Thursday, January 27, 2011

Modding My Yaesu FT-60R

Yes, I am a Ham Nerd...

The decision to become a ham was a actually made years ago. Though I didn't pursue it then... I've since come to realize that telecommunications are as very important to my life as verbal and non-verbal communication. I spend a lot of time on the Internet and the radio.

Alright, not as much on the radio as other hams. But I do enjoy catching the local nets from time to time. Hearing the other people out there, being able to chit-chat with the locals and the DXers (if I get the opportunity). Get to hear some fascinating things... especially about Medicare and rascal scooters.

So I get it into my head to modify my FT-60R, the reasons are because it should be fairly easy, will exercise some basic de-soldering skills, and these modifications would open up my radio's ability to transmit from 137-174 Mhz and 420-470 Mhz. I'll need to check this per country, but I believe this may come in handy elsewhere (literally). Not to mention, as my friend Bill Wells always said... "Carry an umbrella and it won't rain." In the highly unlikely event it was ever actually needed, it would be available.

In the U.S. as an amateur you may transmit between 144-148Mhz and 420-450 Mhz. Obviously this modification would open me up to the possibility of legal issues in the U.S. if I were not careful. Luckily I am familiar with these specifics so keeping within our little play pin in the U.S. should be no problem what so ever. In fact I keep a reference copy of the ARRL US Amateur Radio Bands on my cell phone for reference (ham nerd, remember?)

Now, the mod... I read someone else's work on this. Originally I read this when I first bought my radio and wasn't sure if I'd actually give it a try. But after watching a bunch of videos on SMT, I thought this may be an excellent way to ease into that sort of thing. The article I followed may be found here.

So this is not a terribly complicated process, in fact it's pretty simple. Just remove 1 resistor. Remove 1 very, very, very small resistor.  Remember when I said it'd be fairly easy, exercising basic de-soldering skills? Well it would have been. If it wasn't for this...

Turns out buying a radio from the reds in China is both cheaper and will come without a band filter. So it would appear my radio already has the ability to transmit at it's highest potential, since it's missing that little resistor and all. A job well... um... easily... um... not done by me at all. But the radio went back together pretty smoothly ^_^ once I remembered to the put the battery clip back on before putting the screws in again.



  1. How did you get it to work if go n

    1. It worked when it was delivered, I went to make the modification and it had already been "done;" the band-pass filter was never put in.