- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Yaesu FT-690RII Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-690RII
Yaesu FT-690RII Reviews: 10 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $728.95
Description: 6M All-Mode Transceiver
Product is not in production.
(Web site missing—add URL)
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Yaesu FT-690RII.

W3TWG Rating: 5/5 Feb 21, 2012 21:47 Send this review to a friend
Still going strong!  Time owned: more than 12 months
There is no downside to this radio! It took me 18 months and three different radios to get the setup I have now. Far as I can tell, it's an early model RII with the speaker on the correct side for an R. The tone board is also not like the others that I had inthat the switch position doesn't match the manual. But every aspect of the radio works as it was built to. The green glow is perfect in the dark, the 10w w/the amp is perfect for QSOs and repeaters in about the 25 mile range with a marginal antenna, and the tx audio is remarkable by everyone that hears it - the BEST point of the whole radio!
My rig has the original telescopic antenna and mic, the FNB-8 battery pack, the clip on amp and the mobile bracket. I have a car power port adapter to plug into the battery pack and save the batteries, and a small case that holds everything including the manual. It's a daily used go radio.
A month ago I aquired a Teletec DXP-L180 amp that has a 180w output with 10 in. The whole thing is so versatile now and a joy to own and operate. If you ever get the chance, pick one up, you won't regret it!
KB0HAE Rating: 4/5 Feb 19, 2011 19:20 Send this review to a friend
Good 6M single band radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Nice single band 6M radio. Good RX and TX audio. I give it a 4.5 out of 5. Great value for the $$$. This radio will get you on 6M without breaking the bank. I would give it a 5 but the frequency steps are a little odd until you figure them out. No DSP or extra filters, but I don't miss them on this radio. I might get the 2M version if I find one withe very rare FNB-8 battery pack. Until then this is the only Yaesu radio in my otherwise all Kenwood shack.
KC0BIN Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2011 06:19 Send this review to a friend
A Classic  Time owned: more than 12 months
The op-amp Era technology of this rig cannot compete with today's DSP, etc., but this radio will get you and keep you on the Magic Band in 3 modes. What the FT-690RII can boast over all the other 6m rigs before and since is simplicity, longevity and proven rugged reliability. This rig can withstand hardship and adverse environments far beyond what would be fatal to those "fancy-pants DC-to-Daylight multimode rigs" which seem to feature 6m almost as an afterthought. WB2AMU, who worked for years in reliability electronics testing, can make an incontrovertible case for the dash 690RII's toughness. (see his review in his book Six Meters!)
For 6m mountaintopping/backpacking, this rig never did have an equal. You can "push it to the envelope" without worry. I use my FT-690RII on extended backpacking trips to the "deep dark woods", equipped with a small AGM 12V battery carried in my pack and a tree-hung long wire antenna. It just may save my life some day, as 6m is THE band for getting through second-growth forest. That's why our military used 6m for so long for tactical comms.
As a Repeater rig, though, it's primitive; it's extremely clumsy if you want to hit more than one machine with a PL tone, as you have to tweak dip switches on the FTS-7A Tone Squelch Unit to program the required tone. This unit lies under an access plate in the rear. Not exactly my idea of efficiency! I have a baleful opinion of most 6m repeaters RX anyway, so I for one don't count that against this rig.
As a SSB & CW Base radio, treat yourself to a TE Systems amp (and pre-amp), a 3-plus element beam and get on the Magic Band in Classic style!!
If you ever run across this rig for sale, why not give it a try? Snap it up, as they've been far from common in the last 5 years or so. We dedicated Magic Band ops will welcome you, and with a good Es opening you'll very soon discover the "Magic" of this band!!
NM2K Rating: 5/5 Feb 16, 2009 14:49 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic rig for its day  Time owned: more than 12 months
It took me six years to catch up with this rig from the time I actually fell in love with it and tried to buy one. "My rig" at the ham shop where I worked part time, was packed up and taken to the Dayton Ham Fest, where it was sold for less than I, as a store employee, was going to pay for it.

