Modifications for the Yaesu FT-50

FT-50R TX Mods

  1. remove the battery pack
  2. remove the two screws contained under the Battery safety sticker on the back of the radio.
  3. remove the key board (instuctions on how to remove the keyboard are in the owners manual)
  4. by removing the keyboard, it will reveal three jumper pads 1,2,&3
  5. Only jumper pad #1 will be bridged by soldier.
  6. remove the soldier from jumper #1
  7. now, put the radio back together
  8. reset the master cpu... instruction in owners manual.
  9. reset the extended receive,.. see the owners manual.
  10. you now have a modified radio.

any questions e-mail me

For those of you who would like to receive the 869-894 MHz range with your Yaesu FT-50, try tuning it to the corresponding image frequency range, 778.8-803.8 MHz. The sensitivity is the same as when tuned to an 860 MHz signal.
FT-50R Features - Specifications Link


Yaesu announces the latest in dual-band handheld technology with the release of the new FT-50R Dual-band handheld transceiver. This engineering achievement offers features never before found in this small palm sized handheld radio, rugged weather resistant construction with a full 5 watts of power output.

Exclusive INDUSTRY-FIRSTS found only in the FT-50R dual-band will enhance your operating pleasure. Wide-band Receive coverage to 999* MHz with 3-Selectable Filters (AM, FM-N, FM-S), Keyboard or PC programmable, Rugged MIL-STD 810 Rated, CTCSS and DCS (Digital Coded Squelch), distinguish Yaesu as the world leader in amateur radio products.

FT-50R FEATURES

SPECIFICATIONS LINK

Wide Multi-band Receive for the scanning enthusiasts 76-200, 300-540, 800-999* MHz (*Cellular blocked)
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3-Selectable Rx modes (AM, FM-Narrow, FM-Standard)
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Rugged MIL-STD 810 Rated for Shock and Vibration
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Auto Range Transpond SystemTM (ARTS) uses DCS to automatically poll other stations, indicating if they are within simplex range.
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Digital Coded Squelch (DCS) is used in the commercial industry, DCS provides 113 unique codes in addition to the standard CTCSS tones.
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112 Memory Channels each stores offset, CTCSS/DCS & power level.
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Alpha-Numeric Display up to 4 characters may be used to name each memory channel.
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Digital DC Voltage Display monitors current battery voltage.
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Full 5 Watts of Power Output with 4 selectable power levels (Available in 2 and 5 watt versions).
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Automatic Tone Search (ATS) scans for DCS and CTCSS tones. (w/ FTT-12 installed)
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Receive and Transmit Battery Savers built-in.
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ADMS-1C‚ Windows‚ PC Programmable (available May 1996)
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Keyboard and Menu Programming allows for simple FT-50R operation.
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MARS/CAP Modifiable with proof of permits.
FT-50 Game Mode


The FT-50R includes an interesting "game" thats programmed into it. Heres how it works:
  1. Power up the radio while holding down the MR key. (PWR + MR).
  2. The display will show GAME on the left side, and Spd 1 on the right. Youre in game mode!
  3. By rotating the knob, you can change the speed of the game. Higher numbers are faster.
  4. Press PTT to start the game.
  5. Numbers will start to scroll across the screen from left-to-right. As they come, you are supposed to push the number on the keypad that makes a sum of ten, followed by F.
    Example: 6 appears, press 4, F. If 0 appears, enter 10 followed by F.
  6. The game is over when the screen fills up with numbers.
  7. To exit the game, simply cycle the power.

FT-50R Expanded Transmit 120-230, 315-505 MHz


  1. Remove battery
  2. Remove the Ni-Cd sticker
  3. Slowly lift off the keypad and carefully locate the jumper pads
  4. Locate and unsolder jumper number "1" (see picture below) it is a solder blob between 2 pads.
  5. Locate and unsolder surface mount resistor "A" (see picture below) be carefull!

    It is the first resistor on the from left
  6. Reinstall the keypad with the two screws
  7. Turn radio off
  8. Press down and hold the tuning knob and lamp button while turning on the radio.

