Replacing an FT-817 power button

I recently acquired a second FT-817 for my portable satellite station. I’ve been using an FT-857 for a transmitter/817 for a receiver which has worked very well. However, for flying, and just generally being able to carry a full duplex sat station with me on the go, the 817 pair is much more compact and lightweight.

This particular 817 was used, and the purple rubber cover that goes over the on/off/lock button was missing.

It still worked fine, but I really didn’t like the idea of having the inside of the front panel open to debris like it was. So, a call to the Yaesu parts department and $3.01 later, I had a replacement button.

The four right buttons all come on a single rubber strip. Seems easy enough to replace right? Well it took me a little over an hour…as you can see below, you have to almost completely dissemble the radio to get to the buttons.

Before disassembly

First step, slide the rubber cover off of the VFO knob to access the set screw that holds the knob on the encoder shaft.

You can see the set screw in the background

The photo below is after removing all the knobs. The VFO is the only one that has a set screw, the others just pop off

Bottom view

Next, disconnect the ribbon cable that goes from the radio to the front panel, and carefully pop the panel loose from the body of the transceiver.

The backside of the front panel. Notice the VFO encoder.

You’ll have to loosen the nut that holds the VFO encoder in place, and after disconnecting it’s cable pull it back through the hole in the front panel.

Note that the volume/squelch knob is on it’s own circuit board and does not need to be removed. You can pivot the panel back while leaving it in place.

Inside on the left part of the front panel is where the buttons press into place. Be careful, as they are easily torn loose from the rubber strip.

Once they are in place, just re-assemble everything and you should be good to go!