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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Yaesu FT-450 Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-450
Yaesu FT-450 Reviews: 237 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $aprox 999.00 new
Description: The FT-450 is a rugged, innovative multi-band, multimode portable transceiver for the amateur radio HF & 6M bands. Providing coverage of the 160-10 meter bands plus the 6 m, the FT-450 includes operation on the SSB, CW, AM, FM, and Digital modes, yielding the most comprehensive performance package available for field operation.

Designed for use from an external DC power source, the FT-450 provides 100 watts of power output from a 13.8-Volt external power supply, 160 - 6 meter coverage
Product is in production.
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GM0WNR Rating: 3/5 Oct 23, 2013 13:40 Send this review to a friend
I tried so hard to like it!  Time owned: more than 12 months
First of all, let me say I'm a Yaesu man, through and through, so this review is not easy to write. How can I put it, I just didn't like the audio, it seemed muffled to me, it may just be my ears (51yr old) but it never produced a sweet cw note to me, even with the IF setting at its widest. There were several things I liked about the radio, the display was lovely and very bright, the size was nice, the digital IF filtering was built in, so no expensive after-market filters to fit. The noise floor was nice and low. In truth, I never got used to the small dia VFO dial, but that is something I could live with, and the tuning was either to fast or way too slow! To try and get a better sound I tried several combinations of extension speakers, all to no avail. As you can probably guess I sold the rig. And to be honest I doubt very much I will regret the decision, don't know as yet what I'll replace it with, as the '450 certainly gave good bang for the buck, but, at the end of the day, if you don't switch on the radio because you don't like the audio, then it's time for it to go!
SV2JAO Rating: 5/5 Oct 18, 2013 02:27 Send this review to a friend
5/5  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Recently i buy a new Yaesu Ft-450D to use it on mobile and portable activities. It works great with mobile antenna Atas-120. The internal antenna tuner works great with a windom antenna that i have for portable. All functions on menu is easy and usefull. It has very good receiver and nice audio. All filters DSP etc. make the difference. Enjoy & 73s.
N7WR Rating: 4/5 Oct 8, 2013 18:25 Send this review to a friend
Works well  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I wanted a relatively inexpensive rig to use mobile in my truck. Found a good deal on a used FT450 (not D or AT). I did a custom install of the rig plus a scanner and 2/440 rig in the center console of my GMC Sierra pickup. I use a Opek HVT 600 antenna and the combination works well on 40-6 meters. The Noise Blanker eliminates ignition/etc noise from the truck very easily. I'm happy with it and regularly work DX especially on 12 and 17 meters
W1TAV Rating: 4/5 Oct 7, 2013 15:57 Send this review to a friend
Good for the $  Time owned: more than 12 months
For under $1K, it's good. I bought mine to fit into a space on a roll top desk station I put in my living room. At the time 3 years ago, they were being discounted to the $500 range when the FT-450D was brought out. The rig is not as intuitive as I would like, I find the menus (layered functions of the keys) confusing and the operation of the DSP to be very cumbersome. Frankly until I recently bought a Kenwood TS-590, I was blaming myself for not understanding the sequence of operation needed to operate a modern rig. The built in Yaesu Antennae Tuner is fair, again the Kenwood's tuner has the versatility a higher end LDG Tuner. Would I buy another FT-450/AT? Yes based on price and performance. No if I can spare a few bucks more after comparing it to Kenwood's approach to menus and auto tuner versatility. - Steve W1TAV
KE5SBZ Rating: 5/5 Sep 25, 2013 16:58 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my FT-450 for about 3 years. My gold standard is the R390A HF receiver and I believe in KISS (keep it simple sailor). I agree with KF7VXA. This box is outstanding. It does an excellent work on CW. Put the extra cash into the antenna. You will get better results from an antenna improvement than a radio upgrade. I do not have the ATU. Outboard tuners rock.

73 Ed KE5SBZ
KF7VXA Rating: 5/5 Aug 10, 2013 15:33 Send this review to a friend
What's Not To Like  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I gave the radio a 5 due to it's cost to performance.
For under $1000., this radio is fantastic. Does it compare to a $5K radio in every respect, well no, but the DSP works darn nice as do the radios other features. I was thinking about upgrading my microphone to get a better audio signal until I talked to several other's on the band who I thought had exceptional audio. All said my audio was very good. Could it have been slightly better, sure, but do I really want to spend all the money for a slight improvement, no. All thought the audio from the 450 was very good, perfect, no, but better than many others.

What you have for the price is a radio that does just about everything fairly well to perfect. You will find more bells and whistles on more expensive models, maybe better control of background noise, better display, but after buying the 450, I have decided to upgrade my antenna system, add a 600 watt amp for better DX, working on feed lines to get better SWR and anything else that will help deliver as much power to the antenna as possible.
Only after all of those things are done, I'm sure my system out from the radio is as good as can be will I think of upgrading to a more expensive radio.
At this point, if the 450 won't do it, I don't need to do whatever it is.
For the price, this radio rocks.
If you are new to HF ham radio, I suggest buying a 450, either used or new and spending the extra money on the best antenna system(s) that you can. It will get you far more contacts and allow you to hear them far better than a five thousand dollar radio and a cheap antenna.
I run a Gap Challenger vertical antenna and consistently get 5-9 reports, many times 9+. This is when many others are getting S-7 or S-8 reports. Does it always get an S-9, heck no, but the majority of other hams are surprised at how good my signal is running 100 watts off of a vertical set on the ground. I always ask for a true report, not the 9-5 than many send, I want to know what my signal is really doing, so the good reports I've been getting are true reports for the most part.
I think the Gap is a darn good antenna to go with the 450 for starters. There are of course better antennas, but I can't do a tower and yagi, so until I can get the best antenna system I can afford, I'll keep working with what I have, looking for any improvements I can find. It will be money far better spent than a more expensive radio.

