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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Yaesu FT-301 series Help


Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-301 series
Yaesu FT-301 series Reviews: 14 Average rating: 4.6/5 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.
More info: http://www.foxtango.org
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N3IJW Rating: 4/5 May 5, 2003 09:08 Send this review to a friend
My first solid state rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned an FT-301AD (digital, 100W) for about 15 years. Been inactive for most of that time but the 301 was a nice step up from my previous rig, a Tempo One (another great rig in it's own right).

There really isn't a whole lot to complain about regarding this machine. VFO drift is a little excessive at power-on but it settles down after 30-60 minutes. There were some digital units that had problems with the LED displays overheating and losing elements, but that is a relatively easy repair, and I haven't encountered that problem yet (the LED does indeed run quite warm). When I first got the rig, it would oscillate on TX, a quick trip to a local Yaesu tech fixed it and to date it has been solid.

I could do without the needlessly complicated 12 volt power connector. I just pulled the 301 out of storage this weekend, and I haven't the slightest idea where the power cable is, so I am SOL until I figure out what type of connector it is and where I can get a replacement.

Overall, an easy rig to run. It looks great, was ahead of its time, has a good receiver, and frankly I can't think of any reason to sell it.

Four out of five, keeping its vintage in mind.
 
K9LDW Rating: 4/5 Nov 29, 2001 11:44 Send this review to a friend
Neat rig with a little age  Time owned: more than 12 months
Though it's been years, I have owned two FT-301's. They came in full (100W) and QRP (10W) versions, designated with the "S" suffix.
I have had an FT-301S (analog dial and 10W)
and an FT-301AD (analog, 100W). They had others that used a red LED display instead of the analog (drum and disc) dials.

I enjoyed the rig a lot - being all-solid state.it was my first real HF radio. The need to "peak" or "tune" the preselector (and hence RF final) was not a problem - I usually did it by ear and didn't need to check the RF out to verify my settings.

I also had the companion FV-301 external VFO but did little with it - really didn't need to do split ops often.

It did have a serious birdie somewhere in the 10M band but not bad otherwise. It seemed reasonably selective and I always had good audio from it. I often used an external and (slightly) preamplified desk mic rather than the stock hand mic.

It was a bit too big for mobile use and didn't have any fancy tuning (and no memories since a generation too old for that).

Overall I was happy with it for it's time. Now I use other features that no radios had then - like band stacking registers (band edge memroies - great for mobile to stay in band while tuning around and driving).

It's not a bad "extra" rig - and good for lending to schools for inotro classes, etc.
 
KD7LSE Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2001 23:42 Send this review to a friend
Great bang for the buck  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I puchased my FT-301-S, with analog frequency display, just prior to returning to amateur radio after a 20+ year hiatus. A friend was selling it for a silent key's daughter. I actually didn't know it was a QRP rig until I had purchased it! There just aren't many of them around and I couldn't find any information on it. I gambled and won big. I have been acive since January and my WAS total is 36 and DXCC total is 35. All this with a tri-band dipole and 20 - 50 watts output with the 301-S. I attached a broadband 50 watt amplifier where the amp goes on the full power (100 Watts) FT-301. Without the amplifier, it puts out a solid 10 watts DC.
I get many compliments on the audio quality, which is always nice to hear. Having come from the earlier days of amatuer radio, I have always had to "load up" when changing bands, so "no-tune" band switching isn't really an issue for me. The VFO is rock solid, the notch filter is crisp and the tuning is solid and backlash free. This little rig, in my opinion, is every bit as good as my old Drake 4-Line, and that is saying something. I just don't have to replace tubes and listen to a cooling fan!
As of this writing, I am waiting on my "new" FT-301, FV-301 and FP-301 to arrive. I won them in an auction and am VERY anxious to get this station on the air. If the full power version is as solid as the QRP version, I will be one happy ham! These rigs can occasionally be found on ebay, and I would highly recommend grabbing one, as they apparently are somewhat rare. I'm not sure if they are collectible or not. I bought mine to use, and haven't been sorry.
I will report on the full power version at a later date.
If you have any questions, I will be glad to try and answer them.
73 and gud dx.

KD7LSE
 
VK3YE Rating: 4/5 Aug 5, 2000 05:43 Send this review to a friend
A classic  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
(The following comments relate to the FT-301S, the ten watt version of the model)

This is an early all-solid state HF transceiver, perhaps overshadowed by the very popular 101 series of the time. Appearance bears a family
resemblance to the 101, though the cabinet is a
little smaller. Nevertheless the controls are
large and easy to use. This is not really a rig
for the portable QRPer seeking lightweight equipment.

The set boasts many features not found on later
budget models such as the FT-77. These include 160 metres, RF speech processor, notch filter, selectable AGC (slow, medium, fast, unfortunately not OFF) and VOX. However later rigs do have no-tune operation (the FT-301S requires peaking on each band), 10/18/24 MHz and an FM option.

Overall performance is very good. The transmit audio with the standard hand mic has always received complimentary reports. The included
RF speech processor is excellent, and introduces no audible distortion. Indeed I leave it on at all times. The audio quality on AM has also received good reports.

VFO stability is adequate, and quite in keeping with rigs of the time. If left for an hour or so on an SSB signal, it does require a small amount of retuning. This may put it at a disadvantage for digital modes or unattended voice operation via VHF/UHF remote-control links. The reviewer's unit has an analogue dial, which is large and easy to read.

I would rank receive performance as good to excellent. I prefer it to the FT-77S, though I haven't done head-to-head comparisons. The CW filter is worthwhile and works well. Front-end performance appears good, with no overloading oberved (maybe due to the front-end tuning).

The Reject control is the Rx notch filter. This reduces carriers by approximately 15 - 20dB. This is nowhere near as good as the automatic DSP notch filters on rigs like the FT-920 or the FT-847, but is still a worthwhile feature.

The noise blanker is effective on some types of impulse noise, but not others. It is certainly inferior to that of modern rigs (worth over ten times as much) such as the FT-920 and the FT-1000 MP.

What don't I like about the 301S? Not much. However, I would have preferred the headphone socket to be on the right of the front panel and be 6.5mm instead of 3.5mm. Also the Clarifier range is a bit much, and it's a bit finnicky. So is the Drive control, when trying to wind the power back.

For its time, I'd give it a 4.5 out of 5. When compared to modern sets, it's about a 3.5. If you see one for a fair price, buy it!
 
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