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FT-817: speaker replacement


#1

Hello,
My friend Santi, EA2BSB, had a problem in one of his last activation in winter. In rainy weather, some water got down by the coaxial cable and reached his Yaesu FT-817.
When he noticed that, the speaker on top was filled with water.

Since that event, the sound in his rig is distorted. I offered him support to replace the speaker.

After some research on Internet, we found reference to get a replacement. This speaker is originally designed for train models, and has exactly the same dimensions than the original.

Speaker data:
Outside diameter: 57mm.
Total height: 12mm
Characteristic: 8 ohm, 2 watts.
Manufacturer: Massoth ref. 8241020

We identified two main differences when compared to the original: the cone material is Mylar instead of the paper used for the original. Mylar is a plastic with good audio quality. The power was increased as well, as the stock speaker is rated at 1,5 watt.

Here you can see both together:


*New speaker at right hand side.

We bought the speaker on Internet. Once it arrived opened the FT-817, unscrewing 7 screws.

You have to open carefully the top part, because the speaker cable is not long. Then you can free the connector and release the cover.

In orther to remove the speaker from the cover you have to unscrew another two screws next to the speaker holes.

Next operation was to remove the original cable with the connector using a solder and replacing that in the new speaker.

The last operation was to remove two foam gaskets from the yaesu speaker (from front and back sides) and put them in the new one. One helps to seal the speaker against the cover and the other to protect the back side against the bracket.

All done, connect the speaker, screw all back and finished.
We ran the rig and first QSO was with EA2IF/P who was on top of San Cristobal, as most Saturdays, weather permitting.
The sound was perfect, good audio response, and much louder and clear than with the failing speaker.

*San Cristobal that morning looking from EA2BSB’s window. We had some snow that morning…

The analisys of the failing part revealed that the water had deformed the paper cone of the former speaker.
Now the rig is ready to catch many chasers in the future.

VY 73 de Ignacio

PS:
This video in Internet shows clearly the modification done by another colleague.

When preparing this article I found another web page that describes exactly the same done here with good quality pictures:


#2

Hi Ignacio, sounds like a good mod - can you please post a link to where on the Internet you found the replacement speaker?
Thanks Ed.


#3

Hi Ed,

Sure, You can simply Google the reference “Massoth 8241020” and you’ll get lots of suppliers.
I bought mine on Ebay, but I just googled again and found some other sources like these:

http://www.tkt-shop.de/
http://www.gartenbahn-center-shop.de
http://www.duo-shop.de

Good luck with it. VY 73


#4

Hi Ed and all

I did this speaker mod and I’m really pleased with it, makes a huge difference. I followed Andrew VK3BQ instructions, you’ll get that speaker much cheaper there in Europe than here in VK . But for anyone with an FT-817, I think its a great improvement over the original speaker.

73 John VK6NU


#5

Hi saw this mod fabulous I thought. Initially searched the Web, eBay, Amazon , Nojoy finding similar. So contacted German company. Their reply regards cost Inc postage. €32. FOLLOWED by suggestion I try contacting UK model railway shops. I tried none sell anything like it.

So my question is how much did you pay for speaker and postage? Is this a polite we don’t want your business?

Oh BTW I write HF articles for the Royal Signals Amateur Radio Society.
Www.REARS.ORG.UK

LOOK FOR antennas and projects
These are FREE all in PDF format
You do not have to be a member download over 60 articles

My latest article is a Mini Z-Match with tuning LED to indicate max power

Enjoy

Mario G8ode


#6

Hi Mario,
search eBay on Massoth 8241020 and one of the three results I got is this one:

http://www.ebay.de/itm/NEU-Massoth-Lautsprecher-57mm-2Watt-8-Ohm-8241020-/301807560221?hash=item464521e61d:g:EDYAAOSwhcJWPerp#shpCntId

€9.60 for the speaker and (when I changed destination from Germany to Great Britain) €3.90 for shipping.

