After buying my new QRP transceiver, the Yaesu FT-817nd, I found out that not all the bands on it are available for transmitting, some are only available for receiving.
I thought that it would be possible to use some software (widebander.exe) to open all the bands for transmitting but I found out that this was only possible with the older models, not with the FT-817nd that I bought. Opening all the bands for transmission is called widebanding by the way.
After searching a bit on the internet I found out that it is possible to make a hardware modification (a mod) to open all bands. The information I found on internet is not all that clear and it seems that there are different versions of the 817nd around and some of them have different hardware settings. I decided to take the “average” of all the info I found and do the mod with the “most likely” settings. After gathering all the info I was ready for my first mod!
Just thinking about fiddling around with a soldering iron in my new transceiver made me sweat all over!
But ok, I now and then use the 11 meter band and this was one of the bands that’s closed for transmitting in a new FT-817nd. All the Radio Amateur / HAM bands we are allowed to use in region 1 are already open on the 817.
But ok, now for the technical part. There is a PDF made by Yaesu to open a few extra bands on the 817. It is not described how you can open ALL HAM / CB bands. This was the starting point for me in my search for info. In the PDF the following steps are described to open the rig and get to the part where you need to solder.
Please note that you are taking full responsibility for any damage caused to the transceiver during this modification. All normal precautions to protect against static electricity should be followed.
First remove the battery and disconnect the radio from any power source.
Next remove the top and bottom covers.
Looking at the front of the radio there are 2 clips on the top and 2 on the bottom.
Ease these clips free of the main body of the radio and slide the front panel off (don’t overstretch the ribbon cable).
Next unclip the ribbon cable from the main body of the radio.
Now the front panel should come free and you can then see the jumper positions.
If you look at the inside of the front panel you see 9 jumpers at the top. Some of the jumpers are soldered closed and some are still open.
To wideband the radio you have to change the configuration of these jumpers.
This is how the jumpers looked in my newly bought FT-817nd: OXOXXOOOO
I found out that the jumpers needed to be soldered like this: XXXXOOOOO
After closing the rig up again press and hold the “F” and “V/M” buttons and then press “power on” to reset the FT-817 and make the mod active.
So in the end it all looks simple enough. The challenge is in the fact that everything is in miniature. You need a magnifying glass and very small fingers to do this. The fact that my FT-817nd was brand new also didn’t make it easier for me but luckily all went well.
All HAM bands are now open as well as the CB band, so my first mod went great!