Yaesu Musen Co. Amateur Radio Equipment in Australia During The 1960's

by Greg Whiter, VK4IG (Ex VK3CA)

In 1966 Yaesu Musen Company released their first HF transceiver. It was a complete compact base/mobile station, mainly of solid state construction. Known as the FT-100, it represented a quantum advance in technology for that time, particularly for the mobile ham radio operator. Now only the FT-100B and FTdx100 stood between this and Yaesu's most famous radio of all, the FT-101 which arrived in Australia in October 1970.

FT-100, 1966
With a built in 12 volt DC and 230 volt AC mains power supply, the FT-100 offered easy mobile or base SSB operation to the Australian radio ham. Mainly solid state circuitry kept both the size and power consumption down. Twenty-five germanium transistors and 32 diodes, as well as 3 valves, were used in the FT-100 SSB/AM/CW transceiver. Transmit power input was 150 watts, using 2 x 6JM6 compactron based valves. Following Bail Electronic Services typical line of support for their Yaesu Musen products, very early after it's introduction they produced a Trouble Shooting Guide for the FT-100. The FT-100 Trouble Shooting Guide is shown HERE in its entirety.

Shown below is one of the first FT-100's brought to Australia by Bail Electronic Services in 1966, it is mounted in an Australian General Motors Holden Premier car, model HD vehicle of the same year. The vehicle is that of Bail's then New South Wales representative, Sandy Brucesmith who operated Mosman Radio Services and was Bail's first interstate distributor of Yaesu products.

FT-100 in HD Holden
Below, the same FT-100 as shown above, however this time it is mounted in Fred Bail's own 1959 model 190D diesel Mercedes Benz sedan.
FT-100 mounted in Fred Bail's 1959 190D Diesl Mercedes Benz
In the December 1966 issue of the Wireless Institute of Australia's 'Amateur Radio' magazine, Bail Electronics Services placed the following advertisement for their new Yaesu Musen Co. FT-100 solid state HF SSB Transceiver. Note the price being shown in both Pounds and Dollars, as at that time Australia was in the process of changing to decimal currency.
Bail FT-100 Ad of December 1966
A Mark 2 version of the FT-100 soon followed the original FT-100, after which Yaesu produced their FT-100B. At right is pictured a Mark 2 FT-100. The most obvious difference between it and the original is an additional front panel control. The concentric RF/AF Gain control on the Mark 1 was moved to the centre left of the front panel and in its place Yaesu mounted an AM Carrier/Mic Gain control. FT-100 Mark 2
Block Diagrams of the FT-100B and FTDX100 are shown HERE.
By mid 1968 Bail's had begun advertising the FTDX100. At that stage Yaesu had refined their solid state HF transceiver design into a mature product. The FTDX100 differed from the FT-100 Mark 2 and the FT-100B mainly in its looks, their circuits were almost identical.

The FT-100 series ran in Australia from 1966 to April 1970 when Bail Electronic Services sold their last FTDX100. In October 1970 the first FT-101's arrived in Australia.

The FT-100 Mark 2 and FTDX100 shown to the right both belonged to JA1VBN at the time of writing.


FTdx100 Advertising Brochure - Front
FTdx100 Advertising Brochure - Back
Above is shown Yaesu Musen's original FTDX100 advertising Brochure.
Fred & Jim Bail Shown at left are
Fred Bail,
and Jim Bail,

At right are depicted
various Bail logos.

Bail Radio & TV Service Logo
Bail Electronic Services Logo, early version
Bail Electronics Services Logo, late version

Fred Bail passed away in the late 1970's, Jim Bail passed away in the early 1980's. Following Fred's passing their company was sold to Stan Roberts of Teletramel, who continued to run Bail Electronic Services into the early 1990's from the Victorian country town of Wangaratta.

The author would be happy to hear from anybody who has very early Yaesu equipment, such as FL-20 Mark's 1 and 2, or FL-100B Mark's 1 and 2. By way of some background information on the author, Greg Whiter VK4IG, (ex VK3CA) was employed by Bail Electronic Services (see 1974 staff photo) from the late 1960's through to 1977. Following this period he formed the company GFS Electronic Imports, GFS Electronics and then Portable Masts Australia Pty Ltd, of which he is a director today.

Any comments on this web site should be directed to the author, Greg Whiter at :

Next Page - FT-100 Block Diagrams
Other Pages at this site, include: FL-100B, the first Australian Yaesu radio, F-Line of the mid 1960's,  FL-10/40 Details, FL-20 Circuit and photos, BES 1974 Staff Photo, Yaesu/VK3YS/VK3ABA QSL Cards, FL-50 Magazine Review and photos, Photo and details of Yaesu's first SSB Transceiver, the 1966 released solid state FT-100, FT-100 Trouble Shooting Guide is shown HERE, the 1968 released FTdx400, The Yaesu Museum (German Site)

Other web articles by the same author:   The Chronological History of the Development of Radio
Origins Of The Handie Talkie
he History Of Clark Masts
The Early History of GFS Electronics

Any comments on this article should be directed to the author, Greg Whiter at: GregWhiter@portablemasts.com.au

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This page was last updated 05-04-2023