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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Yaesu FT-920 Help


Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-920
Yaesu FT-920 Reviews: 164 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $2299
Description: Yaesu FT 920 HF/6M Transceiver
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.wm7d.net/hamradio/ft920/
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You can write your own review of the Yaesu FT-920.

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MI6OJK Rating: 5/5 Nov 25, 2012 15:41 Send this review to a friend
excellent base rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Bought a yaesu ft 920 used few months back, it was like new nota mark on it. Its my second hf radio sold my icom 720a and accessories to buy it im Im glad I did.

pros: excellent receiver
Internal atu works brilliantly I always get 1:1 with my monoband verticals.
voice/audio recorder
good size radio
Dsp cleans up signals well with notch for pulsing noises
All in all love the rig would buy another!
 
W7ARX Rating: 5/5 Jul 19, 2012 08:30 Send this review to a friend
Came back to the 920  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned 920's off and on over the years and always find myself coming back to them. What is the allure?

Well, it is one of the most ergonomically well designed radios I have ever owned. The receive audio is wonderful to listen to, the display is easy to read, understand and all the pretinent data is right there. Menu options are mostly ones you set and never change so you don't have to go in and dink around looking for a power setting, etc.

Pros about the radio (IMHO)
1. Great Receive Audio
2. Ease in use
3. "Right" sized for base operation
4. Controls well laid out (RF Control is an actual knob!).
5. Sensitive receiver and great NB
6. Great Performance, built in keyer, Speech processor
7. Separate Rcv Antenna output for receiving

Cons:
1. Wish it had an IF Out so I could run a band scope (SDR IF Stage) software off it (working on that).
2. Wish the MONITOR function had more audio punch/output (a bit hard to really hear yourself well to determine your output audio).
3. Wish it came with the antenna Tuner Optional (to reduce weight, cost and heat). Never use mine.
4. Wish the display could be multi colored (but the current "amber" color is awesome.
5. Only 1 filter (optional) slot; INRAD add on boards are a bit clumsy and expensive. Prefer a drop in slot.

All minor nits from someone that is spoiled with other radios.

Seems Yaesu hit a home run with it. Just wish it had more filter slots rather than the INRAD klunky arrangement, but to date, I have no trouble with the CW Filter and the tunable AF DSP.

A well rounded radio for any op.
 
WU0R Rating: 5/5 Jun 18, 2012 03:31 Send this review to a friend
Underrated, great performer!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The 920 has been around for a while and quite honestly, a very undervalued, underrated performer. Won't do into all the aspects of the radio but here are my pros and cons:

Pros:
1. One of the top 5 ergonomically set up and designed radios.
2. Great rcvr, great DSP/NR (hard to believe non IF stage).
3. Easy to use, to understand, minimal menu tinkering required.
4. Hears exceptionally well and the rcv Audio sounds great!
5. Display is very easy to use, operate and understand. Nothing buried or too busy.


Cons:
1. Would like to see certain functions on the display perhaps in a Red font (i.e. MONI, Split, etc.). User preference.
2. Would like to see some extra controls brought out like the FT-1000 series. Again, user perference.
3. Remove the antenna tuner - make it optional. Most Base radios never use them when you run an amp in the shack.
4. Like to see add'l filter slots. INRAD switch board mod is a bit cumbersome and clunky.
5. AGC: would like to see adjustable AGC constants not just Off, Slow, Fast (then again, most radios don't have this feature either).


All in all, this radio for the 600-800 you pay for a used one, you won't go wrong. Exceptional rcvr, great on 6 meters, wonderful rcv audio, easy to use, all around great base or back up radio for your shack and doesn't cost you $xx,xxx.00 dollars. A keeper.
 
W3DBB Rating: 4/5 Mar 19, 2012 08:28 Send this review to a friend
trouble-free for 11 years  Time owned: more than 12 months
That's saying something in this age of transceiver manufacturers using their customers as beta testers. I made the mistake of buying Yaesu's CW filter 10 years ago. OK for casual operation, but on a busy CW band like the PA QSO Party on 80 meters the rejection of close-in strong signals is poor. If I had to do it again I would at least investigate the INRAD arrangement. If you examine Sherwood Engineering's tranceiver ranking based on rejection of strong, closely-spaced CW signals, you'll find the FT-920 isn't on the list. Presumably this (non-)ranking results from tests of a FT-920 with Yaesu's CW filter installed.

The receiver's audio DSP low cut-high cut controls introduce a pink noise artifact that is objectionable. The IF shift control is quieter and more effective when encountering adjacent QRM in SSB operation. The automatic notch filter can come in handy if the tuner-uppers are not too close, otherwise it takes out the desired signal as well as the unwanted carrier. Don't know the limitations of the FT-920's SSB receiver bandwidth but suspect it is a bit broad for contesting.

