Monday, November 12, 2012

My watt of forlorn hope has arrived

The FT790R that I picked up from eBay arrived today. It's always a bit of a lottery buying old kit like that. But happily, it's essentially in good condition. It receives and transmits fine.

I've found two problems so far. The first is that the battery tray looks like it may have suffered some misfortune and I guess that the springs have failed as when I took the NiCad batteries out and put 8 C cells in, the batteries slide about without making contact. I've emailed Yaesu to see if they have a battery tray. Failing that, it may be a case of 'packing' the batteries with some metal spacers.

The second issue is that the mode switch was a bit loose. I've cleaned it up and tightened it up a bit now and it seems more reliable on USB/LSB now. When it first arrived, it was a bit intermittent on those modes.

The rig sounds great! I fired it up on SSB and listened on the FT847 and it sounds good. Same on FM - so the really important bits are sound. It has a nice feel to it. Solid, just like I remember.

Of course, for the repeaters, it has no CTCSS which has precluded too much testing on the local boxes! It does have a 1750hz tone though.

Once I sort out the battery tray, I'm looking forward to taking it out portable.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tim,

Maplin do a 4x'C' cell battery holder. I'm not sure if two of those together will do the trick dimensionally. It may be worth a shot. I've had my 790 since 1984 and it's still in use. The one watt as made it as far as Wales from here in Essex and I've managed a QSO 70 Miles distant while portable using the standard whip antenna. That rig is a absolute delight!

Gary G0CUQ

Tim said...

Hi Gary,

Good thinking! I spoke to the guys at HiFiSSB and they had some spare battery trays too. As it turned out, I was able to get mine sorted out with the aid of some washers and stretching the springs out a bit.

The only issue now is a slightly intermittent mode switch which sometimes needs a bit of fiddling with to get transmit audio to work! Hopefully if I clean it and tighten it up, that will resolve the problem.

I agree - the rigs have a really nice feel to them.

73, Tim

Anonymous said...

Hi Tim,

That is excellent news about the replacement battery tray and you getting the original one useable again.

Come to think of it, my mode switch is a little dodgy at times too. The changeover relay on mine also needs some attention as too much ragchewing on FM back in the 80's has taken its toll!

It's a sturdy performer though and rigs have come and gone over the last 28 years but this one will stay!

I shouldn't have sold my FT-290 :o(

I look forward to reading about your portable exploits with the new/old rig!

73, Gary


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