    VIEW: looking down with keypad removed
            ***        ***
       =   *****   *   ***
      I *******************
       *  ---------------  *
      I* | [FREEBANDER]  | *
      I* | _____________ | *
       *       YAESU       *
      I*  ===============  *
      I*  ===============  *
       *  ===============  *
       *      ===========  *
       *                   *
       *  ---------------  *
       * | ABCDE         | *
       * | IIIII         | *
       * | : : :         | *
       * | 1 2 3         | *
       *  ---------------  *
        *******************
    
  9. The vfo should display 144.000 Press FW. (this step may not be needed but it worked for me) Power off.
  10. Powerup with lamp/ptt/knob held down. It should now be in tune mode with something new (BAND= A 1) change it pressing the knob for 1/2 second and then turn the knob to FREE. (BAND=FREE)
  11. Power off and back on NOW RADIO DISPLAYS 50~540 590~1000 no gaps!!!
    (Dont change any other function or you could screw up alot of adjustments here) IT will tx where ever it locks. One radio 122~231 and 309~502 and another radio was 120-232mhz and 315-509mhz. This varies radio by radio.
    Tx is only miliwatts near the edges (DONT TX OUT OF BAND!!!).
    Rx locks after about 74mhz. it is very def in the 220 band tx is miliwatts. no tx above 502 but varies radio by radio.
  12. If you have the ADMS 1 software you should have a copy of what was in your radio.before you started.
  13. Copy from the radio. Save and name this file FREEBAND. This is to be saved as a clean copy for future use.
  14. Copy from the radio again (or just copy the file) name this file MERGE.
  15. Merge the old file to this file and send to radio.
  16. With your palms facing forward put your thumbs in your ears, wiggle your fingers and stick out your tongue at your Users manual while it is open to page 10.
  17. Then update page 10.
Dont make the FCC and Yaesu angry at you by trasmitting where you are not supposed to.

Software mods for FT-50r. Mod any thing


This is a method to do any MOD to your FT50R. The procedure is very simple and fast done:
  1. You make a template from your FT50R
  2. Change 3 Bytes in the template
  3. Upload the template to your FT50R

So you can switch to any BAND, you dont have do hardware interventions or similar staff like pull the adapter cable out, ...

If you want do return the FT50R to its original state, just upload the old (unmodified) .TPL to the Unit.

Information and explanations:

All MOD's can be made by software only. To do the MOD's you need the ADMS 1C Software (I am using the 1.05 Version) and a HEX editor to manipulate the .TPL file (I am working with .TPL file's only) I am using HIEW 5.24 (Hacker's View) but any HEX editor will do the job (PCT, Norton, Multiedit, ... )

Everyone has noticed the problem after making same MOD's to the Unit that the old .TPL files can not be uploaded to the Unit any more.
There is a simple protection scheme (2 bytes) that prevents uploading a .TPL file from a different hardware configuration to the Unit.

This is a description how to bypass this protection. By uploading a .TPL file with different hardware configuration, ( from a other Unit or just to change the 2 bytes) the Unit will be assigned to this new configuration.

First a description of Terms and Positions:

1. Current_Byte

This is the Byte that tells the current Status (Hardware configuration) of the Rig, you can get this Byte as follows:

2. Key_Byte (Security Key)

The Key_Byte is at the same place as the Current_Byte, but in the .TPL file you intend to upload.
If you want to upload a .TPL File to the Rig, the Key_Byte must match the Current_Byte (that means that the Hardware configuration of the Unit and the .TPL file you intend to upload must be the same). Just change with the HEX Editor the Key_Byte of the .TPL file you intend to upload to be the Current_Byte and you can upload anything (any .TPL file) to the Rig.

!!! No more CERR Messages !!!


(As mentioned in 1. if you change the first byte, you have to change this)
(byte also (in the .TPL File you intend to upload) to be the same Byte as)
(in the Template you have just made to read the Current_Byte.)

3. Band-Set_Byte

This Byte tells the Rig to switch to Band XX (XX is a Nr.between 00 and 06) To change the Band simply change the Band-Set_Byte to the desired Number.
After Uploading the Modified .TPL File to the Rig, it switches to the desired Band and the Current_Byte becomes the Band-Set_Byte. That means if you want to upload later something else to the Rig, you have to change in the .TPL File you intend to upload the Key_Byte to the new Current_Byte (with the HEX Editor).
The Sub_Band-Set_Byte tells the Rig in with Sub Band to switch (see Table) *The byte (0CE6) is usually 07, rare 03 or same other number.

Example

Now, to do a band change do as follows:
and so on ...

