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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Yaesu FTDX-3000 Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FTDX-3000
Yaesu FTDX-3000 Reviews: 99 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $3299.00
Description: Yaesu newest add to the HF line
Product is in production.
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NG9W Rating: 5/5 Feb 17, 2014 18:36 Send this review to a friend
Finest Radio Ever Owned  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had this radio now for about 2 months. Previous HF rigs include Yaesu FT-950, FT-757GX, Kenwood TS-870 and TS-440S.

First comment is about the notorious MENU system. It is a *whole* lot easier to use than the one in the FT-950, especially for setting DNR noise
reduction level. I use the C.S. key for quick access to the RF power level Menu 177. There are 196 different menu settings, but their shear
number doesn't have to be overwhelming. Just pick the ones you need to change, and leave the defaults (that is, ignore) the rest.

For me I changed just a few:

005 MY CALL to NG9W
006 MY CALL TIME to 2sec
017 F KEYER TYPE to ACs (I plug my paddles into the front key socket)
018 R KEYER TYPE to OFF (I plug a tuner pulser into the rear key socket)
038 CAT RATE to 38400bps
059 CW AUTO MODE to ON (to allow CW keying in SSB mode)
065 PC KEYING to DTR (for TX in sound card software)
075 DATA IN SELECT to USB (to use internal sound chip for sound card modes)
077 DATA OUT LEVEL to 25 (see below about USB audio driver)

When you change a MENU setting from its default, the value color changes from blue to white.

To use the internal sound card and the USB port for CAT control, you need to install the Yaesu USB driver, available from their website. I
noticed the sound chip seems to run a little hot and overdrive the PSK31 software's encoder. This required I open the Windows Control Panel
Sound Applet, select the USB Audio Codec Microphone, and turn down its level to 6. Along with this, I turned down MENU 077 from 50 to 25. Without making the Windows changes, I would have had to turn down MENU 077 to level 2 not to overdrive the PSK31 encoder.

One of my motivators for this particular rig was the 9 MHz 1st IF Out port. I run this over to an LP-PAN 2 SDR IQ Panadapter, a Creative Labs E-
MU 0202 sound card, and into NaP3 panadapter software. I used a similar setup with my FT-950.

The FTdx3000 receiver performance numbers are comparable to the FlexRadio Flex-5000, superior to the entire FTdx9000 series, and second only to
the FTdx5000. The difference from FTdx5000 hardly justifies twice the cost.

A previous reviewer noted trouble reading button labels. I have not had his experience despite having sight in only one eye. Now without the
cataract surgery I might have a different story to tell.

