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ft-450 and mfj auto tuners 929 and 993b not working as described

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by N5AD, Jul 28, 2011.

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  1. N5AD

    N5AD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Alright, I am about to pull my hair out now. Surely someone has experienced this and knows the fix. Here goes, bear with me a bit. I have a rather new yaesu ft-450, purchased at the end of 2010 new from Gigaparts. It has the latest firmware revision already in it. I also purchased a MFJ 929 auto tuner and interface cable from MFJ. Now as advertised, when setup, and plugged in, I press the 'tune' button on the radio and since the tuner is visible to the rig, the rig transmits a low power signal in cw in order for the tuner to begin it's algorithms and find a nice match. Problem is, the tuner never does anything, and the rig transmits continuously and never comes out of the transmit mode unless I manually interrupt it. At this point, the tuner is no longer responsive to any key pressed on the tuner with the exception of the power button. The rig no longer recognizes the tuner unless the tuner is power cycled. Now the tuner works fine, if I manually change mode to cw and key down, the tuner will tune up in a jiffy. Now, I went to MFJ with this problem, it resulted in a new 929 being sent to me. The issue still existed, so in their wisdom, they said it must be the cable, they then sent a new cable, and the situation was not resolved. Now during all of this testing, I used two different transceivers, and the issue existed with both of them. So, MFJ suggested a different model of tuner, and sent me the 993b as a no cost upgrade to the 929, and they sent the cable along at no extra charge as well($50). Now I cannot fault MFJ's customer service, they have been top notch. However, the issue as it stands tonight is this: The documentation for the 993b is the same as the 992 regarding the radio's menu setting for tuner interface to 'ext tuner'. However, ext tuner does not work but 'atas' will, but only on 40m, 20m, 17m and 15m. The radio does not recognize a tuner is interfaced on the other bands. BUT..... when the tune key is pressed on the radio, it will complete a tune cycle just fine on those bands mentioned. Now, you may suspect that there is an issue with both ft-450's but they work just fine with the ldg yt-450 auto tuner made for this rig. This has been going on(with mfj tech) for about 2 months now and I am at a brick wall and do not know what to do about resolving this issue short of selling the mfj and getting a ldg(which I don't want because there is no visual indicators on this model). So, anyone got any ideas?\
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't have any bright ideas, other than to use matched antennas and get rid of the tuners.:)

    The tuner in my Ten Tec (which is actually made by LDG, but it's built into the rig) does a great job if I need it, but I almost never need it.
  3. WV6U

    WV6U Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a MFJ-993B working with my FT-950. I don't use the radio<->tuner interface cable. Did you try the direct method? That is, set the tuner to auto tune mode, set radio to CW, set RF power to 10W and key the mic. Also, are you sure the antenna cables in plugged to the right port? I always begin troubleshooting on Layer-1 :)
  4. N5AD

    N5AD Ham Member QRZ Page

    yes on all counts. but, the direct method defeats the purpose of the tune button doesn't it? the purpose for these two tuners was to use the features that they advertised.
  5. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Is there a menu setting in the FT 450 that needs to be changed before it is able to operate an "external" antenna tuner ?

    In many cases you actually have to go into the rig menu system to tell it what you need the "TUNE" button to actually do. The button doesn't always work automatically and in fact it may actually be turned "OFF" in the menu system.

    Check the rigs user manual and look for anything related to using your rig with external antenna tuners. Come back and let us know how you made out.
  6. W5TTW

    W5TTW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hold down the F button to bring-up the menu. Turn the DSP/SEL knob until you see "TUNER." Push the DSP/SEL knob to cycle through the tuner options.
  7. WV6U

    WV6U Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Did you set Menu item (TUNER/ATAS) to EXT ATU, as specified in the MFJ-5124Y manual?
  8. N5AD

    N5AD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I covered that in the original post, yes, the menu was accessed and the external tuner was activated.

    in fact it may actually be turned "OFF" in the menu system.

    Check the rigs user manual and look for anything related to using your rig with external antenna tuners. Come back and let us know how you made out.[/QUOTE]
  9. N5AD

    N5AD Ham Member QRZ Page

    yes I did, it was covered in the original post as well.
  10. N5AD

    N5AD Ham Member QRZ Page

    see above replies
  11. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Perhaps it's just not compatible to work with the tune button on the rig. If it's giving you that much trouble just dump the MFJ and try an LDG brand.
  12. AE4B

    AE4B Ham Member QRZ Page

    yaesu ft-450 and mfj-929 hookup

    i have the same setup that you run. i dont use a interface cable. go to page 16 of the ft-450 operations manual and follow the directions to assign the voice/cs switch to "swr".position. this gives a 10w cw carrier to the mfj-929 for tuning. yaesu has a users group devoted to the yaesu-ft-450 that might interest you.
  13. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    All those menus and computerized radios and tuners are jusst not worth all the hassle and problems. I will keep my TS520 and manual tuner until I go into the ground. :D
    At least I know they work every time.
  14. N5AD

    N5AD Ham Member QRZ Page

    alright, I was beginning to think that no one actually read the post, or actually knew about the products I mentioned, this is a work around that I can live with, many thanks. It is still not operating as advertised, but I tried this method, and it works and I can live with it. One button operation same as tuner button. You are da'man.
  15. AE5ZD

    AE5ZD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was about to suggest this, but AE4B beat me to it. :p

    On occasion though, the AT will get to a semi-low SWR (1.3, 1.5) but during SSB it may try to autotune if it notices a peak above my preset SWR value. (dang wind)

    Enjoy the opportunities a nice auto-transmatch gives you when things work right. :)

    Out of curiosity, why did you go MFJ from the LDG tuner?
  16. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sell it and buy a Kenwood TS480. That way you can assign the programmable function key to CW Tune so all you have to do is press it and it'll put out a CW carrier to wake up your ATU.
  17. N5AD

    N5AD Ham Member QRZ Page

    well, I liked the digital meter of the 929, and the ldg tuner (yt450) only has a single status led on the panel, don't like the 'mystery box' type of tuner. can't change values, etc. However, I am disappointed that the mfj line of tuners won't do 6m, thankfully, I have a resonant 6m antenna that I use anyway.
  18. N5AD

    N5AD Ham Member QRZ Page

    original poster

    turns out you can do the same thing with the ft-450, just read the earlier post.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
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