For those of you using this radio on SSB or CW in the weak-signal part of the bands, you probably already noticed that the receiver needs some help. The overall sensitivity is too low, making the need for preamplifiers obvious. Actually, the radio has enough sensitivity built into it already; there are modern GaAsFETs ahead of the mixers on every band, including 23 CM. The factory alignment of the radio does not exploit it's full capabilities. This is a common phenomenon of almost all multimode VHF/UHF radios, including those made by Kenwood, Yaesu and others. One might think this may be part of the way they market their preamplifiers, but that is only my own speculation.
The adjustments described below will bring the overall sensitivity of the radio up to par, and will eliminate the need for external preamplifiers. An external preamplifier may still help if your feedline is lossy; in this case, you may still benefit from a mast-mounted one. After I made these adjustments, I found that ...[more]