Repairing my radio – Part 1

A long while back, my Yaesu VX-7R stopped working; I could transmit, but not receive. Last night, I had a weird dream which I can no longer remember, but it kicked my butt into considering repairing the radio myself. I’ve done some research, and I found an article online from another ham who has the exact same symptoms as me, and managed to repair it. In his, and several other cases who responded to his article, the cause was the filters on the Narrowband FM (NBFM) demodulator.

This repair looks like it should be pretty simple. And, it should be cheap enough that I can afford the parts, even on my restricted budget. My only concern was if my soldering iron could get hot enough to melt the lead-free solder currently on the board. So, I dug it out from storage, plugged it in, and turned it up as high as it will go. Result: ~450°C (just over 841°F). That should be plenty hot, since my research says the melting point is only about 221°C. I’ve never worked with my iron that hot before, so I’m a little nervous about it. At least I don’t have to max it out! To start out, I’ll probably try setting the iron to 250°C. That should be hot enough to easily melt the solder, while being “cold” enough to minimize the risk of damaging other near-by components.

I’ll probably order the chips from Yaesu today once their office in California opens at 10:00 my time. I really hope this works; I would love to get back onto the air, even if it is only my hand-held.

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