Yesterday I provided a summary of ICOM’s HF rigs. Today’s post is about Yaesu’s lineup. I’ll admit I’m partial to Yaesu because I’ve had two of their HF radios, an FT-201 and an FT-747 (I still have the latter—it’s my loaner rig) and both performed well for me. My current HF radio is a Ten-Tec Jupiter, but I don’t consider that an entry-level radio. As you can see, Yaesu’s lineup goes from entry-level on up to over-the-top competition-grade transceivers. Please note there are more Yaesu HF transceivers on their website than show here. The ones here are in HRO’s catalog as currently for sale. Here’s the table:
|Model||Cost at HRO as of today||Comments|
|FT-817ND||$629.95||This is a QRP radio (low power—5 watts). I DO NOT recommend a QRP radio as a first radio. 5 Watts (QRP) HF/6/2/440 Multimode with built-in battery and a charger|
|FT-857D||$799.95||Entry-level radio. Small, do-all HF/VHF/UHF radio. This is Yaesu’s “do everything” radio. 100W (less on VHF/UHF). Requires 13.8VDC (12V) external power supply. Technology circa 2004.|
|FT-450D||$899.95||Entry-level radio. HF+6M. Requires 13.8VDC (12V) external power supply. Has roofing filter, a nicety on crowded bands. Auto tuner in D model. Technology circa 2007.|
|FT-897D||$939.95||Another good entry-level choice. HF/VHF/UHF (“do-all”) radio. 100W on HF. Requires external 13.8VDC (12V) power supply, or can do 20W on built-in battery supply (shipped without batteries) or an optional built-in power supply. Antenna tuner is an option. 3 roofing filters. Technology circa 2003.|
|FT-950||$1,349.95||HF/6M, 100W, requires 13.8 VDC (12V) external power supply. Built-in antenna tuner. Standard with 3 roofing filters, useful for crowded band conditions. Appears to be nice, well-rounded radio. Technology circa 2008. (This one has caught my eye as a potential follow-on to my Jupiter.)|
|FT-2000||$2,499.95||100W HF/6M DSP AC/DC Dual Receive. Good filters and signal processing, roofing filters. Built-in antenna tuner. Lots of expensive options available. Built-in 120VAC power supply. Technology circa 2007.|
|FT-2000D||$3,199.95||100W HF/6M. Essentially an FT-2000 with 200W out. Technology circa 2007.|
|FTDX9000/ CONTEST||$4,899.95||200W SINGLE RCVR. Very high end radio. Technology circa 20d06|
|FTDX5000||$5,199.95||200W HF TCVR W TWO RCVRS. Very high end radio, better for contesters because of two receivers that can operate simultaneously. Technology circa 2010.|
|FTDX5000D||$5,399.95||200W HF TCVR INCLUDES SM-5000 SCOPE 2 RCVRS. Very, very high end radio. Technology circa 2010.|
|FTDX5000MP||$5,999,95||200W HF TCVR W SCOPE/300HZ ROOF/OCXO TWO RCVRS. Very, very, very high end radio.|
|FTDX9000D||$9,999.95||ORANGE DISPLAY 200W DELUXE XCVR. Very, very, very, very high end radio. Technology circa 2005.|
|FTDX9000/MP||$10,999.00||400W VERSION W POWER SUPPLY. Very, very, very, very, very high end radio. Technology circa 2010|
I am considering coming back to Ham Radio back in the 70-80s i was HI3XEA then HI3EMS and I have spent a few days looking at the current crop of radios. Thank God I am an IT professional, talk about times changing!
I the past we (family) had Heathkit, Collins KWM-2 and we got to enter the digital age with an FT-757GX that turned out to be an excellent radio too.
Having seen what is out there, and with a budget cap of USD 1,500 I believe that the FT-950 is my best option. Particularly (please don’t laugh) because I want a mid-sized radio. The size of the FT450D (like the FT-757GX) seems just a little to small for my taste and I find me gravitating towards the FT-950 which seems to be a good product for the price considering it’s latest software updates.
Lane, I can hardly begin to say. They’re very different radios. I’ve not used either. My experience with Yaesu in general has been good. The FT-950 is a daunting radio for someone new to HF. It’s like the difference between a point-and-shoot (the FT-450) vs the mid-level DSLR (the FT-950) except DSLRs these days all have point-and-shoot modes. The FT-950 doesn’t have a point-and-shoot mode—you need some experience. I looked up your callsign and it appears you’ve been a ham for quite some time. If you’ve been on HF a lot, you may find the FT-450 a bit limiting. My advise is if you’re new to HF, go with the less-expensive radio. If you have a few years experience, the upgrade to the FT-950 could be a great deal. I know that’s not a definitive answer, but radios are like ice cream flavors—what appeals to one may turn off another.
What is the better rig for the price .. the FT450AT or FT950?