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Author Topic: Yaesu FT DX-401b  (Read 8172 times)

Posts: 35

« on: November 16, 2013, 03:58:14 PM »

I have the opportunity to purchase a Yaesu FT DX-401b from a friend who does the estate purchases.
I just have to tell him what I'll pay for it hand him the money and it's mine.
All of the tubes have been replaced but he does not know if it works or not. If the dude was not a friend I would throw a low ball offer and see if he takes it, but like I said he is a friend.
I think the FT DX-401 is an old design and might not be worth owning.
I would appreciate any feed back as to buy it, run for cover, even have you lost your mind?

Posts: 165

« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2013, 04:08:27 AM »

It's old, from memory, it doesn't have a CW filter, at least as standard, and PA tubes are expensive if you can get them. It probably has a load of carbon composition resistors that have drifted, too. Depends how much you want it, how much you are prepared to drop and how much time you wouldn't mind spending fixing it up.

I can't remember if it has a mechanical filter - if so, that may well have been made with foam plastic that has turned into powder and the filter may not work. Not just Japanese mechanical filters suffered with that - same thing has applied to Collins ones too. Unless you're happy working on it as a technician, I wouldn't bother - it may not need it or it may need a load of TLC.

Posts: 2483

« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2013, 06:17:12 AM »

401B and its predecessors are 40+ years old.  I have a 560, a 570, and a 401 in my boat anchor collection that I restored so I am a bit familiar with them.  The 401 is the last of the series.  To extend the product run Yaesu came out with the 401 which is nothing more than a 570 with some of the previously optional features included standard.  I think the cooling fan and the CW filter were standard in the 401.

They have something like 20 tubes, none of which are rare.  Finals are 2X6KD6 tubes which will give around 300 watts OUTPUT.  Two new 6KD6 tubes will run at least $60.  Optional cooling fan for finals is highly recommended.  Rigs are very stable when warmed up a few minutes.  Accurate 1KHz read-out on analog VFO knob.  80-10M no WARC and no 160M.  A 600Hz CW filter was optional.  One of mine has it.  Receiver sensitivity is on par with today's rigs, but other receiver specs are not up to par with today's rigs.  Beware some were converted to CB.

For an every day rig in "not working or questionable operational condition" as you described I would not pay more than $150 unless the cosmetic condition is almost MINT.  A collector will pay more.  If clean, aligned, and working up to specs, with new finals and CW filter $350-$375 would be tops.  Again a collector will pay more.  Hope this helps.

Dick  AD4U
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 06:20:35 AM by AD4U » Logged

Posts: 3

« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2013, 09:39:36 PM »

The final - and definitive - issue of the Yaesu FTDX line of rigs was the FT-401B. (There was never an FT-401A sold in the US to my knowledge)

I bought my FT-401B new in the summer of 1976, and kept it for about 5 years. It was a *wonderful* rig, and I've almost snapped a couple of them up off eBay in the past few months.

The FT-401B did not come with additional filters installed, so I doubt that the FTDx401B did, either. The FT-401B added AM mode and a cooling fan for the 6KD6 finals, which was attached at the back. The FTdx401B was introduced in late winter/early spring of '74, so the radio could be *almost* 40 years old.  I personally wouldn't sweat the carbon resistors changing value a bit - I'd be more concerned about some of the big electrolytic caps beginning to be end of life.

If he's your friend won't he let you at least take this puppy for a test drive to remove some of the mystery from it??  If you can get one in good, operational shape, it will put out around 300 watts to the antenna - something not matched by today's solid state final barefoot rigs. I'd desperately like to have one to refurb myself - but even if it's 'working' to spec, I'm not enamored so much with it that I'd pay more than $100-$125 for it - it's just too old.

My $0.02 and your mileage may vary. My opinions on the silver faced Yaesu powerhouses are mine and mine alone are just that - opinions.


Posts: 165

« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 03:56:50 AM »

It's interesting that in their last tube PA rigs (the FT101ZD and FT102) Yaesu abandoned sweep tubes in favour of the 6146 family.

Posts: 35

« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2013, 01:46:52 PM »

I went over to take a look at it and took along some test equipment, watt meter, "O"scope, and frequency counter. The appearance was less than I had hoped for but it did have extra goodies that come with it. I had to pass on buying it because he wanted too much money for it.
Thanks for the opinions and the help.
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