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View Full Version : FT 450AT vs ICOM 718 with MFJ Tuner - your thoughts?



KD8HAM
11-02-2011, 02:17 PM
Hi guys,

About ready to pull the trigger and buy my first HF rig. Upgraded my license a few months ago, and am looking to buy a used HF rig.

I am looking at an ICOM 718 (with MFJ 902 tuner) and a FT-450AT. The Icom is listed on the internet, whereas the 450 is available locally. Pricewise, the difference is about $ 100 more for the Yaesu. I have owned 3 different Yaesu radios and have always had good luck with those. Still own the FT-2900 and FT-2800.

Of primary interest to me are the 10-17M bands. The 6m would be a nice band to get on to as well - and that why I am leaning towards the Yaesu.

As a relatively new HF operator, I was wondering what your thoughts were on this?

Thanks
Sunny KD8HAM

W1SPD
11-02-2011, 03:39 PM
The FT-450AT will wipe the floor with the IC-718 (I've had both). IF the 718 comes with DSP, it is AF versus the IF DSP that the FT-450AT comes with factory. Don't think twice, go with the FT-450.

KD8HAM
11-02-2011, 03:41 PM
Thank you - Seller is not sure if it has the Filter in it.

My mind is pretty much made up! Also, 6m would be a nice addition!

K1WJ
11-02-2011, 10:08 PM
All Filters are built into the FT-450 - have had one for 3 years now - overall good radio. 73 David K1WJ

PA1ZP
11-02-2011, 10:51 PM
Hi Sunny

I do have a FT450 and do have FT857D.
Had a FT920 along them for years.
I liked my FT920 a lot more as the other ones.

On TX I like the FT450 as much as the FT920.
On RX I even like the FT857D as much as the FT450.
On TX SSB I do not like the FT857D at all.
I do not like the IF DSP of the FT450 , it doesn't come near the FT920 with conventional filters and AF DSP.
The FT857D is far better on CW with its Collins 300Hz filter as the FT450 with the IF DSP 500 Hz filter.
Operating the FT450 is for me as good as the FT920, nice clear display on both the rigs.

On SSB the FT857D is slightly better as the FT450, though it is lot noisyer in RX , it can be aproved a bit with ATT and the possibility to switch of the preamp.
The FT920 was streetlength better on SSB RX as both the FT450 and the FT857D, not that I can copy more weak stations no sir what I can hear on the FT450 and the FT857D I heared on the FT920 and vice versa, but the audio of the FT920 was much much better, it didn't make my ears so tired like the FT450 and the FT857D.
I do not have experiences with the IC718, if I had to buy another rig it will be one with conventional filters and AF DSP like the last TS570's or FT920.

I had a automatic tuner in the FT920, never used it and always used a very good handtuner (Cubic ST3B, homebrew legal limit S-match, DU1500L) and good handtuners are not build by MFJ , the ones up to 300 W are a real disapointment .
If you need a tuner invest once in a good one and spare yourself the dissapointment of something like a MFJ949E or 941 or 904H or 945, had them all they all were a major dissapointment (only bought one myself used it twice, have got the rest for free from hams whom were fed up with these tuners) just gave them all away for free.
My Cubic tuner is about 35 yrs old or more and never let me down, I only had to replace the 4 germanium diodes in the SWR bridge when I bought it second hand for not to much money because the SWR bridge was broken, 10 yrs ago.
A good (hand) antenna-tuner will serve you with joy for a few decades at least

My advice is simple try these rigs at a friend several times with patience, on your ears, and listen wich one you like the best, and invest in knowledge of condx. and antennas and a good antenne set-up.
That knowledge will pay itself many times.

You will have to listen to the radios so go and listen to them yourself, I can not hear with your ears.
The rig is not as important as you think, the antenna system and operating practice and knowledge are far more important.
I would be more happy with one of the latest TS570 as with the FT450.
The FT450 looks good it is easy to use its TX is FB, but the IF DSP is disapointing on my ears.
If the TS480AT wasn't put in such a strange cabinet with the dumb front and pigtials for the antennas, that would be my number 1 choise.
I am just lucky that budgets for new or other rigs are not availble now and in the near future, so I have plenty of time deciding what to get.
One thing is for certain no more IF DSP rigs for me.

A good antenna doesn't have to be expencive.
An expencive antenna does not have to be good.

