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FT-2000

The FT-2000 is a superb radio, one of its key features being a general-coverage receiver suitable for shortwave listening.

Unfortunately, just “out of the box”, it isn’t really set up to make this convenient. Following are some suggestions or tips that make the radio a lot more enjoyable to use for SWL purposes.

Set up the SWL bands in the main memories

The FT-2000 hasn’t got a clue, initially, where the SWL bands are. I’ve set up the first eleven memories with the following SWL band edges:

17.480 - 17.900 (16m)

15.000 - 15.825 (19m)

13.570 - 13.870 (22m)

11.500 - 12.160 (25m)

9.250 - 9.995 (31m)

7.100 - 7.600 (41m)

5.800 - 6.300 (49m)

4.400 - 5.100 (60m)

3.900 - 4.050 (75m)

3.200 - 3.400 (90m)

2.300 - 2.495 (120m)

To use these conveniently once set up, you (a) press the V/M button to go to memory mode, (b) select the SWL band using the sub-dial (in M CH mode), and (c) tap the RX CLAR button twice. You’re now in memory tune mode, with the dial set on a 5 KHz interval.

To switch bands, tap the V/M button once (you’re now out of MT or Memory Tune mode), adjust the sub-dial, and tap RX CLAR twice, and you’re in the newly selected band.

Have the DMU? Use the memory system as a band controller.

As it turns out, the AM band and the SW bands all have about 100 channels. For AM, they’re 10 KHz apart, and for the SW bands, they’re 5 KHz apart.

So what you can do with the DMU is set up all 100+(there are 18 more under the P1L…P9U series) for a particular band, then save it to the compact flash card, named appropriately, using the DMU’s MCH LIST function.

I have AM, AM-deadchans, 120m, 90m, 75m, 60m, 49m, 41m, 31m, 25m, 22m, 19m and 16m memory files now. All I have to do to DX a band is load the memory set and have at it.

One useful way to use this is to load the memory file, tune through the band, and as you find stations of interest, tap the blue STO button to the upper left of the main tuning dial to put up to five of them into the quick memories. Now you can access them 1-2-3-4-5 by tapping the blue RCL button, or, once you’ve hit RCL once, the sub-dial can be used to select between the 5 QMB channels. Nice!

The only downside of this is it takes quite a while to set up the memories the first time. For me, it was worth it. For you? Only you can say.

…and here are some memory files for you:

Before you proceed, if you’ve got memories set up, save them now because when you load these memory files, the currently loaded memories are over-written.

To use the above files, download them, turn off the DMU, eject the compact flash card, write these files to the compact flash card into the memory directory (not the menu directory), then put the card back in the DMU and power it up. From here on in, you have easy to use access to the sw bands, am, CB, time stations and a range of RTTY frequencies. Here’s how you load them:

On the FT-2000, go to the F7/MCH LIST function, press F8 to change display modes, press F2 for LOAD, then use F6 to move down the list of files (and F7 to move back up) until you find the file you want, then press F3 / GO. Now press F8 / DISPLAY to return to normal operations, then (probably) F2 to monitor your signals, set the FT-2000 into memory mode and use the sub-band knob to tune.

Some fun things to do:

  • use CONT to “mark” station locations – track them as they go on and off the air
  • Use the QMB STO button to memorize up to 5 English or otherwise interesting stations
  • The memories will remember changes to AGC, roofing, IPO, Att, NB, and more. But if you load another memory set, they will be fogotten, unless you save it over the original (or in a new file.)
  • Got a channel you want to skip? Lock it out. Switch to VFO mode, tap A->M, when the memory channel you want to lock out is blinking (may require rotating the sub-dial), tap LOCK (it disappears) and press V/M to go back to scanning channels without the annoying one(s.)

Got AM Heterodynes?

One solution is the notch – if there is only one het. If there are several, what to do? Well, one trick is to switch to sideband. But if you switch to upper sideband, then lower, the radio will shift frequency by 2 KHz. There’s a simple way to avoid this. From AM, press USB. Then, if the hets are still there, you want LSB, but don’t press LSB yet. Press AM first, then press LSB. The radio is smart enough to know you were in AM and so it should not shift.

Use the Mic, Luke

There is no front panel method to step across the spectrum in 5 KHz intervals, as we generally desire to do when SWL’ing. However, the supplied hand microphone has UP and DWN buttons that will step the receiver 5 KHz at a time (or other intervals as set by the options under the receiver’s menu button.)

Abuse the mic, Luke

Feel like building a widget? Get a male and female mic connector and create a box that breaks out the UP and DWN signals on the mic connection. Pop a couple of nicely ergonomic buttons on there, and use that instead of the mic. You can use the female connector to connect the mic to the box, and in this way lose no functionality. You also won’t be hitting the darned transmit button every few KHz!

Kill the beep

The FT-2000 has a “beep” feature that quickly becomes extremely annoying if you’re using the mic buttons to step through the spectrum. There’s a MENU option where you can set the level; I knocked it way down, you’ll probably want to do the same.

Set the contour

As supplied, the CONTOUR control implements a dip in frequency response. Using MENU options, you can (and should) set it to +8 gain and +11 Q. This creates a tunable peak you can slot right over the key frequencies in someone’s voice, and in this way enhance both SWL and ARS reception.

Bring down the roof

Set the roofing filter to 3 KHz. It’s pretty useless at 15 KHz, and at 6 KHz it lets through a lot of interference we can do without on AM. This works well in conjunction with the NAR mode switch.

Suggestions for Yaesu

Not that I expect they’ll ever read this, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh?

  • Please display the current memory channel name on the DMU RF scope screen
  • Mac and Linux support for radio and EDSP upgrades, please
  • Release the source code to the DMU – we’ll enhance it for you
  • Fix the DMU graphics so they properly fill widescreen and 4:3 monitors
  • Please, PLEASE, make the IF shift and width work in AM mode
  • Make holding the FAST button set the dial step to channel step in AM and FM modes
  • Provide the ability to set the DMU-2000 RF Scope mode’s FIX scan starting position so it would be useful in general coverage mode. Possible ways this might work:
    • Sub-VFO to set FIX start at 1 MHz boundaries
    • Keypad to store programmable (via MENU) GEN starting freqs, DMU FIX starts to match, or programmable to match
    • F-KEY4 (presently unused) of DMU-2000 RF-SCOPE FKEYs to move FIX down in frequency by MENU programmable step, and F-KEY5 (also unused) to move FIX up in frequency by MENU programmable step.

That’s all, folks

If I think of anything else, or learn it elsewhere, I’ll update this post, so bookmark it. 73s!