David, NG9W
K9TWO Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2014 14:19 Send this review to a friend
Super Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have had this rig for a year now. I have no problems with the menus at all. It has the lowest noise floor of any rig I have. I use a Elecraft P3 with mine for flexibility and sure glad I bought both. I have several rigs but the FTDX3000 is my choice for receive. Use the MD-100 mic with it and audio pretty much at the default settings. I am not a contester, mostly just monitor the bands . I also have an Icom 7600 which has not been turned on other than to make comparisons. The FTDX always has about a 3 to 5 S unit lower noise floor than the 7600. The like new almost never used 7600 with box is up for sale. I really love the FTDX and Elecraft P3 combo.. No extra computer or sound card needed. I can't ever imagine why I would need a 24 inch screen to show signals on the band. My favorite feature on the FTDX is the contour control. Used properly, you can notch or peak an SSB signal. Try that with other rigs. I have been a ham since 1959 at the age of 14 years old, have owned tons of rigs and this one has been the best. I will never buy another rig that is not down conversion. The next greatest thing is the I.F. Output port on the back. This rig has roofing filters that really work. Roofing filters that are in the 60 MHz range are a joke. Sorry but that's my opinion. Also, don't use a switching supply with this rig or any other rig because they are just broadband noise makers. Use a linear supply like Yaesu makes or a battery with a trickle charger. I just moth balled a Yaesu switching supply that put out more trash on the 40 meter band that I thought was coming from nearby power lines. About drove me nuts. I know many will have different opinions on switching supplies, but unless you have a linear supply to compare it to, you will never know you have a broadband rf noise problem. Take a look inside a switching supply and note the ferrite chokes being used. What do you think their purpose is? Yea your switching supply might work great with your $10,000 HP dual trace scope, but that's NOT a sensitive ham receiver. Anyway, you can't go wrong with the FTDX-3000. BTW, another HUGE broadband rf noise maker is these stupid CFL light bulbs. Found that out a few days ago when my Wife KC9QQE turned on the closet light and I suddenly noticed this raspy noise up and down the band. I could see it on the P3 monitor also. 73 K9TWO
K1PMA Rating: 5/5 Jan 25, 2014 15:25 Send this review to a friend
Very capable radio. No friend of the menu system though.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
If I could I would give 4.5 stars instead of 5. Reason: the complex menu system. Otherwise, the USB ports did not work properly until months after I bought the rig with a firmware update. Now no problems. Overall this radio is a very solid performer. I mainly do SSB and occasionally digital modes. In order to get good audio reports you have to tweak the audio settings and get a decent (like Heil Gold) mic. Very good selection of included filters. Main reason I sold my previous Kenwood 590S was the IF port which the 3000 has which you need if you want to use PowerSDR IF Stage and have a 'pretend' Flexradio :-)
Still, for the price this is a very good radio and has not let me know in the 9 months I have owned it.
K5DSQ Rating: 5/5 Dec 13, 2013 12:17 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Let me first state that I date back to backlit dials and glowing tubes. I do miss the days when we were tickled to death just getting something put together that got us on the air. After numerous Heathkits, Icoms, Kenwoods and Yaesus over the years my first introduction to a menu driven transceiver was the Yaesu FT-2900. Like most, I struggled with the programming and still can't make much in the way of field changes without the programming software and/or manual. From there I moved on to the FT-950 which once again was a challenge. I finally got to the point where I could handle most menu items/changes until I blew that all to hell getting into the digital modes which required interfacing my computer and software programs like Ham Radio Deluxe with the 950. I cannot tell you how many times I gave up in frustration or how close the whole shack came to being listed in the classified section of this website. However, like most of my experiences with amateur radio some really nice talented guys came to my rescue and helped me get things (mainly my mindset) pointed in the right direction.

The FT DX 3000 has been no exception. It's a highly flexible, complex system, packaged in a small box and a new users who does not take the time to familiarize him or herself with this wonderful radio is going to be frustrated. After a great deal of research, reading, study, comparison and now operating I am very impressed with this radio. Not that I consider myself any kind of expert. Interfacing to my computer via the 3000's USB port went far faster and easier than with my FT-950's serial port. Other than a few level adjustments and setting the correct baud rate it was almost plug and play with HRD. The receiver is excellent (Icom 7600 & FT DX 5000 class) and I struggle to find any fault with it. The transmitter runs at full rated power, gets great audio and signal reports and the digital modes are a breeze with the built in interface/soundcard. The three antenna port options are an excellent addition. The updated band/audio scope is great and I find navigating the menu is very easy. Updates are much easier via the USB connection. Yaesu has done a great job by giving us old timers a very realistic analog signal meter.

