The more I learn the more I want to share the knowledge so this page will attempt to bring together links and information
Navigating this page
The links above are to my own projects and hobbies. Yes, I like to make beer and ride motorcycles and my other hobby is Amateur Radio of course.
I'm active in my local Club and the Emergency Communications group called W.I.C.E.N.
I will continue to add items of interest to this page so if you're looking for some antennas or a fix for your Yaesu Handheld this could be the place for you.
Let's start this conversation again.... are you looking for close-in HF communications.... like contacting nearby towns which are separated by substantial terrain and are usually in the dead 'skip zone' for radio comms?
Well this project may interest you.
It's ALL THANKS TO " A Lone Star Yank" Bob Hejl W2IK who shared his robust designs and encouragement
This is the link to VK4ION ENVIS Dipole Project - it was updated mid 2012 after a very successful exercise "Contact2012" which tested the antennas and equipment between isolated Queensland communities.
We always assume that everyone knows what we know... but often they don't.. and unless you teach people the "basics" how can they go on to bigger things?
Our club workshops aim to introduce new members to the mysteries of electronics and from my notes I've created some simple "How To" documents and included photos of the components and the finished circuits. They are in .PDF format so you should be able to download and print them for free.
At the end of each Document you'll find "Notes" which give more info on components and will help you understand what you're doing and why things work (or don't work).
This is entry level electronics which you might like to try at home or in a class situation and by using the cheapest components it really is quite affordable.
Jaycar here in Bundaberg have been a great and I'm happy to give them a 'thumbs up' for service and the components that they stock.
So here you go............
Basic Electronics Part 1 contains 5 very simple circuits using a 9volt battery, a breadboard, resistor, LED, Diode & Piezo buzzer. You will know if you've built these circuits correctly when the LED glows or the buzzer sounds.
Basic Electronics Part 2 follows with 4 more circuits and introduces Transistors and Variable Resistors.
Basic Electronics Part 3 details the final 4 circuits using Capacitors, Regulators and Crystals - a word of warning - these are more advanced projects AND to test whether your circuit works you are going to need a friend with an oscilloscope or frequency counter! All the previous circuits use a buzzer or LED so you knew you had it right but these final 4 might frustrate you, if you can't test them.
I've also uploaded a small project that can be built for a few cents!.
It's a Light Dependant Resistor Circuit which aims to light an LED when the light changes or when it gets dark. There are images and notes to help you adapt from a drawing into a real working circuit.
The circuit diagram ripped off the internet really didn't do the job and it required some thinking and adaptation.!
You'll see handwritten notes as I fixed the schematic. First I built it on a breadboard, then transferred the components to a piece of veroboard.
Finally I've uploaded a great project that will put all that you've learned to the test and give you hours of fun all for the cost of around $20.
It's a Morse Code [CW] Practice Oscillator which builds into a small Jiffy box into which you plug a Morse Code key. When you tap the Morse Key you hear realistic Morse pitch/tones from the speaker in the box. It's a great tool for anyone learning Morse and at our club we're using to to work with Scouts on the Signals & Codes badge.
Once again the circuit diagram was ripped off the internet and it utilizes an 8Pin Integrated Circuit - NE555 Timer to do all the heavy work.
You'll practice reading a schematic, identifying components and learning to place them on a circuit board for soldering. ENJOY
I hope you get some enjoyment out of these projects and give me some feedback if you think I should add anything else.
Are you having problems with your Yaesu Handheld? Here are a couple of .PDF files that may assist.
Many thanks to Mike Froehlich KB9JXZ for supplying the Service Manual so it would be uploaded for all to share
Here is a link to the Yaesu VX-7R Operations Manual this file is 4mb in size stored in a 'docs' area
and here is a link to the Yaesu VX-7R Service Manual be aware that this is an 8mb file stored in a 'docs' area
Even using WinZip this file would barely compress due to the intricate circuit diagrams I guess
My sad tale is...I got an EE (double E) message on the display and found that the unit was deaf to Receiving NFM i.e. 2M & 70cm.
