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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Yaesu FT-990 Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-990
Yaesu FT-990 Reviews: 139 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $1995 ac 1795 dc
Description: Yaesu FT-990
Product is not in production.
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N8LOQ Rating: 4/5 Oct 16, 2013 12:08 Send this review to a friend
Good Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Picked up one used from a buddy. Was in fabulous shape, had the v1.3 ROM, everything functions well. Am contemplating installing a 2.0k filter (arleady has the 500 hz and 2.4k hz installed. Previous rig was an Icom IC-7000 and HAD to use HRD to work it as it's a small rig and has too many menus.
I haven't any reservations about using a 20 year old rig as the prime rig as my other rig is a Kenwood TS-830S (30 year old)! Quite happy and lucky! 73
Sid Grant W8SFC
GM1SXX Rating: 5/5 Jul 16, 2013 04:27 Send this review to a friend
AN excellent Oldie.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

I bought this radio a month ago as a retirement present for myself. Well, nobody else offered.

I wanted a good quality large base station HF transceiver that was not lumbered by menus and which was straightforward to operate. I'd been looking at the FT990 for some time, because it seemed to meet all my objectives. I managed to buy one (The AC model) for a very good price on a well-known auction site. The radio looks like new with only a microscopic blemish on the top of the front panel moulding. Performance-wise, it does exactly what I expected. I've had the radio for a month now and to date, I've managed not to look at the manual. For me, operating convenience is as important as performance. This radio ticks all the boxes for me.

The 990 is a fine performer. I've had no problems with it and it's simple to understand and use, even without consulting the manual. The receiver is good, but not quite as good as my Racal RA1772.
On transmit, it works well with all the controls working as they should. It's nice to have a selection of SSB filter bandwidths, 2.0 and 2.4Khz, while for CW, it's 500Hz with the option of fitting a narrow filter.

The provision of the internal mains power supply is useful, but I believe it may be degrading the receive performance slightly. I can find very weak receive QRN at regular intervals across the tuning range with the aerial socket terminated with a 50R load. I suspect this may be leakage from the internal (switch mode) PSU. It's not a big thing, but it's definitely present. It would be nice to try a non 'AC' radio with a linear PSU to see if it offered an improvement.

The onboard aerial/antenna impedance matcher seems to be excellent and is quiet and efficient in operation. I wish others were so good. Some day I'll get around to reading the manual and I'm sure I'll find a few things I haven't discovered yet.

I very much like the ergonomics of this radio, and for me at least, it's close to perfect. It seems to lack a 'monitor' feature, which is really my only minor complaint. It's not a big think really.

If you can find one of these radios at the right price, I can recommend them.

Finally, mine is an early one fitted with the V1.2 ROM. The 1.2 ROM was supposed to provide CAT compatibility but doesn't really work. I don't really need CAT control.

If *you* really need CAT control, make sure you get one with the V1.3 ROM. It's very easy to find out which ROM is fitted. Hold in the 1.5 and 7Mhz buttons and turn on the radio. It will 'exercise' all the digits of the display and at the end will Display YAESU plus the ROM version.

So, all in all, I keep finding things to like about my 'new' radio.

73 Al.

W4ZFL Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2013 09:21 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic built in antenna tuner  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this FT-990 new a number of years ago and have had little trouble with it. A meter light burned out and this year my main tuning dial and memories went out. Burghardt Radio Repair repaired it. (highly recommended)

