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Author Topic: FT-990 or IC-765  (Read 13959 times)

Posts: 2808

« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2011, 05:47:35 PM »

Thanks!   Looking into a TS-850SAT as well...  We'll see what happens.  I am trying to stay around $600. 

OK -- I'll ask the forbidden question in this vintage gathering:

. . . Why not buy a Yaesu FT-450 ?

It was engineered a few years ago, not 20 years ago.  It's smaller, lighter, and has some functionality that the old rigs lack.

To declare bias, I own an FT-450, and there's a FT-990 in my club's shack.  The FT-990 has great ergonomics -- "one button, one function".  But it's big, and it's getting old.  The guys on the Yahoo FT-990 list are often asking about spare parts.   


Posts: 3

« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2011, 08:45:06 AM »

Hi there. I own and use both the Icom 765 and the FT-990. I've owned them for over 15 years, and I can add the following as a "user", not as a "fan" or "basher".. hi hi..  Wink

The 765 has all the mod's and fixes and filters, except the roofing filter and sidetone mod. I use it primarily for 160 mtr CW DX'ing. It has the better front end under contest conditions. Overall, it does have a better receiver than the FT-990, but there are other things to consider as well. I've had to fix a few things in the 765 along the way, nothing major, but servicing was required. AM reception is excellent! QSK quite good and the cascaded 500 Hz or 250 Hz filtering is bullet proof. The internal antenna tuner does not seem to be as forgiving as the FT-990's, but that's what external tuners are for!

The FT-990 has been 100% reliable, never any fixing or "tweaking" required. It has all the filters in it. The internal antenna tuners works well beyond the 3:1 spec, but doesn't tune "everything". I use it for RTTY contesting and also for PSK. I like being able to use any filter in any mode. With a RigBlaster Plus, AFSK RTTY is a breeze, with no distortion (i.e. no ALC deflection!). The SCAF filter takes the hiss out and is useful despite being out of the AGC loop.

Overall, the FT-990 is a bit "easier" to use but the receiver in the 765 is a bit better, at least for what I do. For me they are both keepers and are in use daily, depending on what band, mode, or contest I want to play around in. Just my two cent's worth, your mileage may vary! 73 - John (WA1GOS)

Posts: 1513

« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2011, 04:25:37 PM »

I would take the IC765. Its superior in many ways to the FT990.

I have owned both these rigs.

The FT990 is a highly praised piece of junk.

The first problem is that it has a very noisy transmitter. The phase noise on TX sounds like a steam train.
This phase noise is easily heard on receive, the receiver is very HISSY.
The main problem with the FT990 is its very weak receiver. On very strong signals you get peak clipping and severe inband IMD. The FT1000D had the same problem, no surprises it used the same circuits as FT1000D
Yaesu tried to fix this problem by offering  a PIN diode upgrade, it did not work very well.
The FT990 also had a problem that on very strong signals it sounded like the noise blanker was on even though it was off. It
generated what sounded like splatter on received signals. I did not get to the bottom of this problem. Anyway the FT990 has a receiver with marginal IMD dynamic range.

The IC765 is the way to go it has reasonable receiver, and the transmitter IMD is very good for a rig of that era. It was a very popular contest radio. I did the PIN diodes mods to the radio  as described by Ulrich Rohde in QST.

Posts: 40

« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2011, 08:31:57 AM »

Thanks for the replies... I have decided to look into something a bit more portable for camping although someday may own one of the bigger rigs down the road.  My needs changed a tad since I posted the original question, however I am always interested in radio comparisons, especially without "fan boy" type comments.  So far very pleased with the responses here.

73, Lenny AF5LO

Posts: 719


« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2011, 06:11:17 AM »

In case you change your mind, I would tend to agree that IC-765 and TS-850S are excellent performers in the TX and RX departments despite some reliability issues.  In the mobile/portable realm, the FT-100D is decent performer for its size.  I used one at Field Day on 40CW a few years ago and it held its own nicely.  Good luck!

Posts: 40

« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2011, 12:58:33 PM »

I still keep being drawn back to the big rigs...  something about knobs and buttons...  looking now between IC-765 and FT-920.

Posts: 1513

« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2011, 06:57:13 PM »

I still keep being drawn back to the big rigs...  something about knobs and buttons...  looking now between IC-765 and FT-920.

Knobs and a big box is what everyone wants. Its the ham companies and  SDR folks who seems to want to rid the  ham world of evil knobs and big boxes.

The old big rigs are fantastic, I dont feel like I am doing my hamming with chopsticks.

Bring back big radios and big box, my hands says so!

I would take the IC-765 it has got a very good receiver. The FT920 is a nice box, it has a poor receiver and the TX IMD is terrible from that radio. Even the FT-950 is better than the  FT920 in all aspects!

I heard Kenwood will be releasing a new BIG radio at Dayton, supposed to be the replacement for the TS-950SDX. Hopefully it will have a lot of knobs, a good receiver and a clean transmitter like all the old Kenwood legends. I still have my TS930S it looks and plays like a big is supposed too. Just brilliant compared to by K3 which slides all over my desk and the power cable keeps dropping out every time you move it!

Posts: 2415

« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2011, 11:21:55 PM »

I go with the IC 765, But you might also not want to turn down a good condition IC 761 either........   And for somewhat newer rigs, The entire IC 756PRO series are great!

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