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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Yaesu FT-747 Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-747
Yaesu FT-747 Reviews: 39 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $1049.99
Description: Budget HF Transceiver
Product is not in production.
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DL1MEV Rating: 4/5 Feb 21, 2008 05:46 Send this review to a friend
Not bad  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got mine 1988 and it served well. The antenna then was a broadband-(fan-)dipole under the attic, so using the attenuator on 40m was mandatory in the evening. The price-performance-ratio was good then, considering the built-in cw-filter and AM. Shure, for an avid dxer, who cranks the bands up and down all the time, this rig is only a makeshift for a limited time. The VFO-encoder is too frail for heavy use.
NY4D Rating: 3/5 Oct 10, 2007 07:44 Send this review to a friend
OK, but watch out for these problems  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had several of these, some worked fine, some did not. When right, it's a great little radio with just enough features that there's a lot of bang for the buck. But there's a potential mechanical problem with all of these.

Over time, with use, maybe just age, the FT747gx front panel buttons will often not operate the actual switches and switch pads, which are actually located on the display board behind the front panel, as there is next to no mechanical anchoring of the display board to the front panel.

Over time, and with operation, this problem seems to get worse.

It is possible to build up the switch pads, and extend the plastic rods behind the pushbuttons, with some glue, plastic straws, and ingenuity.

This problem has also manifested on the metal case commercial version I've had, the ftc-80, which has the same plastic front panel setup. So much for "more rugged" because it has a metal case.

Another problem I've seen more than once is that the nar, att, nb, and mox buttons get wedged up under the front panel. To the unknowing, the mox button being so wedged can cause a lot of problems with the rig coming up in transmit...

I like this rig, and I'd give it a 4 were it not for the general flimsiness of the rig. With age it tends to need mechanical, let alone electrical help. So on that standpoint it rates a 2.

There are better choices for just a tad more money unless you are absolutely sure you're getting one where everything, both mechanical and electrical, works.
G4REK Rating: 4/5 Apr 29, 2007 11:13 Send this review to a friend
Nice radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Still going well, changed the intermittent vfo rotary encoder....last surface mount components to stop you in your tracks...when you fire up the solder gun (only joking about the gun)really robust p.a. stage..
N0TRQ Rating: 5/5 Apr 10, 2007 12:52 Send this review to a friend
Great lil rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased my first FT-747 new in 1990 (just before earning my first ticket), Only addition was the FM board. It has been in almost continous use from day one. Unless I happen to be home and actively using it on another band, it stay on 20m packet 24x7. Have yet to have a single problem with it.

I remember saving up a lot of pennies for it new, but would not hesitate to pick up another in an instant should it cross my path. Basic controls, but for someone who'd rather tinker with building antennas than playing with radio knobs this has been a winning rig. Both RX and TX have been very solid and get nothing short of great reports from those on the other end.

I highly recommend them for those new to the hobby, for the shear simplistic operation. Plug it in and go.
AB7JK Rating: 5/5 Nov 28, 2006 17:26 Send this review to a friend
Great all around radio!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned three FT747GXs over the years and keep coming back to them. The radio does alot of things very well, does nothing poorly, and is cheap on the used market. I don't care if the case is plastic - I don't need to fry burgers on it. It comes with cw and am filters standard - after introducing this model Yaesu realized they could not sell expensive filter options so they stopped making it and replaced it with the FT840.

My favorite use for the radio is shortwave and medium wave listening - it equals or surpasses well known table tops with it's -126 Mds, low noise floor and great audio. I listen to KMOX St Louis regularly from Tampa Florida and it sounds like it is next door - I couldn't do that with my Icom R75. It does very well with PSK31 also - just requires a PTT switch rigged to the back panel - very stable and great AGC.

I haven't experience any feedback problems, nor do I miss IF Shift. As long as this model stays available in good shape on the used market I find no need to upgrade. The FT747GX is a used market best kept secret.
LU1HQV Rating: 4/5 Sep 9, 2006 18:51 Send this review to a friend
Inexpensive way to go HF  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned several 747 in my almost 20 years as ham... Each time this little, rough radio give me very good moments in hf...
Is always my first option (whit kenwood ts 50) for newly hams in HF
Easy to work, cheap, aceptable recepcion... all in a little plastic box...
If you want a "all terrain" hf and don't have money for the faboulous ft 897, this is a inexpensive way to go..
G3XBM Rating: 3/5 Jul 12, 2006 04:31 Send this review to a friend
An OK rig for its day  Time owned: more than 12 months
An inexpensive and, for its time, small 100W HF rig. Mine suffered some RF feedback issues, so used to run it mostly at QRP levels (<10W). The plastic case was a simple idea but not a brilliant RF shield.

