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FT-817 in cw


#1

At present I am using the IC-706 with low power for portable/SOTA. I am still thinking of getting a FT-817 and have been surfing for hours on the web to get information/evaluations.
Everything seems to be great, but some hams complain about a loud and disturbing noise from the relais in CW, and statet that this was NOT a rig for people who prefer CW.
How bad and disturbing is this noise?
73
Mike


#2

In reply to LA5SAA:
Hello Mike.
I’m using FT817 and I didn’t notice noise. But I’m working with headphones.
The only thing I can say about FT817 is that It has any protection against reverse polarity. Be carreful!
Best 73
Andre - f5ukl


#3

In reply to LA5SAA:

Hi Mike,

Never been disturbed by FT817 TX/RX relay. May be they use a too short CW DELAY (menu #17) ?
I don’t use internal keyer, but a CODE CUBE (from Palm radio), so I can easily (and quickly) adjust my speed.

In reply to F5UKL:
I did the mistake… but nothing happened here…! am I lucky ???

73 Alain F6ENO


#4

In reply to LA5SAA:

Mike,
I normally use FT-817 at 100…120cpm and the relay does not bother me at all.
Used Tom’s (N2YTF) IC706 when I was activating with him this February and I had difficulties to key correctly due to the relay.

So the FT-817 can’t be worse than the IC-706 :wink:

But pse consider the Inrad CW filter if you choose the FT-817!

War übrigens am Wochenende auf der Wank (Garmisch) und es hängen schon die Plakate für die Passionsspiele 2010…

Gruß

Gerd.


#5

In reply to LA5SAA:

Hi Mike,

This radio does not have a noise blanker, so in high QRM conditions the audio is not really nice to listen. The DSP kit sold separately by BHI? is for SSB and not for CW. Also the current consumption in receive could be lower. Otherwise it is a fine multipurpose radio, which you can use for packets, digi, microwaves, satellite etc. or as a second radio in your fixed station. There is no audio compressor for SSB though this can be purchased separately.

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL


#6

In reply to F6ENO:
Yes, you are lucky. It hppens twice on mine but It’s my fault :-((((
Andre - f5ukl


#7

In reply to F5UKL:
This is interesting. I used to use an FT817, the early version not the ND, and it definately had reverse polarity protection, a series diode, seen in the circuit diagram close to the power socket bottom right of the sheet. I wonder if this diode was omitted from later versions to save a few pennies? The FT857 definately does not have any protection and any mistake is instantly fatal!

73

Brian G8ADD


#8

Hi Brian,

It seems amazing that such basic protection should be
left out of equipment costing as much as these radios do.
The best protection I ever saw was on an 8 track player
which was fitted with a bridge rectifier at the input so
it didn’t matter which way round you connected the DC!
I suppose this would take up too much room in a modern radio!

Kind regards

73

Dave G0ELJ


#9

In reply to G0ELJ:

I suppose this would take up too much room in a modern radio!

If one (or 2 with a bridge) diodes are in serie with power supply, the voltage available for the radio is dropping down (0.8V or 2x0.8V).
That’s why we sometimes found parallel reverse diode (to blow the fuse).

73 Alain F6ENO


#10

In reply to F6ENO:

I seem to remember that there are other types of diode with a lower voltage drop, although they may be more expensive or perhaps less capable of taking the current for a rig like the 857. I obsessively check the polarity several times before I dare to switch on the rig, as we say, “once bitten, twice shy”!

73

Brian G8ADD


#11

In reply to F5UKL:

Happened to me too, very brief touch with the wrong lead… aaarr. Have you seen http://www.ad5x.com/images/Articles/Condx817RevA.pdf Have not tried this yet but maybe I should!
My procedure now is connect battery to the power lead, triple check polarity and firm connection and then plug in. NOT plug in first then connect battery!

Otherwise lots of fun with this rig and wouldnt sell it. Have a strange problem with the display light not going off after 5 secs as it should and also receiver and green light going off between memories and when starting to tune from a memory in SSB/CW… otherwise great hilltop radio.


#12

In reply to G8ADD:

I seem to remember that there are other types of diode with a lower
voltage drop,

Right Brian, Schottky diodes are abt 0.1 V drop.

73 Alain


#13

!

If one (or 2 with a bridge) diodes are in serie with power supply, the
voltage available for the radio is dropping down (0.8V or 2x0.8V).
That’s why we sometimes found parallel reverse diode (to blow the
fuse).

73 Alain F6ENO

Hi Alain

Of course you are right, - I expect the 8 track was designed with
a lower operating voltage, -and there wasn’t much current involved.

