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#95 - Yaesu 857D Radio Modification - Step-by-Step Guide

I recently started hearing people talk about doing single-sideband or SSB mode on 2-meter radios. Unfortunatley searching for a 2-meter radio that also does SSB is a little difficult.


I realized a couple weeks ago that my Yaesu FT-857-D all-band, all-mode radio does allow SSB on 2-meters. 

Although I am able to do SSB on 2-meter, the stock Yaesu 857-D is not the best radio for this because the original frequency oscillator that comes installed in the radio from the factory would allow the frequency to drift a bit while transmitting depending on the temperature of the radio, which is very noticable when using SSB mode.


As you are transmitting, the radio heats up a bit and while you are receiving it cools back down. This would allow the frequency to swing just a tad both to the left and to the right of your chosen frequency causing distortion in the audio. The more the temperature fluctuates, the more the frequency waivers, and the more distortion.


Another local ham (KW4TO) suggested that I replace the stock frequency oscillator in the 857-D for an upgraded one made by Yaesu that is temperature compensating. Taking his advice I ordered the replacement TCXO-9 High Stability Crystal Oscillator from DX Engineering which finally came with FedEx a few days ago.


Supposedly this is a simple, quick and easy upgrade modification to the radio. Simply open the top of the radio, locate the stock frequency oscillator, pop it out, pop the replacement in where the original was, and close the radio back up. We shall see . . .


One of the beauties of being a licensed amateur radio operator that makes ham radio so different from any other radio service is that amateur radio operators are our own radio repair technicians. With our license, we are not required to take our radios to a licensed repair technician for repairs, modifications, or upgrades, that ability is already included in our license from the FCC. With every other radio service, you must take the radio to a licensed repair technician for any work on the radio, including programming the radio. We are legally allowed to program, service, upgrade, maintain, and even build our own radios from scratch.