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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Yaesu FT-301 series Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-301 series
Yaesu FT-301 series Reviews: 16 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $935 (When new for 301S/D per Oct
Description: Introduced in 1976 -- first solid-state 100 Watt HF Rig.
Product is not in production.
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VA3UMA Rating: 5/5 Dec 18, 2016 00:21 Send this review to a friend
What a lovely rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my 3rd FT-301D in 6 years. All are in good working condition. Gave away the first to a close pal, have the second one in my vacation home/shack, and was missing it! So, purchased this 3rd set last week. Came with FP-301D, FV-301, CW filter, and the stock mic.
I had replaced the display boards in the first two (search for my call on youtube for those videos). This one has the original display in mint condition from an estate sale.
Yes, this rig does not have all the bells and whistles, but RX/TX quality is good, and it is easy to operate. Besides, it looks good!
I have the other classics of that era FT-101ZDMK3, FT-902DM, FT-ONE HF rigs to compare, and a matching FT-221R VHF rig.
Despite not having an IF shift (among others), these rigs are value for money, easy to repair, and superb build quality. Display was a problem, but we have replacements available now, so, not an issue. The built-in RF speech processor is one of the best Ive seen/used.
If you are looking for a 70s all solid-state classic with an affordable price tag, then this is the rig!
K4SUE Rating: 5/5 Nov 9, 2015 16:41 Send this review to a friend
FT-301D updated  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Updated review - Owned both the 301 and 301D back in '78. I can't remember why I sold them, but nostalgia got the best of me lately and I bought a 301D and FP301. Biggest complaint I see on the boards is VFO drift and mine certainly had the problem. But careful adjustment of the temperature compensating trimmer TC801 brought the rig back to spec. Now 200 hz drift in an hour might nave been OK in the 70s, but it doesn't hack it today. So I installed the K4DPK VFO stabilizer and she's rock stable. A very pleasant rig to operate - not an FT1000MP by any means - but a very sensitive receiver and a lot of analog fun!
I'd have rated it a 5 in 1978, a 4 without the stabilization.
Updated - 11/9/2015 - added the Elcon EL-31 replacement display. This is a drop in replacement for the Display-Logic unit PB1542. Uses modern components to update the frequency readout. Adds other functions such as power supply voltage display, variable brightness, selectable 10hz/100hz resolution and ability to download and install software updates. It's a kit, with a thru hole board (so no surface mounted parts), and a simple calibrate and install. Well worth the investment.
PY4SD Rating: 5/5 Sep 27, 2013 11:27 Send this review to a friend
FT-301 impressions  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought a complete line of FT301D. I was not expecting much from it and that was a really great surprise. The rig itself and external VFO Works with incredible stability. After the realign maintenance, wow!, it Works great. The reception isnt so sensible than the FT-101 and 901DM that I had before and sure, less sensible than the modern rigs. The analysis must be performed with eyes that keeps the focus over another era. The FTV-301 tuner also is great. No demerits for the line accessories at all. That is my preferred for rag chew. Sure, for DX and digital modes, I prefer the new ones, micro processed, but if necessary, The FT-301D accomplishes the mission without major matters.
KE4AMQ Rating: 5/5 Aug 27, 2012 19:22 Send this review to a friend
nice vintage rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
KF2IB Rating: 5/5 Mar 14, 2012 18:19 Send this review to a friend
A modern solid state analog boatanchor!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have a FT- 301 with ps/speaker. I love it! I call it a modern boatanchor. great audio & receive! I'm using a D-104/TUP-9. I've been leaving the processor off. I'm just a rag chewer so it's all the radio I ever need. I bought it for less than 200.00. I put more money into my antenna system.
JA1ML Rating: 5/5 Jun 19, 2010 17:31 Send this review to a friend
Nice old transceiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
Still have my first rig FT-301, display has some problems but unit sitll works great. Nice old rig, fun to use. Also belong to the users group.

W2SI Rating: 5/5 Oct 30, 2008 22:18 Send this review to a friend
A great rig for its time  Time owned: more than 12 months
The FT-301 was my first SSB rig, bought in 1977 not long after it first came out. Before that I used an array of boat anchors that my Elmers sold to me dirt cheap to get rid of them (and which I wish I still had), mostly on 80 and 40M CW.

Originally I wanted to get a Ten-Tec Argonaut and work SSB QRP, but a salesman at AES talked me into buying an FT-301SD (digital display, 20W PEP). I quickly discovered that a small-lot dipole did not work very well with only 20W, so I purchased the Yaesu external solid-state linear (this was before the CB'ers killed any 10M linears).

