LiFePO recharge note

•July 9, 2017 • Leave a Comment

7/8/17 Recharged LiFePo after a days light usage on the TS590

Put the charger on a Kill-A-Watt to record the charge.  ~ 3.5 hrs .  Recorded .09 khw or 90 watt hrs.  The battery has a rated capacity of 128 wh so we depleted about 70% total charge with 30% left.


Resting open terminal battery voltage : 13.7    (down from about 14 just after charge)


FT-857D SSB and CW. ALC clipping/cutting power back on 40m, low power on 40m. Service-menu fix

•June 3, 2017 • 2 Comments

Problem 1: ALC cutting back on 40m.  Initial tests seemed OK after reset. ALC aggressive on 40M with intermittent power clipping / foldback.   ALC display showed sharp spikes. When not clipping – good power reported at distant end of the AM net.  Status:  Fixed ( reset menu 51 and 52)-
Problem 2:  Limited power – but only on 40m.  (Status: fixed with menu 28 set to 155)

To fix the problems, three service menu values resets were needed.  I used trial and error  while making notes to ensure I could return to a baseline state.     It is to be expected that the values I worked out for my radio may not necessarily work on another FT-857D.

Service Menu
To get to the service menu, hold down three buttons [A][B][C] and power on. To save changes, press  the [FUNCTION] key.  Power off to abandon changes.


July 2017 Baseline Setting
Revised Feb 2018

Mic Gain (menu 81) 50-100 
Power 100 w
Menu 28 155 170 (fixes symptom of 4+bar ALC and reduced power)
Menu 51 203
Menu 52 85

7/17 0938 – Correct Operation  Indications

7.195 cw transmit is 100W (alc 4 bars). Same test on 20m with identical power/alc readings key down.  Below – correct indication for ALC and PWR with the key down.




Below raw notes

Log  3 jun – 17 july 2017
Problems started 3 June17.  The FT-857D reset and lost menu settings including the service menu settings.  Probably occurred during mobile operation on HF and circumstance point to RF feeding back to the radio .  The standard menu was restored with Chirp, and Service Menu settings 51 and 52 were restored to known good values from previous experience.

The July 2017 baseline setting is working and stable  on 20m, 40m and 80m and produces good power without ALC clipping on SSB and CW.  CW was also affected by apparent ALC clipping .  CW also produces full power key down and so can be used for power / ALC testing.

(Unrelated side issue: I noticed at some point the radio would not power up to the service menu — if this happens try to put the radio into a normal or standard operating state for SSB and then follow the standard procedure to enter the service menu.  Sorry don’t remember what caused this.)

A month later two problems occurred during portable operations in Waimea on the Big Island 7/3/17:

Portable Working Conditions  
Waimea,  Island of Hawaii.
Yaesu FT857-D
Antenna: 120 foot doublet up 12′-28′-12′ (N-S)
450R ladder line
4:1 current balun
RG8 to LDG YT-100 tuner
MFJ 4125-P power supply
RTSystems USB to serial converter
Sabrent USB to spkr/mic converter.

3 jun17 – In the last couple of days, the ft-857 mobile lost its programmed memories.  I also checked the ALC, key down, no modulation and get 3 bars of ALC.  From past experience, the drill now is to restore user memory with Chirp from backup, and reset ALC parameters in the Service Menu.

Operating Conditions: Mobile Operating: Yaesu FT-857D, LDG YT-100, vertical center loaded antennas,  direct DC connect to battery + and chassis negative


4 June 17

  • Reflashed the user memories with Chirp from a backup  “.img” file.
  • Accessed the service menu ([power off].  hold  [A] [B] [C]  [power-on] )  . Reset menu items 51 and 52 to correct values for this radio:
    • 51  193
    • 52   85
    • press [FUNC] to save
  • tested on 40m with kh6fhi

Note 1: win10 desktop and macbook are able to run Chirp, and both computers/os have the RT-systems driver for the RT-systems USB-62 programming/cat cable.

Note 2: This procedure can be done in place with the macbook in the future.

Note 3: Don’t know why this happens, or how often but suspect transmitting activity

Note 4: The transmitter power on SSB at 40M seemeds low.  Service Menu change.

  • Changed Service Menu parameter 28 (7mhz)  to 200 from default 168.  Test with dummy load. Used LSB mode instead of CW and a harmonica note for modulation to get 70W (200 new val)  reading on the Bird external power meter.  The default setting of 168 produced 50W on 40M.
  • Power is very difficult thing to asses subjectively since 3dB is only 1/2 S unit and this adjustment is something on that order.   A remote signal strength meter is probably a better way to go.  And maybe it doesn’t matter that much!

6 Jun 2017  (Aiea):  Aloha Net 7.188  — apparently getting out OK at 100W to the usual stations and no comments about distortion. Apparently good to go on 40m sideband at least.


