well i just bought a DX959 this afternoon.
i was going to order one, but i found out that two local truckstops have them for about 35.00 more than i could order one for.
i had a good week last week (OT!) so i decided just to get it now.
i also figured that i could look at the manufacturing date to make sure i got one of the newer MOSFET versions, and im glad i did!
upon getting back to my car, i immediately and carefully removed the radio from its box.
i could tell already that someone had had their hands in the box from a loose piece of tape with cardboard on it.
upon looking at the radio; yep, sure enough, two mounting bracket scratches, and what looked like a big sticker had been removed from the top cover. (can you say DISPLAY MODEL?)
i went right back in and showed them, and they exchanged it for me. the new one with a man. date of 4/07. new enough for me!
so the first thing i notice about this radio is that it looks sweet!
silver and black always go well together.
then i noticed how far out the pots with switches on them stuck out from the faceplate. (talkback, mic gain, dimmer)
they stick out about 1/4" from the face. (i measured it)
it looks like the knobs arent all the way on. AND! they're wobbly! its not the plastic knob that is the problem; its the pot itself has rotational play in it. the switch action also seems sloppy.
would've been much better if the switch had a "tactile" feel to it, and the knobs would not stick out either.
of course, then the switching would have to be done electrically. $$$!
one possible issue i found was that when you push the knob to actuate the switch, it actually bends the metal bracket that the boards and pots are mounted to. im not sure, but this could be an issue over time with heavy handed users. (could break a solder joint that is very hard to get to and notice)
all the other pots are just fine. secure, with nice action.
all other switches seem to work fine.
next the covers came off. the front panel circuitry is CROWDED!
a few wires were pinching against the bottom cover as was evidenced by the indentations in the insulation.
these were moved over without much trouble. had to cut one cable tie.
usually when a manufacturer puts "next to useless" features on the front panel of a radio, you can tell pretty easily that they are intended to be used for modifications. (echo, freq. switches, etc...)
im not so sure about this radio. all the pots are mounted to PC boards, and are VERY low profile. it seems to me that it would be a REAL PAIN to try to use these for other functions.
(you're not going to get a 10 turn pot in this one!LOL)
the main board is just what you would expect these days.
all 1/8 (1/16?) watt resistors, and the infamous "foil board" near the driver and final.
assembly is not bad, but its not good either.
quite a few funny angled parts with leads not pulled through the board all the way. (i know, but im picky.LOL)
solder joints actually looked pretty good. didnt find any dull or flaky ones. went over the board with a flashlight and a magnifying glass, and didnt see any hairline cracks.
at the component level, this is what i found:
this is one of the new MOSFET versions, and the numbers are removed from them.
on the schematic, there are two parts near the driver and final that are marked as resistors, but labeled with an "L" indicating an inductor. they are L33 and L37.
i asked Ray from Galaxy service about this in another thread and he said they are resistors with a ferrite bead on them to block RF from the DC path.
in my particular radio, they are just resitors with no ferrite beads on them.
not sure of the implications of this.
the insulators for the to-220 style transistors are the thick white kind instead of the thin mica or grey "rubber".
not sure about this either, but i have heard that the thick white ones dont allow as much heat to dissipate to the chassis/heatsink.
i dont know for sure what the truth is on that. i do know that they tend to crack when installed so that when you remove the transistor, you have to use a new one.
Q17 which is shown to be a 2SC1674 on the schematic (MOSFET version), is a 2SC2786 in my radio.
physically, it looks just like the 2SC2999, but the specs on the two parts are just a bit different.
i dont know how much difference would be noticed by changing the 2786 to the 2999.
maybe someone else can jump in on that one.
it seems like all the 2SC1674's were replaced with 2SC2786's and all the 2SC1675's with 2SC2787's.
the 2SB754 is now a 2SB827, which handles just a bit less power than the 817.
IMO there is no need to change it, but i dont know yet.
the 2SA473's are now 2SC1869's, which spec. out just slightly under the 2SA473.
these i will probably change to NTE153's, but i dont know that it will make a noticable difference.
in the final section, L31 is some sort of double coil where two coils are wound together and it has three leads coming off of it.
looks like it might have been adjustable in older versions, but now its not. maybe a MOSFET thing. who knows.
i dont have any numbers yet for transmit power or anything else, as i only had the radio on in the car for a few minutes.
its been open on the bench since i bought it.LOL
i will put it on my wattmeter (not a bird or CD meter), tomorrow and put the radio through its paces.
then i will hook it up to the freq. counter and see how on freq. it is from the factory.
well, thats all i can tell with my limited skill set.
if anyone has any questions about the looks of this or that i'll be happy to look in mine and see.
also, anyone who knows things about this new version of the radio that i didnt notice, please post what you know here, so anyone in the future looking to buy one will have a great resource to go by.
thanks for reading,