When fellow hams complain to me about these new menu driven radios I suggest they look into the cockpit of any new aircraft. Menu driven digital electronic flight systems have made all the difference in the world to pilot situation awareness, cockpit resource management, navigation, dependability and most importantly safety. The complexity of having to scan several instruments, dials, meters and turn numerous knobs to complete the task of flying is greatly reduced. I find when I finally get my head out of my lower extremities and honestly compare the features, flexibility and options that these new menu driven radios provide, it's hard for me to complain or rate them poorly. We would have killed to get this kind of performance, reliability and flexibility back in the early days. The backlit dials, glowing tube with hundreds of knobs were great but these radios provide operating options we could only dream of. Rotary phones, glowing tubes and punch card programming were great in their day, but I have no desire to go back in that direction. Many thanks to Steve, KV4AN and others for their help (both pros and cons) and direction in selecting this radio. The Yaesu FT DX 3000 is an easy 5 in my book.
W8RMV Rating: 4/5 Dec 1, 2013 08:47 Send this review to a friend
Nice but....  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
First, my transceiver orientation comes from my experience with an ICOM IC-751A & a Kenwood TS-590. I am not an ICOM and/or Kenwood nut, devotee, wacko, etc. They just happen to be the first radios I have owned. I bought my 3000 used, for a good price.

1. Front panel buttons are hard to read without very good light. My very old IC751A is much better as is the TS590. I can easily read the front panel on my IC751A just from the light of my computer monitor. I cannot make out any non-lit button on the 3000. For some reason Yaesu used small light grey lettering instead of bigger white lettering. This is a big deal to me. Yaesu screwed up big time, especially when you consider it’s prospective mostly older clientele. Every time I use the 3000, I am struck by the stupidity of this. BTW, I can read a newspaper without difficulty & without any glasses. Keep a very brightly lit room, have a flashlight nearby or memorize the buttons.
2. S/W F/W updating, although not real difficult, is not as ez as my TS590. Where Kenwood provides one file for all updating, Yaesu is in the 1980’s with individual packages that each have their own peculiarities. Silly in this day & age. Yaesu has provided a few updates, and recently some decent emulation S/W for your PC. But the emulation S/W will not give full control, unfortunately. But the S/W is free, just like Kenwood does for the 590.
3. I find navigating the menu system a bit more difficult than my TS590. Maybe that is because I am forced into the menu system. Yaesu did dual purpose some buttons, but they needed to triple purpose some (BTW, the dual purpose in not mentioned in my owners manual. More on that later). This is a lot easier than pulling up the menu & then searching for the adjustment (like RF power).
4. No RF power control on the front panel like my 751A & 590. Yes, you have to open then search the menu or set up the CS button. But even then it is a 2 step process. Power out is a 100W on most bands but falls short 6 watts on 80M.
5. Minimal to no definition of the various menu items in the owners manual. And in the first part of the Manual where they initially discuss a button/feature, Yaesu fails to provide a reference page where more detail is sometimes offered further into the manual. The TS-590 manual was better in that regard.
6. Clarifier knob (~30mm in diameter), although large, is made of hollow plastic. It is a big knob that has no “weight” to it & little damping. I added lead shot to the cavities which helped a bit.
7. VFO tune rate is not adjustable as it is on the TS590. At least I have not found it in the menu. VFO knob feels OK, but my 751A feels better.
8. Surprisingly internal Antenna Tuner not nearly as good as the 590. The 590 is faster & will tune way beyond a 3:1 match. The Yaesu seems to be limited to ~3:1 and is very slow. I know, get a better antenna system. Still…
9. 3000 doesn’t appear to have any ALC overshoot. Nice.
10. The DNR is less watery/rubbery sounding than that of the TS590
11. The NB did take care of a “tick” problem I was having one day.
12. The TFT analog S-Meter emulation is quite good. You can also select many other signals like: current, voltage, ALC, Comp., … the TS-590 did not have those options, but my 751A does. The Bar graph version offers a peak hold feature for power out, which the TS-590 really needed & should have had. No peak hold is available for the analog selection. The Bar & Analog meters don’t always agree. And the emulation S/W can give even a different value (ALC for instance) from the bar & analog values shown on the radio. A man with 3 watches….
13. A lot of CW/Digital features for the CW/Digital lover or those who have trouble copying CW. Key port on the front panel is nice.
14. 0.5PPM stability standard
15. The Contour control is one of my favorite features on the 3000. It really reduces noise without the digital effect. Awesome.
16. It has a ton of convenience inputs & outputs in the back of the radio, much more so than the TS590
17. There are a 196 of menu items that can help personalize the radio to your tastes. Some may view that as a gripe. As one friend extols the virtues of his Drake TR7 Pro: “No stinking menus!”
18. The scope, although pretty small, is still useful to me (see… I ain’t as blind as you thought on no.1)
19. I’d probably give it a 3.5 to 3.75, rounded up to 4. The 3000 lost nearly a point due to number one above.

