The Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark-V transceiver
Antennas and tuner (VI)
The Mark-V, like the previous "MP" offers the possibility to connect two antennas (ANT A/B) as well as one receive antenna (ANT RX). These connections are associated to Menu option 8-5 (Ant-SEL) which selects or disables all antennas except Antenna A (Auto, On, Off). Having at your disposal several aerials is very practice to test various designs including a longwire or a beverage for receive purposes.
The TUNER button located in the upper right part of the control panel allow you to enable or disable the automatic antenna tuner between the final stage and the antenna plug.
If you press this button at least 1/2 second, the Mark-V executes an automatic tuning to get the best SWR at the transceiver output in a restricted bandwidth. All settings, per band, per mode and per antenna are automatically stored in one of the 39 possible memories. This customisation of the tuning fasten your way to operate if you regularly change of band, mode or antenna.
The Mark-V is able to tune antennas up to high standing waves, e.g. over SWR 5:1 for an hybrid quad at the end of the band. However if the radio cannot tune, it will simply present you a HIGH SWR on the display and won't let you transmit. You can disengage the tuner, what will back off the transmit mode. So the Mark-V is able to tune any useable antenna for most situations, but of course you can't force it to tune 80m in a 20m antenna, Hi !
This is through Menu option 8-8 (tunEr) that you can enable or disable the antenna tuner. Note that during this tuning you can also set the output power at 10, 50 or 200 W via Menu 4-3 (tun-drv).
Thanks to the BAND keypad located at right of the main VFO tuning knob, the Mark-V provides a direct access to each band where other brands play with only one or two buttons to go up or down in frequencies.
If you press ENT first you can use the yellow numbers engraved on the keypad to directly enter a frequency. Using SUB(CE) + ENT you can enter a frequency for the Sub VFO-B too.
Pressing on DOWN or UP button you change the frequency by step of 100 kHz. The frequency change by step of 1 MHz if you press in the same time the FAST button located on the other side of the main VFO. A large step can be useful if you want to listen broadcast stations for example located just close to an ham band (e.g. on 8 MHz, 12 Mhz, etc).
Pressing on SUB and BAND you can also change the working frequency, the band or the mode on the Sub-VFO-B.
Note that the transmitter is disabled if you try to emit outside the amateur bands or if your reflected power generates a too high SWR. In this case a HI SWR lights in red at right of the display.
RIT and SPLIT
Where its competitors speak of RIT, Yaesu has prefered to speak in term of CLARifier. This is a set of three buttons located at the lower right corner of the front panel that shift the receive or transmission frequency, or both, in relation to the working frequency. You can also reset the RIT pressing on CLEAR button. The RIT can be shifted to ±9.99 kHz, a value suited to most "Split" operations (working e.g. "up 5"). The alternative is to work in activating the Sub VFO-B.
Do neither look for a SPLIT button, there is no more on the Mark-V or, rather, there is one but somewhat hidden... For another obscure reason Yaesu replaced it by RX and TX LEDs, on which you can push, located just above the main and Sub VFOs. Why on both VFOs ? According to Yaesu, to avoid confusion if you transmit by error on the wrong transmitter.
When enabled a red SPLIT lights on the digital display in front on the main frequency-meter as displayed on the picture at right.
The SPLIT mode is associated to Menu option 8-2 (SPLt-SEt) that offers three settings : Normal (default, activating the Sub VFO-B for transmit, the mode or the frequency has to be adjusted manually on that VFO), Auto, and A=B (a frequency offset is applied to Sub VFO-B when that VFO is enabled for transmit).
Note however that the SPLIT mode A=B is itself associated to Menu option 1-6 (q-SPLit) that defines the offset up to ±100 kHz by step of 1 kHz. For a novice all this could look hard to grasp but you will quickly understand how all that works in playing with the SPLIT LEDs and VFO's during a few minutes. It is however true that the arrangement of this function on the front panel is too complex; a knob associated to a push/scrolling button should have been more practice.
Today there is no one solid-state transceiver that does not take advantage of electronics to store data in memories, a good way to recall settings on demand or to store data while scanning the bands.
Yaesu took a special attention to insert many memory channels which storage procedure is smart and fast. 99 channels are at your disposal at the upper right part of the control panel to store various data and messages, 9 additional memories are dedicated to scanning limits (PMS), and 5 quick memory banks (QMB) can be used to quick store frequencies often sollicited.
These memories store the main VFO parameters as the frequency, mode, RIT, SPLIT, etc. These data are kept when the transceiver is switched off thanks to a small lithium battery.
The procedure to store a setting is straightforward : activate the VRF function, play with VRF/MEM CH (MCK flashes on the display) to select the right memory channel and push on A4M to store the information. The procedure last a few seconds. The recall is done using either the VFO/MEM or M4A button.
The Mark-V includes also a "CQ memory" channel named ID to store a message contained a maximum of 20 characters, generally used to store your callsign if you want to work a pile-up for example.
Four other channels can also store any message 40 characters long. All these channels can be played back in cascade and several times if needed to generate a complete message. Note that without transmit you can verifiy the contain of each memory channel with the MONI button associated to ID or #, the channel number.
In the same way, Yaesu sells an external digital voice recorder DVS-2 ($238) to plug on the rear side of the Mark-V. This is a small remote control unit with 10 buttons able to store up to 16 seconds of communication (2 x 8 sec or 4x 4 sec) directly in the TX memory. You listen to the messages using the external speaker or the headphones set.
This accessory can be used to record a message listened on the air (using REC and STOP buttons on the DVS-2) and to send it back (using PLAY button on the DVS-2 and MOX on the Mark-V) as do some amateurs during special contests. This feature can give to your correspondent the opportunity to hear his own communications on the air and appreciate what they look like to other ears.
