AA8IA Amateur Radio

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FT-950 Dead

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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 , , , ,