I’m getting a panadapter!!! Whoo hoo!!

I currently will be taking my FT-991 with me to Rwanda next year, and I will say, that it is a great radio, but not without limitations. Some of these limitations Yaesu has already acknowledged by announcing that there will be an FT-991a. The a-model will have the ability to listen and have a waterfall display at the same time, much like the Icom IC-7300. There is a plan to offer current FT-991 owners a possibility to upgrade, but it hasn’t been announced yet.

I’m impatient and I don’t want to wait.

So I bought an SDRPlay radio, which can work much like a panadapter, but not quite, and there is one limitation: if you transmit without some way of grounding out the receive antenna on the SDR, you’ll end up destroying it. I researched a few solutions: I looked at switches that I could incorporate with my foot switch (well, won’t work with my hand mike), I looked at solutions that would work with my very nice tuner (but what about VHF?). And then I came across this website: http://huprf.com/huprf/ .  This website is run by G4HUP, a fine gentleman who has been more than helpful in answering questions for me, and, well, he is certainly smarter than me.

I purchased his PAT board for the Yaesu FT-991.  The cost with shipping and some associated parts to make a clean installation cost me less than 40$ USD!!!  It will require breaking the seal on the radio, which yes, will likely void the warranty.  But I’m actually glad to do that.  If it ends up costing me 1000$ or more to learn more of the science and art of amateur radio, then its a cost worth paying.

When the board comes in, I’ll be sure to post some pictures of the install, and any tips I can give FT-991 users if they want to try installing this.  I will be using G4HUP’s PAT70 board, and connecting it to an SDR Play, which will be displayed via an Android tablet, that will end up somewhere on top of my tuner, power supply, hammered into the wall, I dunno….

73,

Alan, KE4TA, 9Xsomethingsomething.

 

2 thoughts on “I’m getting a panadapter!!! Whoo hoo!!”

  1. .

    On September 8, 2016 you posted a quick article about purchasing a PAT board from http://huprf.com/huprf/ for the Yaesu FT-991 radio. You mentioned cost with shipping and associated parts to make a clean installation cost less than 40$ USD!!!

    This article also mentioned that when the PAT board comes in, you would post pictures of the install and tips for FT-991 owners when installing the PAT board and wires.

    I have not noticed any updates from September 8, 2016. Can you please provide your detailed information to install this retrofit or direct FT-991 users to this information and detail? I beleive the huprf.com site needs more detail, pictures and explanation before I, and probably many other FT-991 owners go tearing into our radios.

    I am a FT-991 owner and interested to hear your personal experience. Did the PAT board installation work as well as you first imagined. Was the cost accurate? How much time did this project take? Did you experience any adverse effects on the FT-991 radio? What software do you run on your computer to monitor the new radio output?

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    1. So the panadapter didn’t work out as well as I had hoped. I actually had a friend who builds satellites come over and help me with it (he has a very steady hand). We got the board installed and set up. I used an SDRPlay. The SDR side of things worked out decently. But it absolutely killed any receive sensitivity I had by around 5db. The installation was not overly complicated. But I would recommend doing a search for alternate tap points for the board. Since I’m not in a location that would lend itself to replacement parts, I’m not messing with mine at the moment. The board is actually still inside my radio but the wires are disconnected, and receive sensitivity restored.

      Alan

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