Tuesday, May 26, 2015

FT-707 repair (5) LED lamp replacement

Another fix on one of the FT-707 duo. This unit didn't have the VFO dial ligh's working.

I could had bought those small grain of wheat original bulbs for replacement, instead decided to try LED light on the display, thinking in long term without further maintenance. Got two 3mm high brightness white LED's and placed a 680 Ohm resistor in series across both to limit the brilliance, before placement tested with 330 Ohm limiting resistor and tough it was to much bright.

Here's the outcome (original unit on top, LED fitted unit bellow):







I guess the blue color is because the LED's are white and the rubber grommets blue, maybe with Yellow would stay close to original, anyhow I like it.


And night time, again LED unit bellow:



Now the fixing job, bellow picture, the board with the bulb and LED connections, I removed the frequency counter module (above the VFO box) to better access this board:



The rubber receptacles for the lamps with original bulbs still in place:


Removing them it's just a matter of gently pulling the blue cable. Inserting the LED's it's also easy.

It was a fast job, just need to pay a little attention to not break any of the cables that connect on the board. Fitting the square LED's on the openings of the from panel was also easy.

Done!

Don't know if you noticed and I just noticed yesterday, one of the units doesn't have the decimal points on the frequency display, I hope it's just a wire...or soon I will have a degree on FT-707 fixing!

Have a nice day!

Monday, May 25, 2015

FT-707 repair (4) 10m B crystal

Here's a fix for those who own a FT-707 converted to CB and need to revert back but don't have the original crystals (should work also on the FT-902 and others sharing similar design).

I just request the price, from an Yaesu distributor, for the original 10m band crystals (A,B,C and D). Price quoted was 18 Eur each. Well that's not in my budged since I will need 8 crystals (4 on each set) and that would give the wonderfull sum of  144 Eur, I almost can buy a radio for that money! Guess will have to wait for someone to sell a complete board from a scavenged unit, I've seen premix oscillator boards selling, on online auction sites, for half the price and with all the crystals there.

Anyhow I'm not to be stooped by this, after some calculation I beted that an crystal around 14Mhz will do the overtone job....bought a 14.318 Mhz unit by a woping 0.28 Eur (that's 28 cents) and replaced the crystal, on the 10m D band place, just for testing since I don't have the oscillator coil on 10mB, and this was the result:



I works, spans reception from 28.436 to 29.004 Mhz with the oscillator at 42.972Mhz (14.324Mhz) ! Perfect! Adjusting the premix oscillator variable coil was needed since it was set to the previous CB frequency.

So, for the 10m B position, i'm sorted, now I need to find the other 10m band crystals,  I was looking before on old crystalized scanners crystals and also model control ones, so far no luck on the exact frequencies. There are some specialized sites selling the needed crystal's at around 10 Eur each, still think it's too much for a piece of rock...

If by any chance you know where to find the following crystal's (cheaply) just let me know, apreciate:

The red cross one is the 14.318Mhz one tested. These 14.318Mhz crystals are also found on computer motherboards if cheaper, than 0.28Eur, source is needed!


Have a nice week!


Monday, May 11, 2015

FT-707 repair (3)

Ok, LSB issue sorted.

 

This one was easy, decided to check first the mode switch at the entrace point and then going from there, I was thinking it could be aging of the LSB crystal since on a previous test while troubleshooting the other issues on the radio fiddling with the LSB trimmer cap hadn't notice any audio change.

 

 There was no need to look further, the problem was obvious, a broken connection providing the 8v for the LSB BFO oscilator (in fact to the crystal switching diode in the BFO oscillator) and that explains why changing the trimmer position had no effect on audio, it was not even oscillating:


Relevant schematic part:



Now on to set number 1, the external ACC and the dial bulb to fix....

Have a nice week!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

FT-707 repair (2)

Ok, FT-707 set number 2 has now 20 and 30m band working!



In fact it has 80 to 12m plus 2 cb 500Khz segments working now, missing two coils and two crystals to restore the 28 to 29Mhz range (10mA and 10mB).

This was a tricky problem, since I had 30m and not 20m correctly and the 20m premix was having low power so I suspecting mostly from the switching of the 20m premix filter and someting on the LPF for the 30/20m band because if I disconnect the LPF switching cable it would work on 30.

After following the switching line schematics for the LPF filtering:
 

..and local oscillator:

And bandpass filtering:


Eventually... I figure it out in the middle of this mess:



Previous screwdriver expert had incorrectly connected the band switching cabling for 30m, marked as red in the picture, it was incorrectly connected to the LO switching side of the rotating switch. Luckily was not injecting 8v directly to ground when you switched the 30m band..