Even the old CB sets had what was referred to as an 'idiot diode’
in parallel with the 12volt input, and they were very successful.
As the fuses are external on the 857 with a fair amount of lead
before the connection plug, it would not be too difficult to route
the leads through a very small plastic box or maybe a 35mm
film canister and bridge them with a reverse polarity diode.
Why didn’t Yaesu do something like that, or incorporate one in
the fuse block (I bet Brian wishes they had!!)

Kind regards

Dave G0ELJ


#14

In reply to G8ADD:

My 817 is a venerable set and I have connected the wires to the SLAB the wrong way on two occasions. The 817 survived which indicates that this particular set has reverse polarity protection. For the power levels involved here the series diode works fine.

Andy
MM0FMF


#15

In reply to LA5SAA:

Hi Mike,

Like others I’ve never had an issue with relay noise on the 817, but I do use headphones and the keying is relatively slow as I use a straight key. Most SOTA CW is relatively QRS. I can certainly recommend a CW filter - mine is a 300Hz one which I often think is too narrow, then when I get home and use my 500Hz filter in the main station rig, I think that is too wide. On balance, I prefer the narrower bandwidth.

As for all the polarity issues, it seems many SOTA ops are colour blind, or at least suffer from chromatic deficiency when on a summit. What is wrong with Red and Black? Even at dusk or dawn the difference should be quite obvious - maybe the horizontal driving sleet is getting in the way!

73, Gerald

P.S. If you buy an 817, don’t get it wet… like I did!


#16

In reply to G4OIG:

As for all the polarity issues, it seems many SOTA ops are colour
blind, or at least suffer from chromatic deficiency when on a summit.
What is wrong with Red and Black? Even at dusk or dawn the difference
should be quite obvious - maybe the horizontal driving sleet is
getting in the way!

73, Gerald

P.S. If you buy an 817, don’t get it wet… like I did!

In my case the battery got knocked over and the crocs came off, I tried putting them back whilst blinded with sweat on a very hot day - with fatal results!

73

Brian G8ADD


#17

In reply to G8ADD:

Hi Brian,

Sweat on a hot day… horizontal blizzard mid-winter - what’s the difference? I was right - it is the weather that causes the problem!

Did you ever get the rig assessed for damage… or did the burning smell put you off?

73, Gerald


#18

In reply to G4OIG:
Yes, O/P transistor, main processor chip and the display went, so beyond economic repair, but I have kept it for spares! I got another one straight away, a display model at a reduced price, already opened up and loaded with the 5 megs channels…and the FM CB channels which I got rid of straight away!

73

Brian G8ADD


#19

In reply to G4OIG:

As for all the polarity issues, it seems many SOTA ops are colour
blind, or at least suffer from chromatic deficiency when on a summit.

Well I didn’t believe someone with so many years real world electronic engineering experience like I have could do something so stupid. So I blamed the fact that Brian G(M)4ZRP had come out to play with me for my error. i.e. I was yacking away to him and wasn’t thinking.

The second time I did it was just because I was in a rush. Once is careless, twice is getting close to causing real damage to something. The problem being the terminals on the battery are identical so it’s easy to push the Lucar connectors on without thinking. After I did it twice I got into the habit of singing (badly) the setup process. “The red lead goes to the positive, the black lead goes to the negative, have you connected up the aerial” etc. to the tune of Dem Bones, Dry Bones. It sounds stupid but these additional motor requirements, i.e. singing, whilst doing something make it easy to go through the whole process without skipping a step. The solution would have been to make a lead with a polarised connector and leave the Lucar terminals connected. I just never got round to it.

It’s now somewhat immaterial as I have invested in some LiPo cells with non-reversal connectors. I don’t want any shorts or connection problems with those puppies!

Andy
MM0FMF


#20

In reply to MM0FMF:

The problem being the terminals on the battery are identical so it’s
easy to push the Lucar connectors on without thinking…
The solution would have been to make a lead with a polarised connector and
leave the Lucar terminals connected. I just never got round to it.

Hi Andy,

I sussed this potential issue out at an early stage and soon soldered flying leads with sockets onto all my batteries.

It’s now somewhat immaterial as I have invested in some LiPo cells
with non-reversal connectors. I don’t want any shorts or connection
problems with those puppies!

Precisely! I have in-line fuses close to the batteries and the leads terminate in a pair of 4mm sockets - my preference to power-poles. Even so, an accidental short would still create one hell of a bang. Incidentally, I now have elastic bands around my LiPos to keep the leads tight to the body of the battery so hopefully avoiding a cable breakage / potential short.

73, Gerald