As always, YMMV. 73- Bob

K9OM Rating: 3/5 Nov 30, 2013 19:51 Send this review to a friend
Needs improvement  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm sharing my perspective about the FTdx3000 in case someone is reading these reviews to determine if the FTdx3000 is the radio for them. It's clear from previous reviews about the FTdx3000 that some people love the radio and others do not. It's wonderful that we have alot of great choices today when choosing a radio that will meet our needs. Personally, I'd like to see Yaesu pattern a new radio more closely to a FT-1000-MP. (very similar radio but with down conversion and narrow roofing filters for better selectivity, and with the improved NR the 3000 features)

POSITIVES: solid cast aluminum construction, attractive looking, USB rig control, both Analog or Bar S-meter, outstanding NR, good variety of roofing filters are included, user friendly Menu system, 3 step ATT and 3-step amplifier, larger than normal RIT control.

One of the reasons I purchased the FTdx3000 was because I read a Yaesu advertisement that said this radio follows in the heritage of the FT-1000-MP which was my all-time favorite radio. Been a ham for 50 years and have owned dozens of great radios but the FT-1000-MP's stayed in my shack alot longer than any other radio.

I wish Yaesu hadn't referenced the FTdx-3000 to a 1000-MP as the 3000 is a much cheaper built radio.

NEGATIVES: the FTdx-3000 is smaller than the FT-1000-MP, does not have a built-in power supply, has very few front panel controls, has a whimpy Main Tuning dial that doesn't spin freely, and has no Shuttle Jog. Some other features about the FTdx3000 that I don't like are: front panel labeling is pale and very hard to read, Main Tuning resolution is too fast and can only be adjusted down to 1hz per revolution which makes tuning in weak stations difficult, audio "pop" on Bose headphones when volume control hits the 0900 position, USB connection easily interupted by RF, the Manual is not very detailed and doesn't have an Index, updating software could be streamlined,
antenna tuner is only good up to about a 3 to 1 SWR, there's no SSB power control on the front panel, static "pops" are worse on the FTdx3000 than on some modern day down conversion radios.

Hopefully, Yaesu will adress some of these issues in future software updates. Such as, provide a main tuning setting of 0.1 or 0.3hz per resolution, make the radio less prone to static pop desensing the receiver, make software updates quicker to install, and stop the 0900 position audio pop.

But other features like the dull and hard to read front panel labeling, not having a built-in power supply, and having a heavy free wheeling main tuning dial... may require a new Model... how about a FTdx-1000MP.

73- hope you find a radio you love and I hope to work you on the bands!

WA4PT Rating: 5/5 Nov 25, 2013 15:23 Send this review to a friend
What a rig!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I wanted to wait a few months before I wrote the review. I've had the radio for 7 months. I am more excited today than I was the day I bought it. Reason? The learning curve is working. On day one I opened the box, read some of the stuff in the book then hooked it up and got busy. Got DXCC last month and started with no confirmed DX contacts before the purchase.

The radio has a receiver that is exceptional and that is what this radio is all about...the receiver. Audio output wise, I get nice comments but then truthfully, when was the last time you heard a bad sounding new rig in todays standards?

Today I downloaded and installed the Yaesu update for the rig. This was the 3rd update since Ive owned it. I'm liking the idea that "they" are keeping this baby right.