 ....since the +8v was missing on the band selector also.
 
 By the way, the text notation for "a" and "b" switch's assembly are reversed from the main schematic, tough the schematic is correct in terms of connections.

I would not have been impossible to figure the problem without the manuals, thank you Yaesu!

Now I have to figure it out what's wrong with LSB, I have some distortion and low audio, since the chain is basically the same as USB I suspect one of the two oscillators in line, the LSB and the "whith" one.

More fun in the future...

Have a nice week!

Sunday, May 03, 2015

FT-707 repair (1)

This is part one since it's not finished yet.

Last week I bought not one but two Yaesu FT-707, a full line and another one for spares but working...as stated, aligned by one of the best radio technicians around....

Here it is, part of the set:
Missing in the picture the second radio and the antenna tuner.

Ok, so after power on here's the list of faults by set, reception only, since I didn't TX yet:

Set 1:
-No VFO display ligh
-No complete external VFO connectivity, tough power is there.

Set 2:-
- No 20m
- No 30m
- CB band's on 10A,B,C and D

Obviously unit 1 will be, hopefully, quickly fixed so I started looking on unit 2:

* The problem with 20 and 30m band is the display showing of around 91 Mhz, a common issue on this radios, normally a bad contact on the selector but not on this one.

Let's look on the premix unit, those 11 coils, red is 30m and blue 20m:



After connecting the scope and not getting the overtone frequency, only the fundamental... I started to suspect on fault components at the tank part, that was when I notice that the coils were not the original of the radio...
I removed the coils and placed a "work around" on the 20m one just ot check if I got the overtone:


Basically 10 turn on an T37-6 (the yellow coil in the picture) will resonate on around 28Mhz with 100pf, see top black circle on the schematic bellow, 28.487 Mhz is the premix for the 20m band.  It did resonate with my workaround, good, the coil that I removed would never work.
I didn't tested the resonance, yet, of the removed coils but I suspect that they were placed by the very good technician that take care of the radio just because they were similar, one of then even had the parallel cap in place... oh well, any "butcher" can get a soldering iron!

This is the general idea of the workings of the premix:






And here the two problematic oscillators:



The coils are branded Mitsumi (628 or 608 not sure now) and from what I searched they are a bit of unobtainable... so what to do? Easy, get the two coils from the 10m A and 10m B band since the radio was converted to CB and I don't give a s$%  about. It will work until I can get two new ones along with proper 10m band cristals.

Continuing the saga.
I got after the bandpass filter for the premix a good 30m band LO signal but not a good one for the 20m band, so after some testing I have to check again the switching of the 20m band LO signal bandpass filter.

Regarding the 30m band I was listening to the marker generator but not to air signals in the end of this troubleshoting that took me almost 2 days I got a glimpse of the issue, If I bypass the first bandpass filter I can listen to 30m band so it means either the relay of the input is not operative (the relay or the control lines) or the band pass filter is open or not switching. Some hope!

The 30m band second filter from antenna (in red):

Here's the problematic LO for the 20m band:


 More fun for the next few days...

Have a nice week!




Saturday, April 18, 2015

Trevo VFO

Continuing the work on the "Trevo" transceiver.

I am now focused on the VFO and transceiver control

add: Here's a new iteraction of the software now with s-meter:



The previous release:

 

Here's the software/hardware status:

* Implemented:


Frequency change by rotary encoder
Frequency change by CAT
Mode change by push button
Mode change by CAT
If shift control
Power supply voltage metering

* To do:

Change BFO and VFO of the frequency generator
S meter measure
Bandpass filter relay control
Mode relay control
Change band
Save settings
Proportional encoder speed change

Here's a simple working:

video


Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Arduino day!


Altough not a big fan of the digital and microcontroller part of the electronics world, I tried a few projects.

Last Saturday (28 March) was Arduino day so decided to post here some of the projects built with this little and "powerful" board.

1. Most important project so far is the "Trevo" transceiver VFO and control:

...a work in progress. The pot is for IF shift control, waiting for some patience to program the rest of the code, right now I can control the frequency by CAT and by the rotary encoder under the red knob. In the end will use the big Yaesu one that I got this week.

2. Testing of temperature, pressure an humidity sensors for a weather station or similar, using a Nokia LCD:

...it's the only "true" Arduino board I have, on other projects I'm using clones


3. The "Park Air Electronics" airband receiver external PLL controller (finished):


....maybe more to come.

Have a nice week!