Yaesu FT-450 any opinions?

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

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  1. W1EBB

    W1EBB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I love mine. Had it about 6 months. Yeah its a small size radio but it is a big radio on the air. Shop around because prices vary greatly from dealer to dealer.
     
  2. VA7CPC

    VA7CPC Ham Member QRZ Page

    FWIW --

    There's a very active Yahoo Groups forum on the FT-450:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yaesu_FT-450/

    In the "Files" section of that group, there's a copy of the FT-450 Service Manual.

    I own an FT-450, and like it. It's not perfect, but it's very good, and has a better "feature set" than anything else in its price range. I have _no_ regrets about the purchase.

    Problems:

    . . . the autotuner in the FT-450AT only has a 3:1 range; I use an LDG Z-11 Pro, which has a much broader range.

    . . . minimum CW bandwidth (after "tweaks") is 350 Hz; narrower filters would be nice to have.

    . . . The "DATA" mode (SSB, modulation taken from the rear panel) can't use the CW filters.

    The first problem is hardware-based. The other two might be fixed in a new firmware release. Hope springs eternal . . . <g>

    Charles / VA7CPC
     
  3. KB9HGI

    KB9HGI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  4. W0GI

    W0GI Ham Member QRZ Page

    That seems to be a common situation with many new rigs. If you buy a rig when it first hits the market, you are a beta tester.

    I usually buy stuff used, with a high end serial number. The TS-950 I owned had a lot of mods, and worked perfectly. My used MK-V is the same. The first units had lots of problems that were resolved.

    My FT-100D, I bought new, so not only did I pay more for the new smell, I also had to do a lot of mods to get it solid.

    I wouldn't rule out a rig over early problems, because it is all too common, but the question remains as to any faults that might not get fixed.

    A lot depends on how you look at the hobby. Over the years, I have not seen many factory rigs, that haven't been improved by hams finding ways to improve the circuitry.
     
  5. W0GI

    W0GI Ham Member QRZ Page

    To be fair, the internal tuners in most rigs are limited. They are good enough to take care of the band edges of a resonate antenna. And they don't do much other then present a low SWR to the PA unit, so it will produce full power.

    If the SWR is 3:1, it will still be 3:1 on an external meter, even though the internal tuner presents a lower SWR to the PA, and the internal meter may show 1:1. At 3:1 you still radiate a good signal. Too many people worry about 1:1.

    Wide range tuners are fine, but if you are using coax, and tuning a non-resonate antenna, you will have huge losses in the coax, and not much signal radiated.

    Using unbalanced twin lead, you have a better situation.

    Many people get the idea that because a tuner will match a rain gutter, that everything is dandy. It isn't. :)

    If your SWR is above 3:1, and you are using a tuner in the shack through a coax fed antenna, you need to fix the antenna if you want to get the max signal into the air.

    If you are going to use a non-resonant antenna into a tuner, using a balanced antenna with balanced twin lead into the tuner is the key.

    I have a 130' doublet feeding ladderline into an SGC-230 mounted outside. Then coax from the SGC-230 into the shack. It works great. On 40M, it works better on most paths then my vertical. On 20M and up, the resonate vertical wins.

    Just because it tunes, doesn't mean it's efficient, but then we all know that anyway. :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  6. K4LSX

    K4LSX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    first time only???

    I think it is a great radio for a very old ham also!

    I also have one without tuner, as I like external tuners. I use it with the MFJ-929 Autotuner - a great combination.

    I use my FT-450 exclusively for my portable operation. It isn't as much "fun" as my FT-950, but I don't need the FT-950 for the portable ops.

    I have no comments or experience with it on anything other than CW & SSB because I don't do any of that other stuff.:eek:

    I consider it a terrific buy for my old-time operation - about 80% CW.

    :D
     
  7. AE5TE

    AE5TE Ham Member QRZ Page

    So, has anybody used one of these rigs portable, out & about in various settings?

    I'm still trying to decide between this and the 897D (and others) for a new rig that I can use out camping, taking on trips, etc. It seems to me there's a bit "more" HF radio in the 450 than the 897D, and the UR advertisement also tout it as a "rugged" unit, contained in a die cast chassis, etc.

    What are anybody's thoughts about this rig, or in comparison to the 897D, as a good all purpose lug around rig?
     
  8. KG6ORW

    KG6ORW Ham Member QRZ Page

    FT-450 Mobil Face Plate Queston

    Gentlemen:
    Does anyone know if the FT-450 has a removable face plate so it could be mounted separately from the radio itself?
     
  9. WB4TJH

    WB4TJH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've had my FT-450, non AT, for over a year, and am quite satisfied with it. I got smart and ordered a bail from a company in England, and that really made it easy to use. That's the only real complaint I had with mine originally, but with the bail mounted, it's a fine little radio. I prefer a center fed Zepp, fed with balanced feedline, type of antenna, so the built in AT would be pretty much useless for me with its limited SWR range. I've had ZERO problems with mine. I like the fact that I did not have to buy expensive extra filters with it, and that's why I like it over ther 897D.
     
  10. KC8AHN

    KC8AHN Ham Member QRZ Page

    No it does not. I wish it did, but I think that is how they kept the cost down for this one.
     
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