Congrats on your upgrade and welkom on HF, wich you as much fun s I had and have on HF.

73 Jos PA1ZP

KD8HAM
11-03-2011, 08:22 PM
Hi Jos,

Thank you for the reply. Very insightful. I do not have any access to these rigs and more importantly there are no radio shops within 4-5 hours drive of where I live. :-) The price difference between the 450 and TS480 aT is quite bit and a little more than I can afford at the moment. The FT-857 is something i have looked at in the past. However for now, I am holding off on it.

The seller of the 450 AT lives locally (kind of) and is giving me a good deal on it.

Thank you again!

Cheers
Sunny KD8HAM

WB2WIK
11-04-2011, 01:15 AM
Always go for the local deal. Have the seller demonstrate the rig for you so you can become acquainted with it and be convinced everything works as it should. Watch him make a contact on the air with it. Change bands, change modes, be sure it's all okay. Then, buy it.

A rig you've never seen or used, to me, isn't worth anything.

G4NKX
11-09-2011, 03:50 PM
For what its worth, I have an FT450D (New model) it has both 500 and 300 Hz filters for CW, in fact I swapped my older version because of it. Good all round rig - how it sounds is a matter of preference, compared to my TS590S it's a bit harsh or (Toppy) - the 590 is a real smoothy - but the 450 has a good RX (IMO) TX is fine on CW (Rarely use SSB) I would certainly recommend it.
T32C used 10 of them on their DXpeditition last month ?!?!
Go for it - Rgds

AK4BB
11-17-2011, 02:11 AM
love my ic 718 great basic radio does a great job for me! if you going to spend almost a thousand on a ft 450d why not put a little more with it and get the FT-950 ?

KD8HAM
11-17-2011, 02:20 AM
the 450AT was used and cost about less than half of a new one.

So that's what I got. the Icom was used too, but the 450 seemed like a better deal!

AK4BB
11-17-2011, 02:24 AM
good deal i am thinking of getting ic 7000

KD8HAM
11-17-2011, 03:57 AM
Also the FT 450 was local - and I could visit in person and see the rig working.

The I-com rig was on EBay. The i-com + tuner sold for less than $ 450. The Icom 7000 is a nice looking rig and I saw one of those while I was visiting Radio city in the twin cities a few months back.

Good luck with your purchase.

Sunny KD8HAM

UX0IM
11-17-2011, 03:11 PM
good deal i am thinking of getting ic 7000
Read this Review on eHAM.net http://www.eham.net/reviews/review/105175
I totally agree with KC2OYZ I had TS-50, IC-706MK2, IC-718, FT-920, TS-870, but FT 450D has a better receiver. Of course, it's my opinion.

K1ROY
11-30-2011, 05:49 PM
The Ft-450D would have been a great radio if it were not for an inherent problem that has been discovered in the tx audio section. Anyone who has this and I did have one, please monitor your transmit audio very closely to see if you are getting a high pitch hum or buzz sound in your audio. It will show up when you record a message also in the digital recording unit that is built in!

WS4E
11-30-2011, 09:20 PM
The Ft-450D would have been a great radio if it were not for an inherent problem that has been discovered in the tx audio section. Anyone who has this and I did have one, please monitor your transmit audio very closely to see if you are getting a high pitch hum or buzz sound in your audio. It will show up when you record a message also in the digital recording unit that is built in!

That problem was strictly occurring when someone has the display dimmed down from full power. It's easy to fix by making sure your display is not dimmed. There are also other ways to fix it as well by adding some extra grounding, etc.. see the FT-450 Yahoo Group for more info.

K1ROY
12-01-2011, 04:39 AM
That problem was strictly occurring when someone has the display dimmed down from full power. It's easy to fix by making sure your display is not dimmed. There are also other ways to fix it as well by adding some extra grounding, etc.. see the FT-450 Yahoo Group for more info.

One should not have to fix or even accept a goof up from a company like Yaesu on a brand new radio. By doing this you are enabling the company to just throw their hands up and say that hams will accept our mess and just fix it themselves. I read all the comments on what the cause probably is and what will remedy it. I stated my experience to warn other ft-450d owners of a possible widespread problem and as a result if it is for future owners to think again about buying one and maybe send a direct message to the company to fix it. Do not let them get away with it and make a mess of a fine transceiver like Icom did with the 746 pro.