Saturday, February 8, 2014

Counting - Radio #2 - The Yaesu FT-817ND

I have been setting up a small station so that I can use it portable mostly during weekends and during next Summer, while on holidays.
The heart and soul of the station is a Yaesu FT-817ND transceiver. It will work together with an LDG Z-817 tuner. Different homebrew portable antennas are planned, among them a 20m wire Delta Loop and a 10m cubical quad.
Here's a nice schematic, done by Lawrence, N7JFP, on how everything will go together after the station is complete (right now I have no plans for the SignaLink USB interface, but how knows... maybe I'll end up using one).

My good friend Pedro, CT7AEZ, got me into working portable and I really want to continue doing it, eventually joining him for some SOTA.
Anyway, today I managed to get some Anderson Powerpoles soldered and ready to work with the FT-817ND. This was my first experience with the Powerpoles and I must say that I am very impressed with their versatility.
So, here are the pictures of the work done this afternoon (a couple of hours).
The pack of x10 15A powerpoles as received from an eBay seller:


Each conection takes 4 pieces as in the following picture:

A surplus 5A laptop power supply, that I had in my parts bin, was the ideal candidate for powering the FT-817ND. I still have to take a look at the power supply under my oscilloscope to see how the output looks like. I measured it with my multimeter and it outputs 12,29V.

So, I started out by cutting the original connector and by soldering and assembling the powerpoles:

I checked the internet on how to assemble the powerpoles. The following pictures were very helpful during the assembly process:

And here's how the Anderson Powerpole connector is built on the inside:

After I finished the powersupply I did the FT-817ND power cable. This will be very usefull in the future as I can use the same cable on battery power or using a mains fed power supply:

Power supply and radio cable done:

And, after double checking that the radio plug respected +12V on the center pin and GND on the outer pin, I tested everything with the FT-817. Success!

On and all, I had a couple of hours of fun doing this. The Anderson Powerpoles rock and I will be using them a lot in the future!
Stay tuned for more portable ham radio stuff. Soon enough the weather will allow to use the portable station outside, and that's where all the fun is.

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