Yaesu FT-450 any opinions?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KF6OCI, Apr 21, 2008.

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  1. K4AX

    K4AX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think it is a great rig for the money, I got to play with one for a few hours. I have two complaints about it. It doesn't seem to deliver the full audio spectrum that you are receiving on voice.
    Second complaint is that it has IF DSP.. BUT on SSB you can't narrow it down to whatever you want, there are I think 3 choices and that is it. So, if you do any RTTY or PSK31 or whatever, you are stuck with a wide filter.

    If you are only going to do voice and CW I think it is a pretty good rig for the money. I'd buy it over the IC-718.
     
  2. KA5S

    KA5S Ham Member QRZ Page

    I bought a 450 without tuner some months ago on sale at HRO. I had never used a rig with IF DSP and liked the idea of multiple bandwidths and IF noise reduction. So when I found my FT920 out of service for Field Day, I took the 450. and it acquitted itself satisfactorily as our CW rig, even though the narrow bandwidth is just 500 Hz. The IF noise reduction helped with noise from a bad mercury vapor lamp nearby, though the DSP still leaves noise and out-of-bandwidth strong signals affecting the AGC.

    I've compared an FT-450 and an FT-857 side by side and they perform similarly at the home QTH(where there is little to worry about from nearby strong signals (save a 1700 KHz 5KW broadcaster). The IF DSP has been useful in pulling out signals through lightning static, which the 857 doesn't manage as well.

    THe QST review says the FT-450's transmit/receive switching is too slow for AMTOR and PACTOR, but I have not yet tried it on the MARS Winlink system to see.

    There's been comment here about lack of low end audio response and this, I think can be laid at the feet of what we CW operators might otherwise call a feature; many recent rigs have only IF shift, not pass-band tuning, but the 450's DSP, though labelled IF shift, seems to act more as PBT, becoming narrower as one shifts the pass abdn to one side or the other. This is a serviceable expedient for filters narrower than those programmed into the DSP firmware.

    All in all, I am happy with mine.


    Cortland
    KA5S
     
  3. K4AX

    K4AX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    KA5S, that is interesting about the IF shift.. so what is it doing when you shift, is it shifting the passband toward a brick wall and cutting off the top or bottom end? Have you looked at this on a waterfall to see what is going on?

    Just curious because if you could narrow the bandwidth down I'd be highly interested in one of these for digital work, especially for field day and such.
     
  4. KA5S

    KA5S Ham Member QRZ Page

    I really will have to look at this carefully, but if the comments here about no LF audio in SSB are correct, it would seem that the LF limit is hardwired to prevent inadvertently tuning into the reverse sideband. If so, that could be used as an incidental PBT. It would be more useful on the high side, IMO, because one wants high audio tones to attenuate harmonics of sound card outputs on transmit.


    Cortland
    KA5S
     
  5. K2FOX

    K2FOX Ham Member QRZ Page

    FT-450 antenna tuner

    Can the internal tuner be bypassed if needed?
     
  6. KT4W

    KT4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, you can bypass the internal tuner. I'm going to buy the FT-450AT because in checking prices there is only about $60 difference over the FT-450. (The rebate on the FT-450 is now $100 and on the FT-450AT it is still $150) It was suggested to me to get it without the internal tuner but for that little bit of difference I'm getting it built-in. I know the tuner range isn't as broad as an external but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
    According to the Yaesu rep I talked to at a recent hamfest the FT-450 is basically a menu driven FT-2000. Nearly all the same features. Smaller size and less buttons, hence the menus.
     
  7. KB3QHA

    KB3QHA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I bought mine in June '08 and I have two issues:

    1. Occasionally, (about 12 times now) the rig shuts off and then turns right back on. Usually to a different frequency. It happened again a week or two ago; working a QSO on 14.282, reboots, then displays 14.266. I had to quickly tune back to 282 before the guy thought I blew him off or something.

    2. To work data, the problem is too long to describe, again. I posted it here:
    http://www.brianwsnyder.com/problem.txt

    For the former, don't know of a fix but I have heard of others with this problem. For the latter, I posted this to the Yahoo Group but got one reply and a suggestion or two that didn't work. Yaesu's suggestion was a CPU reset but I don't think I should have to do anything special to make the radio work properly; especially since it's new and unmodified.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2008
  8. KE7VZW

    KE7VZW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've not had any of the problems. Yet. Those are certainly in the minority for the # of rigs shipped. Many of the problems are fixed in later revisions; hum issue and many others. Anyone with those problems should be riding Yaesu relentlessly to get them resolved in the warranty timeframe.

    The FT-450 is the highest feature to dollar ratio going right now.

    Get It.

    I didn't purchase with the internal tuner either; I bought an MFJ949E instead. The non-AT are sometimes hard to find; hamcity had them awhile ago.
     
  9. KA5S

    KA5S Ham Member QRZ Page

    FT-450 received noise spectra at different settings

    My apologies for not getting back to you, but if you can get into Yahoo's Yaesu FT-450 group, in the photo's section I have posted a number of Multipsk FT-450 noise spectra LINK in narrow, wide and medium bandwidths with "PBT" offset at high, middle and low audio frequencies. Low frequency offset in CW narrow gets us down to maybe 300 Hz BW. High frequency does not go far enough to get the same effect.

    I can't say my sound card has a good dynamic range, and maybe someone with a better one can repeat these tests.


    Cortland
    KA5S
     
  10. KE7VZW

    KE7VZW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I may repeat these experiments with an M-Audio Firewire 96khz/24-Bit Semi-Pro studio interface. Will advise on the yahoo group if I do.

     
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