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

Reviews Summary for Tempo One
Tempo One Reviews: 24 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $298
Description: 80 thru 10 meter Transceiver
Product is not in production.
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M0KXD Rating: 4/5 May 27, 2008 16:43 Send this review to a friend
Pretty Good.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned an FT200/Tempo One ever since gaining my licence in 2002. It was the first commercially built HF rig I ever had, so I have a sentimental attatchment to it! However, I've had a lot of fun with it. It does take a while to warm up - but I've never had a problem with it drifting once it has, and I've used it almost exclusively for PSK31 and rtty on 20m and 40m,keeping the power well down. I once had to replace a resistor: the one that reduces the voltage from the tube circuits to provide power to the transistor vfo.
Incidentally, I've noticed there are more reviews of this rig filed under "FT200" (its alternative name).
N6KYS Rating: 5/5 Nov 20, 2007 10:54 Send this review to a friend
Nice rig, great fun!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned several of these rigs over the years, and can report that they're a lot of fun and are definitely worth the small price you'll pay for one these days. This rig WAS NEVER intended to be a top-level rig, even back in the late 60's and 70's. So many people compare them to better, and much more expensive rigs of the day, which is bogus because even Henry Radio's (the American distributor of this rig...the Yaesu FT-200) intent was to market a relatively inexpensive CW/SSB rig for the Novice to General class operator. Comparisons to more expensive rigs are ridiculous. Today, several issues are worth mentioning. The AC One power supply was intended to run (in the U.S.) on 115 VAC. With the today's higher household voltages (125 VAC), the resulting high DC voltages emerging from the AC One really make this rig run hot. A Variac or some other kind of stepdown voltage scheme is definitely appropriate. Also, and this is a biggie....REPLACE C40 AND C55 with new, 1000 volt silver mica capacitors. When (not "if") these fail, it will really trash your rig. Yaesu for some reason undervalued these components, and with today's higher voltages, in time you'll fry these and set off the smoke alarms in your home. Great, fun, and simple rig with some nice performance numbers....receiver audio on SSB is pleasant (forget AM stinks).
VK2IMM Rating: 3/5 Oct 20, 2007 21:14 Send this review to a friend
average radio with some good features  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I did not own this transceiver for very long time. I was after a reasonably simple valve radio which I could work on to get to the specifications. Tempo One fits this criteria very well, there is quite a bit of documentation available on the Internet and there are not too many hard to find parts. All signal path circuitry is built using vacuum valves there are diodes used in the rectifier and several early transistors used in the VFO circuit for providing better stability.

Mechanically this transceiver is designed well but not up to the standard for a professional equipment, there are no ceramic valve sockets used for example. The VFO tuning mechanism and most of the control knobs and switches are of a very good quality in my opinion, the case and the chassis are well made too. About half of the circuitry is mounted on PCBs. Another half uses valve sockets mounted directly onto the chassis. All elements are rather easy to access so circuit adjustments are not hard to perform.

I think this radio will suit a SSB operator the most. Two other modes are CW and AM. Having said that there is only one X-tal filter option in a Tempo One and it has standard SSB bandwidth. Although AM reception is possible the bandwidth is, of course, too narrow for that. CW reception is reasonably good but it has the same drawback, the filter is too wide so it will pickup much noise around the frequency. There are some nice features provided for a CW operator though, these are a semi break-in and a side tone during transmission. The keyer must be capable of sustaining over 100 Volts of keying voltage, I used an Ameritron ARB-704 as a buffer to protect a PIC solid state keyer.

Performance. I used this transceiver for reception of SSB and CW signals on most amateur bands it was designed to operate. There is plenty of sensitivity, audio amplifier can provide a lot of volume out of the optional speaker which is fitted inside of an external power supply unit. RF power amplifier can provide about 240-250 W input keydown for limited time, however only 150W is recommended for CW transmissions what equates to about 80 w output. At this power level it works rather well. I have not measured PEP output power in SSB mode and I have not used it for SSB transmissions. I made some CW contacts however. What I noticed straight away, the radio required quite a bit of time to warm up and to stabilize. This is quite normal for any old radio with valve based design. I had reports that my signal was drifting during QSOs even after 30 min. I have seen somewhat better radios in this regard. Other circuits also needed ongoing additional adjustments i.e. an S meter Zero potentiometer for example. The case heats up quite a bit during transmissions, unfortunately there is no a built it fan so it takes a while to balance the temperature using convection. CW keying quality seemed to be reasonable. On receiving side the 2400 Hz wide filter was picking up quite a bit of noise as I already mentioned, so it was much harder to copy weak signals. There is really nothing offered to fight with that noise, I don't think many radios of that era did that either.

In general, this is a good radio, it was probably an average class transceiver when it first came out (late 60ths?). It is apparent that most of the hybrid design transceivers which appeared in late seventies would outclass a Tempo One in terms of frequency stability and service features. Tempo One is a good transceiver to use for someone who wishes to operate a valve radio either permanently or occasionally. For any other reason many other transceivers can be a better choice. I would not recommend it to someone looking for first HF radio.
W4VD Rating: 5/5 Jan 8, 2007 07:49 Send this review to a friend
My 1st rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have some fond memories of chasing DX on 15 meters novice with this radio, and SWL'ing during the months I was waiting on my novice ticket to arrive, which finally came in Feb. 1978, mine was an older gray faced unit, I can still remember the day when that ticket came in from Gettysburg PA and first calling CQ on 15 meters.....those were the days.... and the Tempo One worked great, power output was well over 100 watts,(rated at 250w input) and it had a pretty decent receiver too, I worked 15 countries the 1st day on the air and I was hooked on DX'ing and still am to this day.

