Yaesu Boat Anchor HF Equipment

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WARNING: Replace C13 and C131 now if you have an FT101, FT101B or an FT101E. These are two ceramic capacitors that couple the driver stage anode to the control grids of the PA tubes and after many years they become leaky and put a postive voltage on the grids of the PA tubes. This then destroys the PA tubes and if left on for any length of time the power transformer. They must be replaced with similar ceramic capacitors with a working voltage of at least 1KV. I have used 3KV capacitors available on-line from Mini Kits here in South Australia.

Yaesu FT101B

I obtained this transceiver in good condition and for a very good price from a fellow HRSA member who had purchased it some years before and then found he had not used it and so thought perhaps I would put it to better use. When I eventually got round to powering it up I thought it may have been "knobbled" to about 10 Watt output for use by a Novice Licence holder some time in the past. Now there is a number of ways this can be done and after consulting several fellow society members who have these, I decided to wait till I could get together with a Morrie who has had a lot of experience with the FT101 and uses one himself as his HF radio. This will save me a lot of time and frustration.

Took it to Morrie's place and we found it was putting out at least its rated power so the problem was in my power meter. That is what comes of trusting a kit built item bought off Ebay. The offending instrument is a Heathkit HM102 power and SWR meter. I need to find myself an RF voltmeter that will read up to at least 100 Volt. My guess is whoever built it had no way of calibrationg the power meter and so just used it as an SWR meter.

While at Morrie's place I bought a Yaesu FTV-650B 6 Metre Transverter he no longer needed and we soon had the complete combination working just fine. We could not try it on air because his 6M antenna had been flattened by a tree in a storm.

If you compare the last two photos in this group you will see I have replaced the RCA connectors, used for the RF output and the Receive Antenna, with BNC connectors.


This arrived on my work bench the day after Christmas 2014 in a sad state. The case was missing as were the shields and speaker brackets and someone had started to convert the PA valves to 6146. Also from notes written inside, the WARC band modifications were carried out way back in 1982. This is an on going project and I will put photos and the story about this project when it is finished. So far I found a case and the missing brackets in the UK and they have arrived DownUnder.

This story started in April 2014 when I received and email from a fellow in Victoria who was disposing of his Father Inlaws radio collection and he wondered if I would like to give the stuff a good home. When I said yes please he sent me photos and there were several vintage frequency meters, a Sig Gen, some morse keys and the sad looking FT-101E. Now the problem of getting the collection to Adelaide !. We visit friends in Victoria each year but as we had used up our holidays for the next twelve months I asked if he could look after the stuff until 2015 when we were heading his way again. He went one better than that, he offered to bring it over when he visited his Mother Christmas time.

Another radio I wish to keep added to my collection has caused a problem, not enough switch positions on my extensive antenna and microphone switching system. There are the switches on the control/patch panel over the operating desk, there is the BoatAnchor switch box on the bench where some of the old rigs are and then there is the fancy four position coaxial switch that selects a further four BoatAnchors. The solution, add more switches to double up the radios that can be selected by the five position BoatAnchor switch over the two TS-520's.

If you look at the first photo above you will notice I have extended a shaft out the back of the typical CX-201/CO-201 switch by boring a hole in the actuating block that moves the contacts inside the switch. I have three brands of these generic type 201 switch and the ones I bought from Maplin in the UK are not very good. This shaft passes through the die cast box and a flexible coupler coupler actuates a short length of Oak type switch shaft and the switch wafers are bolted to the die cast box, I do not use an switch mechanism. I have fitted four types of connectors to the sides of the box, four pin Microphone connectors, I use just two microphones switched to most of my boat anchors, DC sockets to control relays that will switch the YO-100 Monitor scope, RCA connectors and 3.5mm phone connectors just in case I think of something else. Will make another one of these boxes for the two TS-520S rigs.

Yaesu YO100 Monitor Scope

Yaesu FTV-650B 6 Metre Transverter

You may notice I have replaced the RCA connectors with BNC's on this unit also.

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Written by and Copyright, Phil. Storr © Last updated 19th February 2015