Sunday, 20 September 2015

Some Yaesu FT-817 bugs previously unknown by many

I came across a bug of the Yaesu FT-817 today that was previously unknown by many people. At least I didn't know about it. Another bug or shortcoming of the FT-817 was pointed out to me last year by PE1BVQ.

The first one is the blown finals caused by a flat battery problem. As you all know a battery will go flat after a while due to internal self discharge. If so the voltage will drop of course. At a certain point the PA which is directly connected to Vbatt goes into self oscillation and basically commits suicide. I guess this will not happen when the battery is new but when it is getting older or if you leave the radio off for a long time the danger is growing. Best solution is to remove the battery. If you use the battery often you better install a switch to disconnect the battery.

The second one is the lack of a reverse polarity diode. Look at the diagram, you won't find any. That means if you make a polarity mistake (everyone does sometime) you damage your FT-817. If you're lucky a couple of components are smoking and your fuse is blowing. If not for some reason I can imagine the whole FT-817 goes up in smoke, although I think some print conductors will burn first. A solution is to install a diode outside the radio in the supply cord just after the connector.








Not a bug but something to keep in mind. The FT-817 has some hidden fuses. You find them on the diagram as FB1001 and FB1002. FB1002 is in the powerline to the finals and is only appearing in the ND version. If it blows your output power is gone and it looks like you got your finals blown. These fuses appear as microfuses, not the normal fuses we all know. They look just like electrolytic caps.

Update 22-Sept.: Steve G1KQH pointed me towards a glitch in the charging circuit. This can happen when the radio is fed with a quick on/off power supply like a broken supplycord. When you switch the radio on you don't have audio and display flashes. This is the solution found on G0FTD's site:

Insert some half charged batteries in the FT817 (so that the charger sense circuit knows that the batteries can be charged). Switch on the rig with a 13.8v PSU and follow the procedure to charge the internal batteries). This involves setting one menu to 6 hours time, and then on the 3 F-keys turning the charger on. Switch the rig off and the LED on the front panel glows orange.Allow the charge cycle to complete. Disconnect the rig PSU. Switch radio back on using the internal cells. Pull out one of the AA cells to make it look like the battery has depleted it's voltage.Now plug the rig back on to the main 13.8v PSU and switch the rig back on.

If anyone knows more bugs I'm happy to publish them here for future reference!


7 comments:

  1. Bas,

    Is dit specifiek voor de FT817 of ook voor de FT817nd?

    Mijn accu in de FT817nd zit er bij altijd in. Dit zou volgens jouw verhaal af te raden zijn.

    73, Tjeerd

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    1. Hallo Tjeerd, die eerste "bug" schijnt voor te komen bij alle versies. Zoek er maar eens naar op internet. Je komt het op diverse sites tegen. Ik heb mijn accu er ook altijd in en hij is ook al een keer helemaal leeg geweest. Het kan zijn dat er niks gebeurd, maar ik neem het risico niet...73, Bas

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  2. Hello Bas. I am on my 3rd 817. Other two sold for needed cash. None, including my current, ever had a battery installed. Strictly mains operation. So, no battery problems. Other bugs not yet encountered. I am a very conservative op with my rigs. Don't take chances. Too expensive. 73 Dick

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    1. Hello Dick, I don't like to take chances as well. Hope to keep my FT-817 in working condition for years. But sometimes stupid things happen and you'll regret afterwards. It's useful to think about the risks. 73, Bas

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  3. G0FTD thought he had blown his first FT-817, then found a simple reset cure for the problem: https://sites.google.com/site/g0ftdradio/home/ft817-info

    73 Steve

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    1. Hello Steve, good one thanks! I'll make an update on the post. If we ever encounter this problem it could be solution. 73, Bas

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  4. Very interesting. And well explained to electronics-stupid people like me!

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Thanks for your comment. Bedankt voor je reactie. 73, Bas