The antenna tuner really impresses me. My Mosley RV-4C trap vertical has a bad trap on 40 meters, with a bad 40 meter trap and an infinite SWR. With the tuner one night I made a contact on 40 meters with Italy and got a good signal report. It will also tune my 15 meter beam on 17 and 10 meters. This would be impossible with my Yaesu FT-450D. I also love the simplicity of this rig with no confusing menus, ease in adjusting the keyer speed, and good fast break-in c.w. The large smooth tuning knob is nice4 too.
VE3TMT Rating: 5/5 Feb 20, 2013 19:45 Send this review to a friend
Still a newbie!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Although I have only had the 990 in the shack for about a week, I can tell it is here to stay. It doesn't have the rich audio that my 940 had, but it's pretty close. I got the AC/DC model with all filters and 1.3 ROM and it performed admirably in the ARRL CW test. The narrow filters and digital filter work great together. I like the idea of the plug in boards, makes it very easy to work on it need be. Reminds me of the old FT107 I had years ago. Mine does has the hiss mentioned in other reviews, but I had a filter on the way and will incorporate the mod. Only thing I can say I miss is the TX monitor. It's very handy for working on your audio, but unfortunately they skipped it on the 990. I've been getting good audio reports with my Behringer XM8500 mic so I'm a happy camper.
IV3IFY Rating: 5/5 Feb 6, 2013 12:20 Send this review to a friend
better after jack's mod.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I would have given 4.8/5 because the rig is not perfect but I could't and 4 is not enough so I say 5. I bought a used FT-990 from ebay U.S.A. and I must admit I have been very lucky to get a very clean one and like new rig. I was just looking for a non dsp and not very expensive rig with at least a 500Hz cw filter and found this one. Mine is an AC/DC model with built-in power supply and 1.3 rom ver. so no problems with CAT and HRD or similar sw. The radio is very easy to operate and the only thing I would like to have is an audio monitor but there are not many knobs to move or menues anyway. The antenna tuner works fine and no problems on tx. Cw operation is very good and the scaf filter sometimes is very useful for very close stations. I do not like the cw break-in because the relay cuts a bit the note but I don't usually use it. The ext rx or ant on the back is useful to connect an sdr rx to share the same antenna and syncronised via CAT. The ssb audio is warm but the only bad thing I discovered was the IF hiss that is mentioned in many articles and also in some reviews. I googled many times to find a solution without using the scaf filter and finally I found the KE4ID mod. by Jack on and I think He solved the question. All in all very good and nice looking rig but better with the easy mod. that I recommend.
73's IV3IFY Dino
F4DZG Rating: 5/5 Nov 15, 2012 08:29 Send this review to a friend
The real Mc COY !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After searching for a long time for a FT1000D, i finaly gave up due to the rarity and the price of this fine rig. Then i start to read and ask about it's litlle brother, the FT990. I recently grab a clean one, loaded with filters at a bargain price. I understand now why some guys own one for years and keep this rig, or they sell it to buy new gear, then blame therselves and try to find one again... This rig is awesome, and believe me i own an IC756pro for years which i consider to be a very fine rig too. It's a joy to operate it as well as to look at it in front of you. built like a tank, no cheap plastic here, well balanced VFO feeling, amazing audio an receiver. This rig is a keeper and mine found a new home, if you have opportunity to buy a clean one at a fair price, grab it ! You'll not regret !
ZS5J Rating: 5/5 Mar 5, 2012 03:07 Send this review to a friend
Classic rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
Every now and again, a product comes out that is almost perfect. The FT-990 AC/DC is one such rig. You only need to take the covers off the top of the rig, to see what I am talking about. If you spin the large silky smooth VFO knob you will know what I mean. The fit and finish of the rig is top class - no cheap plastic is used here.

Performance is stellar - the receiver is a delight to listen to, and very responsive. I have newer and more expensive rigs, but love using this one. There is only one thing I would like on this rig, and that is a 'monitor' button, to monitor outgoing audio.

If Yaesu was still producing this rig, I would buy a second new one tomorrow.

John, ZS5J
K3HVG Rating: 5/5 Mar 4, 2012 17:24 Send this review to a friend
Finest Kind!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I recently divested my FT-990AC and acquired a second FT-1000D. The'1000D is the ONLY rig I would give up the '990 for. Although Burghardt did have to do a final replacement for me after many years of perfect ops, I won;t hold it against the rig. Who knows what happened? I used the '990 next to the '1000D for years and it held its own in all conditions. I regret getting rid of the '990 but not getting another 1000D to replace it. If you can find a clean, working unit... grab it! You will not be disappointed as one so often is with many other "high-end" (sic) equipment. And, you won't have to contribute to the National Debt to do it.
FORMER_KC6O Rating: 5/5 Mar 3, 2012 17:13 Send this review to a friend
Much Loved Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
My FT-990 is about the only rig I've had which I like almost as much as my Icom 751A.

It's receiver isn't quite the rock I find the 751A to be, but for a rag-chew rig I can't fault it.

The internal antenna 'tuner' is a nice addition and something I miss in the 751A, but only ever so often.

I can't believe the 4/5 ratings I read by people with no complaints, so I had to offer my review to help offset those.

The FT-990 does have one of the smoother receivers I've used and one major reason I like it for rag-chew.

It's also quite possibly the best looking rig ever made.

One which won't disappoint, and in good used condition still commands a $800-$1000 price.
AE4XL Rating: 5/5 Jan 3, 2012 03:04 Send this review to a friend
THE GREAT ONE  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned a lot of radios over the years and after owning them for a short time I always find myself back on my 990.
I don't know what more can be said or what more anyone could ask of a radio,when I am ready it is always there and ready to go,in all of the years it has never let me down,not once.
I sure wish they would make something like it again.
MY old friend will still be here when they carry me away.
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