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So want to pick up a FT-101, which one do I want?

Discussion in 'General Ham Radio Discussion' started by Titan7, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. Titan7

    Titan7 Active Member

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    I have read a bit that the E and F are the better ones but I have no idea or what to look for.

    Thx


     
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.

  2. w9cll

    w9cll W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    101zdmkiii
     
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  3. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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  4. kopcicle

    kopcicle Sr. Member

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    been there have that.
    Read the history...
     
  5. nomadradio

    nomadradio Analog Retentive

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    Like asking whether the 1979 Corvette is better than the 1977 model.

    They're both old enough that the mileage and condition are far more important than the model year.

    Or the suffix letter F or E.

    The F model is newer.

    If it had an odometer, you could judge the mileage that way.

    I should post a pic showing the most-likely mileage indicator. A pair of power resistors is under the driver-tube socket. You have to remove the bottom cabinet cover, then the shield under the tube socket. Finally, there is a small pc board with trimmer caps under the driver-tube socket. If the two power resistors under that board are toasted, it's a high-mileage radio.

    And if they look fairly undamaged, the radio is a low-mileage specimen, and a good bet to restore.

    But it's still the radio equivalent of a late-70s 'Vette. Even with low mileage there will be age issues, and parts that pretty well have to be replaced if you want to rely on it.

    And if the mileage is high, or the miles were fairly hard, the list only gets longer.

    Electrolytic capacitors, sure. Relays, probably. Tubes, maybe. Swollen, cracked plastic-film capacitors, missing AM-receive filter, bad clarifier switch, worn-out fan motor, the list can get pretty long.

    But hey, if was a 'Vette it would need every hose, belt, seal, gasket and bushing even if it only had 5000 original miles.

    Just remember, it's only money.

    On the other hand, you could just jump into your handy time machine and go back to 1979 and get a new 101E for 600 or 700 bucks.

    Just check the dates printed on your cash before you go. Wouldn't want to get locked up in 1979 for counterfeiting.

    Oh, and yeah. The "Z" radio is a whole different design. Not so good on AM. And the "ZD" is just the analog-dial Z model with a digital display.

    73
     
    #5 nomadradio, Feb 25, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  6. Titan7

    Titan7 Active Member

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    So I opened the ham radio “can of worm” lol
     
  7. SIX-SHOOTER

    SIX-SHOOTER Sr. Member

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    I have owned Two different versions & was not impressed with either. I had the FT-101EX & FT-101B & both were pretty much the same on SSB. The EX had the AM filter installed so it was far better on AM but still not impressive. I had to almost beg someone to buy the EX & it was loaded with a full set of crystals & had the AM filter. I sold it for just $150 recently & am so happy that is is gone. Remember most of them & other Boat Anchor rigs need constant repairs so put some money aside if you buy one & that includes if you work on them yourself since often they require parts. I would not accept another one of any version for FREE since I hate gear that always needs repairs & both of mine did quiet often. I see them as Highly Over Rated.

    SIX-SHOOTER
     
  8. nomadradio

    nomadradio Analog Retentive

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    Meh.

    40 year-old car, 40 year-old radio.

    It's all in what you like.

    73
     
  9. BJ radionut

    BJ radionut Supporting Member and 6m addict

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    I like wise have owned several 101's, but as NOMADE make comment 40+ yrs old radio's now.
    I had a chance to purchase a very late version of the "F" just last fall. This rig had every access. and mods/Loaded with filters etc..This was for like $600 USD. Then when I questioned the price as being what I thought was over the top for age...well look under the table, ALL that comes with it...So lifted the table cloth and under there was about 5 carcass/parts radios, he had been using to keep that one operational! End of interest!
    I personally would rather have the replacement version the FT101ZD or 901DM, if I was so inclined to purchase another rig that old.
    If you can't work on your own gear, have the equipment to do so...ANY rig that old nowadays can quickly turn into a "Money Pit" if you need to rely on someone else to keep it operational...MHO
    I would personally would sooner have an old set of Drake rigs, than one of the OLD Yaesu rigs. Again MHO...
    GL
    All the Best
    Gary
     
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  10. Titan7

    Titan7 Active Member

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    Thanks, helpful, the only tech work I do is soldering a mic plug and swapping crystals, lol. I don’t mess with high voltage stuff inside radios or amps. Thought if I picked one up that has been restored I would be okay.

    I just liked the look of the radios, I will stick with my ICOM 7300 & 718.
     
    SIX-SHOOTER likes this.
  11. nomadradio

    nomadradio Analog Retentive

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    Well, if you compare the price of a restored 40 year-old car to the price of a specimen that's in good shape, but still needs ALL that stuff done, you'll encounter a difference in price.

    The seller will want to recover the money spent to restore that one. Makes the price a lot higher than for the one that still needs to have that money spent on it.

    Pretty much the same story for the radio.

    If you can find an honestly restored FT-101E or F at least it will be cheaper than the 'Vette.

    But pricier than the "used" radio.

    I think you would be disappointed when comparing performance of the FT101 on sideband to either of those two Icom radios.

    The AM transmit was where the FT101 got all the attention on 11 meters.

    73
     
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  12. w9cll

    w9cll W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    That is why I use mine on 10 fm
     
  13. w9cll

    w9cll W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

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    I have the 901dm as well, running it with a two and six meter transverter.
     
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  14. jon666

    jon666 Sr. Member

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    if you ask 101s are over rated. i mean the rados ard 40 years old you ill do r clean out,
    going need to recap the radio. than fix whatever the others ha done to it. its a big risk. i would not do it again you might ant a parts radio
     
    SIX-SHOOTER likes this.
  15. kopcicle

    kopcicle Sr. Member

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    I might live long enough to do it again
     

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