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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Yaesu FT-401B Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-401B
Yaesu FT-401B Reviews: 10 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $499
Description: Mostly valves, 200-250 W output, builtin PS, 80-10 m
Product is not in production.
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WA2SFT Rating: 5/5 Mar 10, 2014 20:28 Send this review to a friend
Great Classic!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was my 1st SSB rig back in the mid-1970's. It "took a kicking and kept on ticking". The only major drawback was that the relay would get dirty contacts that caused the radio to fail both transmit and receive. In the winter months (up north) the 20+ tubes would keep the room hot!
VA3DTP Rating: 3/5 Mar 19, 2011 18:48 Send this review to a friend
Restoring the Radio.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just purchased this 1970's vintage boat anchor from a local ham fest. Looking at restoring the unit over the next year. Radio was in excellent condition, and showed no visible internal signs of any modifications. Finding information on the Yaesu 400 Series radios (operational and service manuals) was time consuming, but have them now. All (20) tubes can be easily found now from many tube warehouses available on the internet.
I'll update this in the future.
WI0T Rating: 3/5 Jun 27, 2005 14:09 Send this review to a friend
Mediocre in it's day  Time owned: more than 12 months
Aside from the high power, this radio is nothing
to write home about. I bought mine in 1976 and a
Kenwood TS-520 would have been a better buy.


High power.


1) 60+ volts on the key, Relay would get
dirty and that voltage would drive
some electric keyers nuts...

2) 6KD6 finals (2), 33w plate dissipation =
66w total. With 560 W PEP input, 50%
efficency, over 200 watts in heat... big
fan to keep these tubes cool.

3) Lots of tubes, and an expensive balanced
modulator tube. If I recall correctly only the
VFO was solid state. It had something like 26
tubes in it (TS-520 had 3).

4) No built in speaker. I added one to mine.

All in all, okay. Of course hindsight is 20/20...

73, Rod
N3RIK Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2004 21:56 Send this review to a friend
Nice!  Time owned: more than 12 months
For me, the rig has been a economical way to learn about vacuum tube radios......Schematic and users manual have been very useful. Getting one of these working right is a worthwhile activity. The RX is very nice - really like the preselector/RF gain controls. Have received good comments on TX audio as well. Finding and collecting the accesories is fun and a challenge. Shack starts getting big when one starts adding the accesories (FTV 650, FV-401, matching speakers and a fldx2000 amp)
AG4T Rating: 5/5 Nov 26, 2002 21:56 Send this review to a friend
Extraordinary  Time owned: months
The Ft-401B was my first brand new rig bought in 1974. Up to that time I had been using separate transmitters and receivers. Moving up to a transceiver like the 401B was fantastic. I still own my Ft-401B line. It is made up of the external VFO, Speaker/Patch, and 6 meter Transverter. In all this years all I have done is replace the finals, but not because it needed it, but I thought it was "about time." This rig has never broken down and it even made a trip up to the Andorra (C31SG) for a DXPedition back in early 80's. I know own two other modern digital rigs, but the old Yaesu still holds a charm that is unequaled. I have mainly used it on 40 and 20 meters with some operation on 15. The entire line is in mint condition.
G4FMZ Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2002 17:21 Send this review to a friend
Getting Old  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had my first QSO on 21 October 1976 with my FTDX401 bought second hand for around 240. I've been off the air since March 1980 (but have kept my licence current).

Having moved to a new house with some antenna space I have slung a wire and got out the old FTDX401 complete with the cellophane covering on the front panel.

The receiver still operates as good as ever, but there is no cathode current when switched to transmit. Luckily I have kept the original handbook and all the schematics and test data I compiled in those early years.

It's probably just a sticky relay, but I have a complete set of valves (tubes to our friends in the west), so hope to get it up and running again before too long.

I'll have to keep the power down for early testing (400W PEP with bad modulation could be embarrassing).

However, the reality is that the FTDX401 will have to become part of the furniture and I will have to buy a modern rig (why have we got to have separate power supplies?).I am busy reading all the reviews.