I kept it till well after I got my General ticket and bought the matching desk mic as a gift to myself for upgrading to Gen, I used it quite a bit on SSB. I worked a lot of DX on that old rig, it was a great radio for a novice.

It was marketed overseas as a FT-200 Yaesu.

Still see them on the used market, sometimes I am tempted to buy one and set it up for old times sake.

N3OYA Rating: 5/5 Apr 9, 2006 06:17 Send this review to a friend
Good, solid radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I began this review with a "5" rating. There is a caveat - the 5 is deserved for what it is: a low-tech, 80-10m mostly-tube transceiver that was built shortly after I was born!

I have fallen completely in love with the receive audio of this radio. To tell the truth, I have been in love with the sound of tube receivers for as long as I can remember, but my Tempo One is special! There's just something about that sound.

The Tempo One is NOT going to impress someone used to a modern - or even mid-1980s - transceiver. But can the owner of a FT-1000D go inside and replace a resistor if he has to? Nope! I've learned more about electronics theory, design, and construction by having the covers off of my Tempo One than I can describe.

This radio is pretty rugged. This is my first tube transmitter. So far, I have yet to explode a glass grenade, even though I'm a ham-fisted ass with the Plate and Load controls. I taught myself how to load the transmitter, using the manual and tips from helpful amateurs on 2M. A little while ago, one of my "Elmer" pals stopped by, and I started loading the tx. He literally took a step backwards. Then he taught me how to *really* tune a tube tx. :-D My conclusion? If I didn't manage to do any damage, neither will you.

The VFO is quite stable. Mine has never exhibited a bit of drift.

They are also inexpensive. I purchased mine about six years ago at a hamfest for $100. I've seen them lately on eBay and other swap sites for between $100 and $250. (And the $250 unit was billed as "immaculate ".) I have yet to see one listed without the PS, either, which gives you all the voltages from one box.

The only 100% negative I can list is the expensive 7360 color-tv beam deflection tube used as the balanced modulator. The 7360 is hard to find and expensive compared to the other tubes used. But they're still not as expensive as other tubes, and they're still available as NOS. Just be prepared to spend more than $30 should you require one.

To sum up, if you like simple, easy-to-maintain, good sounding - and inexpensive - radios, this is your choice.
K7UA Rating: 4/5 Dec 9, 2005 10:28 Send this review to a friend
OK in 1972  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had a Tempo One from 1972 until about 1976. It was an ok radio back then. I worked about 150 countries with it. The dial reverses on some bands depending on the mixing process and is irritating. I used it to drive a 160M transverter. The carrier suppression was not very good so the transverter multiplied that problem. Adjustment of the pot just wouldn't get rid of all of the carrier. The rig became microphonic and I couldn't ever get it fixed. There was a irritating whistle that would come and go. It seemed to be related to the balanced modulator tube, but I could never nail it down. It was not as good a rig as an FT101, but back then it wasn't too bad. I also had the remote VFO for DX work. I wouldn't even consider using one today.
ZL3TJV Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2004 07:10 Send this review to a friend
tempo one??? keeps on going  Time owned: more than 12 months
An FT200 (tempo one) has been my 144Mhz exciter driving 100W trasverter since I bought it new in 72 as new licenced grade 3.
It went in the cupboard for about the last 10 yrs untill we grade 3 calls were upgraded to 1 on the 17 june.
Now its on air again and working the world.
Just picked up another old rusty one for spares.
Might see you on 40 or 20.
N5KBP Rating: 3/5 Jun 14, 2004 19:11 Send this review to a friend
good rig for the $$$  Time owned: more than 12 months
As stated before you can pick up these old boat anchors for $100 bucks. Makes an interesting starter rig. Final tubes are hard to find and expensive. With their drift I would not attempt to use one on digital modes. For CW and SSB It will do an adaquate job. Worth all of $100 but not any more than that. Yaesu did a good job of an inexpensive entry level rig for it's time.
KC0QEV Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2004 18:34 Send this review to a friend
awsome rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just got this rig 3 days ago at a hamfest and i am glad i did. works awsome, i heard stations in austrialia and new zealand and hawaii the moment i plugged it in. i was using a dipole 6in off the ground hi hi. good solid rig. so steady on the vfo and no drift i plan on having it on the air at my clubs field day event for rtry, psk31, and other digital modes. i also have a swan cygnet 270b and a kenwood tr7625 so this makes a good addition to the shack
KG4WTL Rating: 4/5 Aug 16, 2003 20:09 Send this review to a friend
For the price - AWESOME!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Considering you can get one of these for around $100.00, they are great ole boat anchors!

Had one in the eighties, have one now, both black face, not quite as much power out as an FT-101 with same (6JS6) finals, around 100w.

If you's po like me or want a cheap backup anchor - I suggest you consider one of these ole gems! Same as Yaesu FT-200
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