Mr. Carlson’s Lab – A YouTube Treasure

I recently watched two superb YouTube videos. The first described exactly how to determine the 'shielded' side of a fixed capacitor and the importance of knowing this information.

As you have probably noticed, most modern fixed capacitors no longer indicate the 'grounded' end or the lead going to the internal shielding. At one time, the capacitor's polarity was commonly marked with a band on one end but this is no longer the case ... even though one side is indeed still the shielded side. Depending on exactly what part of the circuit your fixed capacitor is being used in, connecting it in the reverse direction (shield going to signal side), can introduce hum, RF pickup, instability and generally result in poorer capacitor / circuit performance ... and all it takes to determine which lead is which is an oscilloscope!

The second video I viewed shows the process used to resurrect a Yaesu FT-1000MP in truly terrible condition. In a very professional step-by-step process the video shows the logical and systematic approach at making the radio better than new.

Both videos are done by a truly gifted engineer, Paul Carlson, VE7ZWZ, and are exceptionally well done ... the quality one would expect to have to pay for rather than freely view on YouTube.

If you visit Paul's YouTube channel, you'll find a host of other radio and audio-related videos and I guarantee that you will learn something of value ... and probably hang around to watch several more. They are really well done.
Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

27 Responses to “Mr. Carlson’s Lab – A YouTube Treasure”

  • Mitch KB3GKC:

    I’ve watched Paul’s videos and learn so much. He is absolutely brilliant!

  • peter kg5wy:


  • Jerry K3UOD:

    Two hours watching this video were well spent; especially since I own an FT-1000 MK V Field, which is very similar.

    Excellent troubleshooting and excellent fixes.

  • Duane Erickson:

    I have manuals on all Instruments made by ESI (Electro Scientific Industries)
    Beverton Oregon from 1950’s to mid 1980’s. I was a District Mgr. for
    the Northeast

    If you would like to have them let me know.
    If no answer I will throw them out!

  • kc6nfv:

    mr carlson know what he talking about i dont think you get that kind of service from yaesu and also does yaesu bench test every radio and does the tech check every proformance the radio exmple alc do they check alc with 50 watts then see if there alc at a 100 watts those have the kenwood 922 a carlson is the man for the job

  • Randy Simpson:

    Sort of stumbled onto Mr Carlson’s lab and am hooked!!! This gentleman really knows his electronics and is (in my opinion) an absolute genius in teaching what he is doing. It is as if he can read your mind as he is explaining what he’s doing, and why. His attention to detail is beyond belief and is truly inspiring. Thank you sir..

  • Les Parker VK4SO:

    I have been watching the videos over a period of time and always learn something from each one. I have never had things explained so clearly and logical.I usually spend a couple of hours each day watching

  • n9xje:

    its hard to find good repair services that will work on a ft-1000mp mine wont transmit . what service would you recomend.

  • Ken Lung KD4HQQ:

    Mr. Carlson….you are the best!! I have learned so much from your videos. I repaired my first power supply, getting the knowledge from those vids. I am trying to build your Capacitor checker. Do you happen to sell the PCB? I don’t know how to do SMD (yet) but would try. If you do sell them, please send me an email with costs. Again, thanks for all your videos!! Keep them coming.

  • Ralph Meyerhein W5EEI:

    I have watched a number of the YouTube videos and I learned something from each sand every one.Because of the quality an information in each video, I subscribed to the patron series. I stopped working with circuits some 40 years age so I have a lot of catching up to do.Because the videos cover both solid state and vacuum tube I am finding it much easier to pick up speed. I would very much like to purchase some of the PCBs Paul creates or at least get copies so I could generate and purchase boards from PCB manufacturers.

  • Roger Fowler W8WTR:

    Five stars. Paul, excellent. I really enjoy your videos. I am starting to restore a Hallicrafters S76 Receiver. Thank you for the inspiration to do this.


  • Adrian Head VK2NBH:

    I have watched most of Pauls video’s and found them to be excellent.It has re-inspired my interest in electronics. I’m hoping to subscribe to his Patreon website soon to learn more and compare notes. I am a bit rusty but haven’t forgotten the fundamentals and keen now to do a bit more repair work after seeing how it is done by an expert.

