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Yeasu Ft 817nd settings


#1

Yeasu Ft 817Nd settings and suitable tuner?

Hello all

Just got a new yeasu ft817nd and was wondering if anyone could share there menu settings with me and maybe some ideas on a portable tuner ?,and power surply for taking on sota activations

At the momment i use a Watson 627 mobile whip with a so239 elbow plug and mirror mount with thumbscrew for easy dismantle on top of a 5mtr fishingPole and a Tonna 144mhz 2x4 elt crossed yagi ( i only take one section with me )
and for power i use a Tronic Power cube kh3106 12v 7ah power pack this is the heavy part of the kit and i also use a manson cigar lighter power adapter for running the Yeasu vx150 prior to buying the Yeasu ft817nd

any advice on settings,portable tuners,antennas,powersurplies or kit would be very welcome

planning a sota beam purchase soon

many thanks in advance Gordon MM3XGP


#2

In reply to MM3XGP:

The menu settings the radio is supplied with will be fine for a start although I did turn the mic gain down (separate settings for FM and SSB).

The radio’s own internal batteries will do an activation - for example last week I spent nearly 2 hours on the air from Cyrn-y-Brain all on the internal bateries (which were still fine at the end). I was on 2m SSB, FM will drain them faster. External batteries will allow you to operate for longer on 5W. Sealed lead acid batteries are popular (but heavy).

I would consider using resonant aerials such as dipoles for HF. Then you will not need a tuner.

Good luck!

73

Richard
G3CWI


#3

In reply to MM3XGP:

any advice on settings,portable tuners,antennas,powersurplies or kit would be
very welcome

A search back through the reflector messages will reveal lots about people’s antennas and PSU etc. I’d scan through them first with the search facility and then ask further questions.

There’s basically 2 camps… those using resonant antennas and no tuner, and those using a tuner. Each has it’s advantages. Currently I’m in the resonant antenna no tuner camp. 7Ah battery? That’s frighteningly heavy!

As for settings, as far as I remember, my 817 is as it comes apart from a few obvious settings like mic gain, front/rear antenna selection, LCD backlight etc. I haven’t been into the engineering menu to change the calibration settings, no need as it comes correct out of the box.

Andy
MM0FMF


#4

In reply to MM3XGP:

Gordon I would like to back up what has been said by Richard and Andy with regard to the 817. I have made no special menu adjustments although I have broadbanded the TX side so that I can TX on 5Mhz. For battery - the internal battery will give you 1.5 - 2 hours worth of CW/SSB but very much shorten time on FM. However, the payoff is that the power is automatically dropped by 50%. 7Ah battery is probably too much and certainly too heavy - I use a 3.3Ah SLB which is half the weight of the 7Ah and will still give my about 4 hours of operation which is sufficient for what I need. Richard (CWI) has a little spread sheet programme that works out all the permeations of battery life against usage maybe he could advise you of the web address for it as I have forgotten.

As far as aerials is concerned. I use a long wire with counterpoise tuned with an elecraft T1 auto tuner which weighs just a few grams and is very small. This has worked reasonably well for me but it is worth checked out the linked dipole used by, I believe, John GW4BVE, maybe he could direct you towards that one.

Hope this helps. I dont believe we are too far apart (I’m Stirling) so could get together for a chat at some stage.

73 Glyn CFS


#5

In reply to MM3XGP:

For the tuner I strongly recommend building a Z-match circuit from about four years ago in PW. This uses a couple of polyvaricons, a coil on a ferrite ring and a balanced/unbalanced switch for the output, there is no need for a coil tap switch (which is the joy of it!) and mine is over-accommodated in a box 10X7X5 cm. If you are interested I will scan the article and send it to you. If you don’t want to build I suggest the MFJ tiny travel tuner which will use the rigs swr meter, but this will not handle balanced feeds unless you make up a little balun.

The menu settings are straightforward and will depend on you, the first thing is to get the mike gains set for SSB and FM, the rig arrives with them set at 50%, this is too high for most people! I would set the meter to ALC and tweak the gain on SSB until you get a small indication on voice peaks. After this I left my meter on SWR.

