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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Yaesu FT-101ZD Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-101ZD
Yaesu FT-101ZD Reviews: 47 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $$895 (1979-198X)
Description: 180w (input power) SSB/CW/AM HF Transceiver covering 160-10 mtrs plus WWV. Hybrid solid state design incorporating tube 12BY7A driver and 6146B finals. Featured digital and analog display, variable IF bandwidth, noise blanker with threshold adjustment, and RF speech processor, selectable AGC. Considered by some to be the peak of the FT-101 Series.
Product is not in production.
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G3ZPS Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2016 08:46 Send this review to a friend
I love them  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought my first 101Z in 1979, another 101ZD in 2003 and now another 101ZD MKIII in 2016. I cant bring myself to sell one of them as many are broken up for parts in the UK (I know its a free market, but it still seems a shame). These rigs just keep on going and need minimal maintenance - switch cleaner a few HV caps, little 12V relays. Although the receive dynamic range does not quite match my FT902 in practice I don't notice..they are soooo smooth and quiet to listen to - and much less complex than the FT102. The MKIII came to me as part of an SK sale (spares or repair) and was badly bodged to have both AM and FM options with extra switching (which didn't work). It took me a few days to remove the rats nest of extra wires and put it back to stock. It works great again proving that they are very hard to kill.. every home should have one. Steve G3ZPS
WI6T Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2015 12:11 Send this review to a friend
Impressive  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased my FT-101ZD MkII (incl. the CW and AM filters) new along with FV-101Z VFO and the speaker patch. The outboard VFO allows unparalleled split frequency operation. Use the Shure 526T Series II pre-amp microphone which was the recommended mic for this rig many years ago. Has performed to specs on all bands since new. Located replacement caps (HV and others) through a Canadian source. After 36 years had the rig refreshed through the services of Mike Alexander (affordable radio repair dot com). Mike replaced the caps, attended to a sticky relay, examined all internal components and did a complete alignment. Rig looks and performs as new. If you have a ZD in need of attention, contact Mike. Mine has had dust covers, and no kids, pets or smoke. Shack visitors are impressed with the appearance of the rig, vfo and speaker/patch and performance of the radio. If you find a 101ZD, consider acquiring it. Note, however, that the MK II and III models are the ones with the WARC bands.

VA3MLV Rating: 5/5 Mar 9, 2015 14:32 Send this review to a friend
Tank !!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well there's a few different models but all contain same components except for a few options. I been a proud owner of a mint condition FT 101ZD MKIII since I been a amateur radio operator. It's my first transceiver I purchased & still have it. It always impresses me with it's fantastic receiver & transmit audio. I only use it on the 10m through to 20m with the 130watts output combined with a pre amplified microphone all set properly into a three element Tri bander & a omnidirectional vertical. It's a transceiver that could only be appreciated by a certain group of operators that can be great full for the workmanship & operating methods. It's a transceiver not just for anyone.Its like every other transceiver you have to know how to use the unit to its max potential. I don't think I will ever part with it & it works flawlessly every time I flip those switches.
ON6ZK Rating: 5/5 Jan 8, 2015 04:27 Send this review to a friend
Great old rig !  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hi, I'm the happy owner of 2 FT101ZD Mark III.
One belongs to my dad ON4ORP , he has it since 1980 and I got mine back in 1993 second hand.
I love the way of tuning up the rig and get it tuned properly on the right band ! It is like a tank ! Never failed ! I also have the external speaker , the antenna tuner , the external VFO and I recently bought a brand new amplifier FL2100Z . Not a scratch ! I think it never has been used. There were no tubes inside but I removed the 572B tubes out of my SB200 amp ( Heathkit) and put them in the FL2100Z; Hooked the amp up to the FT101ZD and I get extremely good reports. I have a big optibeam OB16-5 , so I have at least 4 elements on every band from 10 tot 20 meters ! I can only recommend to buy this old boatancher if you find one in working condition. You will have the time of your life with it.
W3AMF Rating: 4/5 Jan 5, 2015 09:53 Send this review to a friend
Great Old Radio For Modern Times  Time owned: more than 12 months
I traded some non-radio equipment for my FT-101ZD Mk II several years ago. My rig includes the optional fan and 600 Hz CW filter. I have the AM board but have not yet installed it. I also have the YD-148 desk microphone, a mobile microphone, and a service manual.

The FT-101ZD performs well on SSB and CW. It delivers 100-120 watts on all bands except 160 meters (40 watts). Reports received on CW and SSB are good. The receiver is quite sensitive, the noise limiter works, and the selectivity is adequate for today's crowded bands. The S-meter, however, is a bit erratic.

You do not have to remove the case to tell if the optional AM board and optional CW filter are installed. If the AM board is not installed, the receiver will not "hear anything" and the transmitter will not operate in the AM position. If the CW filter is not installed CW-N will not work, and CW-W (which uses the 2.4KHz SSB filter) must be used. I sometimes use the CW-W position when QRM is not a problem but normally opt for the CW-N (600Hz) filter. The filter Width control works in both positions.

On CW, I use the external VFO to control the receive frequency and the internal VFO for the transmit frequency. I do not use the Clarifier (RIT/XIT) control unless I am operating SSB with only one VFO.

