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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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N4SAX Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2013 09:13 Send this review to a friend
Lots of Fun and Performance in a Small Package!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I picked up a used FT-450AT from a local ham about a year ago. I also own a few other rigs - the Icom IC-703, a Radio Shack HTX-10, and a YouKits HB-1A. Since I relied heavily on Eham reviews before buying this rig, I thought it's time for me to add mine to the pile.

I love the FT-450! The "good" far outnumbers "the not so good" on this rig! For starters, I have never had anyone say my audio wasn't clear and understandable. I use the stock mic. I understand the internal tuner's limitations. Since I am using a 72' end fed antenna, I acquired the LDG YT-450 external tuner. The YT-450 clicks and clanks away but will tune this radio fine and once it locates the match for a specific frequency, it memorizes it. The FT-450's display is easy to read with a wealth of information. My rig came with the retractable support bracket which raises the rig 2-3" above the desk for easier access to the buttons and knobs. There are plenty of "easy access" adjustments on the rig for fine-tuning the receiver and the audio. I use the rig with a Uniden external speaker and the audio is easy on the ears. The rig also does a fine job of minimizing noise. I used to think 40 and 80 meter SSB were far too noisy for me - but with the ATT and RF set right on this rig, I now understand why the ragchewers spend so much time on these bands - On 40 and 80 I get great audio and minimal noise when tuned correctly. I never thought I'd work any DX on 40 or 80 meters - wrong! I worked Macedonia and several other stations this week! With a few exceptions, if I can hear them, I can work them with the FT-450. Do I wish I had a color display? Yeah that would be neat. Do I wish there were fewer menu settings and more buttons? Well, to be honest, I haven't had a real hard time adjusting to this rig. I have consulted the manual when confused and in my experience, if I used the feature a time or two, it was not too hard for me to recall what sequence I used to access and employ it. Having said that, I don't do the PSK and RTTY modes so I realize that they are probably more menu-specific to set up.

Summary: I paid $550 for this transceiver used. It does everything I could want it to do short of flashing a fancier color display at me. It's a keeper! I'm considering buying the FT-950 since I now have the compatible external tuner...but I just might opt for the FT-450D!
W9BB Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2013 08:33 Send this review to a friend
Great radio for the $  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Bought one recently to use and honestly, only put like 5 hours on it as I upgraded my base radio which pushed this one aside. But, from using this radio, the functions are great, easy to use, right sized for mobile or portable or even base use. Great DSP. For the money you can get them for now, a great investment!
WD9N Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2013 07:26 Send this review to a friend
Nice little radio.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this rig for over two years now. I have limited space for a radio on the desk, so it fits the bill nicely. The first day home with the rig I started setting up the menu and put it on the air with some help from the manual. Not too complicated at all. The menu was a bit odd to me at first as this was my first Yaesu. After a few minutes in the manual I was getting around fine.

What I like:

Very nice receiver, I donít have much noise in my area to start with, but when I hooked this rig up I started to wonder if something was wrong with the antenna it was so quiet.

Large display with most of the information on it.

Ability to send CW when in SSB with the offset being automatic.

It is almost a set it and forget it rig, when you set up the menu for a mode it stays, if you change mode, the last setting for that mode are ready to go. (Some minor exceptions.)

What I didnít like:

Why in a DSP rig is there not an automatic notch filter? I really expected this to be addressed in the 450D, but still no automatic notch on it either.

For fixed station use, feet would have been nice, but I wonder if Yaesu wasnít expecting more mobile use of the rig.

You must go into the menu or use the function combination to turn the monitor on and off, but first you must set the C.S. button to the moni function to begin with. I keep the C.S. setup for CW or voice ID, so I lost the ability to turn the MONI on from the front panel.

One thing that I first thought would be a big problem was the lack of a true variable mic gain control. The rig has three settings for mic gain, LOW, NORMAL, HIGH. The rig has some method of automatic gain control for the mic input and it must work great because I never have anyone suggest I need to make adjustments to the mic gain.

I really like the rig, excellent receive and once you have it set up it is just turn it on and go.
WB8ZTP Rating: 5/5 Feb 19, 2013 01:03 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig - Love it!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Iíve had the FT-450AT for 3 years now. Itís compact in size and it's a great price. It does a wonderful job of filtering and has surprised me many times when that DX comes back to me so soon after jumping into the pileup with just 100 watts and a ground mounted vertical. Bottom line, I love it!
73, Mark WB8ZTP
AF5C Rating: 5/5 Feb 9, 2013 11:11 Send this review to a friend
Easy to control!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned a couple of Yaesu FT450s and am not sure what the previous reviewer is talking about. I have used it on all bands and modes (except AM) with no problems. If there is a mode you don't want to use, you can lock that out of the mode selection. You can do the same for bands if you like. I read through the manual once or twice and then rarely had to go back into the manual.

If you want to change keyer speed, you can program the SEL knob to serve as a dedicated keyer speed control. You press the knob in, and it brings up the speed control. How complicated is that?

Programming the voice keyer was also pretty easy. Yes, you have to look at the manual to do it, but once you read through it and figure it out, you are good to go. You really do need the MH-31 mic (not supplied with the FT450, but with the FT450D) to take full advantage of all this radio can do, as you can use the up/down/speed buttons on it to run different functions. A couple of years ago I ran most of a SSB contest just off of the voice keyer. Programmed one memory to give my call, and another one to do the exchange. Yes, I was doing search and pounce, but it saved my voice, and kept from waking up the family in the middle of the night. I am not much of a SSB operator, though.

