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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Yaesu FT-650 Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-650
Yaesu FT-650 Reviews: 18 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $1200.00
Description: 12, 10 and 6 meters transceiver
Product is not in production.
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W5GM Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2003 10:35 Send this review to a friend
The leader of the pack  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had this radio for several months now and have really put it though its paces. It took forever to find one because once guys get thier hands on one, the only way they let go is to become SK. I have had a whole pile of radios that had 6m. (FT-847)(IC-706) (IC-726) etc.. This one is the best by far bar none. I have not experianced any of the problems with the noise blanker that others have had. Maybe my rig has been modded? I have had a ton of fun working dx in the last 2 months that other people could not hear. My antenna is a M2 6M5X at 85ft. The rigs construction is supurb. It matches my ft1000 which is a nice bonus. If you can find one, you better grab it while you can. This is one heck of a hot little rig!
GI0ZGB Rating: 5/5 Mar 20, 2003 19:48 Send this review to a friend
Follow Up  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've been using this rig for better than 10 months, it has been totally reliable and outerperforming all the modern rigs it was compared to in many respects, particularly on six. As previously stated in other reviews the filtering needs attention, describing it as adequate would be a kind comment. Overall I am mightily impressed with this rig, the RX performance is stunning, outperforming Kenwood 850, 450, 2000, Yaesu 817, 1000MP, Icom 706, able to resolve speech that was unreadable on the other rigs much to the astonishment of their owners not least myself. I am constantly lobbied to sell this rig by knowing enthusiasts and this in itself is a fine tribute to one of the best rigs Yaesu has ever produced. Simply brilliant!
DF1AS Rating: 5/5 Feb 23, 2003 04:04 Send this review to a friend
Little Brother of FT-990  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned two of them for more than eight years. They just worked great. Pressing two knobs while powering enabled them to more than a tri-bander - 24.5 through 56 mc w/o gaps. They were also great host-trx's for my homebuilt 432 and 1296 mc transverters. For their size and price I didn't miss anything (antenna tuner or so). But I also owned an ft-990. If you ever had a look insight (ft-1000, 990, or 650) you know that was Yaesu quality, which unfortunately is no more on today's agenda at Yaesu.
The 650 was the ideal "accessory" of an ft-1000 or ft-990.
GI0ZGB Rating: 5/5 Jun 23, 2002 05:35 Send this review to a friend
Classic Multimode  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just purchased My FT-650 a few days ago, brand new, unused, only having been switched on for testing by the service engineer. I was stunned at the build quality, a mobile version of the 1000D built to last forever it seems. On the air performance was excellent, the weak signal performance was simply superb on all bands. The TX audio was excellent with the standard mic and the R.F. Processor carefully adjusted to give around 3dbs of clipping, the Kenwood MC-85 was described as being superb, and could be used with the processor very successfully when carefully matched and not overdriven. The noise blanker worked well enough so at present I have no plans to use the posted mod, if it's working don't fix it! It's early days yet, but based on what I've found to date I can say that this rig is a keeper. The manual is well documented and easy to understand, the secondary functions well explained and simple to follow. Yaesu must have discontinued production of this tranceiver because it was built and designed to an excessively high standard for amateur usage, that, and a very high price tag which caused not a few hams to take a lump in their throat. I'll continue to use this rig and add to this posting when I become more familiar with it's long term performance in difficult conditions.
W8AHU Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2001 22:29 Send this review to a friend
Great Six Meter All Mode Xcvr.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my Yaesu FT-650 since 1995. It is,in
my opinion the best 6, 10 and 12 meter all mode
tranceiver yaesu has ever built. I bought mine NEW, since i could never find a USED one for a reasonable price. They still hardly never show up
on the used radio market. They are so well built
they last fovever. The detachable Switching Mode Power Supply is innovative and takes up little
room in the rear of the radio. Most other radios today require a seperate D.C. 13.8 volt power supply, unless they are an expensive high end rig.
You can remove this A.C. Supply and plug in a D.C.
cable(supplied)and run the radio mobile. The Noise Reduction circuit works GREAT. Frequency is
very stable and never drifts. The RF Speech Compressor adds audio punch without distortion.
The radio puts out a constant 100 Watts on all bands and never over heats since there is a built
in fan (thermostatically controlled)in the power supply and another for the final power output transistors.A built in preamp and attenuator can be switched in or out. Dual VFO,s are included along with 105 scanable memories. In addition to standard IF bandwidths, fine tailoring of the IF passband is made possible by two of the DDSs, providing selectable IF band widths of 1.8, 2, 2.2
and 2.4 KHz. in SSB modes, 300, 600, 1200 and 2400
HZ in CW mode, 2.4 and 6 KHz in AM and 8 and 15Khz
in FM mode. IF passband shift is continously adjustable for (+)(-)1.12 KHz, and in addition to a manual IF notch filter, an automatic IF notch filter finds and notches out interfering heterodynes without operator intervention (when enabled). Two microprocessors in the FT-650 allow a simple user interface with a minimum of knobs and buttons controlling a vast array of important features. The FT-650 incorporates three Direct Digital Synthesizers (DDDs) for its local oscillators (all driven by a single (+(-) TCXO master oscillator), and a 2 stage low noise (1.2-dB NF) front end RF amplifier with the first stage switchable from the front panel. This radio had mo compromises in useful features and quality,
but this led to it being discontinued in 1995 since the price was so high at that time. I think
only a few realized the unique performance of the radio, at that time, but after comparing it to some of the radios that followed, its uncompromising performance became evident. If you can find a good used one, Buy It. You won't be sorry.
AB7RG Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2001 16:53 Send this review to a friend
Your Best Bet For 6-Meters!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've probably owned over 25 transceivers since getting my license, and have been active on six-meters from the beginning. I've used my Icom IC-756, two Icom IC-706's, and a couple of other radios on six-meters, and with the exception of the 756, this is by far the best six-meter radio that I've encountered.

