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Author Topic: Upgrade FT-450 to FT-450D?  (Read 2670 times)
G4IJE
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Posts: 245




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« on: November 16, 2012, 01:17:34 PM »

Has anyone upgraded from the plain vanilla FT-450 to the FT-450D? Was it worth it? I guess the ATU could come in handy but it wouldn't help much with my G5RV. In terms of RF performance I don't imagine there can be much difference.

I'd be really interested to hear from anyone who has made the switch - or has both models.
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2012, 08:05:02 AM »

You can't upgrade from the FT-450 to the FT-450D.  There are differences in both the hardware and firmware.

You _can_ add an internal antenna tuner (if you can find one) to an FT-450, giving (I think) an FT-450AT.  The internal tuner has a 3:1 SWR matching range, which isn't very wide.

If you're thinking about doing the work, I'd suggest getting a good _external_ antenna tuner instead -- an LDG Z-11 or something similar.  The matching range is much wider that the FT-450's internal tuner.
 
I think you're right -- the RF performance of the FT-450 and the FT-450D is similar.   The FT-450D has a narrower CW bandwidth available, which would be an advantage.

.              Charles
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G4IJE
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2012, 08:53:57 AM »

By "upgrade" I meant sell the FT-450 and buy the FT-450D instead ...

I have an ancient Kenwood AT-130 manual ATU which tunes the G5RV very well, but an internal tuner might be useful for other antennas. I do some (but not much) CW work so the extra filter might be beneficial. All-in-all, it's hard to justify the price difference. I was hoping someone would say it was a very worthwhile upgrade and I would then feel justified in spending the money  Grin
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K2OWK
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2012, 01:20:13 PM »

I have an FT-450AT. The only difference I can see between my 450AT and the D is lighted pushbuttons (an excellent improvement, my blue buttons are very difficult to see). Flip up front legs for base operation ( I bought a flip up metal bar from EBay for an inexpensive price). A better main tuning knob (I bought an aluminium spinner knob from EBay for a re sonable price, or you can upgrade to the new knob). Two extra filters for CW if that's your thing. The software has been changed, but I am not sure if that is an advantage. I have the AT version with the autotuner which is a convenience, but as someone said has a limited tuning range (It is the same for the D model). I have been using my radio for a couple of years now and if I traded it it would be for an upgraded radio, not the same basic radio I have now. I would recommended if your radio works good I would buy the new main tuning knob from the D. I would add the flip up stand and an available internal autotuner. I am sure it would be much less expensive then buying a new D radio. Unless you just want to have the latest model of the 450. I would not expect any improved performance as the specifications for both radios are the same, except for the additional filters.
This just my opinion.

73s

K2OWK
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2012, 12:05:26 AM »

By "upgrade" I meant sell the FT-450 and buy the FT-450D instead ...

I have an ancient Kenwood AT-130 manual ATU which tunes the G5RV very well, but an internal tuner might be useful for other antennas. I do some (but not much) CW work so the extra filter might be beneficial. All-in-all, it's hard to justify the price difference. I was hoping someone would say it was a very worthwhile upgrade and I would then feel justified in spending the money  Grin

I agree with you - it's hard to justify the price difference between what you have, and what you'd need to spend to replace it with an FT-450D. 

A real "upgrade" would mean a Yaesu FT-950, or Kenwood TS-590, or something else in that $1500 price range.   Even more money, but a genuine improvement in capability.

.         Charles
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G4IJE
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2012, 05:58:47 AM »

As I was struggling to find a button on my non-illuminated FT-450 last night, I really could have used the 'D' version  Wink

Regarding "real" upgrades, I think the FT-450 does all I need at the moment. I am mainly active on SSTV and really like the way the rig stays cool with the high duty cycle.

73, Paul G4IJE.
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2012, 03:00:19 PM »

Yes, "backlit buttons" is nice. 

I bought some small LED headlamps.  They're handy around the house -- reading an unlit Kindle, or  spotlighting the buttons on a transceiver.<g>

         Charles
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