It does everything well. The only thing that I miss that a modern rig possesses is a programmable squelch tone encoder. The optional unit that I bought is programmable for only one tone frequency. Other than that, it has been very reliable with a good receiver (for its day) and good sounding audio on Tx and Rx. I've had this one for 16 years.
WB5ITT Rating: 4/5 Jul 24, 2008 14:55 Send this review to a friend
OK for a 10yr+ old rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
No AM (possibly could unbalance the balanced mod on LSB since noone uses that mode on 6)...Noise Blanker works GREAT on SSB but you HAVE to turn it OFF on FM...actually degrades the signal..(typical JapRadios...NONE of the ham version have a NB that works right in the FM mode..yet my Midland LMR SyntechII or XTRs with NBs, made in Japan, runs rings around GE or Motorola lowband with their NB....go figure!!) I was surprised to see the NB actually HURT a FM quality AND signal strength..ehhh minor issue...Bought mine used..SSB is off by 600hz/FM is on freq..easy to fix with my R2670 service monitor :) Audio is clean, good receiver while mobile testing..may look at updating it with better preamp. All in all a nice rig...only paid $200...I hope to get a 2m version and run both in one company van has the FT857D in it.
NE0P Rating: 3/5 Apr 29, 2004 14:24 Send this review to a friend
Some nice updates  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This rig did have some nice updates over the FTG690R:
1. A 10 watt amp that could be run off of 12 volts. You unclipped the battery case and clipped on the amp instead. Nice to have this higher power option over the 2.5 watts the batteries gave.

2. Squelch works on all modes. On the 690R it only worked on FM. This will allow you to monitor the calling frequency on SSB and keep the rig squelched until the band opens.

However, the receiver on this radio is less than outstanding. During one of our local nets, I could hear other local stations 40khz away from net frequency. Also, I wish that the batteries could be kept internal, and just clip the amp on and off as needed. And if you clip on the amp, then the BNC antenna connector on the front is turned off. There are situations where that jack would be more convenient than the SO239 on the rear. And their might be times where you want to use the 1/4 wave telescoping antenna (which is not built into the radio) with a 12 volt source for higher power.

Still a decent way to get into 6 meters or to get a portable battery operated radio for 6.

KC8LGL Rating: 4/5 Jan 3, 2004 15:41 Send this review to a friend
Nice mobile UNIT  Time owned: more than 12 months
Not a bad unit for the mobile or on battry power for the backyard ot mountaintopping. Rx. is not the greatest, but with a small brick/preamp, it's O.K.
Was able to work a nice tropo. opening mobile using 25w. and a M2 Loop for a distance of 520+ miles.
A shame there aren't many rigs like this left to buy other that the multi rigs.
N2SQV Rating: 4/5 Nov 13, 2002 13:06 Send this review to a friend
Good 6M Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my 690 for 6 years now and have had a lot of fun with it. I mostly operate it in a base configuration with the clamp-on 10 watt amplifier driving a Mirage brick and 3-element beam. I have worked a least 7 countries with this set up and the most memorable was when I worked Ireland (from upstate NY) with 10 watts. The very few times I've used it mobile, I found the noise blanker to be very effective in blanking out ignition noise (especially on SSB). The lights burned out at 4 years and I replaced them with LED's. I use an amplified dynamic microphone on SSB and the supplied electric condenser on FM (audio with the supplied condenser mic on SSB was weak and muffled but works fine on FM). Also, I have the Yaesu PL tone board to access some of the repeaters (works fine). Any strong stations that are 7 KHz or closer will overload the receiver (lots of splatter). I have never owned any other 6M transcievers and therefore can't compair to anything else. I prefer single band radios (less things to go wrong) and that was one of the reasons why I purchased this model. The only problems I've had are the ones listed. I do not plan on letting this radio go any time soon.
KC4CQS Rating: 4/5 May 16, 2001 10:23 Send this review to a friend
Good Portable  Time owned: more than 12 months
Sensitive Receiver, Good battery life especially
on c-size nickel metal hydride batteries. It's
portable. Sure it has a click detent VFO and it's
not as fast to tune as an FT-817 but it's quite
a bit older, at least 10 year old technology. Stilla fun mountain topping rig or just out on
the patio. I've worked many grids with just the
telescopic antenna and about 3 watts. To me that's
fun. 73
K3AN Rating: 3/5 May 19, 2000 09:18 Send this review to a friend
Fine For Hilltopping  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this and the companion '290MkII for hilltopping during VHF contests and also for Field Day from our group's mountaintop location. They are ok for this use, with their low battery drain and small size. The only real annoyance is the clumsy way you have to tune the bands during a contest. These radios have a "click stop" tuning dial and 3 tuning rates that you step through by pressing a tuning step button. You tune at a relatively fast speed, and when you come across a station, you press the tuning step button twice to select a reasonable step rate to tune him in. If it's a station you've already worked, you push the tuning step button once more to get the fast rate. This gets old pretty fast, especially after you've worked most of the stations you're hearing. I think these radios were way overpriced when new; I bought my 690 and 290 used and was able to sell them both for about what I paid.

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.