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Author Topic: Yaesu FT 900 for new ham?  (Read 4567 times)
KB1HQS
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Posts: 9




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« on: October 12, 2008, 04:46:45 AM »

New HF ham here and am looking to get a HF rig for emergency/fun ham radio use. I looked at the eham review of the Yaesu 900 extensively. It got really good reviews and I really like the ergonomics of the rig...my old man was a ham and I guess growing up around rigs that didn't have multi menus and what not had an impression on me. Anyhow, the quesiton I have is this: Does it makes sense for a new ham like me to get an older rig like the Yaesu FT 900 when rigs like the Yaesu 950 are on the market for a few $$ more? I would think that getting parts/service for an older rig like the 900 could be problematic..I don't really know. Any advice would be appreciated. Again, I am not asking which rig is better, rather getting an older rig v. new rig for a small price difference is advisable.

73,
KB1HQS
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N4CQR
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Posts: 566




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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2008, 07:24:10 AM »

The FT-900 is reaching the end of it's support life.
Also there are increasing reports of PLL lock issues lately. If it were my decision, I would be looking at a newer radio.

C r a i g
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WA7NCL
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Posts: 625




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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2008, 08:40:39 AM »

To a new ham, you should be able to get rigs of that age for next to nothing.  Many older hams would be glad to give you a junker if you can convince them you will be active on the air.  I personally have loaned old rigs to new hams to get them started.

You should be leery of some of those guys trying to peddle old radios off on newbies.  Some older hams also wildly exagerate the "worth" of older equipment.  Look at the asking prices on eham here.

Also be leery of Eham review ratings.  I am always shocked at the comments on the FT101 series.  There is some big time nostalgia there.

I would recommend you consider buying something like the FT450 or the IC718.  Brand new rigs at a bargain price with modern features.

Otherwise, try to borrow something or pay very little for it.  Use it for a while until you decide what kind of operator you are.
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OZ6ABM
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2008, 11:28:01 AM »

FT-900 is a great rig, but depends on the price. If you can get one in good cndx. with the AT and CW and SSB filters installed for about 500 US$ then that should be a good buy. I have a few of these rigs and the build quality exceeds that of the modern FT-450, but of course there are aging problems and there is no fancy DSP and stuff like that.

Robin
5P5R
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WA7NCL
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Posts: 625




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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2008, 08:06:36 AM »

List price for a ic-718 via mail order is $630 and probably shipped free.  Why would you pay $500 for a radio that might be over 10yrs old?  Just cuz some guy has fond memories of his trusty ft-900 doesn't mean you should pay a lot for it.
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KB1HQS
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2008, 02:35:40 PM »

Thanks all for the advice. I guess nostalgia will have to be pushed aside. Looks like a Yaesu 450 is in my future now..
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N8TCZ
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Posts: 48




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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2008, 05:50:54 PM »

KB1HQs, like you I'm about to get my first HF transceiver.  I just got my general last month and expect to get my extra in December.  I was a tech for 16 years and just now (retired) got time to study for a more advanced license.  Anyway, I have been looking at the IC-718 and the FT-450AT and am leaning toward the Yaesu.  Kenwood radios don't turn me on.  My son worked as a Regional Sales Manager for Icom back in the early 90's and told me what to avoid in older Icom radios.  Myself, I've checked Ebay for several months and decided that the older radios are selling within a couple hundred bucks of a nice, never used, up to date, bells and whistles radio of today.  The IC-718 has one nit picky issue with AGL control (nonadjustable) that steers me away from it.  Right now the FT-450/450AT seems to have a decent price and be a decent radio so I will be buying it before the end of the month. (rebate MAY end then)  I've been around ham radio for over 50 years (father-in-law started back in 1947 and now silent key) Brother-in-law, both sons, daughter-in-law and a number of good friends and former workmates are hams so I'm comfortable with the hobby.  Go for the FT-450AT!
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N8TCZ
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2008, 06:01:51 PM »

I meant AGC not AGL on the IC-718.  I guess I'm thinking of the Atlanta Gas Light natural gas provider that is screwing us here.
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AD5TD
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Posts: 112




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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2008, 09:12:36 AM »

I had one with the auto tuner and separation kit.  I ran it mobile for over 2 years.  I had a huge screwdriver antenna.  All you had to do was get the antenna close (had a scale on the side of it) and hit the auto tune button and you were on the air.  I sold it two years after I bought it for EXACTLY the same price, $650.  This is a great rig, don't let any one tell you different.  It only lacks DSP.  I wish I had never sold mine.   I'm looking for another.
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KD4LLA
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« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2008, 10:23:13 AM »

I have a friend that had a new FT890 back "in the day."  I later bought a used one in 1998 and have never regretted it.  But I also knew who I bought it from and can find him still today.  I have had a TS520 and a FT101, good radio's if you are into dial tuning/turning.  A FT450 is too "new" for me.

Mike
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NA4IT
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2008, 05:52:32 PM »

I had a FT-900. It had the PLL Lock problem crop up, and RF on the mic circuit, both repaired by Byron Campbell.

I would recommend a new Yaesu FT-450. It is reasonably priced, and has just about all the bells and whistles a new and a seasoned ham would need. It does voice, CW, and digital well. Has adjustable DSP filtering, including audio contour and bandwidth. It has a built in CW keyer. Lots of memories. Again, buy it new, don't buy used. The first run rigs had audio hum problems on transmit.

de NA4IT
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EC158
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2009, 04:22:56 AM »

I agree, the FT-450 is an excellent choice. It's a lot of radio for the $$$.
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K4CLL
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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2009, 07:25:24 AM »

You can buy a new rig for about the same price as the used FT-900AT, but you may have found out by now, those IC-718's and FT 840's are just enough to receive on. If you buy all it takes to have the features of the older FT-900AT or 767GX, you have enough money in it to have an FT-1000 or an IC-756PRO. Most people are not happy for long with the low dollar new rigs. They may do the job, but they are no IC-756 or even an FT-900AT for that matter.
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K4CLL
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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2009, 07:31:23 AM »

I guess the old FT-101's and Tempo One,s reached the end of their support life 30 years ago. Unlike years ago, the support life of newer rigs is very short. Buy it today and no parts tomorrow. I wouldn't base my decision on that alone. I have some rigs that are 4 years old and can't get parts easily.
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