A FT-950 in my future

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by AC0FP, Aug 5, 2010.

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  1. KL2TC

    KL2TC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't want to gush or anything, but I am having so much fun learning to operate this radio it isn't even funny! I love my FT-950. I couldn't be happier.

    73

    Al
    KL2TC
     
  2. AC0FP

    AC0FP Ham Member QRZ Page

    My sentiments exactly. Today I tested the internal "antenna tuner". I use a couple of tuners and antennas so I really don't need the one in the FT-950. I have a EDZ for 15 meters and my calculations missed by just a little bit getting it centered in the band, the mid band VSWR reading is 1.5:1. With the antenna switched straight into the FT-950 and the tuner on, the VSWR is 1:1 across the band! The tuner is so fast I can't even tell it did anything until I turn it off.

    73,

    fp
     
  3. VE3PP

    VE3PP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Frank

    When I brought my FT-950 from the hamfest the day I bought it I hooked it up to a doublet I had up at the time.

    The internal tuner worked fine on some bands and on others it would not tune the swr out. Tuner kept indicating "High SWR" and it simply turned itself off. I came to the conclusion (and I could be wrong here) that the internal tuner is only good if the antenna swr is under 3:1.

    I can roam around on 80 and 40 from the top to bottom of both bands and the internal tuner works fine. But I have a fan dipole in line for those bands.

    If your antennas are close to resonance then the internal tuner is fine. If not I think you or anyone else would be better off using an external tuner, be ia a manual or auto tuner.

    I have an LDG AT-200PRO and that tuner would tune that doublet on any band. Once the memories were set it was quick and easy.



     
  4. KC9SYJ

    KC9SYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm going for the FT-950 myself after I earn my upgrade to General Class from
    Technician Class. (Just to go slightly off topic for a moment here,as far as antennas are concerned,I am reading a book by Al Bragdon W1AB titled "Low
    Profile Amateur Radio". He shares lots of low profile antenna ideas that are very much worthy of my consideration since I currently live in an apartment complex that does not seem to allow outdoor ham radio antennas. That makes me wonder how an FT-950 might work with either hidden or disguised antennas such as a half wave dipole in an attic space and feed that with a coax line. I want to work mainly at least 40,20,15,and 10 meters with that kind of set up should I go that route.)

    73s
    Dewey
    KC9SYJ

    P.S. My apologies for going slightly off the topic about antenna choice,but I felt compelled to share that anyway. Just out of curiosity,what brand of external tuner would you suggest I look at? There are many models out there and it can seem confusing to a newbie such as myself. I would like a manual tuner to save costs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  5. VE3PP

    VE3PP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Dewey

    The internal tuner will handle antennas that have SWR's around 3:1. Anything higher than the that the tuner will usually not operate. At least that is my findings.

    So if you have antennas, stealth or attic that are within those SWR specs then you should be ok with the internal tuner.

    if you need an external tuner some of the older Dentron tuners are excellent tuners. However they will not have the WARC bands on them but will usally tune those bands.

    Older Drake MN-4 tuners are tanks and work well and can be had for under $125 most of the time.

    I have owned and used Dentron and Drake tuners so I can say they do work.

    Now if you want to buy a good external auto tuner I would go with the LDG AT-200PRO. I have one and this tuner works well. It tuned every band from 80-10 meters when I had my doublet up. The Yaesu tuner would not do that.

    Personally I would look for a good used AT-200PRO auto tuner. If you plan on buying an amp down the road then you might as well buy a tuner that will handle high power right now then you have one less thing to buy.
     
  6. VE3PP

    VE3PP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I should have worded my last post differently when it comes to the LDG AT-200PRO

    That tuner will only handle 200 watts.

    What I meant to say is if you are planning on buying an amp then buy a tuner that can handle 1500 watts right now and then you will not have to buy another tuner.
     
  7. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use the Yaesu rig control software for setting up the audio curve as it allows you to view it visually and set up a nice smooth one with bias towards top-end without going mental. Out of interest, I shoved in some of the various recommended settings people had posted. The resulting curves were absolutely hideous.
     
  8. AC0FP

    AC0FP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well there is one constant that will never change in the universe, things will never go smoothly for AC0FP!

    I looked at the hookup for PSK 31 using the 6 Pin Mini-DIN on the back of the 950. This has to be the simplest setup ever conceived to do PSK31 data.

    It doesn't work in transmit! I asked a question on the QRZ "alternate modes" forum but that doesn't work since the readers or that forum can only quote from the instruction manuals.

    I next went to the Yahoo Yaesu FT-950 Group. The results weren't much better except someone came back and said they had the same problem and been unable to solve it.

    The computer PSK31 data gets to the 6 pin Mini-DIN connector Pin #1. The radio will not modulate it in the SSB mode, PSK31 receive works just fine. Yes, I have enabled menu 114 and changed it to Data rather than Mic, it makes no difference. :confused: :(

    fp
     
  9. K3TP

    K3TP Ham Member QRZ Page

     
  10. AC0FP

    AC0FP Ham Member QRZ Page

     
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