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Amateur Radio Equipment - For general and technical discussion of Amateur Radio equipment such as transceivers, repeaters, controllers and receivers.

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Old 10-11-2017, 8:37 PM
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Default New FT101E Owner with an easy question

I just got my first HF rig, an FT101E. I plan to set up a half wave dipole for 20 meters in the next 2 weeks but right now I have a 2 meter antenna already in place. My question is, as long as I leave the mic disconnected, the heater off, the mox/vox off, and all of those switches in a row there off, would it be ok for me to see what I can hear using the non resonant antenna for receive only? Can I hurt the receiver just listening around on 20/40/80 to see if I can hear anything? I've downloaded a manual and I am trying to learn as much as I can about this radio while I study for my general ticket, but there is SO much to learn.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:28 PM
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Default Listen Away!

My first rig was a Yaesu FT101E back in the early eighties. You will be fine to listen away. It may work best pulling the pl 259 antenna connector out a bit and just the center connector touching, WELCOME to amateur radio! Mike.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:39 PM
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You will not hurt the receiver leaving it in the receive position and listening. If you hook it up to that two meter antenna you'll not hear as many signals as with a properly sized antenna but heck give it a try. 20 meters is mostly a daytime band, while 80 meters is a nighttime one. 40 meters is someone in between the two, but usually opens up at night. On 40 meters at night you will hear shortwave stations using AM, these would be strong signals so try those.

The FT101E is a classic rig from the 70's, had one myself years ago, a beautiful radio. Like the fact that is has a built-in power supply too.

Have fun.
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Old 10-12-2017, 4:51 AM
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Thank you both for your replys. It probably seems like a strange thing to want to do but I have this radio sitting here now and no proper antenna for a week or so. Thank you!
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Old 10-12-2017, 7:26 AM
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One additional suggestion would be to run a simple wire antenna inside; perhaps around the edges of the ceiling, the longer the better. This might be better than the outside 2 meter antenna. For receiving you have much more freedom as far as antenna construction.
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Old 10-26-2017, 7:45 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions, very helpful. Since I posted my question a few weeks ago I have made a lot of progress. I now have my general ticket and a 20 meter half wave dipole that I was able to get down to just under 1.3:1 SWR. I have learned a lot about my FT-101E from the manual and watching youtube videos. I learned how to tune it to transmit for a given frequency etc. I am having a problem though. It seems to transmit fine for about 3 or 4 seconds, then the needle on my watt mater just falls to zero as if I unkeyed, even though I am still keyed up and talking. What might cause this?
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Old 10-27-2017, 9:26 AM
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First, congratulations on your General!
On your FT-101, first check the mic gain potentiometer. The pot may be in need of cleaning and you can temporarily clean it by turning it a full turn backwards and forwards quickly several times and it should make a crackling sound if it is dirty. Other wise you will have to open the case and shoot pot cleaner into it while turning it.
Check your antenna connections for hot opens and corrosion. A hot open is a connection that will get warm from the power going through it and open. Also for small copper strands that might get hot and ground themselves temporarily. I have found many of those over the years.
Another is your SWR may be changing as your coax and antenna heat up. Hopefully you have a good SWR/Power meter to place in line with your coax and check it. I believe the 101 has a foldback circuit on the finals that protect the circuit from high SWR. That may be your problem, there. However, it may not be due to tube transmitters being not that familiar with the FT-101.
If none of these suggestions work, you may be looking at one or two bad final transmitter tubes since this transceiver is a hybrid. Tubes are available.
Get with an Elmer to help with setting up your plate settings and voltages if you don't have a manual.
Good Luck. A few of my ham friends have these radios for back-up and they swear by them!

Re-reading your trouble, is the meter quitting while you are transmitting? Or the the whole radio quits transmitting?

Hopefully, someone here on RR may have the answer if none of the above helps.

Last edited by AB4BF; 10-27-2017 at 9:30 AM.. Reason: clarification.
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Old 10-27-2017, 8:47 PM
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AB4BF,

First, thank you for the thoughtful, helpful reply. I have a MFJ cross needle watt/swr meter inline between my FT-101E and my antenna. SWR is less that 1.3. When I am in tune mode, the output shows a steady 150 watts out for 10 seconds. I release the PTT at 10 seconds as that is the max yu can go while tuning.

In USB the needle swings to just over 150 as I speak but after just 2 or 3 seconds all output stops, and the needles on my MFJ wattmeter just fall to zero as if I released the PTT button.

My SWR is low. I tried lower mic gain, and cleaning the mic gain pot by spinning the control knob. Coulf my Mic be the problem? Even when I speak in USB the needle is peaky and erraticm not like I see in youtube vids.
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Old 10-28-2017, 9:54 AM
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Yes, start with your mic. Check the PTT switch and the cable runs for an intermittent open circuit. On your VOX controls, keep them all on zero when using a mic.

Pull your transmitter tubes and have them checked. If they check out, start from there and work backwards. Manuals can be obtained from flea bay.

Check your internal wiring also. The internal wiring to your SO-239 as well as from your mic.

Good luck. Maybe someone on RR has an FT-101 and can give a little more insight.

When the radio has warmed up and you are transmitting, even intermittently, once it stops even though you still have the PTT button pushed, release the PTT button, flip the selector switch to CW and push the PTT button into a dummy load or unused ham frequency. See if you can transmit for 30 seconds. If you can, we'll go from there. Watch your meters to see if the transmit power varies any. If not, the problem may be in your SSB circuitry. If the transmitter quits there also, most probably problems in the final section.

Last edited by AB4BF; 10-28-2017 at 10:10 AM.. Reason: slowly waking up...
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Old 10-28-2017, 7:27 PM
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Today I checked my coax connections and didn't find any problems. I am using a dipole made by a ham on ebay, and the ends of the wire are turned into a U shape and then squashed between 2 washers using a bolt and a nut. That gives a loop to tie a rope onto. I thought the wires might be shorting there so I added some electrical tape for insulation. That did not seem to solve the problem. I replaced the short run of coax from the transceiver to the meter and I thought that might have resolved the problem because I was able to work a contest in Canada. Then as I was giving the signal report and CQ zone, the needles fall and all transmit stopped. It was terrible bc the man tried to finish the contact with me several times and I could hear him loud and clear, but each time I keyed up, there was no movement on my wattmeter at all and he finally gave up. This was my first HF contact There were probably only a hundred or so people listening, oh well.

Then I found a frequency no one was on and I started asking if it was in use, I began to suspect my mic even more. It seems like the problem comes and goes if I move the mic around. I need to buy another mic to test or repair this one. Thank you for your help so far.
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Old 11-01-2017, 7:32 PM
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Just an update on this, I opened up the mic and found the contacts on the PTT button connections looked pretty questionable. I shined them up some with sandpaper and I bent the metal to make them contact with better pressure. I also put some tape on some un-insulated solder points on some wires that might have been touching each other. There is also tin foil inside but I left that alone, it looks like someone has been inside the mic before. So far things seem better. I was able to make contact tonight with K7CAR in Nevada. I am in Georgia, he was my 3rd HF contact. He said I was about at 5/5 but that I was "off frequency". I never had the transmit drop problem, so hopefully that is fixed. Any idea why I am "off frequency"? I could hear him fine.
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Old 11-02-2017, 8:42 AM
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Default FT101E

On SSB you have no carrier only put out power on modulation peaks. You could have a bad tube.
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