The quality of the FT-920's transmitted audio on SSB with the DSP transmit audio equaliser out of the circuit is good. This is using the accessory Yaesu MD-100 desk mic. I'm not sold on the audio-DSP transmit audio equaliser with the possible exception of position 3 or 4 in AM operation. I suspect the DSP transmit equaliser introduces additional distortion into the transmitted audio but don't have the instrumentation to prove this.

If AM operation is your thing the FT-920 presents a bit of a quandary. The ALC is not disabled on AM, probably to protect the finals. Testing into a dummy load, with the microphone gain control at the Yaesu-recommended 9 o'clock position and with the power control set at any level, carrier power is inversely-proportional to audio power. This is not going to give good results on AM. You might get 60% modulation if you are lucky. Advancing the microphone gain beyond Yaesu's recommendation does not increase the percentage of modulation but does introduce additional distortion.

Have experimented with introducing a negative DC voltage to the FT-920 ALC jack to defeat the ALC on AM but that trick doesn't work on the FT-920. The I-alc (ALC current) potentiometer can probably be dialed-down internally, which some have stated also improves SSB performance (less off-frequency shot noise) but this is messing with transmit alignment, something I am reluctant to do. Speaking of which, my particular FT-920 puts out a 95 Watt CW carrier into a dummy load which to my way of thinking is as it should be.

This FT-920 has Yaesu's optional 6 kHz AM receive filter installed. Something a bit wider would have been a better choice for receiving AM.

I've never used the built-in automatic antenna tuner because I don't use coaxial cable for antenna feedline below 30 mHz. IIRC the automatic tuner is an interesting arrangement using small stepper-motors to drive air-variable capacitors. Every time a FT-920 is powered on you will hear the ATU initialising.

On the rear panel, Yaesu gives FT-920 users the choice of relay or transistor switching to key a linear amplifier. I key an Ameritron AL-811 using relay switching and get good results without need of an external amplifier interface or ALC line running between amp and rig.

Yaesu also provides a rear panel jack for use of an external transverter for VHF-UHF weak signal work. This feature has disappeared from some transceivers costing more than the FT-920 did back when it was new.

The FT-920 has a separate PA output SO-239 dedicated for 6 meter operation. Power can be limited to either or both of the 160-10m and 6m SO-239 PA outputs via menu options. Yaesu provides for the connection of a separate receiving antenna if so desired, maybe for a 160 meter receiving loop or balanced horizontal antenna to mitigate noise.

The transmitted RF power control is a front panel rotary potentiometer as it should be. So is the speech processor but it is just one of a row of control potentiometers with just the shafts protruding through the bottom of the front panel. These are spaced too closely together, the bane of modern amateur equipment.

On the subject of the speech processor, Yaesu provides a LCD-bargraph metering display for this and other parameters. Makes it very handy to get a feel for the amount of speech processing without going overboard.

The noise blanker is adjusted via one of the earlier described shafted potentiometers and works pretty much like all noise blankers. If you're evaluating someone else's transmitted audio, turning off the FT-920's noise blanker is a must as it introduces additional distortion on the other station's received signal. This is particularly the case if the other station is running too much microphone gain, speech processing, bass equalisation, or overdriving his amplifier.

The FT-920 has front panel buttons for "IPO" (intercept point optimisation) which toggles the receiver's preamplifier on and off. In addition to the front panel RF Gain control there is also a button for "ATT" (attenuator) which attenuates receiver gain by 6, 12, or 18 dB. Receiver AGC has a button and positions fast-slow-off. Receiver AGC can be turned off and the audio gain control advanced, using the RF gain control for receiver volume. Cleans up a lot of crud on a busy band but defeats the S-meter bargraph display.

11 years ago when contemplating the purchase of a new amateur transceiver, the choices in my price range were were: one of the two Kenwood TS-570 models, the Yaesu FT-920, the Icom IC-746 PRO, or the Ten Tec Pegasus. The Kenwoods were physically smaller than what I wanted. I examined an Icom IC-746 PRO and was not impressed. I wasn't interested in a computer-controlled rig so that left the Pegasus out. The FT-920 won by default, not so much for what it was, but more for what it wasn't. Glad it did; could have done a heckuva lot worse.


 
W0LD Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2012 10:53 Send this review to a friend
A Great Rig for the Money!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is the second FT-920 I have owned. For the money it can't be beat. With the INRAD filters it is the equal of most of the current rigs. As a 6 meter rig, it is superb. The controls are configured just right. It is easy to operate and intuitive. For the $850 you will spend you can't beat this radio!
 