Here are the MOD's (Band's) available:

      I 00   01   02   03   I <- Sub_Band-Set_Byte (Address 0CE8)
   --------------------------
   00 I F1   F2a  F2b  F3   I
   01 I A1   A2a  A2b  A3   I
   02 I B1   B2a  B2b  B3   I
   03 I C1   C2a  C2b  C3   I
   04 I D1   D2a  D2b  D3   I
   05 I H1   H2a  H2b  H3   I
   06 I FrEE FrEE FrEE FrEE I
   --------------------------
    ^ Band-Set_Byte (Address 0CE7)
When you set the Rig in a band (with the Band-Set_Byte) then you can switch from Sub Band X1 to X3 (if solder jumper 1 removed) with the key sequence:

The TX for the X3 Bands is:
 BAND SUB_Band    TX
    F        3    120-222 320-500
    A        3    140-174 420-470
    B        3    140-174 420-470
    C        3    140-174 420-470
    D        3    144-146 432-438
    H        3    144-148 430-450
 FrEE              50-300 300-540*
* It will TX from aprox. 118-233 and 312-508 RX from aprox.71-540 and 600-999 depending from the Unit.

The Sub Bands 1,2a and 2b are with restriction variations in TX and RX and I am to tiered to examine them closely and write them down. I guess that they are not very interesting.

ARS lost - effect

The FT50R has e BAND_PLAN like database and depending for witch country your unit is configured (A,B,C,D & H) it is using the repeater database? from his Memory for that country.

It is understandable that for the BAND_FrEE and BAND_F (TX:120-221&320-499) there is no data in the database because those band's are not for any specific country. That is why the ARS does not work any more, and not? same mess up (magic) in the memory of the unit.

That does not mean that it is not possible to enter additional data to the ARS memory database (I am working on it).

If you want to use the ARS again you just have to switch it into any ordinary country BAND_X and it will work again.

Original .TPL file

If you don't have a original .TPL file, you can make (improvise) one:
  1. Start the ADMS 1C software
  2. Goto the File Menu and save a .RDF file as original.rdf (don't download anything from the Unit, don't use a template)
  3. Change with a HEX editor the first 3 bytes from RDF to TPL
  4. Set the Key_Byte in this file to be the Current_Byte of your Unit
  5. Rename the original.rdf to original.tpl
  6. Start the ADMS 1C and upload the original.tpl to the Unit.

This will switch your unit to BAND A1 (USA), ARS will work again !

Disclaimer:

Don't TX and RX at frequencies that you are not allowed to! I do not guarantee the validity of this information, as Yaesu may change programming or hardware so that some of the techniques in this document may cease to function. I am not responsible if these instructions damage your rig in some way. All I can say is that I have performed the following procedures to my unit, and I am quite pleased with the results. Your mileage may vary, etc.

Some newsgrups messages.

Subject: Re: FT50R Software MOD's
From: Ingra-Beton@t-online.de (Ingra-Beton)
Date: 26 Mar 1997 08:21:18 GMT

Just e short explanation of the Message I've send:

It is a Method to do any MOD to your FT50R.
The procedure is very simple and fast done:

1. You make a Template from your FT50R
2. Change 3 Bytes in the Template
3. Upload the Template to your FT50R

So you can switch to any BAND, you don't have do
Hardware interventions or similar staff.

If you want do return the FT50R to its Original
state, just upload the old (unmodified) .TPL
to the Unit.

It is also a solution to Upload your old .TPL
files to the Unit, (those files your are not
able to Upload after making Hardware MOD's)

Indi.


PS. I need various .TPL Files from
    different FT50R's for my further
    investigations, please send
    me a couple of .TPL files
    - The Original
    - After making same MOD's
    - any other
    (I still need the 1.04)

========
To: mgrand@mbi.net
Newsgroups: rec.radio.amateur.equipment
Subject: FT50 Freeband
From: Ingra-Beton@t-online.de (Ingra-Beton)
Date: 2 Apr 1997 07:07:40 GMT

> Mark Grandstaff wrote:
>
> O.K. I read through all the info on mods for the FT-50R and am more
> confused than ever.
>
> My goal is to get expanded transmit and expanded receive (freeband)
> operation.
>
> I have a newer model (SN begins 6L12) so I realize that "pulling the
> plug" won't work to achieve freeband.  I assume that the expanded Tx
> MARS/CAP mod of unsoldering the jumper #1 will work though.  In an
> article submitted by E. Scott Sykes in addition to the jumper
> modification he suggests unsoldering the resister at location "A" to
> achieve a freeband state.  Is this part of the "pulling the plug
> method"? What is the purpose of this resister?  Is this recommended with
> the newer radios?
>
> It looks as though my best option to get to the freeband state is to
> first do the MARS/CAP mod as described by Bill Childers (unsolder jumper
> #1) then follow the software suggestions outlined by Ingra-Beton
> (3/26/97).  Any comments?
>
> --
> Mark Grandstaff  KF7JA  mgrand@bmi.net

I have a newer model also, the articles by Scott Sykes work's just fine.
It is not a part of the "pulling the plug method".

