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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Yaesu FT-102 Help


Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-102
Yaesu FT-102 Reviews: 58 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $1150 (When new per Oct '83 QST)
Description: Multi-Mode Hybrid HF Tranceiver with WARC Bands
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.geocities.com/eb5agv/ft102.htm
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PA0LPS Rating: 4/5 Aug 20, 2010 13:53 Send this review to a friend
Great radio for occasional QSOs.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my FT-102 new in 1984, as my first HF set.
At the time, it was one of the last hybrid sets; all-solid state sets like the FT-107 were just becoming available as an alternative. These had a reputation of being easily damaged by impedance mismatch.

I chose the Yaesu FT-102 because my main interest was antenna building and experimenting and I anticipated that a tube-type PA set would be more forgiving to impedance mismatching.

(Hadn't I ever heard about antenna tuners? I don't recall...)

The set was ordered with extra filters, the AM/FM unit and a set of spare tubes. But even now, I am still using the tubes the set came with.

About a year later, I ordered the FC-102 tuner and a FAS 1-4R antenna switch.
I never owned the FV-102 additional VFO.

Even though the set has not been used over a period of 10 years, it still performs excellently.
I like the receiver sensitivity and good audio quality (both TX and RX).
The speech processor has never been switched on, nor do I use a Power Amplifier.

The FT-102 gained early in life a reputation for relay failure, so I decided to order a set of spare relays, when they were still available, just in case.
But, in fact, I never experienced the relay problems that are so well documented elsewhere.

What I like are the good audio quality and the excellent receiver section.
Furthermore, the FT-102 has proven to be very reliable and is has a solid look and feel.
The knobs, and there are many of them, are just large enough.

What I never particularly liked is the elaborate tuning procedure.
Tuning and bandswichting is not an easy job.
In FM on 10 m, RX bandwidth is far too wide.
We used 10 kHz channel spacing when 10m FM was popular in the late 80s.
There is no provision for split-frequency operation (for 10 m repeaters).

Also, the set has no general coverage reception.
Much later, I bought a used SP-102 speaker, but this item does not add very much to the quality of the audio. A headphone set works much better.

Break-in (for Amtor etc). is not possible or, at least, not very practical.

I'm not a contest operator, I'm just making occasional QSO's, mainly to test my home made antennas.
For this purpose, it is a great rig, even today in 2010!
 
N8BHL Rating: 5/5 Feb 23, 2010 08:25 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful rig all around  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my FT-102 in 1982 and it was a great radio then. I shared Malcolm's enthusiasm as he revived it after nearly 20 silent years on a shelf. New relays were mandatory of course as part of the revival. I judge the 102's performance against my ProII (another great radio) favorably- I prefer the 102's audio on cw, the receive is as smooth and functional...it hears every bit as well as the newer rigs. Transmit audio is excellent, and I like the extra power from the three tube finals. Of course rig control is lacking, but I do run digital modes on the 102 with great success. I started back in the 80's with a Vic-20 and AEA Micropatch. Today, much better digital respources. I regard this as a great radio- the fact that it is still comparable to today's rigs, if not better in some areas, indicates it's overall quality.
 
W1UOY Rating: 5/5 Sep 7, 2009 07:39 Send this review to a friend
Amazing Radio !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently bought an FT-102 (Malcomized in 2003) that is in pristine shape; even the case is in excellent shape 9.9 out of 10.

The radio has an incredible receiver that I would argue sounds and works better than my old Omni VI Plus. The IF filtering and crisp audio make listening to it enjoyable.

I can't say enough about this radio. - W1UOY
 
G0MJK Rating: 5/5 Jun 7, 2009 02:57 Send this review to a friend
A definite keeper  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought my FT102 off the original owner as a 'not much used example' and quickly found that it was stone deaf amongst other problems. Replacing relays didn't cure the problem which turned out after a lot of searching and test gear to be the connection from the RF board to the LO. Once replaced and the insertion of a Malcomised relay 2 it is superb, receives well and very complimentary reports on the transmitted audio. Worth all the work? Yes indeed it is and compared to my more modern FT920 and Icom 756Pro3 it stands up extremely well. Unfortunately there are still numbers of these radios around which have been CBised and the so called mods make these basket cases as in some cases so many hands have been in it is difficult to know where to start. If you can find a good one snap it up - you won't regret it.
 
