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I'm helping my non-ham sister disposition my old Yaesu FT-897D rig that's been in storage for 15 years (couldn't take it with me to Taiwan).

Other hams are looking at it now. While it worked when I left, after all these years now it wouldn't transmit, and I'm told after a reset the display no longer works.

Before selling it for parts, I'm just wondering if perhaps corrupted memory is the problem and there's a firmware re-install procedure that could be at least tried?

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It might be the problem, but a number of other faults are much more likely, starting from issues with aging capacitors not having the same capacity that they use to, over dopant migration in power semiconductors to contact oxidation in internal connections, to don't critters...

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    $\begingroup$ Those are certainly "doesn't work after 15" issues, but the behavior of not transmitting before software reset then display not working only after the reset suggest to me something more software/firmware related. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Mar 15, 2023 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ Nah, that sounds more like power or connector issues. Software doesn't change through resets. $\endgroup$ Mar 15, 2023 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ Okay thanks, then what is it that does change? Why would a reset kill the display? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Mar 15, 2023 at 22:42
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    $\begingroup$ A reset may well try to change non-volatile memory back to factory defaults, and if the power supply is not within spec (bad caps for example), the memory 'reset' may not work, leaving a mess that may prevent booting up properly. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Mar 17, 2023 at 14:30
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    $\begingroup$ It does have a reprogrammable firmware, so yes, there's eeprom/flash memory containing it. If in doubt, you'd have to find the factory programming pins, an appropriate programmer and an image of the intact firmware. I'm not familiar with the specifics of that particular radio to assist with any of that, sadly. $\endgroup$ Mar 23, 2023 at 7:21
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I have this rig as well; consulting both the manual and the Yaesu product page (specifically, the "Files" tab), there is no mention of firmware updatability or download files.

Based on the above, I suspect there is no firmware reload/update functionality intended to be consumer available. You could always call/email Yaesu support to confirm.

Question: Have you already tried to reset the rig by holding down F and VM keys down while turning the radio back on?

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  • $\begingroup$ I didn't follow your question so I didn't get a notification that you recently edited and asked me a question in your answer post. If you do those in comments under the question, then the OP (in this case me) does get a notification that you've asked for something. As I mentioned I'm not with the rig, "I'm helping my non-ham sister disposition (my old) rig... (and) (o)ther hams are looking at it now." I did receive the following in email back in March after I originally asked this: "the tech who has a radio analyzer found no transmitter and when reset the display was not working." $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Aug 25, 2023 at 2:57
  • $\begingroup$ "I'm told after a reset the display no longer works." is also written in the question, but again I don't know if there's more than one kind of reset. The fact that the display stopped working after reset (I don't know details of the reset - if it's the same one you mention) sounds software-ish to me but who knows. I guess it's time I re-enquire what's happened since March. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Aug 25, 2023 at 2:59
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    $\begingroup$ also time to contact Yaesu if you haven’t already! $\endgroup$
    – webmarc
    Aug 25, 2023 at 11:58

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