An FT817 at about 1/10th the size does far more, works more reliably, covers more bands and is altogether a better radio, apart from being just 2 S points down on TX!
W6UXB Rating: 4/5 Apr 6, 2006 18:58 Send this review to a friend
A very solid performer  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Well I have had my 747 for about a year now and must say I do like this radio, OK it's got a plastic case but so what it has 3 filters as standard, mine has the optional FM board. I have been comparing it to my SW receiver a Satellite 800 with Palstar preselector (a great little unit) and it beats it from 3.5 mhz up. The only problem; do not short out the external DC output, I had to send mine off to wa4geg for repair and what a great job he did, together with giving it a re-alignment he fixed the burnt traces and now it performs superb, good audio reports on transmit, great reception the only thing I miss is PBT but the all mode squelch is a great addition. I am still thinking of swapping it for a Drake TR7 as I anly have room for one operational radio but for the price of these second hand and a cheap trip to wa4geg you have one great small rig with a really quite receiver (757 owners note) I have just got a quite rare split kit, not for mobile but so I can use the rig in bed ! 73's
OE3SGU Rating: 4/5 Apr 6, 2006 13:28 Send this review to a friend
MIxed emotions  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well the 747 was my first ever RIG on HF. After passing my HF test this has been my toy for about 3 years before upgrading to a FT990. The 747 was ok, but you will miss a lot of features that you would like, eg. a spech processor, a decent case (its plastic) or some filters and a "real" VFO, just to name a few. Would I buy one again? Hm, depends on the price. I would rather go for a FT757 or TS-430 or something like that I think.
N8INJ Rating: 4/5 Jul 9, 2005 01:10 Send this review to a friend
Great for it's time and still good  Time owned: more than 12 months
If I was writing this when I first got my FT-747 I would be giving it a solid 5. Compared to more modern radios it still holds it's own but I can't quite justify a full 5 due to the poorly supported CAT interface.

Mine has been in my family since the first year or two this model hit the streets. My dad sold his old Collins gear and used some of the proceeds to buy our as a new modern HF rig. At the time it was one of the few radios that had a CAT interface and the simplicity of operation compared to the old Collins gear was very impressive to us. And our shack stayed a lot cooler without all those tubes ;)

However my dad was never very happy with the performance of the radio and ended up not doing much HF. I was still only a Tech and my code skills were rapidly wasting away so I only used it for listening which it did very well at.

Then last year my father upgraded to a much more modern radio and sent me the 747. That convinced me to finally upgrade to General but with just a long wire fed through a tuner I didn't have much luck with the radio either. As usual I could hear quite a bit but didn't manage any contacts. I built a G5RV to put up but then realized my lot was too small (oops.) so the radio started to collect dust again.

About a month ago I stumbled across a deal on a used Cushcraft R5 at a price I couldn't pass up. I stuck it on a 4' post in the backyard and hurried in. Suddenly the little Yaesu came alive! Pretty quickly I managed to make contacts across the country and realized this rig did still have some ability! I've since used it for PSK31, SSTV and quite a bit of SSB. In just the first full week of operating it I managed to contact Chile, Russia and Australia on 20m and all of them gave me excelent reports.

I also visited my father and got to play with his new radio. Not sure if propagation was just that different between the last day I visited him and the first day I returned...but when I got home I was hearing more off my little Yaesu with the dummy load connected than I did off his new rig with a much larger vertical than mine!

So far every station I've tried to work I've been sucessfull at except for one - and I'd say that's not to bad! My only major complaint is that the CAT port is basically a tease on this radio as most modern software dosn't support the 747 due to it's limited CAT abilities. Seeing that CAT logo on the front mocking me is somewhat annoying but otherwise I'm very happy with this radio and it's currently rekindling my love of radio!
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