AA8IA Amateur Radio

FT-950 Dead


If my lack of amateur radio activity in the past five months isn’t sign enough that there must be more important things in life than ham radio, my FT-950 is now dead.

I hadn’t played radio for what seemed like ages. Yesterday I noticed there was a firmware update out for my FT-950. After reading what the firmware updates offered, I decided that a firmware update wouldn’t benefit me in the least. But, being the idiot I am, I downloaded the firmware and attempted to update anyway.

I checked my serial # (9M330040) and the current firmware version (11.541.12) and made note of the fact that the main / dsp firmware updates from 3/2012 were indeed applicable to my radio. So I attempted to follow the directions.

The instructions said to remove DC power from the radio, either by unplugging the power cable from the back or turning the power supply off and waiting a minute for the capacitors to discharge. For whatever reason I chose the latter option, when the former would have been better. Then the instructions said to slide the program switch dipswitch (PGM-SW) on the back to the right [program mode]. I did that. Then I was to provide DC power to the radio again, so I turned the power supply on.

At this point it was time to start the flashing procedure. However, when I fired up PEP app to write the update, I had a communications error. No problem I figured. I probably had the wrong comport settings. I knew the baud rate in the radio was set for 38400, or at least something higher than 9600, and that the instructions suggested that the baud rate should be 9600. Furthermore, I couldn’t remember what comport on the computer was connected to the radio. I figured that once I got the right information I’d be good to go.

Well, in an attempt to go into the radio and set the baud rate to 9600, I was supposed to remove DC power again [and wait for cap discharge] and then switch PGM-SW back to the left. Then fire up the radio. No joy. The radio didnt fire up. No matter what i do, I can’t get the radio to turn on.

Inline fuses are good. Voltage is good through the cable. I’ve heard stories of people bricking the radio by not doing the firmware updates correctly, and I’m familiar with bricking devices during updates. I’ve also heard other stories about diodes and other components blowing if one doesn’t remove DC power and allow for cap discharge prior to switching PGM-SW.

I can only guess that I failed to follow instructions and blew something out inside. I get absolutely no sign that the radio is receiving voltage to its internals. It’s as if it’s not even plugged in.

I’ll fiddle around with it a little more, but I’m not hopeful. I’ll probably have to send it out. Incidentally, I called Yaesu tech support, but the lady told me there were no techs around because they all went to Dayton and for me to call back on Monday. She apologized, and I said goodbye.

Looks like I’ll need to send it back. You know, just two or three months ago my niece was moving and was looking for some boxes, so I told her to take my double-box yaesu shipping box. What a dumb move. Now I don’t have a box to ship it out in. If I did, I’d package it up right now and send it to one of the repair centers who is on the AC0C list of repair centers that will perform his mode. I’d get the radio fixed and have the NS roofing filter installed at the same time.

But, my heart isn’t in it. Too much trouble for too little gain. I haven’t been playing radio. I don’t have any decent antennas up. In fact, I don’t have any HF antennas up. So what’s the use, right? I think I’m just going to the shelve the radio. It’ll probably sit there until I pass away one day, and then some schmuck will come by the house and offer my family 1/100th of what it is worth as the ultimate smack in the face rofl.

I don’t think anyone will hear me on HF for the rest of the year, at least. This must be a sign that there is something more important that I need to be doing.

Have fun folks!

Written by Mike

May 18th, 2012 at 10:42 am

Posted in FT-950,Posts

Tagged with , , , ,

8 Responses to 'FT-950 Dead'

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  1. Hi Mike. Please don’t give up on the FT-950 and HF, its a wonderful radio and great to get on the air, even with modest/temporary antennas. I hope you get a new motivation to get the radio sorted soon. Make sure that PGM switch is one way or the other, and not quite home as that might be preventing the radio from powering up. Good luck. 73 DE Mike M0SAZ

    Mike M0SAZ

    13 Jun 12 at 7:13 PM

  2. Thanks Mike. The FT-950 is a great radio. I just made another post. A really great friend of mind fixed the radio for me. I’ll have it back for CQ VHF. If i can get an antenna up before the weekend, I might actually be on for FD this weekend using my FT-100.



    19 Jun 12 at 12:51 AM

  3. Great news on the radio Mike, glad you are back in the game. I have just got my FT-950 back having paid to have the AC0C Roofing Filter fitted. I have also added the N8BX weighted VFO knob – putting the FT-950 into the next level without spending hideous amounts of dollars!

    Mike M0SAZ

    4 Jul 12 at 11:56 AM

  4. Mike,

    Congrats on the AC0C roofing filter. Please do elaborate on its performance once you’ve had time to give it a workout. I really want to get that, but I’d like to see what some other people think of it. most people get the filter for the FT-2000, not the 950.

    If it works as advertised, I agree that it would put the FT-950 into another league altogether. I hadn’t heared about the weighted VFO knob. I need to look that up.

    I assume you had your roofing filter put in by somebody in the UK. Is that correct?

    Although my buddy has fixed my radio, and although it is only 3 hours away from me, we haven’t yet managed to arrange for it to be brought back this direction. So in the meantime I’m using my FT-100 (and not having a whole of fun doing it rofl).



    4 Jul 12 at 2:45 PM

  5. I have the same problem.
    My FT-950 will not power up after attempting an update.
    I attempted to up date my radio,
    I followed all the instructions about updating.
    I could not get the update to take and the programs window said that there was a problem with the comport.
    So I gave up on the update at this time and put it back as it was prior to attempting the update.
    I hooked the power back up and gave plenty of time for the capacitors to do their thing.
    Upon trying to turn on my radio it will not powere up.


    3 Nov 12 at 1:56 PM

  6. Hello everyone.. I have a good question i think..

    My question has to do with the ft 950 and the Audio!.

    Now I have some audio Hardware ” All Behringer and Condenser Mic. and I dont know if it even matters but I have a bunch of this equipment and want to hook it up to make it sound like a broadcast station. I have parametric EQs that do more than the Radios EQ’s.

    I know that the FT-2000 has a RC Jack on the back of it for audio to go right into the radio just for this purpose.. The FT-950 does NOT have this.. So my few questions are can I use my Heil 8Pin mic cord for the front mic plug on the front of the 950 and run all my audio equipment threw that plug into the 950. I noticed i can turn off the Parametric eq in the radio. I have Equipment to also make sure i dont pump the radio with too much audio as to not burn it up inside the 950.

    and the other question is , Are the FT 2000 and 950, do they have both left and right side for the audio input either viz the mic plug up front on both radios and specifically the 2000 , does it have both left and right side seperation for the audio input fron the Mic? and or Equipment for the Mic Audio??

    Thanks and I hope I explained it well enough.


    3 May 13 at 3:51 AM

  7. Sorry on the spelling.. I did not Catch it. Viz means Via lol..

    I can be reached at iRepair.Everett@gmail.com


    3 May 13 at 3:54 AM

  8. Hi Mike sorry for the VERY slow reply, I never saw your response. The weighted knob in my opinion is great. I have just bought my 4th (kept selling rigs) FT-950 and I instantly got a weighted knob for it it. The AC0C/NS filter actually provides a credible 3KHz roofing filter but unless you are into SMD level soldering/electronics I would ship it out. The workshop at Martin Lynch and Sons did mine and a very good job they did too. Pics on the FT-950 Yahoo Group of the work. I hope I don’t sell this FT-950 as they are getting harder to get hold of now. 73 Mike M0SAZ.

    Mike M0SAZ

    13 Apr 15 at 9:26 AM

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