  • Eric Tallman KF5DOD:

    This was a great fix now I will get busy and work on my boat anchor. Paul you are the best Electronics man I’ve run across.Many Many thanks for your time and patience.
    Eric Tallman CET

  • Eric Tallman KF5DOD:

    This was a great fix now I will get busy and work on my boat anchor. Paul you are the best Electronics man I’ve run across.Many Many thanks for your time and patience.
    Eric Tallman CET

  • W6SDI:

    Hi Paul,
    I really enjoyed your video on the Gates 250 AM Broadcast Transmitter. I got my start in Ham Radio and the Broadcast Industry in 1954 working on a Gates 250 C at an Upper Michigan AM Radio Station. Since I found that Video, I have been a regular visitor to your site.



  • John love Ve7ban:

    I have been watching Paul for over a year now and am up to date on most of his videos, a brilliant engineer and a gifted teacher. I am 80 years old and worked in electronics all my working life and learn something from every video I watch.
    I never realized he was living in BC, my home is North Saanich BC

  • John C xxTBD:

    Mr. Carlson has started some electronics classes for super fair (too cheap) pricing. You all could jump ahead to his troubleshooting section. I highly recommend.

    Today, I’m here hoping for Dr Carlson’s recommendation of a new soldering iron.

  • Fran KC1NDQ:

    Paul is a brilliant technician. But he may be the only person on the planet that pronounces the l in solder! Drives me crazy!

  • Robert Novotny W2EAF:

    Agreed. His affected pronunciation of the word “solder” drives me up the wall. Also his referring to WWV as simply “the time signal”, and how any radio made in the USA is only from North America. Just rubs me the wrong way

  • KF7MZV:

    Can I get Mr. Carlson to look at my Kenwood 2000?

  • Barry:

    To Paul
    Hello do you have messenger if so let me no.have you worked on escient music managers i guess the cir cuts are leaking and the say to get a new power board

  • scott logan:

    Hi my name is Scott Logan I live in North Brunswick NJ and have my uncles ham radio gear that I would like to function up to par again.

    I am working on getting my License and this brings back many memories for me.

    I have a TS-830 gold addition that I listen with presently that I would like to check out , and the sm-220 is not showing trace but will bleed from the corner to center on power off .

    I really need someone to help me out that knows about boat anchors and such I have a few Rangers a halicrafter transmitter and two Viking II a complete Hammarlund 129x receiver that i recapped and the transmitter and modulator all in great condition. I purchased an hlx-1 hard to find Hammarlund liner that is waiting for new caps from hayseed electronics but my ability’s beyond cap replacement is about where i stop as i do not have the knowledge or test equipment and would really like to talk with someone that can help me out My uncle would be proud..

    My email is [email protected]
    my phone number is

  • kenneth sanderson:

    brilliant series – please keep them coming Paul

  • Former WA6IBU/HC1MN:

    Paul, you are reviving a childhood passion for radio in me. A crystal set at age 7, military electronic school at 22, ham operator ar 29. . .now at 85 the fire is still being stoked watching your “lab” classroom. Doing vintage restoration projects now thanks to your encouragement. Your E-200 Signal Generator restoration was over the top. Many, many heart-felt thanks to you for sharing and teaching expertise from your bottomless memory bank.
    Marty Erickson

  • KB6BYR:

    I have been watching Paul’s youtube channel for a few years now. As Marty Ericsson said previously, I enjoyed the E-200 Signal Generator restoration. I have had this E-200 for a number of years. I do not recall have I arrived at getting it but it had functioned a few years ago, but alas I has not functioned for a few years. I recognized the E-200 when seeing Paul from, Mr. Carlson’s Lab, revive the unit. I thought I would some time go through my E-200 and replace all of the old components when observing the meticulous way Paul goes through all his repairs, with an ample amount of description through the repair process. I have since joined Paul’s Patreon program. I hope focus my time to learn from his electronics program. Soon, in a few months, I will be turning 71 but I believe there will be time for me to learn and eventually repair my ICOM ic-745 and ic-751 transceivers. Best to all & 73’s to all.

    Mark Holt KB6BYR

  • pe1krx:

    Hi Paul, greeting from Arie pe1krx Grid Square: JO22HK82KG

  • Bill N6YF:

    VE7ZWZ’s YouTube videos are incredible. Before I watched the first, I thought to myself, “Yeah, change the caps and you can restore the radio”. I am now sufficiently humbled after actually learning at least a dozen hints and kinks I did not know before about restorations AND engineering. The only problem is I am sucked into each new presentation and can’t stop watching!
    Thank you, Paul and 73.
    Bill (ex Ocean Hopper owner who was bitten by the deadly HotChassisViper years ago.)

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