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FT-450AT or FT-897D

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KI6A, Mar 26, 2010.

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  1. W9PHD

    W9PHD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm looking at my first HF rig as well and am leaning toward the 897D because on about the 2m but also because of its ability to be a portable unit in an emergency. The extra battery pack runs about $119 and allows it to be self sufficient. Food for thought!
  2. K4YND

    K4YND Ham Member QRZ Page

    FT 450D

    Im going to be off this friday and plan on dropping into HRO to take a hard look at the FT 450D (with XYL in tow). It is 929.00 vs 699.00 for the FT 450AT. I really like the idea of the cw filters and the keys that light up. so I guess it is 229 for filters and looks and the flip down footing.

    XYL has approved the FT 450AT. Not sure she will see the value in the buttons that light up

    I will give it my best shot

  3. WS4E

    WS4E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Owned both

    I sold my 897 and got a 450.

    The receiver in the 450 is 10x better.

    The DSP is much better on the 450 a controlling noise, even compared to adding the pair $150/each CW(300) and SSB(1.9) filters I had in my FT897.

    One thing you don't realize is the cost of all the accessories for a 897 compared to the 450. For instance you can save $300 because you don't need to buy any add-on mechanical IF filters like you do for the 897, because of the IF-DSP works just as good, and if you have a good antenna that is resonant and not using something like a G5RV, you don't need to buy an external tuner because the 450 has one internal.

    Example, I sold my 897, the batteries, the two filters, and a LDG 100PRO external tuner, and had more than enough money left over after buying a FT-450AT to buy an older Kenwood TM-D700A Dual Band 2m/70cm that can do built in APRS, and cross-band repeat. I have all the bands I had before in the shack with the new Kenwood dual bander sitting next to the 450 and I don't miss anything.

    I will probably not miss my 897 at all, and if I ever want to work at the park or something, this 450 works just fine on small gel cell battery and is even SMALLER AND LIGHTER to carry than the 897 was. The 897 was kinda heavy and bigger and bulkier than the 450 is.

    And frankly I don't see the value in the 450D. There are $15 kick stands that are actually nicer than the one that comes with the D. The internal ATU (was $200 option) is not mandatory. It works fine if you have a good antenna that is 3:1 or less, I use a windom and it's works fine on all bands with the internal ATU, but if your going to use a G5RV it will not work with it. If you were going to by one now, buying the old 450 model, you could skip the internal tuner and buy an external if you wanted to. For CW filters, the old 450 has 0.5/1.8/2.4 kHz cw filters already, so the only new filter in the D model is the 300hz. The CPU's are BOTH 400MHz and have not be upgraded between the versions, the marketing materials were wrong.

    So...the only actual differences between the models is:
    - a new 300hz cw filter step in addition to the existing ones in the old model (I would not be suprised of this is not done with a firmware update on the old model as well in the future)
    - lighted keys
    - a kickstand that does not seem to be as good as the $15 after market ones (mine was made by K8FF who made the cranker knobs for the ft-817)
    - a internal tuner purchase which is now mandatory which will add cost to the unit even though many people will actually need to buy an external tuner anyway

    For my 2cents, get the old 450 without the ATU, and use all the money you will save over the D model to buy yourself one of the new LDG YT-450 tuners(these were not available when I purchased my 450) which will handle anything you throw at it compared to the internal ones.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  4. KA5S

    KA5S Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have both. Except for slectivity, the 450 has a better receiver. For selectivity, you can put a 500 or 300 Hz filter in the 857 and use it on any mode. The 450 suffers less from nearby stong stations, Including a nearby exanded-band AM broadacaster but (in the original and D versions) you could only use the 500 Hz filtering in CW mode.

    However... my 857 produces less broadband noise; I can transmit on frequency A with one, receive on frequency B with the other, and the 450 bothers the 857, but reverse the frequencies; it's not as bad the other way around.

    I sometimes operate on two MARS frequencies at once and this is an issue so far only fixed with good transmit filtering.

  5. K4YND

    K4YND Ham Member QRZ Page

    Picked up 450D today

    Just picked up Yaesu 450D today. I have a couple of shots of it on my page. So far it is a blast. I think the backlighted keys are great.

  6. K4YND

    K4YND Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yaesu FT 450D picture

    Here is a shot of the 450D.

  7. KJ4JON

    KJ4JON Guest


    Would you please comment further regarding broadband noise (on HF SSB)? I have the 857D and am experiencing A LOT of broadband noise in my present location. I had been considering getting the 450, thinking it might handle this better.

    The DSP on the 857D is OK and helps. I have the settings down and have no problem using the menu driven settings to do as well as it can. But...I was wondering...would you kindly comment further on the two rigs? I do not want to get rid og my 857D...I use it for a lot of activities, including repeaters and traveling. But...I would consider a 450.... but only IF it were significantly better at handling broadband noise on HF SSB..... I would really prefer not to spend the money, if I did not have to.

    Appreciate any responses.



  8. AH6OY

    AH6OY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've got both the 450 and 897D. Well 100D, 897D 450 and 2000 from Yaesu and I'm listing them from low to highest I'd rate them. The 450 is like mentioned better on receive for sure with less noise. If your receiver is ever picking up trash from the side make sure the noise blanker isn't engauged and causing it. NB's will pull adjacent signals in pretty bad some times, at least the old ones would like on my IC-745 would. Try turning it off if its on and see what happens. The 897D has the portable on battery power. The 450 is a fantastic little radio. I put it to the side when I first got it because it was so small. It is comparable to low noise like the FT-2000 but no way near the filtering. The 450 fan doesn't run loud and the power supply when running digital had to turn its fan on from heat while the 450 didn't even heat up. The fan in the back is a good sized fan. So far it only runs when transmitting then I don't hear it anymore.

    For better receiver get the 450. There is a mount for in the car if you like. Can't work them if you can't hear them.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
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