Borrow one, buy one, or just watch someone use it. It is a great radio, especially with earphones can hear your voice output then customize it. Prices are dropping too for the holidays. Hope this helps. 73
KF7DS Rating: 5/5 Nov 25, 2013 11:19 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have been back into radio for 3 years after a long time away, and have gone through quite a few good xcvrs since returning to the hobby, until settling on the FTdX 3000. My focus is on CW and digital modes, so I cannot speak to the SSB capabilities of the radio.

Being a bit confused about the state of the technology when I returned to the hobby, I blindly purchased an IC 7600, mostly attracted by the bandscope and the Icom reputation. That lasted about 6 months as I perceived the RX to be mediocre at best and the rig a pain to operate (those small knobs beneath the bandscope did not dance well with with my large fingers).

I sold the 7600 for a TS-590s, which confirmed that the RX on the IC 7600 is mediocre – the jump in RX sensitivity between the two excited me so much I thought, hey the K3 must be “that much better”. So, I sold the 590s after 6 mos and purchased a K3. Both radios have great receivers, with a nod to the K3 in both sensitivity and selectivity, and the CW center function/spot meter on the K3 was much better than the equivalent function on the 590. 590 definitely gets the nod on NR though.

But, there was one thing I could not get used to with the K3, and that was the harsh audio (some people have no problem with the K3 audio, and some do – I did). So, after close to two years of use, I sold the K3 and replaced it with the 3000. And, I am glad I did. The 3000 is just quieter and the noise floor is lower. I think the NR on the 3000 is just as good as the K3, and close to the 590 (the NR on the 590 is fabulous). And, the Audio Peak Filter on the 3000 is excellent – best I have used. And, one can narrow down the filter width to 50hz with no ringing…impressive….the 590 could not come close.

The bandscope, though limited, is useful with regard to seeing if there is activity on the band, but that is about it. Bandscopes/pan adapters are sexy, but I have learned that one focuses too much on the screen and not enough between the ears – that is, if you listen, you will hear faint ones that are strong enough for a qso that do not appear in the pan adapter. Once I learned that, I ditched using a pan adapter when I owned and used the K3. So, the limited functionality of the bandscope on the 3000 is not an issue.

The aspect of the bandscope that IS a home run is the FFT view….that, combined with the CW spot meter allows one to be dead on when zero beating a signal…..and, that is incredibly important in crowded contest conditions or chasing weak simplex dx….can’t say enough how useful the combination of these two functions is.

So, overall, keeping the 3000 as it excels as things I like to do (CW and digital), very good performance, and is easy to use.
N1TCH Rating: 5/5 Nov 14, 2013 18:40 Send this review to a friend
Well worth the money  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Let me say that my new FTdx3K is to my IC-746 as the 746 was to my TS-520. It continues to make me glad that I bought it every time that I use it. There are many features that I'll probably never use, but there are many that I already have. Like, the 60M preconfigured memories. I bought the DX Engineering add-on for my 4-BTV and after installing it I promptly made my first contact on that band. I do like the scope, even though I do see many less than enthusiastic comments about it. Perhaps it's because it's so much better than the 746 "scope" that I'm totally taken by it. Was it worth the cost of admission? No doubt about it. One of the reasons that I bought it was that it came equipped with many features that I would have had to add on to all of the other rigs, IC-7410 & FTdx1200, that I looked at.
KB6HRT Rating: 4/5 Nov 13, 2013 07:12 Send this review to a friend
Good I guess!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Brought the Yaesu FT3000D from HRO, had it one day, no problems with how the radio worked, but took it back an payed the restocking fee. Why because have a Yaesu FT5000D, FT857D an a FT950. they have very quite receivers in my antenna systems, my personal preference.
The receiver on the FT3000D is very HOT, it bring in lots of noise on my antenna systems, In my case not a good thing, but if your one that has a loop antenna system this radio may work just fine for you. For me it would have been one step forward but two steeps back!
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