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[Yaesu] FT-920 Bugs? (long)

To: <yaesu@contesting.com>
Subject: [Yaesu] FT-920 Bugs? (long)
From: jcullum@micron.com (James Cullum)
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 1997 18:01:18 -0600 (MDT)
Since I hadn't seen any bad reports about the new FT-920,
I jumped in and ordered one.  All and all it seems like a 
great rig.  The DSP functions work great.  The high/low
cut knobs on the front panel are very convenient and work
great for getting rid of QRM from above or below.

So now on to the bugs.  I am calling these bugs, but I am
not sure why someone hasn't pointed them out previously.
Maybe I just got a bad radio (or two...see below)?  

Anyhow, the main problem I am having is with the Noise Blanker.
Turning the Noise Blanker (NB) on brings in a great deal of 
hiss/fuzz in the headphones or speaker.  Also, signals on the
band will modulate this fuzz and make it sound like bees buzzing.
I have tried all of the bee/wasp removal techniques as pointed out
on the tower reflector, but to no avail.  But seriously... 
I have heard 2 reports about a slight hiss when the NB is on, 
but I think I have quite more than a hiss.  The strange thing 
is that the hiss/buzz level is fully dependent on the level 
of the Monitor gain.  This is true with the monitor on or off! 
NB level settings do not have much of an effect on the noise 
(ie. this noise is not the common NB spatter problem).  The NB 
seems to be functioning properly.  For some reason there is just 
some audio bleeding back into the headphone/speaker path.  

Here are some other observations I have made:

1.) Monitor gain seems to be low.  I need to crank the monitor gain
pretty high to hear my voice very loud.  AF gain and sidetone levels
appear to be okay.  I am, however, using PRO-SET headphones so I am
not sure if I am running into the low audio problem that some people
had when using PRO-SET's on the original 1000mp's.  I would think all
of the audio would be low and not just the monitor.

2.) The cooling fan comes on during every transmittion.  PTT or CW
key down will turn the fan on.  Fan turns off with the release of the
PTT or key release.  Not sure if this is normal or not.  Seems kind
of silly to have the fan turning on and off with every character
during CW QSK, etc.

3.) Power out on SSB never peaks at 100W on the front panels meter.
It generally hits about 75 watts with peaks around 90.  I guess
maybe I am not quite use to the bar graph meter???  Tried dummy
load with same results.  Using the peak hold feature of the meter.
With ALC and compression cranked it may hit right below 100W 
occasionally.  Same results with hand mike or HC-4 PRO-SET.

4.) Power out key down CW is less with the antenna tuner in line.
Using a Diawa watt meter (need to try it with a Bird), into a
dummy load or my antenna the power out is 110W (no tuner) and
90W with the tuner in line.  These readings were on 20M, but
all other bands showed similar degradation with the tuner 
(tuned up) in line.

5.) When the dash paddle is closed there is a key click in the
headphones.  For example, without transmitting and the sidetone off
closing the dash paddle creates a click (sort of static sounding)
in the headphones or speaker.  I tried a small bypass cap from the
paddle contact to ground, but it didn't get rid of the click.  I am
using a Bencher paddle.

I have been trying to get a hold of Yaesu technical support, but their
automated phone system keeps putting me on hold as all of their
representitives are busy.  So I haven't been able to talk to
them yet.  The original FT-920 I got had these same problems, but
since there had been no reports about these bugs and the retailer
I bought the rig from hadn't heard of any problems they replaced
my radio for free (thanks HRO!).  The bummer part is that the
second one has the same problems!  So I have been trying to figure
out if my setup is causing these problems, but I can't figure out
why it would.  My FT-890 works find using the same power supplies 
and such.  Tested the radio using either a Kenwood PS-30, Astron 
RS-20 or a 105 A-hr marine battery for power supplies and using 
a dummy load or a  HF-6VX for an antenna produces same results 
from all.

Sorry for such a long e-mail, but just trying to figure out
what is going on here.  I hope I can get these things worked
out because it seems like a great radio.  Let me know if you
have any input to my 920 dilemmas.

BTW, the radios had serial numbers of 7F020073 and 7F020256.

Thanks and 73.

Jim...  K7MK.


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