my league was that I had no other option, besides mailing this 12 year old radio to Yaesu and hoping for the best. Your article did not give me confidence in my ability to perform the task, but it gave the directions that desperation required to get me moving.


  9. Hi Adam, having the same issue with my 817, but it appears to me that center connector in the power connector itself is loose. I am surprised that there have not been more problems with this since most people are probably constantly plugging and unplugging the adapter in this socket. Anyway thanks for the info and I will look into that possibility – Tom

  10. Hi Adam. None of your picture links work any more.
    I have the same issue and looking for a fix.
    Ken – vk4akp

  11. Ken,
    That’s the way the internet is supposed to work (sorry couldn’t help myself).
    But seriously, my 817 exhibits this behavior and I would love to repair it, but none of the links on this post are valid any longer. Maybe Adam has a picture of his repair laying around somewhere..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s