A nice trick not mentioned as such in the handbook is that you can monitor two frequencies, one on each of the VFOs, by pressing dual watch (DW) but not having the squelch on, the rig then listens to each channel in turn for five seconds a time.

Its a great little rig, I part exchanged mine for an 857 a couple of weeks ago and miss it!

73

Brian G8ADD


#6

In reply to G8ADD:

Hi Brian,

I have my mic set on 10 for the ALC on SSB and it still was ok just wondering what you have yours set at?

As you say the 817 is a v/good little rig I nearly went for the 857 and I’m glad I didn’t.

Terry G0VWP


#7

In reply to G0VWP:
Sorry for the delay.

Mine was set to 24% and I find about the same setting for the 857. Basically the 857 is an 817 with a 100 watt amp and a few extra bells and whistles added, it also weighs twice as much! Still, it performs impressively for INKy so its got to be good enough for me!

73

Brian G8ADD


#8

In reply to MM3XGP:

Hi Gordon

Basically it has all been said.

The 817 leaves the factory “ready to go”, just a few personal settings to make such as mic gain etc.

Personally I use the 7ah SLAB but it is heavy so probably would recommend the 2.8ah or 3.3ah at half the weight, which will supply more than enough for a long activation at 5 watts.

Antenna wise, I am in the resonant linked dipole/no tuner camp mainly because the 817 only has 5 watts and you don’t want to lose even milliwatts in the tuner. The weight of the tuner and patch lead also add weight to your rucksack.

John GW4BVE has published a picture of his 5 band linked resonant antenna on Flickr, complete with building measurements and materials, you would be wise to look it up.

Whatever you choose, good luck and I look forward to hearing you on the summits.

73 Mike GW0DSP


#9

In reply to GW0DSP:

Hi Gordon,

I agree with Mike GW0DSP on what he say’s ref the FT817 and on the antenna side I have made the 5 band linked resonant dipole and can say it works very well indeed.

Hope to hear you on the summits soon.

73 Terry G0VWP


#10

In reply to G0VWP et al:

There is no doubt that single-band and linked dipoles work very well, so much so that you would perhaps wonder why anybody would bother with a doublet and the extra weight of the ATU, with its small but measurable loss. The point about the doublet and ATU combination is that while a linked dipole will work very well on the bands that it is cut for, a doublet will work very well on any band that it might take your fancy to operate on, the nine bands 1.8 to 28 megs plus if you are lucky 6 metres are your oyster. You pays yer money and you takes yer choice!

I would not be too concerned about the losses in the ATU, by the way. Suppose it was improbably inefficient and lost you 3 dB. That is a mere half S point, it may be significant in the lower noise environment of 28 megs but it won’t be noticed on the LF bands. When you are running a few watts QRP it feels wrong to throw away power, but the figures don’t lie!

73

Brian G8ADD


#11

In reply to G8ADD:

In reply to G0VWP et al:

I would not be too concerned about the losses in the ATU, by the way.
Suppose it was improbably inefficient and lost you 3 dB. That is a
mere half S point, it may be significant in the lower noise
environment of 28 megs but it won’t be noticed on the LF bands. When
you are running a few watts QRP it feels wrong to throw away power,
but the figures don’t lie!

73

Brian G8ADD

Although the above figures maybe don’t lie Brian, I think it’s a very strange statement to say that it’s fine to throw away even a half of a valuable s point while activating and would have to ask how many chasers you might throw away with that half an s point?.

Most ops will be aware that propogation is at a low and that losing, or throwing away even a half of an s point could mean the difference between obtaining the contacts and thus qualifying the summit or not, I refer mainly to ops using the qrp rigs like the FT-817 and similar, with 5 watts output or less, the loss is more acceptable if using more power.

Most activators strive to cut down ANY losses whatsoever, also, in a recent topic on the reflector, “mass matters”, activators discussed how they try to reduce the amount of weight carried in the rucksack, so why add the extra weight of the tuner and the required patch lead to carry up a mountain?

