Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KD8UEI, Jan 31, 2015.
After reading this i'm tempted to get one...
I own two currently. both "D" models.....I have owned several 450 over the last 12 years or so....the plain 450 had encoder problems, but to my knowledge, the new 450"d" has none of those problems....
As far as being a entry level radio, don't believe it at all...the radio has features that a $5000.-- radio has and is just guilty of being small. When you buy one, you don't have a mile long list of extras to buy with it...it has
it all....Most people just don't know how to use the DSP and filters properly, because they don't read the manual.....lots of people want to open them up, which is plain stupid because the radio comes with 60 meters; you just need to read the manual to activate it. One little supreme package, it is......don't get confused with the 450 model.....get a 450D.....they have it all.
Well?? what did you get?
Can't stand when they don' t tell you what they ended up with.. arrrghhhh lol
Over a year of navel gazing...and still no rig? This is a most entertaining thread.
I have been a ham since the 1970s, and I have owned everything from a Yaesu FT-101E to an FT-990. In between, I've had dozen of HF rigs (because I'm a bit of a horse trader). My three favorite rigs over the years? Kenwood TS-830S, Yaesu FT-990, and...Yaesu TF450AT. Yes, I said FT-450. An amazing, quiet, and totally underrated rig. Especially at the current $650 street price (after rebate).
The Icom IC-718 is an ancient design, and doesn't have nearly the noise handling capability of the FT-450D. The IC-7200 is a lot more money, and less bang for the buck -- but it looks really cool. The Kenwood TS-480 is also based on an older design.
I mean, c'mon folks. What other rig in this price range offers a 10 kHz roofing filter in the 1st IF stage? And really good IF DSP capability?
But, quite frankly, after all this navel gazing you would have been better off buying an ancient Kenwood TS-120S (yes, I've owned one) for a little over a hundred bucks and getting on the air. The bottom line is that it is MUCH better to get on the air than worrying about what piece of equipment you're doing it with.
Final thought: Your antenna is by far the most important part of your setup. The rig is secondary.
To suggest that a cheap entry level 450 will outperform some of the old classics like a 830 shows how little you understand the limitations of a cheap IF DSP rig.
480 is based on a modern mature analog IF using latest technology and has a very clean receiver. 450 is based on cheapest IF DSP they could use to make price point.
Really good DSP ability. This is a real joke. It has marginal DSP ability and nothing more. You have to spend a lot more than price of a 450 to get decent IF DSP performance. Also exactual which HF mode to you use that a 10khz roofing filter is good for? Better IF DSP rigs have real would filter options much narrower as do modern analog rigs.
Your are better off with a proven mature analog IF rig than a cheap IF DSP rig. There may well be a day when a rig under 1000 buch will have outstanding IF DSP performance but day is not today or tomorrow and not 450 even remotely.
I disagree, A crappy radio on a great antenna is not a good combo especially in QRM. A good radio on a marginal antenna is a better start as you can improve antenna with time but crappy rig is crappy rig unless you dump it and replace it.
I been running the 450d here for close to a year, and so far seems to be a good radio, used it for 6 months or so on 10m, until I up graded my lics in July...what I have seen so far this seems to be a good starter radio, haven't had any problems out of it...
Completely disagree with W8JX....830 is a fine radio but there are many shortcomings of it compared to 450D. The analog VFO drifts, requires an outboard VFO for any split work, the vacuum tubes need to be replaced from time to time, it lacks FM mode, it can not run full break-in CW, it offers NO DSP filtering (even cheap IF dsp is better than NONE). It relies on very expensive analog IF filters in the first and second IF for selectivity, the output pi-network can maybe get by with 2:1 SWR at best (no built in ATU) .... Not to mention you can't go mobile easily with an 830S...DC-1 or inverter...
Conclusion: Comparing an 830S to a 450D is apples and oranges.
What you have to remember is, that W8JX hates the FT-450D, and although he has never owned one, he will tell you how bad it is. He is so experienced with this rig, that only last week (in another thread) he was adamant that it didn't have an internal ATU. He has only posted 5 times in this thread and he doesn't even own the rig. He would probably tell you that an HF radio rescued out of a Lancaster bomber from WWII, would beat the 450 hands down.
The FT-450D is a great starter rig, I have owned two, a S/H one and a brand new one. Yes there were problems on the early versions circa 2011 (some of the non D type earlier ones had mechanical encoders), with the optical encoder, it went on the S/H one I had which was from early 2011. I got the part delivered direct from Yaesu (UK) the next day £29 inc tax and delivery, took me just over half an hour to change.
The new one has been problem free, it fact it was sorted along time ago, but by the time it became apparent, there was already a lot of stock already sold. Like I said, it's a starter rig, you get for £500 inc tax (tax is 20%) in the UK and possibly free delivery if your negotiating skills are good.
You learn with the rig, which once you have set the menu controls, is essentially driven from the front panel, then you learn what are the important things that you want in a rig, you buy your 2nd rig, and don't lose too much selling the FT-450D.
Yes a 450 is a eye candy POS next to a good 830. 830 has better audio (xmit and receive and true RF speech processing) it has much better selectivity too. 830 losses eye candy appeal to 450 for sure but 450 gets beat badly on HF performance by a good 830. BTW 830 does have a RIT/XIT control so it is possible to split 5kc or so if need be. I have the Kenwood remote digital, not analog, VFO for my 830
It is true that I do not own one but I have had the opportunity to use/play with one many times and compare it with other rigs side by side unlike many defenders of rig here. The 450 is a cheap entry level rig and as such has limited features, very menu dependent and has poor skirt selectivity in heavy QRM. IF DSP looks great for marketing but it is a very cheap is application here and lacks in selectivity verse a good analog IF rig. BTW the 450 does have a better sounding receiver than FT991 and I give credit were it is due but I tire of hearing what a great rig a 450 is and how great its IF DSP is. If you think it is you have very low selectivity/performance standards...