Keeping up with the band plans

I have the company of 3 rigs in my shack. The XYL IC-7000 friendly rig that offers quite a decent amount of features for its pygmy size. Not to mention its requirements for very adaptable fingers to enable these features and a good memory. The handheld VX8-GR which give me a fell friendly access to 2m and 70cms and the always useful APRS. Finally the FT-817  for holidays and occasional summit activations.

 

Lately the FT-817 has been lagging behind in the ‘access to all parts of the band’ feature which is pretty useful at worst and a necessity when the bands are crowded or as in the case of this weekend. A special event station run by our club, GB1WSL was transmitting outside of the window of opportunity for the unmodified rig. GB1WSL was on 7.133Mhz and mine stopped in its tracks at 7.099.9Mhz.

Until this evening, when soldering iron in hand I removed solder from 1 jumper and added some (not the same stuff i might add) to another jumper and hey presto the Full TX on FT-817 as mods.dk calls it was complete. Its a bit more fiddly than that but even an inexperienced soldering iron toting danger managed it in about 15 minutes. Why had I not done this before?

Now the rig has the full 40m band, which is the primary reason why I did the modification,  it becomes even more indispensable when I go portable. Next stop is a suitable capacity LiPo battery that I can add on to give it the full output away from a power outlet and an ATU for portable means. I wonder if there is a design out for a homebrew ATU about.

Alex Hill, G7KSE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, UK. Contact him at [email protected].

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