My new Yaesu FTdx3000 HF transceiver went into service on 25 Aug 2015. I’ve been looking at this radio for a couple years—it sure looks inviting. It’s billed as a mid-range rig, but to me it seems a bit more on the high end. Lots of features!
It’s not a small radio: 14.5 inches (37 cm) wide and, with feet extended, 6 inches (15 cm) tall. The button sizes are a titch small for my big fingers, but so far I’ve been able to use them all just fine. Here’s a photo of the rig with my MFJ-993B antenna tuner atop:
Yaesu FTdx3000 front panel. See text for description. My MFJ-993 sits atop the ‘3000.
Let me describe some of the key features on the front panel.
Power. This switch, when held down for a couple seconds toggles power on and off. If it’s just pressed momentarily, it will mute the receiver for a few seconds (for me, if I want it muted, I just turn AF gain to zero—and AF gain of zero is indeed zero—silent). The rig requires an external DC supply 13.8 vdc ±10% (12.42 vdc – 15.18 vdc). I power mine with a marine (quasi-deep cycle) battery that’s charged by a solar panel. A fully charged battery with no load and no charge is 12.7 vdc, and under load can droop below this. I’ve run the rig successfully down to maybe 12.1 vdc with no problems. As I speak into the microphone, I see the meter light in the MFJ tuner dim and glow along with my voice, but the Yaesu’s front panel maintains constant brightness.
I answer three questions sent in by viewers. Peter Greene, KG7VXX, asks about radials for vertical antenna systems. Dick Jubinville, W1REJ, asks about how remote coax switches can work without a control cable. And Bill Smith, N5XVT, asks about finding info on old rigs.
This episode explores HF antennas for those with less-than-ideal situations. The video includes three case studies. This video is a follow-on to Ask Dave 3, which describes setting up an amateur radio station.
Many thanks to Lew French, KCØUER, Dick Schultz, KDØESZ, and Randy Cassingham, KØRCC!
Here’s the fourth installment of Ask Dave, which focuses on a CW conundrum: how to tune a CW signal with your HF receiver so that the other station can hear you easily. The process is called zero-beating, meaning making the signals match in tone. Your HF radio has a button or control called “spot” that enables this, giving rise to the jargon “spotting his signal.”
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By request here is the band graphic showing where certain types of activity take place on the 20-meter band. This is by no means a complete representation, but highlights some of the more interesting features. This graphic was used in the second Ask Dave video.
Graphic from Ask Dave Episode 2, showing some key features of the US Amateur 20-meter band (14 to 14.35 MHz)
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