VK2FSTU Rating: 5/5 Nov 5, 2011 19:50 Send this review to a friend
My first Home base and very happy.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been on the lookout since gaining my Foundation license 4 months ago, and found this on VK Ham for a great price.

When received it looked like it was brand new, came in the original box all packed with plastic sleeves and bubble wrap. Set it up and read the manual, on I went and after initial twiddling, a nice clear signal and great conversation with my first long distance Australian call to VK7 at King Island Light House for a few days, the call went through and was great.

Love it, and sure I'll get many years of good use from this very nice rig.
 
N5VEG Rating: 5/5 May 12, 2011 10:40 Send this review to a friend
Super Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently acquired a used FT 920 in excellent, as new condition from a YL ham in Florida.

I also operate a Icom 718 and a Yaesu 857D. Well, in a nutshell, the 920 outperforms the other two with respects to reception. They all transmit well but the 920 has this uncanny receive segment that makes listening to the radio an absolute pleasure. VERY quiet receiver! This radio has many well placed ergonomic knobs and switches so there are no daily menus to confuse or hinder operation. Most of the 73 memory items are set and forget.

I particularly like the DSP. It it much better than the ones in my two other radios.

In summary, If you can get one in good condition, grab it up. I think it is one of the best used radio bargains around.
 
ZL1LK Rating: 5/5 May 7, 2011 02:19 Send this review to a friend
WOW!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I got this FT920 second hand in mint condition off the net. After using a friendís 920, I liked it so much so I bought one. I sold my FT990 after buying the FT920.
The 990 had a quiet receiver after the pin diode conversion, although I feel the 920 has a far better front end.

Things I like about the 920: Outstanding, if not the best DSP I have ever used (and I thought my TS480 was good) Also the noise reduction is outstanding. All the controls and buttons you will ever need are on the front panel once the menus are setup. The internal antenna tuner is very good, maybe a little slow tuning but once it has tuned, it will remember those setting and never loose them. The twin VFOís are very easy to use for split operation. The AGC fast/slow are just right. The front end is so quiet.

Things I donít like about the 920: It just doesnít quite feel like a 990ís solid feel. Also I donít like bar-graph S-meters. The original hand microphone seems to quiet and therefore you need a higher mic gain setting (Iím using a different micÖ 100% improvement) Apart from that, there isnít anything else I can think ofÖ Itís a great rig.

When I bought this rig, It had the FM board and the 500Hz CW filter fitted. In the AM filter position, there is a strange Yaesu board fitted which took me a while to find out that itís a pass-through board to allow AM to TX. So I guess for the age of this rig, I have missed out on locating the original AM filter.

If you ever get the chance to own a 920Ö go for it! You will NOT be disappointed.

73 de ZL1LK Roy
 
WU0R Rating: 5/5 May 3, 2011 05:57 Send this review to a friend
Still Going Strong  Time owned: more than 12 months
Will toss in some past experience with this radio. I found the 920 to be on par with the "contester" grade radios at a much reduced price. Sure, in a crowded contest, it will suffer, as will many of the $X,XXX.00 dollar units. This radio at the price they are at now, is a great bargain. For instance, comparing the 920 to the ICOM 7600, the Blocking Dynamic Range is far better on the 920 then the 7600. One woudl think as we progress in technology, the performance would either peak or continue to excel, not step backwards.

For a casual DXer and CW guy, this radio is a great radio. For the 6 meter op, it is a stellar performer. For ease in use, ergonomics, it is great.

I still think that DSP is way over rated and even though this radio doesn't have true IF DSP, you would be hard pressed to really notice it when you use it.
 
WA7NDD Rating: 5/5 Feb 19, 2011 08:53 Send this review to a friend
12 years still Great  Time owned: more than 12 months
Gave a review on the FT920 about 6 years ago and have had the radio for about 12 years. I was retiring then, and had the money for a new radio. The 920 was so good I bought a SteppIR 3 element beam instead. The radio is still going strong with no issues, but an element fell off the SteppIR because the rubber boot rotted. It has AM, CW filters, FM board, TXCO, and the INRAD cascade SSB filter board. With the High and low Cut DSP, I donít find I need the SSB filters that much. (Not a contester) I thought Iíd start looking for another radio this last month. It seems there are a lot of new Yaesuís that come back up for sale shortly after purchase. I found a review from 2010 that said if you like the 920 youíll love the 950. I emailed the ham asking him about his statement. He came back with: The 950 is sold and he kept the 920. I guess that says it all. I did sale my white noise generator the FT897D my ears and health issues could not take that radio any more. Hi Hi It is my personal opinion Yaesu stopped making the 920 because they could not get the 1000ís to move. As I understand the 920 receiver is much quieter than the 1000ís.
Jim, WA7NDD
 
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