The doublet/tuner is a compromise antenna so obviously can’t compete with the efficiency of a resonant dipole cut for the operating frequency in use and that is a scientific fact which nobody can argue with.

If five bands (80/60/40/20/10) aren’t enough to operate on from any summit, then what is?, other than to add 30m if you are a cw man.

Whatever, it is horses for courses.

73 Mike GW0DSP


#12

In reply to GW0DSP:
Well, Mike, I did say that 3 dB is “improbably inefficient”, my point being that a huge loss of half the power would still only be a half S point, which is hardly perceptable, a more realistic loss of, say, 1 dB is only going to be felt at the psychological level, isn’t it?

Another point comes into play which I omitted to mention before. Say you have a doublet which is a half wave at 40 metres. With the aid of the ATU it will resonate on 20 m as a pair of end-fed dipoles, it will be a colinear with about 3 dB gain over a dipole, so if you orientate your antenna broadside to middle Eu you have effectively doubled your power in that direction - and to North America, too, although you probably won’t get any benefit from that! On 10m the antenna becomes a four half wave colinear with about 6 dB gain but the radiation pattern breaks up with four sharp nulls.

Whilst you are correct that a doublet working below its resonance is less efficient than a dipole, efficiency calculations show that the difference is small until the size difference becomes quite large.

On the face of it the five older bands look like plenty, but if there is an obtrusive contest it is nice to be able to retreat to the WARC bands, where in any case the DX is more friendly!

Arguing about the weight brings to mind some of my fellow enthusiasts when the Backpackers Club was formed in, was it 1973? - they were so weight conscious that they even cut the handles off their toothbrushes! My approach was to carry what you needed and if necessary increase your fitness level to cope with it! I have a long way to go to recover the fitness that I had a couple of decades ago (but it WILL come!) but even so I do not feel the <500 grammes of my Z match and patch lead, and I do not need to leave the rig and mess with the antenna to change bands which either reduces the time an activation takes or increases the number of possible contacts in a set time…and coax is rather heavy!

As you say, its horses for courses, I am not saying one way is better than the other, I am just pointing out that both ways have their benefits.

73

Brian G8ADD


#13

In reply to G8ADD:

Hi Brian

I take it that you have employed this theory and equipment from many a summit and also, worked many a DXCC on all of the bands you mention (from a summit), warc bands included, because as they say “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” and there would be no point in giving an opinion unless you have tried and tested it in the field.

Unfortunately, I, or not many others for that matter, have had the pleasure of hearing your signals from a summit as yet, so can’t offer you any reports on your doublet/tuner combo, even though I waited patiently on my own summit until almost midnight for you, twice in succession, for a possible s2s with you on your last two alerts.

On my 47 activations to date with my humble linked dipole I have worked numerous DXCCs and also many summit to summit contacts, both in the UK and EU.

I can only base my findings from my own limited experience.

73 Mike GW0DSP


#14

In reply to GW0DSP:

Come on Mike, this isn’t QRZ.com!

My doublet/tuner combo which you are so eager to hear in action from a summit is in fact virtually identical to the doublet/tuner combo which has been widely heard from my home QTH and if the proof of the pudding is in the eating then note that with the 817 I am just short of DXCC from the home QTH, with contacts on five continents (all SSB) and on 5 megs I have LA, OH and TF in the log, though sadly the 5 watts has proved inadequate to get over the pond on 5. I say “virtually identical” because the field version doesn’t use the rather heavy 300 ohm ribbon that I use from the home station, but it is the same height and length and I just took the 817 and tuner off the desk and stuffed it in the rucksac to go out…and often I even used the same battery again at the home QTH, since the rig runs just that bit cooler with the slightly lower voltage. This combo has indeed only seen one summit activation so far (2-1-06 from WB004 on 5 megs, 8 stations worked) but has been used portable on other occasions - as the experiment that I offered for my NoV on 5 was operating from deep valleys where only NVIS would permit contacts.

