On the early 70’s, the disembark of the Yaesu FT-101 beyond Japanese waters, made quite a revolution on the HF market for hams. With a great idea from Milton Lowens N4ML, users of these new marvels conceived what it is known today as the Fox-Tango International group.
Mr. Lowens began editing a newsletter on January 1972, which with time became a true mean of communication among owners of Yaesu rigs. Thru the monthly issues, experiences and news were shared regarding this radios. Also, modifications and enhancements were discussed. These mods were also shared with the founder and leader of Yaesu Musen, Mr. Sako Hasegawa, who kindly answered and thanked this enhancement proposals. Hence, a feedback channel was inaugurated between users and the manufacturer. The newsletter was edited by Mr. Lowens until 1985, and up to 1992 under INRAD ownership.
Not so long ago, I bought a CDROM containing the full archive of these newsletters. I found there a ton of good useful info regarding these rigs.
I would like to share with you my experience building what was once called the “VK blob”.
Readers of the FT newsletter around the globe started to write about RX overloading found on the FT-101, causing intermod. As a solution, VK hams came up with a circuit based on the MC1496 IC as a replacement for the 2nd RX mixer of the rig (located on the PB-1180 board).
The name of this mod contains a mixture of its origin (VK land) and its appearance: as the 2nd RX mixer is located inside a small metal box, the board was attached externally because of its dimensions. Also, it was usually covered with a big chunk of silicon glue.
I wanted to give it a try, but I did not like the looks it would give to my rig. So I designed a tiny board to be populated with SMD components in a way I could fit it inside the PB-1180 metal housing. It worked great the first try.
Here is my design and some pictures. If you want to try it, you should remove Q2 from PB-1180 and install this board making the connections as described on the attached PDF file.
Board dimensions are 27 mm x 20 mm.
Long live the FT-101!
WARNING: LETHAL VOLTAGES ARE PRESENT INSIDE THE YAESU FT-101. BE CAREFUL!
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