G4NSJ – Yaesu FT290R 2 metre transceiver


I had a Yaesu FT290R 2 metre transceiver back in the 1980s but, sadly, I sold it. However, my friend Nick, G4JEI, has given me his FT290R! He no longer used it so it’s gone to a good home. Fantastic!

The radio uses dry cells, Ni-Cd batteries or an external power supply, but the battery compartment is missing on this one. Power output is 0.5 or 2.5 Watts. There’s a noise blanker, RIT, 10 memory channels and two VFOs. It was first manufactured in Japan in 1981.

Yaesu FT290R 2m transceover
I don’t have a multimode radio for 2 metres so it will be nice to try out SSB and even CW. I’m hoping to aquire a small linear amp to go with the radio, perhaps 10 or 25 Watts. I remember back in the early 1980s working the Channel Islands on CW with my FT290R and a 10 Watt linear. I also had a 10 metre transverter and worked Port Elizabeth, South Africa on 10 Watts.

Yaesu FT290R transceiver

Update 24/11/23:

The power output was only 1 Watt on the high power position rather than 2.5 Watts. Checking the manual, I discovered a few trimmer capacitors which, according to the book, should be adjusted for maximum RF output. I managed to get 3 Watts into the dummy load. Then, as per instructions, I backed off the RF output pot to 2.5 Watts. This is to ensure linearity on SSB. A report from 7 miles away went from S3 to S6.

Update 25/11/23:

Both the receiver and transmitter were 2KHz low. Connecting the frequency counter, I adjusted the PLL local oscillator. I now have the correct power on the correct frequency. Update: although the frequency was good on FM, it was slightly out on SSB. While in QSO with a friend, I adjusted the oscillator a little and it’s now good on both modes. Below is the FT290R in its new place in the shack.

FT290R in situ

Back to the 1980s:

Here I am, below, in the 1980s using my original Yaesu FT290R. You can also see the Yaesu FT101B with KW107 ATU and my Iambic Morse key. This was a temporary location as I was in the process of building a proper shack up the stairs in the loft room.

Me in the shack-1980s

I even have the instruction manual!


Update 28/11/23:

The radio doesn’t always transmit when I press the PTT. Hopefully, it’s the TX RX relay sticking or dirty contacts. I shall carefully remove the relay cover and give the contacts a spray with switch cleaner.

Instruction Manual here.

Check out my 2 metre page here.