The Yaesu FT-101 series radio is what we would call a hybrid type of amateur radio. The radio has both tubes and solid state circuits. These are great HF radios and learning how to set these up properly for operation can be tricky but it is a great educational experience.
There are various models of the FT-101 and each model has improvements to the previous model. Some some newer models have less features. For a history of the unit and comparison of models QSL.NET is a wonderful source.
I personally have an FT-101B and I have communicated all over the world on this radio using a simple dipole antenna over my house and an MFJ-949D tuner.
Manuals for these radios are available free online.
One great source for manuals is FOXTANGO.ORG. The information is free but they do have a button to send donations.
Digital Display vs Analog display is kind of like horseshoes and hand grenades but external digital displays for this FT-101 series can be still purchased from Electronic Specialty Products. These digital displays come in very handy to align your radio if your radio is off on receive and transmit frequencies. Accuracy on these digital displays is about 100hz.
Matching the radio to your antenna is done normally, just like using any radio with an external tuner. Setting the radio up for operation takes a little practice.
Here are the steps:
Power on Radio and Heater. Allow a few minutes to warm up.
Check to make sure that your radio is properly connected to your antenna.
Located the MODE dial on the lower front panel of the radio on the left side and set to TUNE.
AF Gain - just so you can hear it, not too loud.
RF Gain - Fully turned to the right.
Above those dial look for the MOX/PTT/VOX switch. Set for PTT
NB - OFF
RF ATT- OFF
25KHZ 100KhZ TONE SWITCH - OFF
Meter Switch next to meter should be set for IC
VFO Knob next to that should be set for INT (assuming you are not using an external VFO)
On the right side of the big VFO Dial look for a switch labeled BAND select your operating band.
(I am going to use 20 meter for this exercise)
Above the BAND select switch you will see a dial called PRESELECT. Turn it to the area of the band you are plan to operate (20) . Listening to the radio turn the PRESELECT to where you hear the strongest noise level.
At this time, if you have not yet done so, you might want to turn the radio to a frequency in the middle of the band that is not in use.
To the right of the PRESELECT located MIKE GAIN / CARRIER dials.
The inner or center dial is is MIKE and that should be turned full to the right.
The outer part of the dial is the CARRIER (RF) and that should be turned to the left (counter clockwise) all the way.
Locate the Plate dial and set that to the band you are on (20)
Locate the LOAD dial and set that to 5 (half way)
When you key down in TUNE or set the MOX switch you will slowly raise the RF GAIN to where your meter on your SWR meter reads about 10 watts. Do not key down for more than 10 seconds.
The order that I tune my radio is PRESELECT, PLATE and LOAD. Some people prefer PRESELECT, LOAD and PLATE.
Turn the dials slowly to where you have the strongest power output. This should always be done in the lowest power setting.
The video demonstration posted on YouTube below is a good example on how to tune up an FT-101.
Other than a sensational reception one more benefit of a tube HF radio is that it is believed that these old boat anchors might survive an electric magnetic pulse (EMP) that would normally knock out solid state equipment. A good thing to have.
More Boat Anchor Radios can be found at: http://www.antiqueradiomuseum.org/boatanchorradios.htm