I’m kind of on a tear with Yaesu hate lately. OK, maybe not full on triggered, but I am tilted.
They make some really nice, high-quality products, but I am sick of their proprietary nature. This is true with many of their connectors, be it power, signal, mic, phones, etc.
I have had a G450a antenna rotator for a couple of years. I finally upgraded to a heavier control cable (302) because I am running almost 125 feet from the station to the antenna feed. I needed to replace the mil-style connector on the rotor motor itself. I checked ham shows, I checked mouser, digikey, etc. No luck. I reached out to Yaesu parts, and they told me they wanted ~$45 for the connector. Nope. Not going to happen. The good thing is, they gave me the part number in the email. This allowed me to exercise my google-fu and find an alternative source. All good on that end. I have molex connectors and pins.. so the controller end should be covered.
See the connector on the left? That is the Yaesu ‘molex’ style connector. The connector on the right? The real deal. I slapped the ends of the connectors with some permanent marker to make the edges more visible for the picture.
The real Molex connector is slightly smaller, but wedging something into the ears will allow it to mount securely. Lets get started!
Replacing the rotor cable connector on the G450a
What is needed
- Soldering Iron, solder, flux
- Phillips and slotted screwdriver
- Molex connectors and pins
- Crimp tool
- Round pin removal tool
- Wire cutters
- Wire strippers (or knife)
- Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
- Using a Philips screwdriver, Remove the 4 feet and the 2 screws between the feet on the edges.
- Also remove the two screws on the upper sides of the case.
- Carefully slide the case off.
- Locate the white connector on the back and pinch the tabs on the sides, while pressing inwards to remove from the hole.
- Make note of the position of the wires. You need to reproduce this with the new connector. Note, I marked the ‘top-left’ connector as the key/pin 1 with a sharpie.
- Using a round pin removal tool, remove the pins/wires from the yaesu connector. There are small retention barbs that hold the pins into the connector. The tool depresses these barbs and allows the pins to be pulled out the back.
- Crimp new male pins on each of the wires. I’m going to assume you know how to crimp connectors. I also lightly fluxed and soldered the bare part of the crimps.
- Install the pins in the same position as those you removed into the connector. Look in the back of the connector. It is ‘keyed’ for the pins to ensure they will only go in one way.
- Repeat steps 5-7 for your rotor cable end, but use the female pins.
- Insert the molex connector into the opening in the case and use hot glue to secure. Alternately, you can wedge something in between the connector and the ears. Ultimately I did this as well using some 1/4″ long strips of insulated wire.
- Test out the functioning of the rotator before reinstalling the case/cover.
- Enjoy being able to use a commonly available connector the next time you need to run a new line.