FT-101EE needs help

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by KG5TKF, Oct 9, 2018.

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  1. KG5TKF

    KG5TKF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello all. Firstly please be patient I'm learning and may appear dense at times. I have a technical background but am rusty on my component level and radio system trouble shooting but I'll try and catch up fast. Ok here we go.

    I have a used FT-101EE that I have no idea of its history. Unit is in good physical condition. So far I have powered up and have heard some voices on the receiver but haven't transmitted onto the air yet.

    I have it connected to a dummy load with a radio shack pwr/vswr meter inline. Initially I thought there wasn't any power out at all but I found out that isn't exactly true so I'll list my observations so far below and hopefully some of you guys like G3YRO or others might be so gracious as to offer some direction or suggestion:

    1) ALC meter reading is pegged ALWAYS and ALC control adjustment (VR2) doesn't seem to have any effect on ALC meter reading at all.

    2) 10A,10B, 10C, 10D bands PO = 100+watts, IC = 350-500mA. Carrier adjust has immediate impact on IC when adjusted in tuning procedure.

    3) 11m band PO = ZERO, IC steady at 60mA regardless of carrier adjust. *not concerned probably not equipped for 11m.

    4) 15m, 20m band PO = <1watt, IC = 80mA max, Carrier adjust has little impact on IC

    5) 40m, 80m band PO = 150watt, IC = 410mA, Carrier adjust has immediate impact on IC when adjusted in tuning procedure.

    6) 160m band PO = ZERO, IC steady at 60mA regardless of carrier adjust.

    1) When I set tuning control to the 100Khz point on dial nearest the desired frequency and tune the preselector for "Maximum" "S" meter deflection I don't see any deflection at all on the meter, no noticeable change no matter how I tune.

    2) Calibrator doesn't appear to work? When I set to either 100Khz or 25Khz I cannot get any tone no matter how I adjust tune knob.
  2. WB7OXP

    WB7OXP Ham Member Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    i am sure the smart guys will chime in here pretty quick.

    have you deoxited the heck out of EVERYTHING, every connector, switch, etc? i had a fussy 101, and about 2 cans of deoxit later it was pretty darn happy. there are also some capacitors that are known trouble spots, there are "re cap" kits, seems like that is the plan a- right after deoxit
  3. KG5TKF

    KG5TKF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I just picked up a can of contact cleaner and was wondering if that would be the best thing for cleaning the mode switch contacts and the change over relay (if I can identify that component I'm assuming it is the relay that isn't in the HV cage i think?). In my past life I used a lot of isopropyl alcohol to clean electronics. I'm not sure if contact cleaner is better to use than the alcohol? I don't disagree that caps go bad over time but wanted to try as many non-intrusive remedies as possible before i go to desoldering. I did remove the circuit boards that were blocking my way to the power switch that I had to replace... before in reinstalled i used a pencil eraser on all the circuit board contacts and made them nice and clean but didn't see any change from that.
  4. WB7OXP

    WB7OXP Ham Member Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    there is some "magic in a can" called deoxit, im sure its just some common stuff in a can, but it seems to work

    and as wpa says below a "full exercise program" for all switches, etc.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  5. AA5CT

    AA5CT Ham Member QRZ Page

    My F-101EE sat for quite awhile and the switch contacts oxidizing made the rig pretty much dead on receive ... esp. the bandswitch, IIRC. Working it back and forth brought it back though. Have not used anything in the way of spray cleaners or lubes.

    Even now and then when I operate the rig the switches need exercising.

    About 160 - I had no 'rock' in the radio for that band when I received it. I don't think they shipped with one! That's in part why the EE stood for "Extreme Economy".

    I did manage to find a 160 rock, and, the rig will now operate on that band.
  6. G3YRO

    G3YRO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Firstly,you won't be able to peak the S Meter on receive unless you have a signal to peak it on ! When they talk in the Handbook about peaking it , they mean using the Crystal Calibrator as a signal while you adjust the Preselector.

    You say the calibrator isn't working - you really need to fix this first, as you need it to assess if the Receiver is working properly on the various bands . . . that will then give a clue as to your low power on Transmit.

    Try unplugging the board (the one bolted to the PA cage) and wiping the connections with switch cleaner, and plugging it in again. Also squirt switch cleaner in the back of the Calibrator switch while clicking it up and down.

