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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Yaesu FT-221R Help


Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-221R
Yaesu FT-221R Reviews: 12 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $750.00
Description: 2m all mode 10W base transceiver with built in power supply.
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.foxtango.org
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VA3UMA Rating: 5/5 Aug 18, 2013 18:36 Send this review to a friend
Great build quality  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased a FT-221RD some years back, and immediately realized that there was more to this beauty than just 2m. What a well-built rig. I definitely wanted to use it on HF-SSB/CW.
Matter of fact, 2m operation is not convenient with the current trend in 2m repeater access. Yes, we do have the after-market pre-amp mod, PL-tone mod, etc…

I use my FT-221R mainly on HF with the Tokyo Hy-Power HX-240 Transverter – with excellent results.
Replacing the stock-lamps is not easy – if you want to retain originality.
Although my main rig is a FT-ONE, I spend more time using the FT-221R on HF SSB/CW.
 
G8MOB Rating: 5/5 Jun 18, 2011 06:35 Send this review to a friend
Excellent old 2 Metre transceiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I share the other reviewers' enthusiasm for this excellent old multi-mode 2 Metre transceiver. I have owned mine from new and have never regretted the purchase.
I bought it in about 1978 from the shop in West London where it had been the demo model, the last one left, so I negotiated a decent discount.
It seemed a bit deaf and I purchased a 2 metre Deltec pre-amp, fitted it as per a modification note in the RSARS edition of "Mercury" for July 1978 and things livened up.
A year or two later I heard of the muTek replacement front-end board, I fitted one and disconnected the pre-amp. (The proper place for a pre-amp is up near the aerial, otherwise with a decent front-end all you achieve is increased noise and intermodulation products!)
My muTek board seemed poor and I sent it back to muTek. They promptly realigned it free of charge and all has been well even after 31 years. Chris Bartram, we owe you a big debt of gratitude.
My measurements in 2007 at 144.3 MHz in USB mode using an HP6840B genie, a Suhner 10dB fixed attenuator, a Marconi TF893C audio wattmeter and decent Suhner double-screened RG223 coax to minimise external pick-up gave an MDS of -138.5dBm. The image rejection was 108.5dB and IF rejection was was 73.5dB. Using a TF1106 the noise figure was about 2.3 - 2.5dB.
I didn't have a sufficiently stable second genie to measure IM and blocking.
FM TX output into a Marconi TF1152A/1 UHF wattmeter was 16.5 watts and virtually the same using a Bird Thruline.
Most of us could live with these figures!
On the air I have nothing but praise for the clean crisp reception even close in to strong locals. One station mentioned that 221s can be prone to some FM on the VFO and that Yaesu had to make mods to the replacement FT225 to cure this, but I have never noticed this issue with other stations using the 221R.
The only problems have been intermittent contacts with the band and mode switches but that's oxidation, insufficient use and old age, and a squirt of "Servisol" sorted things. The other was slight drift of the calibration oscillator, but after umpteen years that's to be expected. This is when a Racal-Dana 9475 rubidium standard comes in handy.
Overall the FT-221R's a dream radio to use. The knobs are a sensible size, well spaced apart and the analogue dial is dead easy to use. The tuning mechanism has maintained its original silky smoothness. You have to remember to recalibrate the dial when changing modes but that's hardly crucifixion. Wait till you have to find a station with an ancient AR88 and a BC221!
Servicing is straightforward thanks to the many access points and the excellent manual. There is not a microprocessor to complicate things and to generate a spectrum of nasties. The only nasties here come from my neighbours' plasma TVs and other gadgets.
Improvements - well, you need the muTek board for sure. I'd have replaced the SO239 connector with a decent silver-plated N Type from Greenpar or Amphenol (a direct hole-for-hole fit) 'cos I hate PL259s/SO239s, and the dodgy miniature "Jones" type power connector with a modern IEC. Otherwise leave well alone and enjoy. Alas, 2 Metres activity around my part of SW London is mostly pretty thin and often seems to involve foul language or discussions of ill-health or gardening. Back in the 80s things were so different.
 
WD4AB Rating: 5/5 Jan 20, 2011 19:48 Send this review to a friend
Oldie but Goodie!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Owned it since 2000. Mutek front end fitted. The Mutek board really wakes this baby up. This radio out guns my TS 2000, my TS 711-A and all my other vhf ssb rigs. Audio reports are beastly and it really pulls in the weak ones. She drives my amplifiers in style. Still use it daily. It is built like a tank and will likely out live all my other rigs.
 
