My BMW R1150 GSAA at Deals' Gap

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Entries in Ceramic Filter Failure (1)


I can hear clearly now - again! Yaesu FTM-10SR Repaired

You might recall how I've been on-again, off-again using a Yaesu FTM-10SR VHF/UHF ham radio on the bikes. With the conversion to Sena, from the wired Autocom, I got interested in having the FTM-10SR back on the BMW. Wiring run, head-unit nicely located on a RAM mount up front, and the waterproof radio itself mounted in the top-box in the back. It sounds like a near perfect setup. The problem was the sound - Or lack thereof. It seems that the Yaesu managed to lose its hearing over time (kind of like me, maybe).

A little Googling turned up some hits on the degradation of a ceramic filter component that makes the VHF, UHF and Weather Band reception in these radios (and their big brother) go pretty much as far south as you can get. When this happens, it's worth noting that the AM and FM broadcast reception still works as expected. Besides not hearing much from local repeaters and simplex transmissions close by, you'll also notice that the signal strength meter on the front panel never registers anything - take note if you've owned one of these radios for a while.

A quick call to Yaesu Service in California confirmed my suspicions and they confidently suggested that the repair could be done in just one hour at $70/hour. Sadly the little ceramic filter (LTM450FW-A) costs just 61 cents to replace. Or maybe I should be happy. Either way, with no other similar radios on the market, I decided this one was worth repairing and quickly sent it off to Yaesu to do their magic.

In about a week and a half, the radio was back in my hands and bench testing confirmed it was working as I remembered it once did. With the Ham Public Service season not quite over yet in North Carolina, I put the radio back on the bike in preparation for an upcoming bicycle event. I managed a nice ride this morning, using the Yaesu, the Sena SR10 and SMH10 on my helmet along the way. Various local repeaters were heard just fine and it seems all is well in radio land.

Here's a close-up of the FTM-10SR "head unit" up front on the bars of the '02 R1150GS Adventure.

And here's a shot of the radio itself located inside the Jesse Luggage top box out back. Enjoy!