    Does the receiver work OK on 160m? (and you are going right up to the top end of the dial, right? Ie when it reads 800 in red, that's the bottom of 160m, so you'll get no power unless you're above that)

    The ALC Meter should read full scale . . . does the ALC pot not allow you to set it to exactly full scale? (but anyway, you really never need to look at the ALC on this rig, as you can't really overdrive the PA, so don't worry about this)

    Roger G3YRO
    WB7OXP likes this.
  7. KG5TKF

    KG5TKF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Working on the calibrator. I removed the board and cleaned it thoroughly as well as the contacts. Also squirted the switch while operating it continuously. Also removed, disassembled the relay and gave it a good look and a shot of contact cleaner, it "looked" great. Reassembled. Also while I had the bottom off to get at the switch better i sprayed the mode switch (at least all the contacts I could get at in this state).

    Powered up, let warm for at least 30mins because i was busy. And unfortunately I didn't see anything at all change. Can't hear any calibration tones at all. On 160m I tested for power with 1.830 (830 on dial). 160 doesn't appear to do anything at all. On 160m i can't see any change to the 60mA IC with any adjustment to carrier, preselector, or plate or load... just looks dead on that band. The 15 & 20m were still same as before.

    Dayton - KG5TKF
  8. KG5TKF

    KG5TKF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Slight update. I replaced the crystal on the 160m (had a junk FT-100 that doesn't hardly have anything but it had the crystals!) I don't think these things are polarity sensitive? At any rate I am now getting:

    6) 160m band PO = 80watts, IC = 250mA with carrier adjust full on.

    Tried reseating the 20m crystal and then actually replaced it too but there was no change on either 20m or 15m band. Both are still .5watt.
  9. HAMHOCK75

    HAMHOCK75 QRZ Member

    Since you are stateside, I would warn that many of these rigs were sold to CB'ers. I ended up with one of those. The first thing I would examine is if it has an AM crystal filter installed or if you can listen to AM stations ( like the foreign stations on 40M ). If you can, it was probably a CB rig. CB'ers will torture these rigs in ways you cannot imagine. Here is a brief list of what I found in mine.

    1. Several of the crystals for the amateur bands had been replaced by CB crystals not necessarily for US CB band but foreign CB bands as well. Those CB'ers were probably doing DX back in the day. The EE normally comes with a crystal for 11M installed.
    2. Parts had been removed and not replaced.
    3. Parts had been removed and soldered back in the wrong places
    4. The pre-selector slugs had been really messed up possibly to get the scale to match all those new CB crystals.
    5. The white cloth insulated wires from the bandswitch to the pi network coil were burnt to a crisp.
    In general,

    1. RL1 controls almost the whole rig. I had to replace mine with an American made part. It is easy to remove the plating from the contacts if the cleaning is not done right. If the plating is removed, it will keep failing regularly.
    2. Don't run plate currents that high. It's not in the instruction manual but it is in the service manual on page 2-7. The warning is "you will risk those pesky pink tickets, or official observer cards"
      1. Don't exceed 140 mA between 1820 and 1900 KHz or the spurious will be out of spec.
      2. Don't exceed 330 mA on 80, 40, 20, and 15M.
      3. Don't exceed 280 mA on 10M.
    I saw my spectrum on 10M once at 330 mA. It was ugly. IM3 distortion will make a SSB signal wider than an AM signal.

    [edit] If the final tubes are not Japanese, C125 will usually need to be reduced to 10 pF or the finals cannot be neutralized.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
    K9ASE likes this.
  10. KG5TKF

    KG5TKF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This set came from a local silent key I don't know that he used it for CB'ing... I would expect he was using it for Ham bands. He has been gone for a couple of years and his son finally put a pile of left overs up for sale and I bought the lot. The set doesn't appear to have been abused or hacked on... no obvious signs I can see. Because it appears in such great shape I really want to get it back to 100% and use it. As to the high IC I reported that was following the instruction manual with the carrier control cranked full on. I did not key it more than a few seconds and discounted the text in the book that says "no more than 10 seconds". I would not ordinarily run anything at maximum but I wanted to follow procedure as close as possible within reason and record the results. I'm still stumped on no power out on 15m and 20m and no calibration signal to sync off from on receive.

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