To improve the management of all these memories, Yaesu offers the possibility to group the 99 memories and the 9 PMS in five banks via the Menu option 0-1 to 0.5 (GrP1-cH to GrP5-cH). By default the Group 1 gathers all 99 memories, the other ones being empty. In the same order, the Menu option 0-6 (quick-cH) allows you to allocate up to 5 memories to QMB function, a way to fasten the access to common VFO settings.
All these settings require some habit but as they were visibly well studied and implemented, if you play with each set of memory a few minutes you will quickly master the subject.
To deliver the power to MOSFETs, Yaesu uses an external switching power supply FP-29 offering a dual-voltage unit that comes with its own cooling fan. It is designed with a total output capability of 450 W, with a switching noise suppression of greater than 100 dB. The input power is either of 110-120V/60 Hz or 200-240V/50 Hz at 5A AC for an output power of either 30V at 15A or 13.8V at 3A, this latter being use for mobile/portable opeations.
At the question to know why Yaesu didn't include the 30V PSU in the transceiver cabinet, the Operating manual states that it was placed outside the system first to improve the heat dissipation, then to reduce the switching noise and, last but not least, to reduce the weigth of the transceiver to ensure a safe transportation during shipment or on a DX-pedition.
This explanation does not satisfy me in this sense that when the mains PSU was included in the original "MP", its weight was only 1 kg heavier than the new Mark-V without PSU. The answer is thus elsewhere.
Whatever the true explanation, this PSU is an additional and cumbersome accessory that requires two more cables (in and out) and one more lightning protection, as much accessories that we can bypass in selecting the "Field" version of the transceiver. This latter comes with a 117/220V AC outlet and a 13.8V DC outlet to use with the optional E-DC-20 power cord.
This accessory is so bulky that even Yaesu concided that "If you like, you can place the FP-29 on a shelf under your operating desk, and enjoy the compact size of the MARK-V even more !"... All is said, hence the 2m long wire that comes with this unit.
Like all amateur equipment, the Mark-V and the Field versions must be grounded to a single point ground panel to reduce electrical discharges, the propagation of HF currents on the braid of coaxs and on the transceiver chassis. The same security rule applies to the optional linear amplifier and to the external PSU. This grounding prevents also some QRM. In this objective, at the lower right rear side of the transceiver Yaesu provided a special butterfly screw to link to the ground with a large copper strap or a solid copper wire. To not confuse with the "TX GND" plug which is connected to an internal relay to use only with a non-QSK linear amplifier.
Note that there is a 13.8V fuse installed on the rear side of the transceiver to deliver a regulated power of 13.8V at 200 mA to external peripherals. If it blows up you need to remove the two side panels and top then remove the four screws securing the heatsink then gently lift, and you will find the fuse underneath. Worth replacing with a resettable fuse to save the ache of doing this exercise again...
At last, cosmetic side, the design of the external PSU is not a success. Excepted its size, it denotes in the line of products of this serie; I cannot see the less continuity between the transceiver cabinet and the PSU. Both look different as if they belonged to different brands. It is a pity for a major manufacturer selling equipments of such a quality. Hopefully the external speaker cabinet respects much better the design of the transceiver.
Open a parenthesis. Note that among the complains regarding the Mark-V, very few concern the Field, but there were many and many problems with the Mark-V... mostly power supply related. Parenthesis closed.
External speaker SP-8
About the external speaker, recall that the Mark-V includes a built-in speaker on the top side offering a larger size than usual with 92 mm of diameter (3.5"). If it works fine, offering a good clarity, Yaesu provides optionaly an external speaker SP-8 ($173).
Yaesu did a mitigated job in creating this accessory. Better than a simple speaker installed in an empty box like the one provided by its competitors, this model includes several audio filters and control knobs that act like a pseudo DSP system that, objectively, give some results with a response curve between 0.1-12 kHz.
The control panel provides two filter controls, Low and High, each offering several intermediate steps which profile is displayed on a small label. A third button set the speaker on MUTE, Manual, SSB or CW. At last the speaker provides two convenient plugs on the front side for either a 6 mm headphone plug or a mini-jack.
Appreciate or not a speaker is really a subjective matter like the fact to like or not some flavors or colors which are proper to each individual, but some ears consider that it is not perfect. Indeed, some amateurs complain that the signals sound like metallic, emitted within a thin can - what there are - and claim that it doesn't worth more than $100 and that cheaper models are as good.
With my mature ears, I personally appreciate this speaker if I compare it to the low-ends sold by Kenwood for example, but of course this is far to be an Hi-Fi audio, but SSB is no more. The SP-8 displays also a fine design that fit well in the line of products. Other hams sharing my opinion, it is probable that its performances are in the average.
For your information, know that eHam readers have rated this accessory 2.6/5 where other challengers reach much better ratings. But some of them are still more expensive (e.g. ICOM) and thus probably provides a better audio (to confirm).
Battery and Reset
Like most new transceivers, the Mark-V uses a small lithium battery, 3V type CR2032, to keep the memory settings. It is installed on the lower part of the control unit. If you switch on the transceiver and you note that the settings are no more restored whatever the band or the mode, do not immediately think about a malfunction or a lightning strike... Think rather about the replacement of this small battery that operates only 4 or 5 years.
This battery is connected to a backup switch located on the rear side of the Mark-V that must be ON to preserve the data when the transceiver is powered off. If this switch is OFF you lose all your memory settings and your transceiver will use again its default parameters.
Last but not least, if you did some mistakes in settings up the Mark-V or if you want to reset your data, Yaesu provides several ways to reset all menus and memories to their default values. The procedures are quite complex, as usual :