They are a bit pricey on the used market and quite hard to find, but there's a reason -- Yaesu FT-650 owner's love and thus keep their 650's! The radio was over-built to start with, and came with a high price tag from the factory, so that's probably why Yaesu discontinued it.

I've worked countless stations on six-meters, mainly using the 650. It has an incredible receiver, and I've received very good audio reports with it. I use a Yaesu MD-1 desk mike to compliment it. The radio has more than enough output power, about 95 watts on six-meters, 120 watts on ten-meters, and 110 watts on 12-meters. The 650 puts out at least 40 watts AM on six meters as well, so for you AM guys on 6, this is a jewel! It's the only radio I would go with for 6-meter AM operation. FM is great too, 100 watts, and that's more than enough!

I have played with it a little bit on the two other bands, but have dedicated it as my primary six-meter radio. Thus my review is based on this experience. (I have other radios dedicated to the other bands...)

The 650 comes with an automatic notch filter AND a manual control. I prefer the manual control, as it seems to work better. It will knock out that dreaded computer noise around 50.113, no problem. The noise blanker works well on local crud, I've never had the radio mobile, and don't plan to.

The S-meter is sensitive, and being analog I love it. It gives an honest indication of the received signal strength. It and my Icom IC-756 seem to agree on that.

Another really cool feature is the ability to narrow the bandwidth down, no optional filters required! Well for 500 hz CW you do need the optional filter. That's it. I have mine, and it works like a champ.

The only small thing I wish was different about it is that I would like a slower tuning rate to be available. That's about it, perhaps a second antenna jack. But since I use an external antenna tuner with two jacks, one for my beam, one for my vertical, this isn't a problem for me. The only semi-big thing I wish it has was VOX. But since I use it for 6-meters, VOX isn't a "must have" for this band.

If you're in the market for a killer TRUE all-mode radio (CW, SSB, FM & AM), for 12, 10, or especially 6-meters, look no further, if you can find a Yaesu FT-650 that is! Trust me, it's worth the search, and no, mine isn't for sale!

73 & cu on 6!
Clinton AB7RG

GJ2A Rating: 5/5 Nov 27, 2000 14:49 Send this review to a friend
Very sensitive 3 band rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
Covering 24-56MHz this rig is for the 6m fan. 100w
out is a good level for most needs. Filtering needs work, there is bad breakthrough of the 1st IF especially whilst listening to the TV carriers. Rig is very nice looking, and a joy to use. An outboard DSP is certainly recommended. S meter is set very sensitively, most signals S9. 73 es CU on 6
GJ0NYG Rating: 4/5 Aug 24, 2000 08:39 Send this review to a friend
Good 6m DX radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
A good looking rig, with Wideband RX 24-56MHz to follow the MUF, and 100watts out on 12, 10 & 6. The filtering is a little wide, and there is bad breakthrough on the 1st IF (13.69 MHz I think), so a little work needs doing to make a top class rig. The optional DVS-2 is great for contesting, but the levels are a little high. The PSU is very clever and can be unplugged to allow 12V operation, although the rig is sensitive to low voltage.
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