The Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark-V transceiver
Menu and other settings (V)
The day when you decide to replace your old transceiver, you can sometimes hesitate to make the step forward because the new model includes not only a completely different front panel but also because the menu system will be completely reorganized. Again you will have to face to a new learning and memorize all these new settings.
The Mark-V menu is a hard piece to digest, requiring time and patience; it provides no less than 82 options, each offering various settings, without speaking about the 99 memory channels and other scanning capabilities.
I concede you that together these changes will require some acclimation. During several weeks the "Operating Manual" or rather the "Quick Code Sheet" will stay probably close to your transceiver to get the best of your new rig. But the good news is that you will probably keep your transceiver more than a decade, maybe all your live if you like it, enough time in all cases to memorize the new settings.
An interface to revise
I really wonder if it had to be an engineer to create a so complex, and really not elegant menu system ! I suspect rather Yaesu engineers to own a master in chaos and be certified "es Quick Code Sheet Help"... In fact since the original "MP" Yaesu does neither change the slightest option in the menu nor the way to access it. This is surely not due to its success but from a lack of consideration of users feedbacks and expectations, and thus one more time this denotes a deep lack of quality service. This is really a pity and I think seriously that Yaesu engineers should look more often over the shoulder of their competitors, to name Kenwood or other ICOM to improve their quality.
Hopefully there is a CAT connection on the rear side of the Mark-V that allows the amateurs to configure the options using a more friendly user interface through their home computer. But 5 years after the release of the "MP", the CAT software itself is always not provided by Yaesu. There is probably no chance to change this as the Operating Manual states "Yaesu does not provide a CAT program"... So the CAT is maybe very useful... but Yaesu forgot that many amateurs are not used to work with Basic and other languages are and thus unable to create a friendly user interface ! But I am not surprized on this situation because we know the same problem at Kenwood and Icom. Between ourselves, if you need of a CAT program, I listed above several products, freeware or shareware. Browsing on the web you will probably find some more.
No Menu button... ? The configuration menu is not accessible at a depress of a key, but rather... two keys, FAST and ENT. And the first time, if you never seen these buttons, you will need of a few seconds to find them... (see the picture above as you will need help !). Why make things so complex ? This is neither smart nor a quick method to access to a menu of this importance. But this is not all. To display the different selections you need to use the VRF/MEM CH button. In turning the main VFO knob you can change each setting.
The Mark-V menu has nothing to do with a friendly user interface. Written in English only it still uses acronyms and short abbreviations without respect to the case to define the different available options, where its competitors use for years a scrolling menu and full text. Take a few examples of the menu options that we find on the Mark-V :
If you translated without hesitation these acronyms you are lucky or as "tweaked" as Yaesu engineers, HI ! But in all cases you will recognize with me that these abbreviations are not very verboses and most of them need the "Quick Code Sheet" for more explanations. Didn't Yaesu engineers know the scrolling Menu ?
But there are other difficulties. The menu allows you for example to predefine several filters among them the three bandwidth buttons NOR, NAR1 and NAR2 (Menu 5-0 and next). This method picking up one filter from a list (or rather from short codes à la Yaesu) to assign it to a button offers much flexibility and a selection of five filters with three buttons only.
This is interesting but the settings are complex to set, requesting an "initiation" or a full explanation from an amateur used to work with these filters and able to explain you their effect on your audio. The selections are also subject to errors, the worst case being a complete cut of the audio if you do not take care. Then this way to set these filters is not as fast as a direct access through the front panel. This is still another strange idea from Yaesu engineers; tuning features are hidden...
In this matter note that Yaesu provides in option a new 10-pole 2.4 kHz Collins SSB filter (instead of the previous 8-pole) for the 3d IF stage at 455 kHz. Its curve is displayed at left. Another Collins mechanical filter at 500 Hz is also available for CW (Ref. YF-115C).
Knowing the performances of Collins mechanical filters, I warmly suggest you to buy them if you want to carve your hole on crowded bands and be able to work (hear) in good conditions. The CW filter will also prevent you of installing an external CW filter like Autek and similar models.
Note that among the other useful accessories Yaesu provides an optional temperature compensated crystal oscillator, TCXO-6 (±0.25 ppm) that provides a better frequency stability if you work in PSK31 and similar modes. Like for filters, Yaesu provides a plan to install it yourself in the transceiver.
AF gain, RF gain, Mic gain and Sub AF
To the left of the main VFO tuning knob, below the AGC and ATT knobs are two important transmission and receive controls, respectively the MIC/PROC gain and AF/RF gain controls.
Contrarily to the FT-1000, in the Mark-V the RF gain and AF gain controls have been placed on concentric knobs. The AF gain located at center adjusts the audio volume of the main receive circuit on the speaker or the optional headphone set. The peripheral RF gain control adjusts the level of receiving signal at the entry of the 1st mixing stage thanks to PIN diodes, as well as the gain of IF amplifiers. The maximum sensitivity is reached when the control is fully turned to the right. This control affects also the main VFO-A squelch and must be preset with the SQL button located below and on the left side of the front panel.
Just below and a bit to the right of the AF/RF gain controls is the SUB AF control that adjusts the audio volume of the secundary receive circuit on the speaker or the optional headphones set. Using together with the AF gain, these two controls help you to find the best audio on both receive modules.
Note that the AF gain control is associated to Menu option 4-9 (AF GAin) that defines whether the audio level of both VFO is adjusted separately (by AF gain and Sub AF) or if it is balanced (audio level via AF gain and SUB AF for the balance).
The Speech PROCessor
Many amateurs push their speech processor to the max with the hope that their signal with be stronger. If it could be it is often unclear because the compression level is too high and badly adjusted. It is thus not unless to remind how to set corectly the speech processor on the Mark-V. The procedure is simple because the effects of the various adjustments can be immediately read on the different digital meters.
The HF speech processor can be activated after adjustment of the MIC gain in order to increase the average power of your signals. The adjustment is easy to complete : select the ALC-meter and keep the digital needle in the red area while speaking. Then select the COMP-meter and press PROC (located at right of the mike, near RF PWR). A red LED lights. Now in front of your mike adjust PROC so that the compression level reaches 5 to 10 dB on the COMP-meter, not more. Too much compression reduces the readability of your signals and does not gives you a clear voice on the air. At last, on the main S-meter (named S/PO at Yaesu) and without touching the mike adjust the RF PWR button so that the shift appears in the higher red part of the meter, on the highest pitch of your voice. Now your speech processor is well adjusted. For your information this RF PWR button allows you to adjust the output power between 5 and 200 W too.
The Mark-V provides also two MONI buttons located at the lower left part of the control panel that can help you to adjust various memory settings, among them stored messages and the speech processor or more generaly your microphone output level. Pushing on the orange MONI button a green LED lights. Now the system extracts a part of your HF signal for monitoring purposes. Adjust the MONI control located at right of the MONI button (or below the AG gain) to get the best volume comfort while transmitting. A bad adjustment could create a Larsen effect.