Great Web Site


Eric G4FMZ
W5RG Rating: 5/5 Aug 9, 2001 23:02 Send this review to a friend
old days are back again  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have three of these old rigs..ftdx-400..ftdx-401..ftdx-560..Like any of the older rigs nice to look at and fun to go back in time.About 6 months ago I wanted to pick up some old gear, so loving my MP and Mark V I started with the FTDX line.I have really enjoyed working on and operating these rigs on the air.Radios have came a long way in 30-35 years.
I can recall going to the radio store back in early 70s and wanting the FTDX560.Great looking radio to me back then...but my number 2 wife didn't like the look in my eye...After 30 years I got rid of number 2 and now have the 560 and a few others..Most can still be had at good prices but I missed out on a time..73s Bob
WU6Q Rating: 4/5 Aug 9, 2001 18:33 Send this review to a friend
Classic Yaesu radios FTdx - Lots of Fun !  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Early Yaesu models, FTdx-400,560,570,401,401B to name the main ones are relatively unknown. They hit the continent in the late 60's when Collins, Hallicrafters etc. were still powerful competitors. Unlike the SWANS, Heathkits, Drake etc., which had external power supplies (for the most part), Yaesu produced these rigs with self-contained supplies. There all tubes except for the transistor VFO, Calibrator and Solid State rectifiers. When calibrated, one can read down to 1 kHz .pretty good for 1970. These radios were more expensive than the "typical" but were in line with the Drake stuff. The tubes are all common and can be found on 'ebay' for example. I would not suggest these series of rigs as a main station, today most would want some form of Solid State rig, digital read out etc., but if one is interested in radios of yester- year, these mostly rare models are a lot of fun to operate. I'd also suggest you understand tube theory a-bit, there's over 800 volts on the plate of the finals all the time .that can 'smart' if tangled with. The operation is good. The receivers are nosier than my DSP rig but I have worked some pretty weak stations. The 6KD6's are the transmitter engine .very big cathode emission, hence plenty of power. At least twice as much as today radios. You're right, thats only 3db, but it will drive the paints off an amplifier. I have received excellent reports, strength and audio (using a Sure 444). These models aren't for everyone, but it's like driving an old 'Bentley" around the block, and having your Audi in the garage. The rigs are all metal, no plastic and when in good shape, there beautiful even at night in the shack. The number 47 bulbs burn brightly from the two windows, when you bring your hand up to tune the radio the light reflects off your fingers on to the calibrated dial to tell what frequency your on. Of course in the winter your rig will keep your coffee warm. The 400 has no fans, I use a muffin fan on top with four rubber feet and a veriac to control the speed. The later models have fans mounted by the finals. I own a 400 and 401B and really enjoy getting them on the air, most folks I talk to don't even know what they are. It is a piece of Yaesu history when the American guy's were on top, little did we know .73
JAMES_BENEDICT_EX_N8FVJ Rating: 4/5 Dec 23, 2000 22:14 Send this review to a friend
Good performer  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The FT-401B operates 80 thru 10 meters with a 500 watts PEP SSB, 440 watts CW and 125 watts AM input. The finals are a pair of 6KD6 sweep tubes. Thr receiver is rated .5uv sensitivity for 20db S/N ratio. Selectivity is 2.3Khz at -6db using a mechanical filter (not Collins). Functions include VOX, RIT, semi break-in with CW sidetone, 25 and 100hz calibrators, VFO or four xtal controlled positions. This is a large heavy radio weighing about 50 lbs. The exterior appears to be a cast aluminum front panel and trim with a steel case and removable top cover. The underside of the interior chassis is full of various parts. Looks disorganized, must have been a difficult production item requiring a lot of discipline! After my radio broke, I decided to pass it on to RTO for repair. To their credit, RTO fixed the radio. I have known others to breakdowm as well. The 6BM8 audio output tube among others operates very hot. I installed some tube coolers in this radio. The receiver is sensitive and selective. The 25khz calibrator is handy. The outer ring of the tuning knob includes a scale that can be rotated for calibrated readout while holding the knob in place. The radio will output up to 300 watts PEP. The final section looks like half of a sweep tube amp common a few years ago. The power transformer is large thus up to the task! I believe the FT-101 series are better radios, but this radio has a much better exterior appearance. I can not state this is a poor performer, but would rather have other radios such as Drake, some National or even pc board Heathkits. An article from Electric Radio magazine goes into much more detail than I. The article may be the only SSB, non US manufacture radio allowed in Barrys' publication. This radio simply looks impressive and almost imposing like a IC-765.
K7AXE Rating: 4/5 Jul 29, 2000 02:45 Send this review to a friend
Nice tranceiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have only owned it a short time but it has great receive and almost 200 watts output! Good signal reports. Very nice looking radio. Uses a pair of 6KD6 finals.

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