I used this rig for about 15 years until I did something stupid and fried it (don't ask). I never had any intermod problems, mainly because there were no nearby hams, and used it for CW and SSB DXing on all bands, feeding a longwire and a Mor-Gain 5 band dipole through the 301 antenna tuner that I picked up at a ham store in Phoenix, AZ on a business trip.

It always worked well for me and did anything I asked of it. The external linear got pretty hot when contesting but I stuck a muffin fan on top of the heat sink and that helped considerably. The notch filter was great for killing broadcast carriers on 40M CW, and the noise blanker worked well. I'm currently using a TS-520 and an FT-757GX, but if I ever saw an FT-301 at a hamfest in good condition I'd be pretty tempted.
NU0R Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2008 07:10 Send this review to a friend
Great Receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I acquired my 301S from a gentleman who had given up radio to pursue other interests. It just sat on the bench for a long time and finally I got around to trying it out. WOW! Boy was I ever surprised. I have 7 HF radios and my newest is the Icom 746Pro. The receiver on this radio is excellent. I have never heard such clear audio from any HF rig. I am able to make lots of contacts even though the 301S only puts out 10 watts P.E.P. I always receive great audio reports. If the other staion is S9 I will usually receive and S6 or S7 report. I definately plan to keep this radio. It is in mint condition. This is my first venture into QRP radio and I think I may already be hooked. If you get a chance to get a 301S in good shape then I would definately grab ahold of it as it is a keeper! NU0R
SM6VJA Rating: 3/5 Apr 3, 2007 07:53 Send this review to a friend
Good beginners radio!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The FT-301s (QRP-version) was my first and only rig for 12 years. Ive had loads of fun with it and it has given me more than 310 DXCC countries over the years. The quality is good, nothing has broken down, except the dial-lamp. You shall not need FM or WARC-bands if you buy one.

The negative thing about the receiver is that it suffers very badly of overloading, mainly on the 40 meter band. The RF-amp can not be bypassed or switched off separately. When the whole worlds BC-stations nearly blow the radio into ashes, the only cure is to reduce the RF-gain and crank up the volume. And the RF-gain must be reduced A-LOT!!! When this is done you can again hear the HAM-stations, but that weak station you wanted to hear may now be burried in noise because of the huge gain-reduction. So, dont use more RF-gain than necessary.

I think this model was launched in 1976 as "the first all-solid-state-rig in the world". Anything containing "MOS-FET" and "ALL SOLID-STATE" was hot stuff. Somewhere in that process YAESU got blinded by this and forgot about the limitations of semiconductors.

If you want to improve the intermod-performance of the rig, and know how to do such things, here is a suggestion of what to do (its what I did):

- Get rid of the Dual-gate FET-mixer in the front end. The performance of this solution is far from good enough for shortwave operation. Replace with, or re-configure it to a FET-buffer to bring down the impedance from the pre-selector. Connect a diode-ring -mixer (SBL-1, JMS-1 or similar) between the FET and the IF-board.

- Add a switchable 20-30 dB attenuator where the received signal goes into the pre-selector.
Now the receiver works much better. Still you may have to reduce the RF-gain a little some times.

I rate this radio 3 or minus 3. Its a straight forward ALL-SOLID-STATE -classic that still gives you pleasure on the HF-bands.
NC9K Rating: 5/5 Feb 29, 2004 01:54 Send this review to a friend
Rugged all around tranceiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
My FT-301S was given to me by my brother as a gift Fall 1983. I was working at Northrop DSD as an Advanced Technology Dept. design EE at the time. Our dept. had a number of Ham operators and they encouraged me to study for a Ham license. (I had already gotten my First Phone with radar in 1976.) Anyway, I plugged a length of wire into the antenna input and learned to copy code off the FT-301S on 80 and 160M. I took the FCC exams in downtown Chicago Dec 1983 and received the call NC9K.

Now that it was legal for me to transmit, I got "serious" about this 10 watt rig. I put up a fan dipole for 160M and worked CW from coast to coast. The receiver was excellent because of the inductively tuned pre-selector front end.

Eventually I decided to run the FT-301S mobile so I designed and built a 12V 300W 160-10M amp and plugged it in on the back. I ran it through one of my homemade antenna tuners into an 11 ft. spring loaded whip on the back bumber of my Chevette, using the RF speech processor when needed. I was able to consistently work 20M SSB stations up and down the Ivory Coast while driving on the Tollway system around Chicago! This alone is a testimony to the quality of the receiver and the stability of the VFO.

I have listened to a number of "modern" rigs, and up until the recent crop their phase noise and digital display internal QRM made their receivers inferior to the FT-301's clean analog design.

I still have this FT-301S and am restoring it for fulltime use again. All I need now is a good top cover for it (my cover was damaged when I had it off the radio and it was accidentally bent).

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