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.

73
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.

BitTorrent Sync-ing The No Agenda Show

This morning when DropBox went down, I learned from a tweet that BitTorrent Sync provides an open source and free alternative to the centralized file services.
So lets give it a go by distributing the No Agenda podcast, shall we?
I have set up a read only folder on one of my machines to seed the show. I presume it only reaches economies of scale if lots of people have the file and keep it in their shared folder, so please do so we can see how effective it is.
Get a copy of bitTorrent Sync here
When you’ve installed it, you will want to use this ‘secret’to sync with the folder
R5NSJBPWKW52OO5HCY27JUHKZSKOFAR2D
Post a comment here to let me know if it worked for you!

My River

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My Ultimate QRP Rig

Here’s what I would want it to be

  • All bands
  • AM FM SSB CW Digital
  • Integrated paddles/keyer
  • Have a display that decodes digital modes
    • PSK31 / CW / JT65 / WSPR
  • Speaker so you can monitor sidetone and digital regardless of how the rig is connected to a computer or other audio device
  • Simple way to connect a high end mic/pre-amp/audio studio
  • 5-10 Watts
  • Internal Antenna Tuner
  • Internal Battery, rechargeable
  • Wire Antenna connector and BNC, switchable
  • Small footprint, of course
  • Compatible with OSX for Panadapter, rig control and Digital modes

Did I just describe the KX3?

2013 Hamvention Product Announcements

Moving the twitter thread to the wp blog.

  • There doesn’t appear to be a central place that aggregates the new product announcements at this year’s Hamvention.
  • Maybe there aren’t any?

If you’re at the show, that have you seen?

I’m particularly interest in new QRP rigs.

Transmit Problem HB1B Redux

After replacing the Final PS transistor as discussed in this thread, I thought the issue had been resolved.

But something weird happened this morning as I used the iambic keyer to call CQ, it appeared the box got ‘stuck’ on transmit, I saw the SWR climb to about 1:3.

I quickly switched off the device and tried again.

When it got stuck in transmit, I ‘jiggled’ the keyer by sending couple random dits and dahs and the transmit stopped.

I tried again. This time when it got stuck I looked at everything I could to gather as much dat as possible.:

  • SWR rises to 1:3
  • LCD does not show the ‘P’ indicator, but ‘S’ with a full receive signal.
  • Audio turned to a bit of a squealing distortion
  • Smoke came out of the unit and the screw that affixes the Final PA Transistor to the housing was very hot to the touch.
  • I opened the housing and verified visually that the transistor was damaged

So I replaced the transistor again, and again have full power on transmit, but am seeing it get stuck again and the SWR climbing with the squealing sound.

I switched the unit off and am posting this now to see if there are any ideas out there as to what I should look at as the culprit here.

As always, any feedback and input is highly appreciated.