Usually, after a 15 minute warm-up period, the internal VFO and the FV-101Z are quite stable, but occasionally they will shift a couple hertz. The problem appears to be dirty push switches. If pushed in and out repeatedly the VFOs usually stabilize. It is an annoyance when it occurs, but not a real problem to me or my contact.

Subsequently, I acquired an FV-101Z VFO, a YO-901 monitor scope (with band scope option), an SP-101PB speaker/phone patch, and a FL-2100Z linear amplifier.

If the operator is careful during tune-ups, the 6146B finals will last a very long time. If you can find one at reasonable price, I would recommend adding it to your lineup. It is competitive in today's ham radio environment.

I gave it a 4 because of the condition mine is in. Remember it is about 35 years old! If it were performing to specifications, I would have rated it a 5.
AE5J Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2014 16:51 Send this review to a friend
Still Great!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just got my father's (N5BKT - SK) FT101ZD put back into almost new condition at Houston Amateur Radio Supply. They did a super job at a very reasonable price.

Brought the old gal home and powered her up. It is easy to forget the great performance of these old hybrid radios. I have to say that the sensitivity and audio quality are easily a match for anything you can buy today. Mine is a MKI so it doesn't have the WARC bands, but it is still a joy to operate. There is something about tuning a tube rig up that just brought the memories flooding back. The XYL came in the shack (I have to share a spare bedroom with her sewing stuff) and she asked what put that silly grin on my face. After listening and watching for a few minutes, she was grinning too! (She is K5YUM)

Owning a great old rig is great, but operating one is priceless.
Z31GH Rating: 5/5 Oct 11, 2014 00:59 Send this review to a friend
the workhorse  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wasnt experienced when i bough this rig. This was my first rig and i am using it 5 years. My first impression was.."Ok, old and cute, i will use it some time before i buy a bether one". My longest distance calls were Australia and Japan with only 100W from the Republic of Macedonia. I used a simple dipole antenna, and i reached allmost every country. I know there are much bether rigs now, but i will never give it away. One of the reasons that i give a 5 is because this radio gives you the chance and room for reparations, because its simple. This rig have a sensitive receiver, and the radio doesnt need big maintenance. This rig is something like Kalashnikov AK47, it will never jam, and never dissapoint you
G8WWD Rating: 5/5 Apr 11, 2014 08:30 Send this review to a friend
Superb Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got my FT-101ZD a couple of years back and what a rig it is! It may be 31 years old, but it can hold its own against the modern rigs. Having been around for many years, this is what I call a "real radio". In fact when I got it, I soon ended up selling my FT-950, as it just wasn't getting used any more! The FT-101ZD is FAR more user friendly than any modern menu driven rig. Plus with a built in PSU, you just plug into the mains and connect an antenna and earth. No need for messy 12 volt cables and separate PSUs.

We all do far more listening than we do transmitting and the 101ZD receiver is superb. I don't have a large garden for antennas, but the 101ZD does just fine with a half size G5RV in the garden, plus 10 and 15m wire dipoles in the loft. Receive audio quality from the internal speaker really is superb and far superior to most modern rigs, even when you attach an external speaker to the modern ones!

On transmit, I often find that in a pile up, I am heard very easily, often on the first shout thanks to the clarity of the transmit audio and despite me only using the original basic fist mic, I always get excellent audio reports. No need to spend a fortune on Shure or Heil mic.

I've never been a CW fan, so as I don't use it, I can't give any review of the rig on CW. I do use the rig for some PSK now and then, although it is not my favourite mode and it runs just fine using my SignaLink USB. OK so you don't have any computerised rig control, but who needs it? I certainly don't miss it.

VA3MLV Rating: 5/5 Oct 28, 2013 14:38 Send this review to a friend
VA3MLV updated review  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well my Yaesu FT101ZD MKIII is still performing flawlessly every time I flip that power and heater switch, mainly used on the higher HF bands with a vertical omni and a Mosley 3 element Tribander. Puts out a little over 100 watts on all bands, nice DX cutting thru modulation with desktop mic but most importantly is the receiver in this transceiver it always seems to amaze me over other stations nearby that are not as close with there reports back to the same contact. It does not have the best type of filters for tight band interference but there's enough to do the job but back to the receiver , it is great especially because of being a preselected receiver you get a manually adjusted recieve on all bands. These radios are not just for anyone , you have to appreciate the quality and workmanship. Allot of operators still own these radios for a reason but like I said there not for just anyone. If you come across one but make sure you know which model it is so you know what you have they are great radios for the experienced hands on operator. I will never ever get rid of the one I have , it's my first HF transceiver I got and learned how to operate a tubed type piece of equipment " after reading the manual " many times until I was comfortable to start touching the transceiver but like I said these transceivers are not just for any operator especially if your just starting off in the hobby and your not really patient cause its gonna take time with this rig but once you got it all understood and using it on a regular basis after that you will be able to tune any linear or transceiver with tube finals without having to call someone to come and do it for you every time , I know a few operators still today who have to get someone to come and tune there linear for them which is pretty funny if you think about it. Point is great transceiver in my opinion hands down even though its a oldy but a really really goody. Got pics on 73
SV1WS Rating: 5/5 Jun 19, 2013 04:36 Send this review to a friend
STILL WORKING PERFECT  Time owned: more than 12 months
29 years ft-101zd mk2. The CATERPILLAR of transceivers, still working perfect!!

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