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Yaesu FT-101E no receive

Champo

Active Member
May 3, 2021
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Oregon
I have a Yaesu FT-101E with multiple issues but the battle I'm fighting at the moment is on the receive front. I identified the problem as being associated with the RL-1 relay. After a thourough cleaning I was able to get receive in all modes (no receive in AM and low in CW before) however the minute you key the receiver (for tune-up for instance) the receive drops out in all modes. Powering off and back on does not restore receive. If I disassemble the relay and give it a minor cleaning I can get the receive back. It's gone again though the minute you key up. So, is the relay itself most likely the issue or is something preventing the relay from disengaging? Simply unplugging the relay and plugging it back in doesn't restore receive so my guess is that the relay is shot but I wanted a second opinion before I throw money at a new one. A more technical confirmation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

nomadradio

Analog Retentive
Apr 3, 2005
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Louisville, KY
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The main relay can be cleaned, but our experience is that this may improve dropout problems. Just doesn't solve them that often. Plain paper wet with solvent gets threaded into the gap for one pair of contact points at a time. Pressing the contact lever with one finger while drawing a strip of paper through the contacts will reveal a streak of dark oxide on the paper as a rule. Just don't let anyone talk you into using an abrasive of any kind. The contacts are just too small and they'll be damaged permanently.

All currently-available relays that fit the socket are wired differently from the japanese-made relay the factory used. Jap relays order the center row of pins differently. Making an american-style relay work involves rewiring the center row of six lugs under the socket. Not for the faint of heart, or unsteady of hand. Just because a new relay fits the socket doesn't mean that it's the right relay.

They stopped making that relay in Japan a long time back. Magnecraft, and Potter & Brumfield/Tyco were still making the 6-pole relay recently.

73
 

Champo

Active Member
May 3, 2021
218
19
28
41
Oregon
The main relay can be cleaned, but our experience is that this may improve dropout problems. Just doesn't solve them that often. Plain paper wet with solvent gets threaded into the gap for one pair of contact points at a time. Pressing the contact lever with one finger while drawing a strip of paper through the contacts will reveal a streak of dark oxide on the paper as a rule. Just don't let anyone talk you into using an abrasive of any kind. The contacts are just too small and they'll be damaged permanently.

All currently-available relays that fit the socket are wired differently from the japanese-made relay the factory used. Jap relays order the center row of pins differently. Making an american-style relay work involves rewiring the center row of six lugs under the socket. Not for the faint of heart, or unsteady of hand. Just because a new relay fits the socket doesn't mean that it's the right relay.

They stopped making that relay in Japan a long time back. Magnecraft, and Potter & Brumfield/Tyco were still making the 6-pole relay recently.

73
Thanks for the reply. Yeah I've done just that but with DeoxIT and paper. Do you think something else would be better suited for the job? They have original used relay sets on Epay at $75 for a set. I'm willing to give it a few more cleaning attempts but it sounds like it's more of a bandaid. What would you do if you were in my shoes? At this point it's literally a boat anchor, or at best just a receiver with it operating as is.
 

nomadradio

Analog Retentive
Apr 3, 2005
5,830
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Louisville, KY
www.nomadradio.com
A used relay is a roll of the dice. Definitely less pain that rewiring the socket. Might end up buying more than one to get a stable, quiet specimen.

What I would do is what I did to the last few dozen. Rewire the relay socket. But your mileage may vary. I will say that the first half-dozen radios are the hardest for that particular task.

The older a radio gets, the more expensive a simple repair tends to become.

73
 

Champo

Active Member
May 3, 2021
218
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Oregon
A used relay is a roll of the dice. Definitely less pain that rewiring the socket. Might end up buying more than one to get a stable, quiet specimen.

What I would do is what I did to the last few dozen. Rewire the relay socket. But your mileage may vary. I will say that the first half-dozen radios are the hardest for that particular task.

The older a radio gets, the more expensive a simple repair tends to become.

73
Joy. This would be my first....not my first dozen lol. You've given me something to think on. Is there something different than DeoxIT that you might try or have I done my due diligence in that department?
 

nomadradio

Analog Retentive
Apr 3, 2005
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Louisville, KY
www.nomadradio.com
Cleaners that leave any residue are not my favorite solution for a relay. The contacts are designed to operate "dry", no lube the way a rotary control requires.

A non-residue solvent like CRC brand "QD" cleaner at AutoZone or Amazon is good. And 99% isopropyl has been working for me. In a pinch the "91%" from a drug store is pretty good.

73
 

Champo

Active Member
May 3, 2021
218
19
28
41
Oregon
Cleaners that leave any residue are not my favorite solution for a relay. The contacts are designed to operate "dry", no lube the way a rotary control requires.