This is not a p***ing contest, Mike, nor am I saying the method you advocate doesn’t work, I’m not saying the doublet works better, either, I’m just offering it as an alternate route that has certain good features such as multiband capability with very rapid band changing. Not long ago it would have been the norm to go out and work perhaps one, perhaps just a couple of bands. Now it seems that the fashion is to operate from several bands in more than one mode which makes flexibility and speed a desirable feature.

I look forward to many future S2S contacts with you, Mike, as Pauline and I are now going out more frequently with the Mercian MC and gradually building up our fitness, and it is my intention to have at least one activation on each meet we attend.

73

Brian G8ADD


#15

In reply to G8ADD:
we wait with baited breath for your summits, not sure i would wait up all night for you though, after the last two postings, dont think any one else will aswell.
just my two pennies worth…
:slight_smile: the dx-evil in me.
Steve m0sgb


#16

In reply to M0SGB:
Hi Steve, not worth 2p, I’ll give you change! :-))

73

Brian G8ADD


#17

In reply to G8ADD:

In reply to GW0DSP:

Come on Mike, this isn’t QRZ.com!

I’m not sure what you mean by that comment Brian.

This combo has indeed only seen one
summit activation so far (2-1-06 from WB004 on 5 megs, 8 stations
worked)

Hardly a firm basis to offer it as a good set up/recommendation for Gordon’s original question.

This is not a p***ing contest, Mike

I know that you are really a Gentleman Brian, but would remind you that this forum is available for children to read, and would therefore ask you to please refrain from profanity, disguised or otherwise.

I look forward to many future S2S contacts with you, Mike, as Pauline
and I are now going out more frequently with the Mercian MC and
gradually building up our fitness, and it is my intention to have at
least one activation on each meet we attend.

Well I certainly look forward to that Brian, but won’t hold my breath, let’s hope they can find the summit next time.

73

Mike GW0DSP


#18

In reply to GW0DSP:

“Well I certainly look forward to that Brian, but won’t hold my breath, let’s hope they can find the summit next time.”

Mike, that was unworthy of you. On the Meet in Question seventeen members arrived at the summit of Helvellyn around midnight and after greeting the sunrise traversed Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon Pike getting back to the campsite for a late breakfast. I don’t see why you should feel impelled to traduce them in this way but you certainly owe them an apology.

Pauline and I set out hours earlier to take a longer but easier angled route as I was carrying a fair bit of gear. Our route was marked on the map as a bridle way. However the path on the ground started out as a good one but rapidly deteriorated and finally vanished completely leaving us with the choice of going on or retreating as darkness fell and with no clear path to follow forwards and no landmark to talke bearings on. In such circumstances discretion is the ONLY part of valour and I made the right decision in retreating. I would hope in such circumstances you would do the same.

73

Brian G8ADD


#19

If I may briefly interrupt this session of “handbags”, I’ll just point out for the benefit(?) of the original poster that my activation today was with an FT-817. The antenna was an end-fed 15m length of wire, tuned by an Elecraft T-1 against an identical length lying on the ground as a counterpoise. I suppose it could be described as a doublet without a separate feeder! As today’s results show, it works pretty well on 30/40/60 with just a press of a couple of buttons to change bands. It would have been a totally sedentary activation had it not become necessary to guard the antenna against predation by some mischievous sheep! I therefore subscribe to the “non-resonant antenna with an ATU” viewpoint, but do not wish to decry those who have divergent views.

73 de Les, G3VQO


#20

In reply to G3VQO:

Hi Les, I highly respect your opinion on this matter because you have been there and done it and got the video, the book and the T shirt, hi, tried and tested, from overseas also and a fine job yet again today I must add.

Who can argue against Klaus DF2GN, the finest, probably most consistant big sig in EU, also with wire and tuner, not the point I was trying to make.

We all have our own preferred antenna system for summit use and of course there are pros and cons equally for both systems.

My original point was merely, don’t offer advice if you haven’t been there and tested it on a summit, end of story.

Cheers Les

Mike GW0DSP