73's John KF7VXA
K9NZ Rating: 4/5 Jun 2, 2013 09:37 Send this review to a friend
a lot of bang for the buck  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had the FT450 for about a month. In my opinion it a great little rig for the money. I get great audio reports and the receiver is good
the dsp works fine . The tuner is great I can tune a 135 foot zep using a 4:1 balun and the internal tuner on all bands but 40 meters not bad
for a $600- rig. I have a Elecraft K3, is the FT450 in its class no! But it cost less than the second receiver in the K3. I am a CW operator and the 450 does a good job on CW better than most entry level radio's, dont buy this radio expecting a high preformance contest radio. I like it even with the shortcomings. To me its a very good casual radio.
F5VDM Rating: 1/5 May 15, 2013 12:40 Send this review to a friend
Worst radio I ever had  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Of course the reviews are down to personal opinion, but here is mine. I had always wanted one of these ever since they came out. I have had an FT-857 for a long time and wanted something a little more of a base station.

Receive audio was awful, I made change after change to try and improve it. Not that I couldn't hear stations, I could, but the audio was tinny and generally bad. Usability was good, ATU great, but clunky feel of the radio put me right off. I was glad to sell it. I have never felt like that with a radio before.
KE7TMA Rating: 3/5 May 11, 2013 18:18 Send this review to a friend
Good but could be better...  Time owned: more than 12 months
When I initially reviewed this radio I was a new ham and it was my first "real" radio - ie a desktop, full powered transceiver. I had been a SWL for many years.

First, the good things about this radio. The 450 is a perfectly decent radio and the price can be quite low. It's sturdy, easy to use, and the display is really bright and nice. There are just enough knobs to make it comfortable to use. The radio is very stable - after being on for 1/2 hour or so it will not drift. The antenna tuner is great. I have matched many ad-hoc antennas with it over the day and it seems to do an excellent job with almost anything. The internal speaker, which while being very communication-y (ie great for voice but terrible for SWL) is extremely loud and understandable. Some of the DSP functions are very useful, the contour filter is nice and the NR can be useful for some types of noise, at the lower settings. For the price it is hard to beat a radio that gets you on the air with 100w with ATU and DSP, and I think Yaesu probably sold a lot of them on this premise.

Now the not so good parts of the radio. The first problem I started experiencing was that the radio is very hard to work with in low signal strength situations. The noise is very harsh and really weak signals almost seem like they have been garbled by the DSP. It is a painful radio to use after some period of time, because it feels like your ears need to work overtime! It is also quite susceptible to local interference. The AGC is far too jumpy, even on "slow" and so this thing really roars at you a lot. I don't feel like the roofing filter is really doing the trick either. Sure, it's there, but it almost seems like it is only good for FM. The DSP is handy in its way but also extremely limited. The noise reduction is only useful for dealing with low band noise, at its lower couple of settings. When you crank it all the way up, it simply converts the static noise into a noise that I imagine is pretty similar to a jet engine in a wind tunnel. It doesn't help you to understand the audio at all, and does nothing for comfort either. The really annoying thing is that the contour filter could eliminate the majority of this new kind of noise, if it had more steps / adjustability, making the DNR much more useful. Some parts of the display make less sense over time, like the roofing filter and antenna elements. Sure, I know there's a roofing filter in there, but I can't change anything so why put it in the display? Likewise with the antenna, I couldn't find the "ANT B" input on the back of the receiver, so why show an antenna to me on the screen there? I may seem to be nitpicking but, overall these things add up. I started using the FT-817ND instead because of its better receiver, and now own an Elecraft KX3 which is in a totally different league when compared to these Yaesu radios. The receiver is the most important part of a radio like these in my opinion.

Even despite these complaints, it is a decent radio and given the very low prices a used one fetches it is probably a no brainer for a lot of people who just want a simple reliable radio with internal ATU and some other extra features that usually come with higher-end rigs. It's relatively small so if your shack is space-limited you can buy just this rig and you've got HF totally covered. I probably wouldn't buy another, but I would recommend it to a new ham as I feel it really got me feet wet on HF in a very capable and inexpensive way.
PY2DXA Rating: 4/5 Mar 27, 2013 04:40 Send this review to a friend
bom trabalhador  Time owned: more than 12 months
After three years on the bench working almost daily, I can say that this small transcetptor is really a good option for those who do not want to spend much money and have a good quality radio, was a nice surprise first use, and assuring me come good DxS and facing contests, will have no heating problems or any variations, robust and very reliable, has a good marriage with pro set microfone by HEIL using HG6 element, my negative comment is to feature in cw mode, he's bad, compared to the icom PBT system ,but still goes well.
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