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. K7JOE

    K7JOE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Perhaps the 450D is eye candy -- but the 830 has many operational deficiencies. To each his own but if it were me, and I was a new ham I would go for the 450D any day over the 830S... Yes, the 830S is a better RX ...but not significant enough to overcome the vast operational deficiencies and the cost differences...

    .Lets Say you can get an 830S for around $400...a the time you try to "fix" the 830 deficiencies, by purchasing an outboard (digital) vfo for $200, a backup set of tubes at $60/set , an SSB filter and a CW filter for $200, the cheapest junk antenna tuner you can find for $60, an outboard AF DSP box for $100, not to mention STILL not being able to work full break in're in it for well over $1000 bucks.... and you STILL can't go mobile/portable with it because it doesnt run on 13.8VDC....and with it being 35 year old technology you will be hoping caps are still "ok"!

    As said, apples to oranges comparison.
  2. W8JX

    W8JX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Deficiencies? What? Because you have to tune it? Not a big deal. I have optional CW filter in mine too. A 830 in good order is still a class act and will give a lot of new expensive rigs a run for the money. If you are a new school plug and play ham a 830 might be tuff for you but if you are old school it is a pleasure to use rig. I have never been a quick QSY guy jumping bands so manual tune is not a issue for me. I never got anything other than great audio reports with it. I nearly replaced it with a 850 16 years ago. I bought 850 with intent of selling 830 and after playing them side by side for a week I sold 850 instead and bought a 570 to replace a 140 I was using for digi. the 830 is arguably one of the finest rigs Kenwood ever made in its day.
  3. K7JOE

    K7JOE Ham Member QRZ Page

    No soup for you ! 6 other deficiencies noted above.
    Been a ham for 30 years.. Extra class for 25 years... used 100's of rigs and dxing all over the world. It's too heavy, I sure as heck wouldn't lug a 35 pound TS- 830 with me ....

    That's not to degrade the 830. It is indeed a great receiver and good rig...but in some applications, especially on CW and FM, and working DX when running split, and going mobile and working digital modes, sadly it falls short. it's a great rig for hams stuck in the 20th century....
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
  4. W8JX

    W8JX Ham Member QRZ Page

    You do not have to be stuck in 20th century to appreciate a fine rig. I worked a lot of CW with my 830 with optional filter and variable band-pass tuning. I have installed CW filters in all my rigs for decades. Dig some digi with it with too but I agree a SS rig is better there. Never used FM on HF so no loss there. As far as mobile I would not take a fine base rig mobile. I use a old TS140 for that. May try my 480 mobile sometime. I remember taking my 830 portable on vacation on year. Its heft is not a big deal when you consider it has a power supply and tuner that will match finales to 3 to 1 SWR or so all in one box. On splits it does have a RIT and XIT for small splits are easy and as I said earlier I have a remote 20hz step digital VFO for mine that does full splits and is rock stable. (it has RIT as well allowing very fine tuning) Shame they never made a TS840 (a 830 with a digital VFO)
  5. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    But he "played with" one at an HRO once. Doesn't that make him an expert ?
    WB0MPB likes this.
  6. M0KFO

    M0KFO Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is obvious.
    How come you don't know that it has an inbuilt ATU then?
    Who is arguing with you that it is not an entry level rig and it's cheap?
    No it isn't, you set the power output, and mic equaliser settings and the rest is pretty much all done from the front panel.

    It is a good rig for what it costs, no it won't beat an IC-7851, but then someone in the market for an FT-450D type radio isn't in the market for a 7851. Most people that want a 450, want a cheap starter rig, a mobile, or they are part time operators who don't want to invest huge sums of money in equipment that they hardly use.
  7. W8JX

    W8JX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wrong, several times and not at HRO either but rather at Universal in Columbus that places several rigs out with a antenna switch and beam on a nice table and you can do side by side comparisons. BTW I was told those demo rig are loaned for that by makers of rigs and selection can vary. I have seen 450 on bench many times and TS 480, TS 590S, TS 2000, FT 950, FT1200's FT991, FT 3000 and 5000, Icom 718, 7100, 7200, 7410 and a 7600 to name a few in last 3 or 4 years. Long ago I used to repair rigs too but do not anymore but I do know how to use a rig and find its weaknesses and strengths. I rarely xmit when testing them but have a keen ear to how they sound and selectivity and noise rejection. It is were I first heard and played with a 480 in 2009. I had seen 480 at Kenwood booth for many years and paid it no mind but when I played with it I was amazed with receiver how clean and crisp it was and I had one bought with optional filters 4 months later. The 450 kinda reminds me a of a big CB radio with simple front panel and wide receiver band width that does not do well with QRM. They just need to add a 40 channel mode....

    You need to get your ducks in a row badly.....
  8. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been watching this thread with some interest for a while now, as I enjoy a spirited conversation....

    My HF rigs consisted of a 718, and old TS-520, and a TS-130. I recently ditched the 718 and replaced it with a 7100. I was considering the 450D for about a minute, but decided to stay with Icom. That, however, is another story...

    FWIW, I feel the 450 is a good radio for what it is. The 830 is a good radio, period. The 450 is a "starter". The 830 is a "keeper". Yes, it's a bit old school, but that's okay. It's a strong, strong performer. Tuning is really not a big deal. I can tune up my 520 in under a minute.... On the reception end, there's just something special about listening to a well designed analog receiver. Yes, it lacks some modern conveniences (like DSP), but it really doesn't need them.

    I like modern rigs, but I like classics, too. The modern rigs are "turn on and talk", where the classics are more "interactive". While the 450 isn't terrible, it's certainly not in the same class as a 991, 7100, et al (and these are mid-level rigs). Remember, at one time, the 830 was Kenwood's flagship. Comparing the 450 and 830 are apples and oranges.
  9. M0KFO

    M0KFO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Another thing, from someone that has owned two FT-450D and still uses one, so has more experience than 5 minutes usage test at HRO into a dummy load, who knows that it has an internal ATU and is not memory driven.

    Top tip, ditch that awful dynamic (there is nothing dynamic about it) MH-31 mic that they supply and purchase yourself, an MH-67 electret condenser mic that they used to supply with the earlier FT450 before the 'D' spec came out, it is far superior.

    I bought a Yaesu one for about £29. Then I bought one from Aliexpress (Yaesu mics are made in China, it says it on the box). It's not the first time I have bought big three mics from AliExpress and they all appear to be the real deal, when opened up and compared and audio reports given.

    I paid £7 delivered for mine, there may be cheaper ones than this (it's now £9.69, but the £ has come down against the $), I didn't check, I just posted the link I purchased from. It looks identical except it says Vertex not Yaesu. On air blind tests couldn't tell the difference. Once told, they listened very carefully again, and said the Vertex might just have it very marginally.
    N4FFL likes this.
  10. PA1ZP

    PA1ZP Ham Member QRZ Page


    Yes the MH67 sounds much better on a FT450 as a MH31, but it is the cheapest chinese junk I have ever seen atached to a rig exept for the Kenwood junk at my TM707 that is even bigger chinese junk.

    When I was in CB 35 yrs ago we wouldn't get such cheap junk at the cheapest CB AM rig, we now get at the ham rigs.

    73 Jos

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