12 July (Waimea, Big Island) – Intermittent problem with power limiting at 3 bars.

13 July 17 – [40m  ssb and cw.  NOT 20m and 80m] Portable ops in Waimea and the problem is back – so far ONLY on 40 m.  With menus 51 and 52 set at 193 85 the problem is most pronounced at 100W power, and less so at 50W.   The power pegs at 3 bars.  Different settings of 51 and 52 do not help.

Menu 28 160
Menu 51 193
Menu 52 85

Explored menu 28 (H2-PO-MAX) was to 200 – poor result apparently (notes sketchy).
Menu 28 to 160Power 100.  Mic Gain 100.   MIC GAIN affects power – the fact that it has to be so hot needs to be looked into but previous forays did not turn up an appropriate parameter.   The ALC no longer is spiking and making better power.  CW also does not spike ALC.


14jul 0900 –40m  SSB- makes power, no ALC spikes, no fold back.
20m OK full cw power
20M normal operation for SSB voice and JT65
CW ALC shows four bars.
CW Power on 40m :  5 bars  << this is indicative of degraded power.


Menu 28 155  <<  test 14jul 0900 — much better on 40m – make power no fold back
Menu 51 203
Menu 52 85
Mike Gain 50
Power 100

JT65 – power max at about 4 bars with 1 bar ALC.  Made contacts – so reliable transmission. uncertain if audio input to power out is normal.  Radio was set to DIG mode

Discussion experiments –

The mike gain is still 100.  Try change menu 51 to 203 – a default setting. The idea is to restore linearity to the mike gain and modulation situation, instead of it being pegged at 100.  The previous issue was inadequate modulation and power with the mike gain lower.  At 1700 these settings are working for both SSB and CW

Menu 28 160  << ALC still spikes / folds back
Menu 28 156  <<  test 14jul 0900 — much better on 40m – make power no fold back
Menu 51 203  (change)
Menu 52 85

7/16 – With bad band conditions, steve wh7tw could hear me but I couldn’t hear him well.  40m CW sounded “strange”. We could easily communicate on 20M SSB

7/17 0830 Mon Problem: still not making full power on 40m.   Apprently full power on 20M.  Testing with menu 28 settings shows little change when setting is moved incrementally from 155 to 165.  Restore to 155 and return to 14jul baseline.
7/17 0845 – chatting FHI sent me S8/S9 —
In spite of impaired power, we had comms on 40m 7/17 until the band went dead at 1911z. Later discovered mic gain at 100 – so we leave it there.
CW power on 40 – surprised to see 100W 9 bars ( 2 bars over the line)

7/17 testing did not seem to fix an issue with 40m power but later testing shows restoration of 40m power.  Confusion.
Suspect instability may play a role in a temporary apparent fix which would lead to recurrence.

wsjt-x 1.7.0

•April 7, 2017 • Leave a Comment


WSJT-XSettings (configured 29nov16)

  1. select Rig (Kenwood ts-590sg)
  2. CAT: COM3, 9600, 8 bits, One Stop, Handshake: Hardware, Force DTR HIGH
  3. PTT: CAT
  4. Transmit Audio: REAR/DATA
  5. MODE : USB
  6. SPLIT RIG : nothing

See C:\Users\Peter\Documents\2Projects\0.11 Ham Radio Projects\WSJT-X WSPR


Use com3,  not usb.

Version 10 is a significant update.  It does not have a Rig select and the port configuration is a bit more cryptic than the earlier version.

TS590SG DSP and TX Eq settings

•March 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment

28mar17 : just for record keeping purposes:

TX FILTER SSB LOW CUT at 400 hz.  All other DSP settings are at default.
TX Eq (menu 36) at setting C(Conventional) which is described in the manual as a 3dB emphasis at frequencies > 600hz.

60m swl possibilities

•March 18, 2017 • Leave a Comment

3/18/17 SAT 1940Z
{on a very bad 40m NVIS day – qso with warren kh6bb}

5.3715 USB – could actually copy most stations on a very bad nvis day  – including kh6fhi and pascal

mfj1026- pre in, frq high, phase normal,  aux gain, phase, main gain:  .9 / 8.5 / 3.0
Tuner 901B    tweak antenna for loudest  sig

Protected: Hawaii Repeater Active

•March 9, 2017 • Enter your password to view comments.

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

wire on the ground

•February 3, 2017 • 2 Comments

2/3/17 I just layed out  65 feet or so of antenna wire on the ground under the doublet as an experiment.  It’s not a counterpoise, just a conductor of about the same length as the antenna.  Just curious if I will notice anything.

I don’t see any change in daylight receive, but the only signal is 5 mhz wwv.

2/14/17 after a few days…  if anything the wire may have actually reduced my transmit signal by a few dB according to some – e.g. kh6hi.  From a receive standpoint, there is no improvement.

2/14 : removed the wire

Whether some kind of artificial ground may help the station is another question.  A long wire on the ground did not do anything for the existing 40m doublet.