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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Yaesu FT-900CAT Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-900CAT
Yaesu FT-900CAT Reviews: 86 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $1,198.00
Description: Compact HF tranceiver with built-in ATU + Collins filter
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Yaesu FT-900CAT.

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W5FZ Rating: 5/5 Mar 11, 2012 19:30 Send this review to a friend
Widebanded For 60 Meters USB and CW  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Have had about four of these and now this one. Had it about a year or so. Just did the modification for wide banding to use for 60 meters USB, CW, digital. Works great, final part was the Reset, so all memories cleared, but just put them all back and added the 60 meter channels too. The easiest modification I have done except for the FT-1000MP MKV which was front panel buttons only, real easy. Using just in the shack or out back on the patio. It has the 500Hz CW filter and TCXO-3, so am ready to go, hopefully. 73 all....
DJ0IP Rating: 5/5 Sep 15, 2011 20:57 Send this review to a friend
Great Mobile or Portable Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
With its size and removable front panel, this radio is in the category of mobile or portable. This doesn't preclude using it as a base radio, but it is a bit unfair to compare it to radios that are 3 times its size.

I have owned two of these radios. Bought the first one in the 90's when it was relatively new and used it as my mobile rig in my RV. Besides normal mobile type of operation, I also participated in CW contests from portable locations during my vacations, using longer, outboard (from the RV) antennas.

I replaced this with an IC-706 MKII G. I thought it would be great to have VHF and UHF in the same radio. BIG MISTAKE. The 706 was really terrible on anything except the mobile antenna. The IP2 of the radio was so bad that shortwave broadcast stations blasted through across the 20m band at night, making it almost unusable. It also had a lot of features embedded in a software menu, which is not good for mobile.

I replaced this with the TS-480, which was a good radio, but had quite a complex software menu, especially considering the FT-900 has NO SOFTWARE MENU at all.

After searching for a couple of years, I finally found a good clean FT-900 again. This time I'm not selling it.

I replaced the Collins Mechanical filter (over-hyped) with a much better crystal filter. It's a standard Yaesu option, but expensive. This helped a lot with crowded bands on weekends.

The radio gives you good performance for what it was designed for. It doesn't come close to the performance of my Ten-Tec Eagle, but again that's apples to oranges, because I can't remove the front panel of the Eagle. I prefer to keep the radio mounted under the seat, out of sight, and just have the front panel on the dash.

In my opinion, a radio with a large software menu is not a great fit for a mobile radio. You just can't adjust it while you're driving. The FT-900 has knobs for all adjustments, though some are quite small.

I recommend this in mobile/portable environments, or for anyone who is a newcomer looking for a good rig for a reasonable price - or like me, an OOT who doesn't want to full with software menus.
VK2CRC Rating: 5/5 Dec 5, 2010 02:51 Send this review to a friend
Great rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've been a licensed ham for only 45 years now, a full license too. When I read these reviews I always check out the bad ratings first. Then I remove the idiot 1 out of 5 reports and see what the sensible hams have to say. This is a low budget transceiver with a lot of features. The inbuilt auto antenna tuner is first class. Just as good as external units selling for nearly as much as this rig. The sound is not like a Wharfdale speaker enclosure but when the signals are weak it's not deep base audio you want. it's communication grade. This rig, fitted with the Collins filter and atu is a first class transceiver for base station or mobile. It's easy to use, gets out and brings the signals in. What more do you want? For the dollar it's up there with any other rig you could name.
KI5DX Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2010 19:16 Send this review to a friend
A++  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I went to the clairmore Ok, hamfest this weekend and wanted to pick up another Yaesu FT890. i have all sorts of radios and the FT 890 is great as a general purpose, no menu , hassle free radio. I have one in the shack that is on 10 meters and never moves, and another one in the house in the closet studio with an 80 meter loop that is perfect and works all bands. I wanted another one for my shop to listen on during the day. Well i couldnt find one but I ran into my old buddy Henry K5BUG and he had this really nice ft-900 with mobile mounting bracket, box, manual, and all for a really good deal. I looked at the radio and from the rear , top and bottom it looks just like an 890. The front panel is different but i suspect it is just about the same radio with an updated front panel. I bought it. It is great. Has the same "tune anything tuner", over 100 watts out, good receive audio, decent transmit audio and very very user friendly. It is just an upgrade to the FT890. If you get a chance to purchase either one of these rigs you will not be disappointed. If you want a cadillac with bells, whistles, menues, sub menues and all of that get something else. If you want plug and play and not keeping a manual close by to change bands this is your radio!
73 God Bless KI5DX
KE5GFJ Rating: 5/5 Feb 7, 2010 12:24 Send this review to a friend
Great rig for base or mobile  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am always amazed when I read these reviews and a rig gets 5/5 from everyone except one or two people. I have to ask, is it the radio or the person who wrote the review? As you can see from 99% of the reviews, this is one great little radio. It has great transmit audio and good receive audio. I guess if you are the kind of person who will only listen to your high end Bang and Olufsen Stereo because nothing else compares, you will be a little disappointed in the audio from the FT-900. But wait, this is a ham radio, right? The audio is much better than most of the new little compact units. If you don't like it, that's what the external speaker plug is for on ALL radios. The controls are well laid out and easy to manuver. The NB, Notch and IPO work great on this rig and the antenna tuner works flawlessly. The display is easy to read, even for those of us who are getting a little dim in the eyes. The detachable face is a big plus for mobile use. When a rig gets 5/5 from everybody, then you read where someone gave it a 1/5 or 2/5 consider the source.
W4FRQ Rating: 5/5 Jan 16, 2010 06:33 Send this review to a friend
Perfection  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been waiting for about a year to write this review to give me a chance to really get to know my FT900 CAT. All I can say is wow. I bought the FT900 used from a local ham for around $500. After reading other reviews on eham it was the rig that I had set my mind on although I did want the CAT version. The guy who was selling it apparently was unaware that his FT900 was in fact the FT900 CAT. The deal and the fact that it was local was too much to pass up. The rig had been well taken care of and he powered it on to show me everything worked. I got the radio home and connected to my G5RV and just for fun held in the auto tune button and low and behold gears started moving and within a few seconds I had a match. That piqued my interest so I had to open up the case and to my excitment there was the collins ssb filter. In my opinion there is nothing more you could ask for from a compact HF rig. Great Audio, Adequate speaker, Enough filtering to weed through some pretty serious QRM/QRN. Capabale of over 125 watts SSB. Easily 60 meter/Mars/General coverage modifiable. 100 memories. And let me emphasize this next point. Very easy to operate. While there are a few menus that require multple buttons being pushed. In my exp these menus were only necessary while setting up the radio initially or while tailoring the radio to your own likings. All of the controls necessary for day to day operation are readily available via switches and knobs on the face of the radio. My only regret with this radio is that I havent found a second one to set up as a permanent resident in my pick up. If you can find one of these for sale for around the 500-550 dollar mark. Snatch it up. You wont be sorry. But don't expect to find mine for sale anywhere ever.
W9SFA Rating: 5/5 Jan 5, 2010 20:07 Send this review to a friend
Definately a keeper!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased my FT-900SAT used in early April of 2009 and have used it as my primary HF rig since then, going on 10 months now.

