Yaesu FT-101 Repair
-Nothing but Yaesu FT-101 radios serviced here-
Alignment Service- Here is the Alignment service that I an offering for your
FT-101. I will be "deep" inside your radio like never before- not since it left the Yaesu
factory. I have factory tools, test equipment, parts, service manuals, and the know-how.
Please see the photo
section for pictures and my Facebook
feed for daily updates.
Reality- A touch of reality is due at this point. We are dealing with radios that
are 45+ years old. This is a factory alignment service as described in the FT-101
Service Manual, not an age-reversal process. These radios are still solid performers
worthy of alignment and maintenance. Over-the-air reports: "that sounds like an FT-101"
are still true today as they were 45 years ago. These are absolutely iconic radios without equal.
Maintenance vs Repair- Maintaining your Yaesu FT-101 can prevent
expensive repairs before they become a big problem. The FT-101 is a very mechanical radio
requiring constant tuning and attention for optimum performance. At 45 years old- capacitors,
tubes, and tuning are always in the crosshairs. You will receive a multi-page
Inspection Checklist detailing every test and test result that I perform.
Warranty- I offer a full 90-day warranty on all parts and services that I perform.
Reality- A touch of reality is due at this point. We are dealing with radios that are 45+ years old. This is a factory alignment service as described in the FT-101 Service Manual, not an age-reversal process. These radios are still solid performers worthy of alignment and maintenance. Over-the-air reports: "that sounds like an FT-101" are still true today as they were 45 years ago. These are absolutely iconic radios without equal.
Maintenance vs Repair- Maintaining your Yaesu FT-101 can prevent expensive repairs before they become a big problem. The FT-101 is a very mechanical radio requiring constant tuning and attention for optimum performance. At 45 years old- capacitors, tubes, and tuning are always in the crosshairs. You will receive a multi-page Inspection Checklist detailing every test and test result that I perform.
Warranty- I offer a full 90-day warranty on all parts and services that I perform.
- Inspection and Check-out:
I need to verify that no issues arose during shipping and confirm the basic operating capability (or not) so we are on the same page before I proceed. Later, the unit is powered-on thru an Isolation Transformer, a Variac, and a real-time power/watt meter.
- Disassemble, air-blast, and dust-brush the entire FT-101 chassis:
Dirt, debris, and dust have no place inside your classic radio! Variable open-plate capacitors must be dust free. The covers are removed and access areas exposed. All circuitry and high-voltage sections are now exposed. Covers get a basic cleaning and light wax. I also offer full painting services.
- Inspection and cleaning of all controls and indicators:
The Main Dial is checked to ensure the 6:1 Jackson Ball Drive is working properly. The aluminum Frequency Ring felt pads are checked for proper friction. All controls and switches are cleaned and lubricated with DeOxit Contact Cleaner to ensure noise-free electrical operation.
- Burnt, dim, or glaized-over bulbs (S-meter and VFO) are replaced in pairs for consistent illumination.
- Check all Voltage Rails for: impedance, value, and ripple:
There are several critical voltages inside the radio. The regulated VFO/Frequency voltage rail is critical for frequency stability. Voltages and ripple are measured. I may recommend capacitor replacement to reduce ripple and improve voltage rail stability. The power supply must be rock-solid before any further work can be performed. The 43 year old electrolytic capacitors are the issue.
- Remove, Clean, Inspect, and re-seat all circuit boards:
Every circuit board is removed from the chassis, inspected for bad (ballooning) capacitors, inspected for discolored parts (heat), all edge connectors are cleaned, and reinstalled. Missing hold-down screws are replaced.
- Performance test the 3SK40 Receive MOSFET Transistor:
The heart of the FT-101's receive performance is the 3SK40 MOSFET transistor located on the High Frequency Board. It is removed (socket mounted) and tested for HFE gain performance. A lack-luster 3SK40 MOSFET receive transistor (3dB down) should be replaced. This is a parts-only replacement- as the HF Board is already out of the chassis. I do not double-dip on labor costs!
- Remove, inspect, and clean the RF Relay:
The RF Changeover Relay (RL2) is removed and disassembled. The contact surfaces are inspected and cleaned to remove oxidation & tarnish. The DC control relay (RL1) is inspected.
- 6JSC6 PA Tube Test (2) on Vacuum Tube Tester:
The two Power Amplifier (PA) tubes are removed and tested on an EICO 667 tube tester. Both tubes should be within 10% of each other as a matched pair. Filaments are run for 5-minutes with active tests running a full 60-seconds. I am looking for performance, stability, and equality across both tubes.
