Monday, February 8, 2010

My FT817 Died

This is really very strange how this happened. KQ4VY was helping me set up HRD and DM780 on my FT817. My battery was running low and it was hard to read the display with battery power so decided to listen to the waterfall on PSK31 and tried to connect to external power. The FT817 won't power up - dead as a doornail. Then we tried to power up his FT817 with the same power supply and that was dead a s door nail. We searched for another reliable power source for the rig and tried to use the E-DC-6 12 volt charger and no luck. In fact, it blew the fuse in the E-DC-6 charger. The following is the letter I wrote to Yaesu:

From: Ariel Jacala (
Type: Tech Support

I am writing concerning with what I believe to be a glaring weakness in the
FT817 circuitry. Two days ago, while trying to operate on PSK31 with 2.5
Watts, I tried to supply external power using an Alinco metered switching
power supply DM-330MV. The power supply was reading a nominal and stable
voltage of 13.8V

On page 2 of the FT817 manual it indicates that this radio should be able to
function at this voltage:

Supply Voltage: Normal: 13.8 VDC ± 15 %, Negative Ground
Operating: 8.0-16.0 V, Negative Ground
FBA-28 (w/8 “AA” Alkaline Cells): 12.0 V
FNB-85 (Ni-MH Battery Pack): 9.6 V

We turned off the radio first before hooking up the lead from the power
supply. We found that the radio will not power up at all.

Is this a weakness in the FT817 circuit? One may be too quick to fault the
power supply. I don’t think I did anything which is not prudent amateur
radio practice (always operate at low power, stable voltage) and all we
tried to do in this instance is to power up the radio with the external
power supply connected. We were extremely careful that we had the right
polarity (page 9 on the manual). Furthermore, I was working under the
supervision of an experienced operator KQ4VY

We have scoured the internet forums QRZ, Yahoo FT817 Group, and Eham for
similar pattern and we ran into frequent occurrences of inability to power
up on FT817s for no apparent reason.

My fellow FT817 enthusiasts and I would appreciate it if you can rectify
this weakness in the FT817ND in the course of your repair. I had been
considering the purchase of an FT897D for higher power portable work and now
I have my doubts.

I am packing and sending my Yaesu FT817 tomorrow for shipment to the address
on your website.


Ariel Jacala KJ4REL

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