The April (RSGB Club Contest SSB leg) took place on the 14th of April and Mark and I used the group callsign for the event running 100w from the FT-1000 into a trap dipole and a Heil headset with the HC5 mic insert.
Band conditions were very good here with MM & MW stations being worked without problem. I was a little concerned that the band conditions would be poor after the high pressure that had been hanging over the UK this last week and little signs of moving.
The contest started fine with us establishing a working frequency and contacts were coming in at a steady pace, I started the contest and then passed over to Mark around 10 minutes in, we usually split the operating between us.
Last month we encountered a problem that lost us 30 min with the radio overheating. This was caused because the (10" Squirrel Blower fan) failed to kick in and cool the transceiver down for normal operation. WE let the set cool down for half an hour and then returned to contesting at a reduced power running search and pounce instead of a spot frequency
The fault was repaired a few days later and a Mod to the blower was conducted (more on this later)
However the transceiver fan failed again in the April contest around 25 minutes in, and we lost a valuable 35 minutes or so whilst we let the set cool down along with stripping the set down to locate the fault.... This turned out to be a new fault although still related to the blower. After the last failure we added a modification to the way the (Squirrel Cage blower) worked. During reassembly after the mod a thin insulated wire had been snagged on an internal heat sink and as the set heated up the wire was broken. It was an easy repair but time consuming mainly in the number of screws plugs and connectors that need to be taken out and replaced again after the repair. The snagged wire could not be seen or felt when putting the set back together again, but we learned from the experience and any loose wires were secured during reconstruction.
Turning a negative experience into a positive one, we both learned from the mistake and no damage was done to the transceiver.
We joined the contest again at 9pm and I went to search and pounce for the last 30 minutes. We made 51 contacts in total and aim to do a lot better next time.
Mark M0DGK removing the heatsink cover.
I think others could benefit from our experience and that's why I've entered details in this blog. So lets go back to where this story started.
Last month we encountered a problem that lost us 30 min with the radio overheating. This was caused because the (10" Squirrel Blower Fan) failed to kick in. A few days later Mark and I set too work locating the fan and heat sensor both were tested and found to be working. It would seem that it was down to a dirty connector or loose plug.
This Blower is poorly described in the service manual but eventually it was found in the heart of the transceiver. There are numerous screws and plugs to be disconnected and we found it useful to take a few pictures of the set as parts were disassembled and unplugged, to help with the re-assembly of the set. ( a useful technique picked up from Ian G0VGS)
Squirrel Cage Blower Modification
Whilst looking for information on the (Squirrel Cage Blower) We came across a the site of K6JRF who had a number of modifications for the FT-1000D, one them concerned noise with the blower and a suggested a modification which in effect causes the blower to cut in and run slowly when the set is switched on it builds in speed as the set gets hotter.
To me this seems an approach that makes sense, the blower runs a lot more smoothly and the components cost pennies. Try this at your own risk all I can say is it works for me. The site contains all the instructions along with photographs
If your interested in Radio and Audio his site has loads of information and photographs based on his own experiences.
A second mod was done whilst we had the screws out that can be found at http://n1eu.com
This mod greatly improves strong signal IMD in the FT-1000In closing I would like to thank all the contesters out there who contributed to a truly enjoyable contest.
n1eu.com has a whole range of mods for different makes of Transceiver and is well worth looking at.
I hope this has been an interesting blog on more than one level.
73 Brian G0RDH
(The Reluctant Contester)