- 12BY7A Pre-Driver Tube Test (1) on Vacuum Tube Tester:
Just like the 6JSC6 tube test above, the 12BY7A pre-driver tube is removed and tested on the tube tester. A healthy tube is required for driving the PA and the external transverters for 2M and 6M.
- PA Tube Bias set to 60ma:
The bias current setting is critical for linear operation and long tube life. The bias potentiometer is first cleaned and then adjusted to 60ma. This bias adjustment affects both 6JSC6 Power Amplifier tubes. Matched-pair tubes are a must-
- PA Tube Neutralization - Cold Cathode Method:
The FT-101 is one of the few radios that require neutralization. This is a lost art. With 600+ Volts present the filament voltage is removed form the PA tubes and the micro-watts of leakage thru the tubes are "dipped" with the Neutralizing Capacitor while "peaking" the output tank circuit until no further minimum can be reached on the spectrum analyzer. This is the only way to fully neutralize the tubes. Forget all of the other techniques of observing symmetric dips on the S-meter.
- Radio Warm-up (2 hours):
The radio must be temperature and frequency stable. Never try to align a FT-101 without a 2 hour warm-up. My shop is in a temperature and humidity controlled space. There is NO CHARGE for this activity. I am performing other tests in parallel- so this is not wasted time. There is so much to do!
- Align TX and RX transmit/receive performance:
When the Receive Pre-Select setting does not match the Transmit Pre-Select setting, that's a problem... No longer do you have to pick between better receive sensitivity or more transmitted output power. Now you get both.
- Front RIT Control set to 12noon:
When the Receive Incremental Tuning (RIT) is enabled, the dial indicator will now point straight up. No more guessing or guesswork.
- TX and RX Frequency Alignment corrected to better than ±5Hz:
The biggest complaint with the FT-101 is that: "I am transmitting on one frequency and have to use the RIT to receive the other station. I always appear to be off-frequency". This alignment will eliminate this common problem with a frequency accuracy of ±5Hz.
- S-Meter adjusted to 50uV for S9 Signal:
A calibrated 50uV RF signal is injected so the S-Meter reads S9. I will provide you with the Minimum Discernable Signal (MDS) and the dB increments for each S-meter reading from S1 thru S9+60. I will include the Marker level and ATTN (attenuator) values.
- USB and LSB Injection Offset Frequency Alignment:
The SSB injection points are checked to ensure proper transmitted voice bandpass characteristics. "Bassy" or "Tinny" audio reports point to this mis-adjustment. Restore the classic FT-101 transmitted and receive audio! I sweep the transmitter from 300Hz to 3000Hz and observe the transmitted output. Let's restore the original FT-101 "sound".
- Frequency Marker calibration process:
This drives the 100kHz and 25kHz fine frequency markers. The internal frequency marker is critical for on-frequency operation. I have a 10MHz frequency standard that is calibrated to ±1Hz. I can simulate WWV at any time and fine tune the Marker.
- All Crystal Hetrodyne Trimmers are set to the factory's frequency specifications:
Each of the 11 Band Select crystals have a trimmer capacitor for fine frequency adjustment. Each trimmer is adjusted to put the crystal on-frequency.
- Spectrum Analyzer output check for spectral purity at full power:
Output power and spectral purity are checked on a Motorola R2004/HS Service Monitor. Several main chassis traps must be set to eliminate spurious emissions that FT-101s are know for. This is also the time I check the modulation and recovered IF waveforms on the Servie Monitor.
- Recommended Microphone Settings using your microphone:
Your microphone will be used to see the transmitted envelope on the spectrum analyzer. If your microphone is the source of poor transmitted audio- you need to know about it. Seek a replacement/repair. For testing purposes I can also substitute using a stock Yaesu hand-held microphone, a matching Yaesu YD-844 desk microphone, Turner Super Sidekick, or an Astatic D-101 TUG-8 amplified microphone. Your choice.
- Recommended Speech Processor Settings:
More is not better! For radios with the RF Speech Processor, your microphone will be used to determine 6dB of audio compression as shown on the IF display of the Motorola 2004D/HS Service Monitor. Let's remove the guesswork forever. Don't be "That Guy"!
- Recommended AM Microphone Settings:
AM is very different. A fully modulated 30 Watt carrier contains 120 Watts of RF envelope. That is all the power supply can provide in linear service. I will provide you the correct power level and microphone settings to ensure top quality audio! If you use your FT-101 on the 11M band, simply peak the AM carrier at 10 watts and then increase the Load control one additional division. This is not FCC Type-Accepted operation, but your profile will remain low... while your nostalgic operation remains high. I will check for spurious emissions that cause TVI between 54-60 MHz (11M harmonic landing on TV Channel-2).
* Parts and additional services are extra.