| Yaesu Musen Co. Amateur Radio Equipment in
Australia During The 1960's
by Greg Whiter, VK4IG (Ex VK3CA)
Yaesu had developed its F-Line as a complete SSB ham radio
station. It included the FR-100B amateur band receiver, the
SP-100 matching speaker, the FL-100B or FL-200B transmitters as
well as the FL-1000 1Kw linear amplifier.
top photo shows Yaesu Musen's complete F Line. The photo
forms part of a QSL
card that Yaesu Musen
made available to hams who were using their equipment.
The two photos directly above give a closer look at Yaesu
Musen's F-Line FR-100B Receiver and FL-200B Transmitter.
The transmitter shown here has the later type black knobs
with silver inserts.
At this time Yaesu also sold an FL-20B, which was just a powered down version of the FL-200B. The FL-20B was aimed at the Japanese novice market and as such was never available in Australia.
Perhaps not as good looking as the Collins mechanical filter based S-Line SSB equipment of the same period, Yaesu Musen's F-Line was never the less still quite attractive in its own right, performed extremely well and cost considerably less.
|The photo above shows Fred Bail displaying the then new FL-50/FV-50 crystal controlled SSB transmitter and VFO at the Wireless Institute of Australia's Gosford (NSW) convention in May 1966. Also visible at the back is Fred's own FL-20, a second generation Mark II unit. This FL-20 holds the distinction of being the very first piece of Yaesu Musen SSB equipment to come to Australia, arriving with Fred Bail following his 1963 visit to Japan. It is apparent from the photo that Fred had decided to put this particular radio on the market, he had owned it for three years and now had the full Yaesu Musen F-Line (FR-100B receiver, FL-100B transmitter & FL-1000 Linear amplifier) available to him. The author is now the owner of this particular FL-20 along with Jim Bail's original FL-1000 amplifier. An FL-1000 linear amplifier is also partially visible on the right hand side of the photo.|
late 1965 Yaesu Musen Co. released a Single Sideband
generator board aimed at the home constructor. Known as
the Type F SSB Generator, it was based on one of their
new 5 MHz 5 pole crystal filters, later forms of which
would ultimately replace mechanical filter use in Yaesu
equipment that followed.
With a Type F SSB Generator, all a home constructor had to do was add audio, mixing circuitry and a power amplifier in order to go SSB on his or her favourite amateur band. Released at about the same time, the FL-50 crystal controlled transmitter also used a Type F SSB Generator at its heart.
Bail Electronic Services received their first shipment of FL/FV-50 transmitters and VFO's in August 1966. Their first shipment of FR-50 receivers arrived in April 1967. A copy of an Australian Amateur Radio magazine review on the FL-50 along with some photos can be found here.
FT-50 was Yaesu Musen Co's second transceiver, released
in late 1967 it was designed as a basic entry level radio
with a peak envelope input power of 100 watts (their
first transceiver was the virtually all solid state FT-100
in late 1966). The FT-50 transceiver sold for $380 (1967
Australian dollars) against the FL-50 at $225.
The FT-50 used Yaesu's 5 Mhz crystal Filter, was crystal controlled (with a VXO [variable crystal oscillator]), had a built-in AC power supply and was of single conversion design. It was all valve in construction, but had a matching solid state VFO, the FV-50B (a later version of the FV-50 with the addition of an RFA [Receiver frequency Adjust] control), which allowed freedom from the restrictions of crystal control. In looks it closely matched Yaesu's FL-50 and FR-50 valve transmitter and receiver of late 1966. The model DC-50 mobile power supply was available to allow 12 volt DC operation of the FT-50 using its in-built AC mains power transformer. The top photo, showing both the FV-50B and FT-50, was taken in February 1968 by Victorian photographer and radio amateur, Alan Elliott VK3AEL, for Bail Electronic Services.
Below is shown a Block Diagram for the FT-50.
|As this Yaesu poster shows, by 1967 Yaesu Musen Co. had considerably expanded its product range. Pictured from top left are: a Type F SSB Generator, FF30DX Low Pass Filter, FTdx-100 Transceiver, FV-50B VFO, FR-50B (partially hidden) Receiver, SP-50 Speaker, FL-50B Transmitter, FRdx-400 Receiver, FL-2000 Linear Amplifier, FLdx-400 Transmitter, SP-400 Speaker, FTdx-400 Transceiver, FT-50 Transceiver and (partially hidden) an FTV-650 6 metre transverter.|
|Throughout Bail's tenure with Yaesu they were continually troubled by non factory appointed persons/companies importing and selling equipment against them on the Australian market. More often than not such imports came from Japan's domestic market, as this letter of April 1969 from Sako Hasegawa, Yaesu Musen Co's president, to Fred Bail indicates.|
|Fred Bail made a number of trips to Japan. The one referred to in his letter of June 1969 below to Sako Hasegawa, was intended amongst other things, to sort out the back door importation of Yaesu equipment that continued to undermine their distributorship in Australia. The problem was never really completely alleviated, with small equipment lots continually coming in from either Germany, Hong Kong or Japan. Also, ultimately rubbing salt into this wound, was the factory's appointment of Dick Smith Electronics as a second Australian Yaesu distributor in the mid 1970's.|
|A 1975 photo of Sako Hasagawa and two staff members taken by the author outside Yaesu Musen Co's head office in Yaesu, Tokyo. Sako Hasegawa passed away in 1993, Jun Hasegawa is the company's current president.|
Fred Bail passed away in the late 1970's, Jim Bail passed away in the early 1980's. Following Fred's passing the 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 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 : GregWhiter@portablemasts.com.au
|Next Page - Yaesu Musen Co's FL-20 details of the late 1950's|
Pages at this site, include: FL-100B,
the first Australian Yaesu radio, FL-10/40 Details,
photos, BES 1974 Staff
Cards, FL-50 Magazine
and photos, Photo and details of Yaesu's
first SSB Transceiver, the 1966 released solid state
Trouble Shooting Guide is shown HERE, the 1968 released FTdx400,
Other web articles by the same author The Chronological History of the Development of Radio
Origins Of The Handie Talkie
The 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 updated04-03-2020