The unit would transmit OK and could even receive other frequencies like (WFM) FM broadcast stations.
Tried the factory reset and microprocessor reset but couldn't fix it so I sent it to Yaesu Australia (Vertex Standard) for repair.
There was a Service Work Order attached to the invoice with the following info:
Problem/Solution: Low sensitivity on Main band: Replaced CF2002 on the AF Unit
Parts Used: Stock Number: H3900531 Item description: Ceramic Filter ALFYM450F
**Yaesu Part Number has changed since my repair... see info below**
A double check from the manual reveals...
This second IF is filtered by ceramic filter CF2002 (ALFYM450F=k) and amplified by the limiting amplifier within the Narrow IF IC before quadrate detection by ceramic discriminator CD2001 (CDBM450C7).
**Last Updated December 2013
Bill AC0LV sent the following; [2012 - Part Number changes at Yaesu]
I have a Yaesu VX-7R that had become deaf and based on what you wrote I ordered a ceramic filter (H3900531) from Yaesu USA.
The parts customer service guy said it has been replaced with H3900572A (LTM450FW-A) so hoping for the best I ordered 3 ($0.61 ea) +$1.95 shipping and 2 days later they showed up.
I just finished doing the replacement and the VX-7R can hear again!
Darren M0JUG also had this problem and emailed...
I decided to fire up my VX7r after about a year of it sitting on a shelf. I found it had gone deaf on the main VFO only. It had hardly been used and never abused.
A quick search on the internet and I found your page. I ordered the part (H3900572A, LTM455FW @ £0.69). Yaesu UK parts department are great.
I have just fitted the part, it wasn't too difficult to do, and my radio is now as good as new
Mike OE3MZC emailed to say thanks but also offered one further recommendation...
I had same problem and could make the repair successfully, Thank you.
It is recommended to replace BOTH Toko filters at same time, they are the same, cost nothing, are both easy to replace and BOTH seem to have similar short lifetime.
Mine failed both almost same time, although the SUB-band seemed to receive still, but signals were much weaker than with new filter.
The current Yaesu Part-No is H3900572A CERAMIC FILTER LTM455FW
Thanks to all for allowing me to share these emails... it will give confidence to people who might not otherwise try this at home.
Hoping this technical info will allow others to pinpoint and fix the problem quicker than I could.
IF you are hesitant to undertake the repairs these links below will give you a confidence boost and the photos, steps and warnings will keep you on the right track.
Many thanks to Tim WO9U in Wisconsin for his page; Yaesu VX-series sensitivity issues
and a page from Chris KD0FER, also in Wisconsin Yaesu VX-6R Receive Fix
Living in rural Queensland in Australia means that I'm quite a way from the nearest Wireless Internet tower.
There are many commercial antennas available but they can cost $200 to $500 and were very broad band to be "everything to everyone". What we needed was a Yagi just to intercept the frequency of our ISP.
This is a link to a homebrew Yagi project for the Bigpond Wireless Internet
It cost around $10 and was made from bits and pieces from the local hardware store.
The country went Digital, which means our old Analogue TV antennas can barely cope. When you live outside the major cities you simply MUST use a better antenna to have the best chance of getting all the TV channel signals.
There are many antennas installers who know only what they read on the antenna box! So do your own research and this Digital TV help page may assist.
First responders know that it's important to be part of the solution and not part of the problem - and although we serve in radio comms behind the front lines it's important that we also observe that rule.
We do try and train our members to think Self-sufficiency when on duty - well for the first 24 hours anyway. Let's give the other services time to rock up and set up the mobile kitchens before we're demanding a meal. Let's not be the unit whose members turn up and immediately seek out the lunch truck or water bottle?
Below is a link to a recipe for healthy but more importantly energy giving snack bar which will replace a meal and give you the zip you need to keep trucking until meals can be provided.
I make no "health claims" about these bars and the final fat and calorie count WILL DEPEND on what YOU put in them....
But for what it's worth they're yummy and easy to make and keep for ages wrapped individually in the bottom of the fridge.
Just grab a handful when heading off to duty....VK4ION Fruit & Nut Bar