Is the Yaesu FT-450D a good radio?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KD8UEI, Jan 31, 2015.

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  1. W8JX

    W8JX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Because some think that 50 more watts or about 1.5 db is a big deal when it is not and its more heat into same heat sink and cooling system getting rid of 50% more heat too via higher junction temperatures.
  2. M0KFO

    M0KFO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use an FT-450D bought new, I have also used a 2011 s/h in which the optical encoder went, plus I have used other rigs, including some new and rather different ones, such as the Xiegu X108 (QRP rig). Off topic, don't buy the X108, buy the X108G (preferably outdoor version), as it corrected all the mistakes on the 1st version MKI or MKII.

    The optical encoder went on the s/h one, it cost me £29 (That's about $50 taxes included and postage)next day delivered and about an hour to change it, at the time, I was an M6 licence holder, which is equivalent to Tech. It isn't the end of the world and it stopped being a problem in the 2012 units, although retail stock of older units continued to drain from dealer stock.

    The FT-450D is an excellent entry level unit and can't be beaten for the money, at least not at UK prices. You set the menus up and then it really is all external controls. The contour, notch, DNR, width and shift all really help. Yes there are better rigs out there, but not at the same price for a new unit. And if after a year, you decide to sell it, because you want something better and you've learnt what it is that you really need, not what you thought you needed, you can sell it easily, without much loss.

    There isn't really much not to like about it, yes I'm sure the Icom 7851 is a better rig (not used one) but at £9,000 inc tax in the UK, I think I'll pass on that extra performance, even though it is arguably better than the FT-450D, it will also make a serious dent in your bank balance.
  3. WD5BPI

    WD5BPI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Been a ham 48 years, lots of rigs. I was off air for a while when I wanted to buy new rig I looked at Yaesu first. Bought the 450D just over year ago. I thought it was fantastic. It was such a clean rcvr and the digital NR was great. Only problem for me it was too small. Within a couple of months I purchased the FTdx 1200 mostly because it was larger. Fantastic radio, rcvr even better than 450D. These were my third and fourth Yaesu radios to own(FT 7 was first and then the FT101Z both great). I kept the 450D and still enjoy it as well as the 1200.
  4. KD8UEI

    KD8UEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's been a while since I started this thread, and I'm surprised to see that it's still active. I think an update is in order.

    I still have not pulled the trigger on a radio. I decided to save my money and get a better radio but I am a ham on a budget. I'm now thinking of the Yaesu DX-1200 or the Kenwood TS-590 SG or even the Icom IC-7410. I did buy a Kenwood TM-281A two-meter rig which is at least a step up from my HTs.

    I am put off the FT-450 because of the encoder problems I've read about. That's the kind of thing that would stick in the back of my head and interfere with my enjoyment of the radio. I also decided against the Icom IC-7200 because it's not all mode on six meters and because of the tiny display.

    I intend to be just a casual DXer, and I want my first radio to last a long time.
  5. K8NIV

    K8NIV XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I no your not interested in the 450D, but after running it a few months I have built a 40m wire and hung it up 20ft off the ground and have been able to work most of the stations I can hear on it...and since then I now have it hooked to a Megawatt PS his 30 amp supply, and there's no noise coming in my rx on it, all has been good...haven't used half the features offers, but I still like the radio, it has talked really well so far without any problems out of it.....

    I bought mine from AES out of FL, I called down there and talked to a guy name Hank, little did I no at the time I used to talk to him here local over 20 years ago on the CB radio, lol......well don't mean to rumble on, just wanted to tell you how my rig has been performing for what I have up and running right now....wish you the best on which ever radio you decide to buy...
  6. KD8UEI

    KD8UEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you, KD8NIV.
    K8NIV likes this.
  7. PA1ZP

    PA1ZP Ham Member QRZ Page


    My friend has a FT450 non D for over 6 yrs now, it is on about 350 days a year about 24 hours a day, encoder still works as new.
    And he beats me with my TS590S with his FT450 every day, as he has got a far superior antenna situation (he has got room for antennas at a very low noise location, I havent got that room and a lot of noise at my location).

    I had a FT450 non D for over 3 yrs never a single problem with it.
    I have a FT857D for 13 yrs now and yes a got a vertical line in the display, no other issues but it looks totaly warn and beaten.

    Do not forget the FTDX1200 could have the same encoder hihi.

    learn about antennas and propagation, far more important as the rig, and a very good antenna even doesn't have to cost more then $50 if you build it yourself.

    Without a decent antenna you will not be able to find any differences between a FT450D and a TS590SG or even a IC7851 as they all will perform bad on bad antennas.

    The only budget limit for knowledge is time spent to get it, and knowledge is the most important thing you will need.

    And try to enjoy yourself as much as posible.
    Have fun

    73 Jos
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  8. YO3GFH

    YO3GFH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello there

    I have my 450D since October 2013 (bought new) and I've used it almost daily from then on.

    The encoder problem: yes, it was definitely a problem and Yaesu acknowledged it (bad batch of encoders, it seems). Mine exhibited the sympthoms couple of weeks after buying it, and I was very disheartened.

    However, I sent an email to and they were nice enough to send me a new encoder for no charge. Replacing it yourself is a very simple procedure, unless you put your cat to do it :) I've also bought a couple of spares from ebay, for 10$ 2 pieces, but there was no need for them to this day.

    Is it a good radio? Well, it ain't a contest-winner/fast-pileup-breaker kind of rig; it doesn't cope well with weak signals adjacent to "59 plus 20dB" ones (although it helps if you disable the AGC and reduce the RF gain). But otherwise, it will be as good as the antenna attached to it.

    Rigs way more dearer to the pocket may exhibit very silly issues as well - search for Yvo Muniz (PY2YVO) channel on youtube and you'll see :)
    My guess is that with a decent antenna, any entry level radio will bring you tons of joy.

    Good DX, whatever you'll buy :)

    73, Adrian
    VK6APZ likes this.
  9. GM1FLQ

    GM1FLQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    In that case I would at the least be wary of the 7410 screen and maybe even the dx-1200 screen as being items that could potentially spoil your day.
  10. PA1ZP

    PA1ZP Ham Member QRZ Page


    The 7410 uses an LCD screen that proved itself in all other Icoms to live a realy long long time.
    but the IC746 and IC7400 were known to have a very stupid backlight design flaw for over a decade, a regulator would die and would leave you with no back light.

    I personaly do not give nothing about a display and colours etc, but i find the display of the FT450(D) very good and easy to read and it makes the rig very easy to operate as you can see all settings very easy in the display.
    That is very nasty to do with a FT857(D) or IC706 or 7200.

    Ofcourse older rigs didn't have all fancy noncence and menus and knobs whisles and bells so the display didn't have to be so advanced just to see how every thing is set.

    73 Jos

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