Yaesu FT-290r - welcome back!

The Yaesu FT290r is kind of where my whole interest in amateur radio started I suppose. Way back in the early 1980's I had started out with CB radio but pretty soon realised its shortcomings and wanted to take the RAE to get licensed which at that time would have meant getting a G8 (or 'jaight') license for using radio frequencies at 2m / 145MHz and above. That seemed a bit limiting in a way, if only I had realised the fun that could be had QRP with a homebrew beam from a hilltop! Anyway at the time what I really aspired to was a Yaesu FT290r like the one you see here but it took a good few years before I finally got one in about 2008! Well the trusty 290 has had a lot of use over the intervening years and has spent the last 2 or 3 years (partly due to the arrival of the FT817nd) sat sulking in a cupboard with a fading out display. Taking some radios to James M1APC in Cornwall in 2018 prompted some action and it was duly passed to him in the hope of obtaining a (very rare) replacement digital display. Well once again James has come up trumps and has been able to repair and realign the radio as well as fit a Mutek pre-amp I was lucky enough to obtain via good old eBay and get fitted at the same time! I can't wait for the summer lift/tropo season to get under way to give the radio a good airing once more! It'll be like falling through a timewarp back into the 1980's somehow!!

Anxious 'OH NO' and 'oops' moment! The 290r came back in April/May 2019 and there simply wasn't the time to play with it. Then of course 2020 was a total wipe out so the radio has stayed tucked away ever since unused. Pang of guilt in January 2021 so I dug him out to take to Jersey with the portable 5 element beam only to find that the display wasn't working and no audio out!!! As you can imagine instant despair and disappointment led to some appropriate 'fiddling around' and bingo, everything burst back into life. That counts as a 'phew' moment!