A non-residue solvent like CRC brand "QD" cleaner at AutoZone or Amazon is good. And 99% isopropyl has been working for me. In a pinch the "91%" from a drug store is pretty good.

73
Perfect! That's why I asked. I ran some dry paper through it today thinking that might be an issue and it did stop it from hanging up when thrown into MOX during tune up. I'll swing by AutoZone and pick some up. I'm still having a no transmit problem and no bias that registers on the meter, despite adjustment though, once you reach that step. Heaters work. I read a relay issue can also affect that so hopefully that will do the trick in that department. Is there anything you can recommend if it doesn't? A next step I mean.
 

Champo

Active Member
May 3, 2021
218
19
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Oregon
The front-panel meter circuit also goes through that relay. Lack of meter reading can be caused by trouble on that contact.

73
The meter works on receive and also advances completely when placed in ALC but there is no i.c. value and adjusting the bias potentiometer does nothing. I cleaned the relay as suggested and it now keys and unkeys correctly. I also have 173 volts at pin 3 on the tube socket. Nothing has changed with the bias though. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If you still think it's the relay I will pursue that but is there something else besides the relay that could cause the above scenario? Thanks
 

nomadradio

Analog Retentive
Apr 3, 2005
5,830
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Louisville, KY
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the tube socket

Ah, which "the" tube socket? Okay, you meant one of the final sockets. Pin 3 is the screen grid, and that reading sounds legit.

So how about pins 5 and 9? If the negative bias voltage is excessive, this will cut off all the tube's cathode current.

Got in the habit of putting a 'scope probe on the cathode shunt resistor that goes from pin 2 of both final sockets to ground. Schematic only labels it "shunt". If there is any tube current, you'll see the voltage rise here. No more than a half a Volt, if memory serves. Quickest way to confirm a fault with the meter's "IC" function.

73
 
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DR456

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Jan 23, 2017
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The meter works on receive and also advances completely when placed in ALC but there is no i.c. value and adjusting the bias potentiometer does nothing. I cleaned the relay as suggested and it now keys and unkeys correctly. I also have 173 volts at pin 3 on the tube socket. Nothing has changed with the bias though. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If you still think it's the relay I will pursue that but is there something else besides the relay that could cause the above scenario? Thanks
Change or clean the PO IC ALC switch to restore meter movement.
 

nomadradio

Analog Retentive
Apr 3, 2005
5,830
8,753
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Louisville, KY
www.nomadradio.com
This brings about the coin toss question.

1: is the meter lying to you and the tubes are drawing current? Or
2: is some fault keeping the final tube cut off from drawing any cathode current?

Gotta answer that question first. Answering either one will call for removing covers and shield plates. Voltmeter readings taken under the tube sockets would reveal if any cathode current is present. If so, this is a meter/meter switch problem. And if the tubes really just are not drawing current from the anode supply, voltage readings from the tube socket's pins is the starting point.

Unless you have a reliable tube tester. That would reveal if the final tubes are just worn down and weak.

But any (or several) of those causes will produce the symptom you're seeing.

Assuming, of course that both relays are okay.

73
 

Champo

Active Member
May 3, 2021
218
19
28
41
Oregon
This brings about the coin toss question.

1: is the meter lying to you and the tubes are drawing current? Or
2: is some fault keeping the final tube cut off from drawing any cathode current?

Gotta answer that question first. Answering either one will call for removing covers and shield plates. Voltmeter readings taken under the tube sockets would reveal if any cathode current is present. If so, this is a meter/meter switch problem. And if the tubes really just are not drawing current from the anode supply, voltage readings from the tube socket's pins is the starting point.

Unless you have a reliable tube tester. That would reveal if the final tubes are just worn down and weak.

But any (or several) of those causes will produce the symptom you're seeing.

Assuming, of course that both relays are okay.

73
Change or clean the PO IC ALC switch to restore meter movement.
Bad tubes. They were completely flat. Learned quite a lot about that radio since...and others. The meter was doing its job as Nomad said. I didn't own a tube tester at the time but I do now...2 actually. For the hell of it I pulled them back out of my junk box and tested them on the B&K 700 after acquiring it and the needle barely moved.The tubes were deader than a door nail. Ultimately I bit the bullet and bought a NOS set of Toshiba's and that is what solved it. That's not to say that it didn't have more than one problem though. As far as the relays go I'd purchased a replacement set, as that was the first bit of advice I received, and never reinstalled the old ones. The meter issue was definitely caused by the tubes though. Man time flies. Thanks again for the help with that Nomad.
 
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