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Author Topic: Yaesu FT-950 - Contest Rig??? Opinions? Experience?  (Read 24350 times)
ZENKI
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Posts: 993




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« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2011, 08:33:08 PM »

Maybe Yaesu will release a single receiver version of the FT5000 soon. With the FT950's front panel it should be a big hit.

I also read that TenTec will be releasing a receiver plug in board for the Orion. The receiver board is based on the Eagles design. This will give the Orion a contest grade second receiver. I dont know if the receivers will be phase locked for proper diversity operation. I used to have an Orion however the transmitter produced way too much IMD and crud for my liking.

Bottom line is that you need a ergonomic radio with both excellent transmitter and receiver  performance. Its very hard to find such an ideal radio in todays market. Although the FT5000 comes pretty close at a steep price.

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W0CKI
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2011, 06:33:23 PM »

Lousy CW rig on receive  Angry, sold mine, bought a FT2000D, far superior on CW and SSB, love it  Roll Eyes
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N3AWS
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Posts: 100




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« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2011, 06:42:15 AM »

Yet another vote for a Pro II.  I faced this same decision and got wise counsel here to buy a Pro II.  Best free advice I ever took!

73,

Jim N3AWS
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N4BCD
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« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2011, 10:59:23 AM »

Bought the FT-950 three years ago when returning to the hobby.  Criteria at the time: fit my budget, covered the bands I wanted, ergonomics and similar performance to Icom's and Kenwood's similar priced competitors.  Along the way I discovered DX'ing.  Discovered Contesting.  Discovered that the 950 with poor RX dynamic range is a struggle to use in a contest.  The tunable filters won't help for close-spaced loud signals.  Does it prevent me from using it in a contest?  No, it just makes hearing the little guns near the big guns harder.

Others have suggested the 756 ProII being better - can't say, haven't tried it.  But if your interest is contesting, suggest you look at another rig than the 950. 

73 es see you in the pile-up's
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KF7CG
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Posts: 875




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« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2011, 10:19:51 AM »

Strange my about 3 year old FT-950 gave me good contest performance. I could hear and separate way more than I could work. The only rig that I have personally used that had better selectivity and an ability to work close in under very strong stations was an old Kenwood TS511S. I wouldn't give up the FT-950 for it though.

KF7CG
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VE3FMC
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« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2011, 01:34:44 PM »

I agree, key words "contest rig" which a FT-101E ain't

K4FX

Maybe the old FT-101E isn't a contest grade radio now compared to the modern rigs. But 30 years ago it was a contest rig  Grin
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KQ0C
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Posts: 25




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« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2011, 02:20:54 PM »

I think it makes a huge difference whether you are talking SSB, which many radios can do very well, or CW where signals really get very close and tight filtering and selectivity is a major advantage.

At field day I use my middle of the pack TS 570 on super crowded SSB bands with no issues at all. Contesting at home I use an IC 7600 which is a better rig, particularly on CW. But if the 7600 failed and I had to use the 570 I am sure I would get 95% or more of the contacts.

One really big advantage I have found with Icom rigs is that when you have a band scope you can see two important things: 1) Empty places where you can get a frequency to run, and 2) Super busy frequencies which often indicates a rare multiplier.
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K2JF
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« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2011, 03:31:49 AM »

I had the FT950 and sold it for one main reason: QSK left lots to be desired. It's just way too noisy in the relays to operate full break in. For that reason I can't say it's a good CW contest rig.
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K4FX
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Posts: 168


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« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2011, 01:12:07 PM »

I think it makes a huge difference whether you are talking SSB, which many radios can do very well, or CW where signals really get very close and tight filtering and selectivity is a major advantage.

At field day I use my middle of the pack TS 570 on super crowded SSB bands with no issues at all. Contesting at home I use an IC 7600 which is a better rig, particularly on CW. But if the 7600 failed and I had to use the 570 I am sure I would get 95% or more of the contacts.

One really big advantage I have found with Icom rigs is that when you have a band scope you can see two important things: 1) Empty places where you can get a frequency to run, and 2) Super busy frequencies which often indicates a rare multiplier.

I agree with that, and also I can't count the times I have moved off a run freq only to see a big blip appear where I had just been, I have gone back and sent "QRZ?" and worked many QSO's that way.  At least one of my SO2R rigs would have to have a scope. Important tool in contesting.
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NK5G
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Posts: 102




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« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2011, 11:18:03 AM »

I work mainly CW and RTTY contests. FT-950 works FB for me.  Wink
My only complaint is that I wish the CW filter could go more narrow.
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VE3FMC
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« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2011, 03:43:08 PM »

I work mainly CW and RTTY contests. FT-950 works FB for me.  Wink
My only complaint is that I wish the CW filter could go more narrow.

100 Hz isn't narrow enough?  Huh
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K6AER
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Posts: 3535




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« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2012, 02:36:27 PM »

A few years ago at the Visalia DX Convention we had set up the event station with a 107 foot US Tower, Big 4 element  SteppIR beam , Alpha 9500 and the new K3 transceiver.  Great instant DX station…until the Elecraft folks took their K3 transceiver at 5 PM on Saturday and went home. No radio…the call went out for a replacement.

Dennis at Yeasu, loaned us a FT-950 for the event station. After a few minutes we had it interfaced with the Alpha and we were back on the air. After about 30 minutes, most hams actually preferred the FT-950 and found it much easier to use and we noticed almost no difference in SSB operation from the K3. Audio reports were better and the receiver performance with the monster beam up high was just fine.

I liked the little transceiver and at night on 40 meters it really shined.

The antenna and its  height are the most important items in a station. High dynamic range in receivers are mostly tested in the CW mode and make almost no difference in SSB operation.

As many have mentioned the operator skill will go a long way in bagging the DX station.
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