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Railfan Technology > Yaesu FT-270 not receiving/low voltage

Date: 04/09/20 14:19
Yaesu FT-270 not receiving/low voltage
Author: GoldenState

Hello everybody-

I purchased an FT-270 a little over 10 years ago and it has continued to work well to this day. Not long after I purchased a second radio to have as a backup and it worked well up till late December. With the Corona virus giving me a little more free time I decided to try and figure out the issue...


-3.9 volts at startup
-Radio not receiving transmissions


-Low voltage- I loaded 12 new, 6ea, AA batteries into the trays for the two radios. I started up each radio and got 9.7v in the good radio with 3.9v in the suspect radio. I then swapped the battery trays and got the same results with the same radio. I pulled out my Fluke 87V and measured each pack to be at 9.87v out of the radio. 

-No RX- I performed the factory reset on the radio with the dial rolled to F4. This did not cure the voltage issue as it again said 3.9v at startup. With the ADMS-270 USB programming cable, I sent all my frequency info back to the radio. With BOTH radios on, side by side, I waited for DS58 to tone up and still the suspect radio does not receive any transmission.

I'm not sure what direction to head into next as I believe it is out of warranty. Is this now a paperweight/parts source for the good radio or is there a fix someone may know of? 

Thanks for any suggestions you may have!

Fremont, Ca


Date: 04/09/20 14:42
Re: Yaesu FT-270 not receiving/low voltage
Author: TCnR

Are you saying both radios are reading 3.9 v?

If so that sounds like a bad batch of batteries, or one of the batteries is in backwards. One approach would be to power the radio with a car adapter cable. The voltage at turn on would read close to what the car's battery would read.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/20 14:48 by TCnR.

Date: 04/09/20 15:09
Re: Yaesu FT-270 not receiving/low voltage
Author: GoldenState


Sorry, I could have worded it better..

The suspect radio was 3.9 v with either pack. In the good radio, either pack was 9.7v. 

I will try the radio in the truck on 12v and see what happens!


-Using supplied 120v plug in power supply NC-88B-
Suspect radio= 6.1v
Good radio= 14.4v

-Using cigarette lighter in truck, ignition on, motor not-
Suspect radio= 5.2v
Good radio= 12.3v

-Same as above with engine running-
Suspect radio= 6.0v
Good radio= 14.3


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/20 15:33 by GoldenState.

Date: 04/09/20 17:01
Re: Yaesu FT-270 not receiving/low voltage
Author: TCnR

That makes more sense. Yep, sounds like a problem. I haven't had to deal with a repair, the Yeasu dot com site has repair info. I'd also check with the retail outlet called HamRadio at  https://www.hamradio.com/  they have a storefront in Sunnyvale for example. Lots of stores in larger areas. There was another repair shop mentioned on this site a few weeks ago but it's located in the Eastern States.

The small difference in the voltage settings may indicate something obvious, but it's basically broken and needs to be taken apart. It could be something easy but it could be a tough fix. Keep in mind the re-sale or retail value. Having a second radio gives you some cushion.

My guess is a DC short a few layers into the circuit, but it would take some visual inspection and then some troubleshooting to figure it out. Maybe a simple piece of stray metal but maybe something fried, which may be visible, but then you need replacement parts and some repair skills. Yeasu does sell some replacement parts if you have p/n's or good descriptions. Also check on YouTube, there's some pretty amazing repair topics on there.

Date: 04/09/20 17:24
Re: Yaesu FT-270 not receiving/low voltage
Author: norm1153

Unfortunately, Ham Radio's store in Sunnyvale closed a few years ago.  The closest one from the San Jose area now is in Oakland.


Date: 04/09/20 18:02
Re: Yaesu FT-270 not receiving/low voltage
Author: TCnR


I also ran across two Fry's Stores while they were closing out their stock. Kinda strange walking around places that had been jam packed. Also Radio Shack over at what had been San Antonio Shopping Center.

Date: 04/09/20 18:13
Re: Yaesu FT-270 not receiving/low voltage
Author: GoldenState

The Ham radio (outlet?) in Sunnvale at/near Lawrence and Central Expressway is where I got both. I'll head out to the one in Oakland after "The Storm" and see if they can go through it. I think its at 23rd and 880 in the same building as WestMarine. Might be cheaper to get a new one if that model is still available.


Date: 04/09/20 20:11
Re: Yaesu FT-270 not receiving/low voltage
Author: WW

Most likely, it's failed internally.  These radios are usually uneconomical to repair.  For even the commercial portable radios, when they are carried on a daily basis, getting more than 5-6 years out of them can be a challenge if they are used in duty where they get jostled around a lot.  Depending on the environment, solder joints and other components in the circuit boards can also corrode or deteriorate over the years.  Typically, once things start to fail on an older radio, more things will fail over time, as well.

I have a VX-150 and a VX-170 (the latter the predecessor model to the FT-270) that are between 13 and 15 years old.  They are still going, but have not been my regular "carry" radios for close to 10 years.  My recommendation would be to look for a replacement radio.  My inexpensive choice would be a Uniden BC-125AT scanner (if you don't need the transmit function of an amateur radio).  My experience is that it approaches the FT-270 in performance, will tune the analog "splinter" AAR channels (the FT-270 won't), and has a preprogrammed railroad band search function.  After narrow-banding was mandated in 2013, amateur portable radios fell off of my recommended list because they will not tune those splinter channels.  The rare exception was the a couple of the China Wuoxun models that would tune the splinter channels, but I no longer recommend them as I think that any support for them might disappear if we get into a full trade war with China, which I think is a strong possibility. 

Date: 04/09/20 21:45
Re: Yaesu FT-270 not receiving/low voltage
Author: TCnR

Suggest contacting them about a repair before showing up on their doorstep. As we all know travel and doing business is a challenge right now, but i you can find out the first step by phone. Maybe the East Coast guy is worth a try as well.

I have a FT-270 with great audio and a rugged build and then a FT-60r for the RR Band and the 457 MHz Band where the EOT's and DPU data links are. Not much fun to listen to but you sure know when a train is in the neighborhood. Pretty much the same price, also discounted at some stores, the battery pack is the only common accessory though. Not sure which one I prefer but the FT-60r travels with the camera.

Date: 04/09/20 21:52
Re: Yaesu FT-270 not receiving/low voltage
Author: walstib

Ten years is a good run. Treat yourself to a new radio, and have it delivered.

Date: 04/10/20 04:59
Re: Yaesu FT-270 not receiving/low voltage
Author: CSX1346

I have a VX-150.  Works well.  I fell on it and cracked the protective LED cover.  I spoke with the repair center in California and by the time I paid for the part and repair I and a little more than half of the cost of replacing the radio.  But a friend told me if I purchased the part he would put it in free. I purchased the part. I got lucky.  Good Luck.

Russ Austin

Date: 04/10/20 16:36
Re: Yaesu FT-270 not receiving/low voltage
Author: Bowknot

It sounds like something inside the radio is drawing too much current.  It could be one or more of many components....See the schematic online at http://www.radiomanual.info/schemi/YAESU_VU/FT-270R_RH_sch.pdf 

Date: 04/13/20 05:09
Re: Yaesu FT-270 not receiving/low voltage
Author: Arved

At that age, electrolytic capacitors are suspect.

Another test would be to see how much current is being drawn by each radio.

You might want to repost this on QRZ.com's forum.

Good luck, and 73 de KF4UCQ.

Arved Grass
Fleming Island, FL
Arved Grass

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/13/20 05:13 by Arved.

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