PA2RU Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2011 10:26 Send this review to a friend
Nice oldy!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own this 1 for more then 7 years and i love it!!
No mutek on board but the previous owner did 1 simple modification : replaced two fets on the rxrf board (pb-1456)

Q02 (2sk19gr) is replaced for a j310
Q01 (3sk51) is replaced for a bf900
After this mod is the receiver in the 221r like my ft225rd with mutek!

73 Rene PA2RU
 
PE2PE Rating: 5/5 Oct 9, 2006 10:52 Send this review to a friend
a very good oldie  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own this radio from 1977, bought it new.
I fitted the Mutek frontend and did the variable power output modification (I replaced the channel switch for the power control potmeter so I can control power from the frontside).
Also the digital readout display has been added.
As microphone I use the Yaesu MD-1.
With this rig I drive my lineair and are still able to work all the DX I hear, also in WSJT - allthough the rig needs about 45 min. for warming up (maximum frequencystability).
2 times a year I miss the 2nd VFO......
I am still happy with this radio!

Freek - PE2PE
 
WB5RPU Rating: 4/5 Jun 28, 2006 21:55 Send this review to a friend
Superb  Time owned: more than 12 months
Very hardy rig. I bought mine new in the late 70's for $750. It doesn't have the CTCSS tones required nowadays and only works repeater split in the upper portion of the band, but mods are available for the repeater split deficiency and CTCSS tone boards are also available. I use mine for SSB and simplex locally and have had several older hams tell me they wish they had purchased the rig when it first came out. Put a linear on this baby and you can fight with the big guns on 2M SSB when the band opens up.

Pete
WB5RPU
Kempner, Texas
WB5RPU@ARRL.NET
 
GM8LNH Rating: 5/5 Aug 3, 2004 06:43 Send this review to a friend
Brilliant Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
Owned from new since 1976. Mutek front end fitted and variable power output mod done. The Mutek board is a must, was deaf as a post before, superb since. Varying the power out very useful for transverters, linears etc and for QRP work takes it down to 1W.
Still in use as main VHF rig even now, have a FT290 for portability but it is not as good as the 221!
 
G8NXD Rating: 5/5 Oct 4, 2002 05:05 Send this review to a friend
Awesome rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've used an FT-221r for a number of years for RTTY and Packet. Mine is fitted with Mutek's replacement front-end which lifted this rig from good to awesome. Especially good for contests with analog VFO/MIX the oscillator noise is very low.
My only gripe is its size and weight. A slight problem when running it in a car is that the supply volts cause a quite large swing of RF output however when used as a base station I doubt there is any rig which will out perform it.
 
N9HNO Rating: 4/5 May 19, 2002 09:59 Send this review to a friend
NICE RIG FOR THE MONEY  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I PURCHASED MY FT 221FROM A FELLOW HAM FROM NEVADA,I PAID 400.00 DOLLARS AND IT CAME WITH ORIGINAL HAND MIC AND THE YC221 DISPLAY.THE RADIO WORK GREAT AND MY ONLY COMPLAINT IS THAT THE WATTAGE OUTPUT IS LOW,BUT I UNDERSTAND THAT THE RADIO WAS DESIGNED TO WORK WITH 10 WATTS OUT ON SSB.OTHER THAN THAT THE RADIO HAS A GREAT RECIVE AND IVE WORKED MANY STATIONS ON SSB AND ALL SIGNAL REPORTS WERE GOOD.IM IN NEED OF A MANUAL FOR IT AND A COPY WOULD BE OK.IM WILLING TO PAY A FAIR PRICE FOR ONE .THANKS AND MANY HAPPY HOURS OF DX'ING.N9HNO> NICK.>= NICKN9HNO@YAHOO.COM
 
KQ6EH Rating: 5/5 Apr 14, 2002 14:30 Send this review to a friend
Great SSB Radio But Not Great For Repeater Use  Time owned: more than 12 months
I picked my FT-221R up from the local Amateur Radio Club. It works great. I use it mostly on SSB. My big quarm with this radio is that it will not do the 600kHz split for all repeaters. In that it only allows you to use your +/- 600kHz split from 146.500 147.500 which is really a bummer. Again, not allowing you to work all repeaters. I have tried to search out a mod for this, but am unable to find one. If someone comes across one, I'd like to know abou it.

Paul Metzger
KQ6EH
 
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