73 Ed DD5LP.


#7

The website that you mention is http://rsars.org.uk/

73


#8

Does anyone know if this change is worthwhile on the FT 857D or is it just an 817 enhancement?

Compton


#9

Mario,

Try here:
http://www.grsuk.com/Loudspeaker_57mm_dia__2W__8_OHM-M4140
£8.78 and they reckon they have 5 in stock (no idea bout P&P though!)

It is a bit strange that a ‘portable’ rig doesn’t have a mylar coned speaker.

Don
m0hcu


#10

Hi Don,
On the same web page - UK postage rates:
Order value: Rate:
up to £39.99 £4.95
£40.00 to £149.99 £9.95
£150.00 to £249.99 £14.95
over £250 FREE*

*Applies to Mainland UK only
International deliveries will be quoted
on an individual basis


#11

Doh… it was early :smile:

Don
m0hcu


#12

Received the speaker today - now heading down to my cellar-workshop to disect the FT817 :imp: and see if when I install the new speaker it sounds any different - I know it will stand up better to water/snow if I ever drop the rig in one or other (not planning to, but you never know …).

Ed.

Update:
the deed is done! I can’t particularly hear any tonal difference and it doesn’t seem louder. It may be that the new speaker can handle higher audio levels without distorting. It will need to get tested “in the field”.

One thing that could increase volume is if one drilled a new hole so that the speaker would sit fully over the speaker output holes in the case - not off to one side as Yaesu has done. Very strange. Did others who have done this mod also come across this descrepancy?


#13

Hi Ed,
Apparently you do get more audio with the speaker offset from the holes the way the radio comes from Yaesu. If you search the 817 group on yahoo you will find some discussion of this effect. Counter-intuitive but there you are.
73 Andrew VK1DA/2UH


#14

That would suggest that Yaesu want to use the metal case to resonate with the audio - strange. I thought they had offset it as they had found the centre of the speaker would hit something on the board if mounted in to “correct” position and its easier to move just one mounting hole in the design rather than the complete set of speaker holes.
If I get a chance, I may mount the speaker over the output holes with just one screw and see if I get an improvement with the speaker correctly mounted, if so I will then drill the second mounting hole where it should have been to start with and cover the other hole with black tape.

Overall however so far I have not noticed any audio difference between the old (paper membrane) Yaesu speaker and the new mylar one on SSB reception. Perhaps I’m missing something? - any comment John (VK6NU) - as you found a big improvement - was that only at high volume levels (that’s one thing the youtube video seems to indicate, but the fact that the person midifying the rig also removed his 100 microfarad capacitor would suggest that the unwanted base notes were also removed)? I know Ignacio (EA2BD) replaced the speaker in Santi (EA2BSB)'s FT817 as the original one was water damaged.Andrew VK3BQ in his article leaves the conclusion of whether the speaker is better open at the end of his article.

At the moment I have not seen an improvement that would make me recommend this change except on the basis that should the rig ever get water into it, the mylar speaker should survive when the paper one will not.
Ed.


#15

Hi Ed,

I think the proper way to do a real comparative test should be to have a couple of 817’s side by side; one the original and the other modified.
Then we could perform an A/B test…

When we did the mod in EA2BSB’s we could just run it with the new one.
We noticed a big improvement due to the fact the original speaker wasn’t running properly.
We felt the audio was great with the new one and that we could get louder output without any distortion. Santi is happy when running the rig now on the wild…

If I have the chance in the future, I’ll try to do the A/B test running mine and his rig together to see the sound difference, if any.
VY 73 de Ignacio


#16

Thanks for the suggestion Ignacio. If I end up on an activation with someone else with an 817, I’ll compare the audio from both rigs. If you can manage this in the meantime, that would be great.

I think the major improvement may be at loud audio settings given the new speakers 2W rating - not sure what the Yaesu one is rated at.

73 Ed.