Home > HF > Restoring the FT101- Part 1

Restoring the FT101- Part 1

If you have been following my posts about my newest radio acquisition a Yaesu FT101, you will know that it is my goal to restore this radio to pristine condition as much as is possible.  I began with testing the FT101 on air and found that the Tx and Rx frequencies were not aligned, so I began with that process and I am very happy to report that the Tx and Rx frequencies are now perfectly aligned. The next frequency alignment jobs are –

1. calibrate the clarifier so that OFF and ZERO give the same frequency.

2. adjust the receive frequency calibration indicator- as it is quite a way out.

I also began with testing on the repaint of the chassis by starting with the removable lid. I began by asking my local paint place to match the exterior colour and to keep the mix on their computer files. I was hoping the colour was original and therefore I could match any accessories I may buy in the future, but as it turns out, there were several layers of paint and I suspect the colour is not original, so I am glad  the paint mix details are on file. I had them supply the paint in an aerosol can.  I have now painted the entire case and finished with a clear coat to resist scratching

I encountered a couple of challenges along the way. The disassembly instructions in the manual were not entirely correct.There is a nut behind the black switch bank on the front panel, not mentioned in the instructions- careful examination revealed this.  The switch bank must be removed prior to attempting to remove the front panel. I gave the front panel a good clean in detergent once I had it removed. I also had to desolder the microphone socket in order to remove the front panel, and this resulted in the loss of one rf choker and one capacitor- they fell apart! The capacitor (probably for noise suppression) was easily replaced but the  RF Choke took more time to locate.

I removed some boards and did a thorough inspection before concluding further disassembly would yield few gains and perhaps risk failures, so I gave the radio a good thorough clean up using PCB cleaner and electronic component cleaner. After discharging the caps ( 600V can kill), I pulled the finals and found them to be GE tubes- I wondered if the neutralisation is now correct with these tubes, I guess it can’t be too far out, at least the finals don’t run away!? I promised myself to do the cold procedure outlined here http://www.w8ji.com/neutralizing__amplifier.htm . I was later able to confirm that the neutralization capacitor had been changed to the correct value for these GE tubes.

I am awaiting a new S meter since the old one is cracked, so will hold off on the reassembly until that part arrives. I also have an Astatic D104 microphone  (50 ohm) on a T-UG base coming which will help drive the old girl a bit better than the microphone currently in use.

More soon

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Categories: HF
  1. Bill
    May 4, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    David,
    I just picked up an old FT101ee. It had been in the closet for 15 years or more. I started it up slowly. Variac starting at low voltage and ramped it up to operating voltage. The receive is very nice sounding. I did make a AM contact on the 80 meter AM net. I was a little weak since I was only running 25 watts. This morning I tried to make contact on 80 meter Biscuit Burners net. There was a problem with my audio. They said my audio sounded like I had my sorts on to tight.

    Any other information on your restoration would be greatly appreciated as I’m sure that I will come across more problems as I go. It will be fun to resurrect this old rig. I have an old Kenwood TS520 that I did the same with and had loads of fun and learned plenty along the way..

    de AC7TY

    • David vk4mdx
      May 5, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      I recon you were off frequency, try aligning the tx and rx as per my instructions

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