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FT-101EE needs help

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

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  1. G3YRO

    G3YRO Ham Member QRZ Page

    The most important thing to remember on these rigs is that you shouldn't transmit full power carrier for more than a couple of seconds at a time, if you want the PA Valves to last. (do that and they will last 30+ years)

    So when carrying out alignment on Transmit, always monitor the PA Current (Ic), and keep re-adjustinging the Carrier control to keep the current below 150mA. Also do each Transmit peak in short 2-3 second bursts.

    Stand the rig upright on its left hand side (on its feet), and remove the bottom plate. (no need to remove the Tx screening panel unnderneath).

    Connect a Dummy Load
    Leave the Mode switch in the Tune position.
    Meter in the PA Current (Ic) position)
    PA Load control at 0.
    PA Tune control in the middle of the marked position for that band.

    To gain access to SOME of the trimmers, you may need to just remove a couple of the case screws and pry up the case that overlaps the bottom, near the front of the rig. (with a flat screwdriver)

    1. Starting on 80m, go to the middle of the band. Peak the Pre-selector on the Calibrator signal, and then leave it there.
    2. Peak the Band Crystal trimmer for that band for max S Meter reading. Then go to Transmit (keeping the PA Current below 150mA) and peak that Crystal trimmer for max PA current.(this is because you can get a more accurate peak on Transmit)
    3. On Receive, peak the RF Stage and Mixer Trimmers for maximum S Meter reading.
    4. Go to Transmit, peak the Grid Tuning trimmer for maximum PA current. Then adjust the PA Tune control for a Dip (minimum PA Current). Then re-peak the Grid trimmer (it may have changed slightly).
    5.Go to Transmit, peak the Mixer Trimmer for maximum PA Current.
    6. Repeat all of the above for 40m, 20m, 15m and 160m bands.
    7. Go to 10m, and peak EACH of the 4 band segment crystals on Receive, then Transmit. (as in Step 2 above) Do the same for the 11m Band Crystal.
    8. There is NO Grid Tuning trimmer for 10m or 11m, so the procedure is slightly different.
    9. Now go to the middle of 10M Band 2 (28.7MHz), on Receive, adjust the Pre-Selector for max S Meter Reading.
    10. Go to Transmit and adjust the Preselector for Max PA Current.
    11.Again on Transmit, adjust the 10m Mixer trimmer for max PA Current.
    12. On Receive, adjust the RF Stage trimmer for 10m for max S Meter reading.
    (note that 11m just uses the same settings as for 10m, so there's no Mixer or RF Trimmers)

    Once you've done all that, see how the S Meter readings are on each band, and also how it is on Transmit.

    Roger G3YRO
  2. KG5TKF

    KG5TKF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks Roger. It might take me a couple of days to get a chance to realign it... kids ... wife...deer season. That is correct I did adjust the preselector each and every time as well as adjust he calibrator tone to be sure I was peaked on every 100KHz increment. I'm glad it sounds like it is functional and hopefully just needing a good alignment to get it back in order. I'll print out your steps and see if I can follow along. They look straight forward but I always manage to find a way to misinterpret most anything. I'll post back how it's going. Very appreciate from all the help so far and I'm very excited about getting this rig back on the air.
  3. HAMHOCK75

    HAMHOCK75 QRZ Member

    When I bought my 101, I noticed that the pre-selector would peak on the wrong band too. It would peak below or just above 11M when on bands 10C/D. Turned out someone had substituted heterodyne crystals to cover 26.5-27.0 and 27.5-28MHz in those positions. The pre-selector was right. Do you have any means to check the frequency of the heterodyne oscillator? I used a Tektronix 2235 oscilloscope which has a frequency counter.
  4. G3YRO

    G3YRO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well if you suspect it's been altered so it's not receiving on the correct bands, the simple way is EITHER to look at the frequencies marked on each Het Osc Crystals (the Handbook lists the correct crystal frequencies for each band) . . .

    OR use another transmitter (or signal generator) to supply a signal to see what frequency it's receiving on.

    Roger G3YRO
  5. HAMHOCK75

    HAMHOCK75 QRZ Member

    Another method is to listen with a separate receiver for the heterodyne oscillator frequency. The labelled frequency on the crystal can might be correct but beware that these are usually overtone crystals. They can oscillate on sub-harmonics of the labelled frequency.
  6. KG5TKF

    KG5TKF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    OK fellas... FINALLY! managed to find some time yesterday to attempt the alignment. It took me a little while to figure out your steps Roger (not necessarily because they aren't clear but because I'm not all that familiar with a few of the references you used and had to compare your steps with the manuals until I finally got it... peat and repeat until it finally sank in). I made it thru the alignment process but wonder if I should do it again now? So basically because I was a little worried about frying my values I did all of my alignment with a self imposed IC limit of exactly 100mA. I'm not sure if using that low of power would impact the alignment results or not or if I should have used at least 150mA as you recommended Roger? I'm attaching my spreadsheet and you will see two tabs of interest. One is 11-11-19 Tuneup and basically records the S-Meter deflection and power out at 100mA IC for mid-band where the tune up was performed. The second new tab is the 11-11-18 xmt-rcv tst and it records the S-Meter and power out for entire band in 100km increments. I'm happy to report that I do have power out in all bands now with the exception of 11 meters. Compared to my original test results there were a few changes on the 10m bands where power out was a bit lower than before for some reason but for rest of the bands I'm mostly pleased. Take a look and let me know what you guys think? Also I couldn't resist plugging it onto a wire dipole and attempting a couple of CQ's in spite of the lousy rainy weather last night... happy to report two contacts from my home base in Tx... one in NY and one in MA.

    Attached Files:

  7. HAMHOCK75

    HAMHOCK75 QRZ Member

    The carrier control only adjusts the amplitude of the 3,179.3 KHz AM/CW crystal oscillator output to the first transmit mixer where it combines with the VFO to create 5,520 to 6,020 KHz. This is true in all bands. The 5,520 to 6,020 KHz goes to the second transmit mixer where it mixes with the output of a crystal oscillator to create the actual output frequency. For example, the 5,520 to 6,020 KHz is subtracted from the 11M crystal ( 33.020 MHz ) to create 27.000 to 27.500 MHz.

    Did you adjust the 33.02 MHz crystal for peak output? Some set it for exactly 33.02 MHz with a counter but the exact frequency often does not coincide with the maximum amplitude. Set it for max output. I use a scope to do that and because the scope has a counter, I can see if the crystal frequency is correct.
  8. G3YRO

    G3YRO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Glad there's an improvement generally.

    As Hamhock just posted, you adjust each of the Band Crystal trimmers for max output, and NOT for the exact frequency (but I presume you did that, as per my instructions)

    Regarding 11m, does it work on Receive OK? (ie can you hear the calibrator signal, and at a similar strength to on 10m) If not, is the 11m crystal actually there?

    What I don't understand is why you reported MORE output on the higher bands BEFORE the latest tune-up !

    The actual level of PA current when adjusting the trimmers for maximum drive on Tx doesn't matter at all . . . the lower you can keep it, the better (as far as the PA valves are concerned).

    With good PA and Driver valves, the maximum output (when properly tuned & loaded, into a dummy load) on any band will be about 130 watts. (your meter is wrong if it's reading higher !)

    But you ought to be able to get that on ALL bands except 10m (& 11m), where it will be about 120 watts.

    Roger G3YRO

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