You just remove the solder jumper 1 and the freeband resistor and it's
done.

The removal of the solder jumper 1 is hardware enabling of the 
sequence "hold down LAMP and KNOB by powering on"
(You can switch from BAND_X1 to BAND_X3) 
(usually MARS/CAP)

The removal of the freeband resistor is hardware enabling of the
sequence "Hold down LAMP and PTT and KNOB by powering on" 
When you see BAND_X1, push KNOB for 1/2 sec. and rotate.
(You can switch  BAND A , B, C , D , H , F or FrEE)

With the hardware MOD's you will not have the ability to switch
to the xxa and xxb BAND's (you probably not need them anyway)

If you don't want to make any hardware MOD's you can use the
software MOD's, you can have any BAND you want, you will only 
not have the ability to switch from one BAND to another becouse
the hardware switches are not enabled.

Of course you can use the hardware and software MOD's together. 


This mod info was sent to me by a visitor, no name was included in the email, thank you anyway.

 

I bought a Yaesu FT50 in Akihabara (THE electronics district in Tokyo) when passing through Japan in July 1998. (Serial No. 8F290253), on the recommendation of a colleague who had one and had made the "mother of all mods" open band modification (opening solder bridge, and then using the ADMS software, pulling the plug etc).

Well my FT50 wouldn't work with the mod. I opened it up, and found that the solder bridge and resistor mentioned in the various mod web pages WERE NOT EVEN THERE! The various knob-PTT-LAMP etc button start-up sequences only served to switch the unit between ONLY R/T in 144-6 and 430-440 MHz (NO extended receive!) and R/T in the above bands, and almost open band receive.

In order to give the unit compatibility with Australian UHF CB and European PMR frequencies, I needed to be able to transmit above 440MHZ. (I think Aussie UHF is about 467MHz, and I think European PMR is 466 or so, can't remember off the top of my head, but anyway, my FT50 was currently useless for the job!

I finally got hold of the ADMS-1E software and cable, and found this website, with the mention of the mod being possible with SOFTWARE ONLY. This got me listening, since my radio limitation seemed to be purely softare (since the solder bridge and resistor are not installed, never were, even when it was new.) related.

I tried the software mod described, using a HEX editor to modify the Band-Set and Sub-Band-Set bytes to 06 (at location 0ce7h of the template file obtained from the radio) and 00 (at location 0ce8h) and tried to upload to the radio. The ADMS-1E software refused to do this with the message "radio data image file corrupted". I also tried the same with uploading a .rdf file aub this time the message was "radio data file checksum error". Aha!

So now I looked at two different .rdf files (created by the ADMS-1E software upon uploading the template from radio to computer and saving to disk) in the Hex editor to see if I could see any obvious looking changes. Without making any changes to the radio or the configuration on ADMS-1E, I noticed that the byte value of location 050h of the template file changed, as did that of locations 0b6h through 0bcH. And that was all that changed. Hmm, I think one of these bytes (or all) is the checksum, so I tested, and the only one which seems to have an effect is 050H. Changing it gives the "checksum error" on the ADMS software when trying to upload. Changeing the others does not. Perhaps the longer byte series is the time or date of the upload (although the radio doesn't have a clock, so I guess this must be generated by the computer.)

SO, I used the sledgehammer approach, changing the value of 050H by trial and error on my freeband-mod template file, until the ADMS software accepted it. It took a while! (there were 256 possibilities, and the successful checksum value was D1 in Hex (209 in decimal).

Note, that the checksum will be different for different files, and as long as it's just this checksum byte, it remains possible for mortals to do the trial and error method. I guess some smart cookie could work out the checksum algorithm, but that would require a lot of analysis of different tpl or rdf files.

The freeband transmit works at the following frequencies:
120-233MHz
312-511MHz
Receive is at all the normal open band frequencies that this radio is capable of, documented elsewhere on this website.

Thanks again for the help. Hopefully this info will be useful for anyone who (like me) was disappointed after they bought a FT50 on recommendation of its multi-band capabilities (very useful when travelling, considering that the "citizen band" frequencies eg Australian UHF, Euro 446MHz PMR (0.5WMax), EURO 433MHz LPD (10mW max), etc are almost always different in different countries!) and then found that the web-documented hardware mods didn't work.


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