From G4PZK - 26 January 2000
It's been a while since I reported in and I've not been very active on HF
mobile but I use 2m / 70cm mobile nearly every day.... except tonight!
On the way home the 2m/70cm PA suddenly gave up the ghost. This fault has
been reported a lot on various other sites and I thought I'd escaped. But
no, it's got me. Back to the shop tomorrow morning. I'll let you know how
long it takes to get fixed. The last time they were very quick and the
service was great so fingers crossed.
73, Cliff, G4PZK
From G4PZK - 26 May 1999
A few days later...
My FT100 has been returned, repaired! A resistor in the predriver circuit was replaced and the predriver repaired. I understand that some modifications were carried out to the circuit. Anyway I have tested the unit out (basic test in the car only) and all seems ok.
I've reinstalled the unit in the car and will report any further problems.
A rapid turnaround from the shop was most appreciated.
From G4PZK - 22 May 1999
The FT-100 blew up on Thursday. I was calling my father on 6m FM and all seemed well. I checked again and all power had gone. 2m and 70cm work fine but all hf and 6m output is down to 1Watt.
The radio is back at the shop for 'repair'. It's not even a month old yet!!!
Hmmmm... what do I think about it all? Not much.
It was great while it lasted.
From G4PZK - 16 May 1999
I've had the FT100 in the car for a week now. I've never heard and worked so much dx! OK, so conditions have been very good, but I listened to two VKs chatting with a G all the way from home to the office (40 miles). The VKs were 20 over 9 the whole way. The ATAS has performed flawlessly on all bands I've tried. On Friday night late I worked Aruba from the car, I've heard it before but the amzing thing is I beat the pile up with 100W mobile. He gave me 59 so there's hope working mobile.
The ATAS usually tunes in a relatively short time, much better than I expected. Compared to a whip antenna and a separate ATU (I have an SGC Smartuner tuning a dipole in the garden now) the ATAS is many dB better.
I decided to remove the 2M linear from the car as 50W is probably sufficient and it avoids all the plumbing and loss of duplexers. My only problems at the moment have been that the 2M FM frequency is 1kHz low. When I adjusted it the 70cm frequency went 2kHz high, so there's some adjustment problem there. It was fine on sideband by the way.
From G4PZK - 15 May 1999
I've had the radio in the car for a week now. Conditions have been very good on 20/15/10 and I've never worked so much dx! I worked places I hadn't heard before from the car. The radio has been fine with no problems. My only worry is the ATAS-100 survival in the (wet) British weather.
From G4PZK - 09 May 1999
I've now installed the FT100 and ATAS in the car. It is ESSENTIAL to get a good RF and DC ground at the antenna. I wasted two hours before finding that my hatch mount had some metal to metal joints reading 30R or more. The ATAS does not like this at all. I still occasionally get a no tune situation which is overcome by manually going past and then retuning. All bands match fine business.
I also added a boom mic. I had to build a boom mic adapter into a diecast box with two 8 pin connectors and then make up a 6 pin RJ45 style to 8pin jack connector lead. For anyone that's interested the PTT on the radio works by connecting 27k from SW1 to 0V. The mic circuit needs the supplied 9V supply to bias the boom electret via a suitable circuit. I reversed engineered the supplied microphone circuit and copied it onto a circuit board in the diecast box. It works very well with excellent quality reports and no obvious rf problems at this stage.
The S meter level was rather mean so I increased the setting in the hidden menus and it now reads rather better.
On 2m FM I was measured as 1kHz off frequency. I haven't checked this with my frequency counter. I again adjusted this in the hidden menus and all was fine... except 70cm was then 2kHz off channel! I put the menu setting back to the original position and 70cm is now exact but 2m is wrong. More investigation needed here.
General comments are still very good. I've had quite a few QSOs on most bands. Certainly 20, 15 and 10 are wonderful. The ATAS is definitely not that efficient on 40m which isn't surprising.
What a busy weekend.
From G4PZK - 05 May 1999
Well the ATAS-100 and the separation kit finally arrived and I've installed it all in my car. Only the two duplexers to bypass the Mirage 160W linear for 70cm and the boom microphone need to be added. Initial tests have been very good. I worked my father (10 miles away) on 2m and 6m and also used the ATAS on all bands 20m to 6m. 20m yielded SM7LZQ although condx caused him to fade away to nothing after a while (the US faded up as SM faded down). My only problem at the moment has been trying to load the ATAS on 40m. The radio is innocent, it's my antenna mount that needs rebonding to ground that is the culprit.
My only other comment is I really like the noise blanker - it kills ignition noise stone dead.
I'll try and report back after a week of use. This weekend should see all the installation work completed.
From G4PZK - 28 April 1999
I promised an update and here it is. I took the radio back at 9:30am and by 9:40 had a new one. They were very apologetic (of course) and no harm done. We both decided to test the new radio before leaving and they also asked if I minded testing the old one. The people were geniunely surprised with the failure I guess. Anyway the new one worked so I went to the salt mine. This is the first time I've had to test it (in the shack). I've played about for 90 minutes and - I REALLY LIKE IT! It is MUCH easier to use than the 706MK1 I've got and I can't wait to get the separation kit (55 UKP!) to fix it in the car. We'll do a deal over the kit I'm sure.
The radio does not measure up to my IC756 on 40m but it's not bad. All the features seem there including separate mic gain for FM and SSB. The display ICONS help a lot after you get use to them. Another nice touch is to automatically lock the main tuning dial on FM and only enable the left hand 'click' control for channel changing (12.5kHz in the UK) Automatic repeater shift is great too.
I am looking forward to the ATAS-100 when it arrives as I want to get this radio on 40/20/15/10 mobile. Pity about 80m but life's a compromise I guess.
If you are thinking about an IC706MkIIG mobile then check this out as well - and good luck. I suppose it's the old performance versus ease of use problem.
From G4PZK - 26 April 1999
Just picked mine up today after scanning the web and visiting a local emporium on Saturday. This being Britain they threw me and the family out spot on 5pm so not enough time to decide.
I visited another local emporium this afternoon. They were very helpful and let me play with an FT-100 for an hour or so after which I decided to buy one. I was very impressed with the rig in the shop, bear in mind that I've had an IC706 in the car for two and a half years.
To cut the story short in the shop they told me that all their allocation had been sent back to Yaesu as they had arrived with 1800Hz tonebursts, ok for you US fellas but nuts for us in the UK. They were all changed to 1750Hz and the unit I tested was 100% on the local 2m repeater.
So I paid out the money, over 1,000 UK Pounds here approx $1,600 US and took the new radio home. I plugged it in and lo it's unservicable. No audio whatsoever except a constant beep on 10MHz. Signal strength meter is displaying garbage and frequency indication flashing on most bands. I tried the reset [HOME] and [FUNC} pressed and then power turned on and no difference.
Conclusion - Yaesu QA sucks badly! The shop didn't test them all when they came back. I'll be at the shop at 9am tomorrow on the way to work and I'll update you. At the moment the IC706IIG is looking mighty interesting.
73 de Cliff, G4PZK