The main drawback of the non-D model is that you cannot use the narrow CW filters on RTTY. That makes it pretty much unusable in a RTTY contest. There are some workarounds using split operation between CW and digital, but that isn't the easiest. Yaesu fixed this problem in the D model, but for some reason they don't advertise it. I don't know why, that is the biggest change with the D model.

For what you get, this radio really is a best buy-no filters to buy, no TCXO to buy, no voice keyer to buy, no CW memory keyer to buy, it is all in there. The CW memory keyer is also pretty easy to program. You also get decent receiver performance and the contour feature helps some on CW, didn't really find it useful too much on SSB. The notch filter (an IF manual notch-autonotchs suck) is one of the best I have seen. It will completely take out a carrier.

Now the autotuner is useless unless you antenna is already resonant, but then you don't need a tuner! Don't spend the extra to get an AT model over the non-AT, it isn't worth it.

I guess if this radio is too hard to figure out, there is always the Icom 2AT or a Kenwood TS130. For the rest of us, this radio is a GEM!
AF4K Rating: 2/5 Feb 9, 2013 05:40 Send this review to a friend
Good basic radio but hard to control  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought the FT450AT new a couple of years ago. After watching a glowing review of the newer FT450D on U-tube, I had to let others know what to expect with any of the FT450 series radios if you are considering one.
This radio is only suitable for the casual user who does not want to use most of it's fancy capabilities in my opinion. For the video, look for: "Yaesu FT-450D Walkthrough" or see below.

There are plenty of positives here. Good display. Good audio with an external speaker. Nice microphone.

I switch HF bands and modes and make adjustments frequently. They were not easy for me with this rig.

An interesting and cheerful review video. This seems like a glowing recommendation - no negatives that I could hear or see! OK the FT450D main tuning knob is beefier, but the menus still drive me nuts. This is the most difficult radio I have ever used. I am so glad it "improves third order imd dynamic range," but...

After 40 plus years of using every type of amateur radio equipment imaginable, this radio had to go. Yes, it was a bad buy in my view. A lot of guys buy them because of the price, but you will probably find yourself using the BOOK all of the time if you run CW - how do I change the keyer speed? Oops - can't do that without losing access to something else. Memory keyer? Beacon? Yes, they are there but totally impractical for me.

How do I get out of the menu? Search the book. How do I get out of the Function control status? Search the book. The DSP controls are highly adjustable and work nicely, but they can be downright tricky if you haven't adjusted them in a few weeks or have been off the air for a while. Search the book. I gave this radio a "2" because it really needs help. Simplify it or add some concentric controls or hidden controls so that we can get to all of the great capabilities it has.

An FT450 / 450AT / 450D could be great for you if you only want to operate one band and one mode all of the time, and don;t want to make many adjustments, but the menus could drive you crazy if you want to operate this like a normal radio that has lots of knobs for easily making the normal adjustments amateurs make when operating HF or 6m. The CW filters look like an improvement, but you will find yourself doing 5 or 6 key presses to go from one function to another while operating, and there is no way to mentally retain all of the steps and other information. Search the book. Maybe I am not too smart. The U-tube reviewer did not mention that it has no full break-in (QSK) for CW. The antenna tuner is one of the easier things to use. I liked that.

It is great that it has voice recording function. I never found that. Great that it has a beacon mode. News to me. I never found that either. Search the book. Trust me it is not easy to work with this radio's menu system. You must frequently search through the book and follow multiple steps to adjust most things, and by then the DX station is long gone!

The mode buttons are nice, sure, but there are a lot of functions, and I do mean a lot, with no control. You lose a lot of functionality without these controls. I found myself spending most of my radio time looking up settings and things in the book. Your mileage may vary, but I do not recommend this radio.

Sorry but the third order imd dynamic range being improved by 9 db or 11 db does not keep this radio from driving me nuts. Very stressful to operate. Don't expect armchair copy. For me it was straight jacket copy, unless you only want to adjust the RF Gain, AF Gain, main tuning and on-off switch. I sold mine. Your mileage may vary. I know some will disagree with me if they use the radio for different purposes than I did and I understand. There is something to like about every radio and this one has its positives.

Here is the cheery review on the tube:
G4IJE Rating: 5/5 Jan 29, 2013 11:28 Send this review to a friend
Great bang for the buck!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have the "plain vanilla" FT-450 and use it mainly on SSTV. It handles the high duty cycle easily. With a Rigblaster or equivalent it should be good on all digi-modes. I just added a bail-stand (the one from Martin Lynch in the UK - I'm sure equivalents are available elsewhere) and it really makes a difference. Personally, I'd like a 6dB stepped attenuator rather than just on or off but I'm really nitpicking. A great radio!
KB9ZTF Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2012 16:29 Send this review to a friend
still a great rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
well I have own this rig now for 5 years and thought i would update what I wrote 5 years or so back and I still love this rig and its still works as good as it did back when I bought it not one problem with this rig and still happy with the way it preforms for the price and all the features you get one hell of a rig and hook it up to hrd and its a even better rig with out all the menu's there are a lot of new rigs out there and the cost is some what more although for the cost of the 450 and what you get you still cant beat this rig as far as the new 450d it still the same rig with some miner differences well I hope to write again on this rig in another 5 years but for now its still working great 73
AD9Z Rating: 5/5 Sep 16, 2012 06:29 Send this review to a friend
I love it!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have owned quite a few nice rigs, this for being in a small package is as good as it gets. I work SSB, as well as CW and it works great. If you want a good transceiver that doesn't break the bank, this is it!
M0HDX Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2012 12:13 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic  Time owned: more than 12 months
One of the best radios ive ever owned,Easy to operate,great on digi modes and very simple to set up,fantastic dsp and i ALWAYS get outstanding audio reports using the standard stock microphone.
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