I love this radio. I run it off an Astron 35amp PS, and use it to drive my Drake L-4B amplifier. It does a great job at it. I get excellent audio reports on all bands 160-10m, even with the stock MH-31 hand microphone although I usually use a Shure SM86 run through a W2IHY EQplus.

This particular unit produces 150 watts on SSB and 100 on AM (!?), so I assume it has had some mods done by a previous owner. To be safe, I never operate it above 100 SSB or 40 AM.

Easy to use and built like a tank, I especially appreciate the no-menu operation. The built-in tuner does a wonderful job and the included Collins CW filter is a nice addition. A highly recommended rig, if you can find one. I'll definitely be keeping this one for a while.

WA3UOO Rating: 5/5 Dec 25, 2009 14:39 Send this review to a friend
Best HF Rig I've Used  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought mine new in December 1997. It spent a number of years in mobile service driving a High Sierra screwdriver antenna in my 94 Dodge Dakota. The rig has worked flawlessly both in mobile and now, in its base station capacity with a Cushcraft R7 at the other end of the feedline. After 37 years as an amateur radio operator, it's nice to know I'll be keeping this rig for more years to come. Easy to use, compact and highly reliable, these are but a few reasons you don't see them on Ebay or ham classifieds. Truly a great radio. If you have one, hang on to it.
N1YKN Rating: 5/5 Dec 25, 2009 13:19 Send this review to a friend
One of the best  Time owned: more than 12 months
For what this radio was intended to be it is the best radio out there !!!!!!
Tactile operation while mobile so you do not need to take your eyes of the road,rugged,100w+,detachable face plate etc.
Fit's my purpose and is reliable!!!!
If your lucky to find a new one just keep it trust me !!!!
W6DTW Rating: 4/5 May 17, 2009 02:09 Send this review to a friend
First impressions: Solid radio. Where's the RX gain control?  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just today picked up an FT-900AT with the Collins CW filter. Seems like a solid radio, and I like the "no menu" approach -- although there are a few "shifted functions" that I'll need to memorize. Having owned an FT-1000D in the past a lot of the use-model seems similar.

One glaring omission from the FT-900 design is the lack of an RX gain control. I own an FT-857D and while I find the 857D's "RX Gain or Squelch depending on menu setting" knob a bit annoying at least it has an option to adjust RX gain. There are two buttons "IPO" and "ATT" that will reduce gain or attenuate gain, but I'm not sure that this will be granular enough for me when I use digimodes like JT65A-HF or even PSK31 where balancing RX gain makes a difference in the quality of the decode.

More later as I learn more.

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