New (to me) Yaesu

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by WK4K, May 26, 2021.

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  1. WK4K

    WK4K Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm not sure if this counts as a boat anchor, but it is older and uses tubes so here goes:

    Last week my wife was checking local For Sale listings and found someone selling an FT101E, FL2100B, Shure 444, and a bag of cables and switches that she had got from an estate for $650. I bought them of course, I had wanted to eventually acquire an FT101, I just didn't expect to find one so soon. I already had an FL2100B, but there's no harm in having two of them. Over the weekend I downloaded the manual and played with the radio a bit, and eventually made a couple of contacts. I only tuned up on 20m and 40m, but it's putting out a solid 120-130w on those bands.

    As this is a still a very new radio to me I have some questions:
    Are there any components (capacitors, etc.) that should be replaced as a matter of course?
    What are the best resources for information on these rigs?
    One thing I notice is that on 40m the peak audio and power out occurs with the preselector in the 20m range instead of the 40m range, does this suggest an alignment issue on that band? All of the other bands seem to match the preselector range label.

    The FL2100B has the original inspector tag on the power cord and is wired for 110v. I have turned it on but have not tried to tune it up yet. The plate voltage reading was 1800v which seems low, I get 2400v with my other one which is wired for 220v. Should I rewire this amplifier for 220v also?

    Overall I like the radio a lot, and am finding it very enjoyable to use.

    ft101-1.jpg ft101-2.jpg
    N3RYB and N2EY like this.
  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Very cool!! I've wanted to source a pristine FT-101e for a long time - so I'm jealous :D:D

    N2EY likes this.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Looks in great shape, and $650 for both with accessories is a good deal.

  4. K8CCA

    K8CCA Ham Member QRZ Page

    very nice! I have an FT-101EX that I have had for many years and it just keeps being my favorite radio, although my recently obtained FT-901DM is a really close second! I am not sure what it is, but to me the FT-101 is just the perfect Ham Radio. Enjoy the new toys!
  5. K8CCA

    K8CCA Ham Member QRZ Page

    On your FT-2100B, I just woke up a FT-2100F and just used snap caps to replace the main filter caps. It was not to hard of a job.
    Here are a few pics.

    The old caps, the new ones are much smaller, and Yaesu made it easy by marking the polarity.

    and another board in the Amp
    A view from the top, with the filter cap boards removed.

    All in all, not a bad job and not to expensive. I got the caps from

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  6. W1NB

    W1NB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nice snag. If you like boat anchors you’ll have fun with it. I’ve owned and worked on multiple 101s over the last 45 years.

    To answer your question:

    1) replacing caps- short answer is, it depends. The quality of components that went into that radio were very high. Most, if not all, caps should still be good. That’s if the radio has been properly operated and kept ventilated during operation. Some operators ran them on AM with full output power, which you don’t want to do, or ran them in poorly ventilated areas causing them to generate excessive internal temps. The electrolytics in the HV, 300V and LV supplies should be fine but it won’t hurt to pull the regulator board and inspect the low voltage caps. I also suggest pulling the other cards and inspecting the mid brown or green colored bypass caps. Look for signs of cracking along the top edge of the caps. They often crack and fail if the radio has been overheated a lot.

    2) resources- there are many on line, they are a popular radio and there are still thousands in operation today. I recommend starting with the Fox Tango site. It has a wealth of information including a summary of board versions.
    3) 40 meter preselector setting- as long as you are seeing the transmit power and receive strength peak in the same location, strength on both is normal, I would not worry about it. I only advise performing the alignment process if performance is substantively lower than usual.

    4) FL-2100B- like most amps they operate more efficiently at 240V but I would not expect to see that much reduction in B+ at rest. Performance with 120V usually suffers a bit under load. The lower B+ may be in the metering or it could be a sign of degrading filter capacitors.
    N3RYB likes this.
  7. WK4K

    WK4K Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks everyone, I appreciate the answers and the pictures! I will have a look at the capacitors in the radio, and probably go ahead and replace the filter caps in the amplifier. I think both of them sat for a while before I got them because on the radio the bandswitch had that oxidation crunch when I first moved it, and the AF gain was a bit finnicky, but the more I let the radio run the happier it seems to be. The amplifier could probably use a little exercise too, I will play with them both some more over the long weekend.
    And Dave, you absolutely need an FT101 in your new shack, right next to the B-line!
    Here are a few more pictures for anyone interested:
    FT101-3.jpg FT101-4.jpg FL2100B-1.jpg
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  8. N3RYB

    N3RYB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Looks like you've got the rf processor too. Excellent price too!

    Regarding replacing capacitors and the like. Does the radio work? If so, leave them alone! Given that it has a fan the HV filter caps probably didn't suffer much in the way of heat damage. Not having a fan really cooks the crap out of these poor things. They're also sort of a pain in the rear to replace.

    Do also check the resistors on the parasitic suppressors in the PA tank too. The carbon comp resistors sometime just crumble from the heat.

    Oh also you may wish to rewire the cinch Jones connector to have a safety ground connection if it hasn't been done already. Otherwise you run the risk of a hot chassis with the non polarized plug if the line caps fail. Replacing those with proper safety caps would be a good idea too.
    Last edited: May 28, 2021
  9. N3RYB

    N3RYB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Regarding the FL-2100b it would be worthwhile to check the grid resistors on the input section on the rear of the amp. These tend to like to blow out when the amp arcs... Also have a look at all of the big doorknob caps. Especially in the PA tank for cracks. Same for the resistors in the parasitic suppressors they like to crumble too.

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