19RSN053 Rating: 4/5 May 1, 2009 11:34 Send this review to a friend
first time  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just bought a project ft-102 for the little amount of 100 euroīs,spent 2,50 for replacement and got it running again,so far trying to tune in which is not that easy compared to my kenwood ts930.sound is very good on rx but adjusting the signals coming in is quite some work.
donīt think it will leave here couse I like the old stuff.had a runaway tube already so a new set is coming.now looking for the fc-102 which seems to be hard to get.


73s Paul
 
KI6IUJ Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2009 21:43 Send this review to a friend
Top Shelf  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my FT-102 since 1985 complete with all the matching goodies...external VFO, tuner, speaker & phone patch. What a great looking / performing station. I have 4 HF rigs. My FT-102 is still my 'GO TO' rig when the conditions are rough and I'm chasing that rare DX contact.

The receiver is as good as it gets. It has a tight sharp, yet pleasing to listen to audio quality that is unequaled. When running it side by side with my Hi-dollar rigs like my Icom and FT-1000MP, the 102 still takes the cake even with the stock 2.7 KHz SSB filter. Kick in the optional 1.8 KHz narrow SSB filter when the band gets crowded and adjacent QRM is minimized while my friends with their FT-2000s are crying the blues...true story. Sure some of the DSP rigs handle certain types of noise better, but for most conditions the FT-102 is the clear winner. If your 102 is not one of the best receivers you have ever heard, as far as sensitivity and selectivity, spend the time & money and get give it the precision alignment it deserves. It will be.

Now for the transmitter. The FT-102 drives my 3-500z amp to full output giving me that extra punch to bust through the pile ups when my other solid-state rigs struggle. I also hang out with the vintage AM 'Boat Anchor' crowd. Most of them can't believe I'm transmitting on a 'Rice-Box'. I always get great AM signal reports from these audiophiles. When the sun spots are good, I like to work the 10 meter FM repeaters also with outstanding audio reports. As for the enhanced SSB folks, they too love the sound of my FT-102. I run a Heil PR-40 microphone straight into the mic amp of the 102. I have bypassed the internal FT-102 mic preamp and 2 band EQ. I'm told over and over, that I have the best sounding 102 they have ever heard. You be the judge. I'm on 17m & 20m mornings and usaully around 3.840 MHz late evenings. 73 - de...Gregg KI6IUJ.
 
G3UXB Rating: 5/5 Feb 7, 2009 22:25 Send this review to a friend
Excellent for its time as well as now  Time owned: more than 12 months
Great radio, the best of the hybrids lots of power, but you have to change the relays and then it's a keeper it gives my FT-1000MP a run for it's money. I can't believe some peoples comments about the radio especially EW1CK, he complains no automatic antenna tuner, it is a tube PA ! you actually have to be a radio person to operate this radio, no computer control, it was made in the '80's ! great radio, great receiver, great audio. I have just refurbished two of these gentle giants, just wish I had room to keep them all
 
MI3LVZ Rating: 5/5 Feb 2, 2009 09:15 Send this review to a friend
Big gun in her day.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Lovely flagship radio in her day. A pleasure to operate and can put out upto 200 watts!
I use an Astatic 575-M6 mic and get cracking audio reports. Cant really say more than what has already been wrote so its quite simply, see one, get one!
 
N4MJG Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2008 23:55 Send this review to a friend
Still Kicking  Time owned: more than 12 months
Here the Update !



Back in 2006 the day it was gaving to me and took it in field day same year,i thought the tube was weak nothing was wrong with them at all.the tubes is fine afer i download the manuel and read them real good,like wow !


The tubes works real good and i was able get about 150 watts out of this radio ,this rig never back me down yet ! i stay on 80 to 10 meters


73
Jackie
KG4ORX
WWW.KG4ORX.COM

 
GW4PJQ Rating: 2/5 Feb 19, 2008 07:54 Send this review to a friend
Good oscillator  Time owned: more than 12 months
How many of you know the fact that Yaesu released many of these radios with a serious design fault: The layout of the driver stage is boarder-line stable and I have seen many of these potentially good radios oscillate un-controllably on 18 and 21mhz, destroying the output valves! Reducing the drive makes no difference! Yet there is no fault at all! If you get one like this; all you can do is part it out, but DONT sell the driver board. Snap it in half so that you donít put your misery on someone else. Personally as a repairer I wonít touch these with a barge pole. I do have one that does oscillate on 15m - 200w too! But the real shame is the receiver is excellent! That is why I keep it. Does anyone else have an FT 102 200w 15m oscillator? Donít be shy or put off by these rave reviews from lucky people!
 
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