Some Challenges with Remote Operation by HRD

If you have read any of the previous posts you know that I operate by Ham Radio Deluxe to a remote location. Recently I tried swapping the Icom-703+ with the Yaesu FT-897D. I ran into two problems.

The first problem was that I have the FC-30 add on tuner. There is currently no way to tune the tuner remotely with HRD. I was able to hook the tuner to the CAT/Tuner connection and make that work. I was also able to use the mic connector as a CAT connector for HRD. By the way, it will not work if you do not supply twelve volts to the CT-62 serial cable. It needs power and the mic connector, unlike the CAT connector, does not have twelve volts available. With out the tune button in HRD you can not tune remotely. Two options include going through all the bands while at the radio site and pre-tune all of the band portions. I have done this. There also may be an option to tune every time you transmit, but I did not like that option if available.

The other problem was that the FT-897 would not tune with the G5RV antenna on any bands except 20 and 12 meters. I have a typical G5RV with 102 feet for the top wire, 31 feet of 450 ohm ladder line and then a 4:1 balun. From there it is all RG-6 to get inside the building to the radio. Last week I made another G5RV with 33 feet of 450 ohm ladder line and a new 4:1 balun. The results were the same. After reading a few post on Reddit about other people’s problems with the G5RV I noted that some seem to have success using a 1:1 balun rather than the 4:1 balun. Besides the benefits of a choke I think what this really does is to just add line length. Some articles on the G5RV insist on as much as 70 feet of coax. I think this just adds line loss and thus lessens the affect of SWR?

I may give the 1:1 balun a try. The other problem may be best solved by selling the Yaesu and replacing it with a radio that has a built in tuner. Anyone interested in a relatively new FT-897D?

Otherwise I am having a good time making contacts with the 703.


About Tim

Amateur Radio operator, television broadcast engineer living in Minnesota.
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