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   Home   Help Search  
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Author Topic: FT 450 or keep the FT 990?  (Read 673 times)

Posts: 132

« on: November 14, 2007, 06:46:25 AM »

Hello fellow HAM´s

I own a Yaesu FT 990 but it doesn’t do everything I want a rig to do. I have the AC version so I can’t really use it on field days unless I use a generator. Unfortunately I have the 1.2 version so I can’t use it with the optional CAT interface, you need the 1.3 version.

I recently had the opportunity to take a closer look at the FT 450 from Yaesu and I really like that rig. It is compact which is great for field activities and you don’t need a separate CAT interface so you can hook it right up to the computer. It also had some bells and whistles to play with and for me that is part of the fun of playing radio.

The problem is that in order to buy that rig I have to sell the FT 990.
My question is; will I regret selling the 990 to buy the 450?

I know that the 990 has a better receiver than the 450 but how much better is it?

I also like to do some contesting and on the 990 every knob or button has it own function which comes in handy. On the other hand, playing with the 450 I found the menu structure easy to use.

I am not really bothered by the small VFO knob on the 450 although I do think it should have been a bit bigger.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the 990 but I feel it has some limitations. I’m sure that the FT 450 has it’s limitations as well but I am not sure if I got all the pros and cons figured out.

I am not asking you to make the decision for me because that is my decision and mine alone, but what else should I take into account before I Deeside?

73, Maarten

Posts: 4380

« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2007, 07:01:33 AM »

I find in life that no matter what I decide to do, having done it, I soon wish I had done something else.

Posts: 5858

« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2007, 07:18:48 AM »

There is no perfect radio!
You will have to determine your needs /desires in a radio... how are you planning on using it?
I would not want to mount the Orion II mobile in my truck, nor would I wish to use the FT857 as my prime contest rig.
The FT450 is a competent radio, and it is priced right at this time.
Determine your interests, and you will have your answer!


Posts: 2358

« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2007, 08:11:07 AM »

I would consider the FT-950. it may be a bit larger but it  be a step up i would think from what your using. I am not sure the FT-450  would give you the same enjoyment as the 990. Ofcourse if i was going spend that kind a money then i consider the TenTec Jupiter. smaller and less weight.  and will do every thing it sounds like you need. I miss my jupe should never sold it...

have a 746 now it will never compare to the jupe

Posts: 691

« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2007, 09:54:47 AM »

Hello Maarten....

As a current owner of the FT-990, FT-450, FT-950, IC-746pro, and a whole lot of other stuff, let me just say that my old, faithful '990 is still the main rig in the shack.  Bought new in 1991, it's never had a problem, hears well, and even still has the original back-up battery in it!  In fact, I just added a second '990 a few months back....just in case (hi)!

The '450 IS an amazing little rig, and in fact has features NOT found on the '950. Front panel DNR, 4 front panel contour settings, voice announcer for frequency/mode, and a bunch of others.

If you want a grab-and-go radio, it's pretty near perfect, and does a good job in the shack, too.

But if possible, do hold on to the ' WILL miss it when it's gone!

You can see the rigs on QRZ.COM under my call.

73, Jim/k7unz


Posts: 1039


« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2007, 10:27:06 AM »

Hello Maarten,
 I also have an FT-990, AC version. It can be run directly from DC. That's the way I ran it for 10 years - off batteries.
 Great rig, excellent speech processor and receiver, great panel layout, very reliable.


Posts: 24

« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2007, 10:35:14 AM »

I haven't owned an FT-450, but have considered buying one myself. I recently saw one working and I must say that I was not impressed. While it has a lot of functionality it seemed cheaply built and tacky. I have other Yaesu equipment, and maybe this is a sign of the times, but I strongly believe that a unit like an FT-900 is much more solid, even if it doesn't have DSP. On the other hand, at the price they are asking for an FT-450 it's probably an OK buy.


Posts: 5689

« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2007, 07:52:50 PM »

I'd buy a little Honda generator...

Posts: 132

« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2007, 04:09:15 AM »

Many Thanks to all, you have been very help full.

I have decided to keep the FT 990 for a wile. Maybe next year I will buy a second hand FT 450 to play with in the field.
FT 950 is a little bit to expensive at this moment, you can get one for about 1700 Euros which comes down to just over $ 2400,-.

The first reply I got really changed my mind and it is very true. The grass on the other side of the fence is always greener. Thanks Allen for pointing that out ;-)

I never knew that I could hook up the 990 to DC, I will look into that. Still, the 990 is a big rig to take into the field but it is nice to know that it is possible.

A little generator from Honda would do the trick but such a generator costs about as much as a FT 450…

The Jupiter from Ten Tec is interesting but it is hard to get one here in Holland. They are expensive too.

Again, thank you for your input. I’ll keep on playing with the 990 for the moment and hope to work you on the bands!

73, Maarten

Posts: 1490

« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2007, 07:15:06 AM »

For me, the receiver is the most important part of any rig, and I would always go for the best rx I can get (or keep).
Best rx & 73 de kt8k - Tim

Posts: 21270

« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2007, 09:36:57 AM »

I've owned an FT-990 for several years and although I have not owned an FT-450, I did play with one for two hours over at HRO and got a pretty good feel for it.

I'd keep the FT-990.  It's much easier to use, menu-free, has all the right front panel controls (terrific physical user interface), a larger display, better audio, pretty much better everything.  It doesn't cover 60 meters, but I'm not sure if that matters to you.

The FT-990ac absolutely does work from an external 12-14Vdc power supply! The "internal" supply is a 14Vdc supply, simply plugged into the DC socket of the rig.  Unplug that, plug in an external battery, and you're good to go for Field Day.  I did that many times.



Posts: 5689

« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2007, 08:19:04 AM »

>>A little generator from Honda would do the trick but such a generator costs about as much as a FT 450… <<

Don't overlook the FD multiplier for working from Emergency Power, also factor in the advantage of having an AC generator around the house for other purposes during emergencies.  

Of course, if you've got G.A.S. then the only cure is to buy another radio...

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