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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | Yaesu FTdx-5000 (including D and MP versions) Help


Reviews Summary for Yaesu FTdx-5000 (including D and MP versions)
Yaesu FTdx-5000 (including D and MP versions) Reviews: 97 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $5750 (D version)
Description: The FT dx 5000 Series HF/50 MHz 200 Watt Transceivers are a new Premium Class of Yaesu radios with 2 Independent Receivers plus many unique options and accessories designed to meet the Performance Requirements of even the most demanding serious Amateur Radio operator.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=102&encProdID=12FF98B9C73C8988F2398C979793E2E1&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0
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You can write your own review of the Yaesu FTdx-5000 (including D and MP versions).

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VE3OP Rating: 2/5 Jan 18, 2015 05:48 Send this review to a friend
OLED Problems  Time owned: more than 12 months
First, if you look at the ratings, 2 means "Needs help". Yaesu certainly does.

I won't repeat all of the wonderful features and capabilities of this radio - that has been covered in spades. This radio is still in the Top 5 hottest ham receivers ever tested, by Sherwood engineering, which is why I bought it in the first place. I generally rate the radio 10 out of 5.

Rather I will focus my review on the radio's display and Yaesu product support, particularly in support of the almighty, dreaded, certain-to-happen OLED problem.

My radio, like hundreds of others, finally succumbed to OLED failures. So far 2 out of 3. They don't affect performance, but they are sure annoying on a $7,000 radio system including all accessories.

First to credit Yaesu, a little bit. Even though technically my radio is out of warranty, they are prepared to replace any OLED that fails at no cost (value is $45 with their profit). Thank you. The first problem is with this approach, I will have to ship my beloved radio over 10,000 km return on a bouncing UPS truck. The second problem, and the same for all non-US hams, I will have to fill out a lot of customs paperwork sending and receiving. The third problem is that it will cost me over $300 to do so. The 4th problem, is that I will have to repeat problems 1-3 every time an OLED fails, because Yaesu refuses to replace all 3 at once - only the failed one(s) each time. That could mean an eventual 30,000 km trip in the back of a UPS truck, 6 border crossings, and a $900 shipping bill. To me, that suggested option belies all logic.

Apparently, the vendor I bought the radio from in Canada (Radio World) is either incapable of doing said repair work, or Yaesu won't let them.

The second option is that Yaesu will ship you an OLED free if you take photos of your failed OLED and send it to them. You can then replace it yourself. The problem with this option is that it takes 2 hours to fully disassemble the radio (following these instructions: http://www.jvgavila.com/ftdx5000_oled.htm) if you are capable. And again, Yaesu will not give you all three at once, thus requiring you to spend up to 6 hours taking your radio apart and putting it back together.

This overall approach to the OLED problem is truly unfortunate. It ignores what Yaesu's higher paying customers are asking for. I also did the math. This approach is costing Yaesu more (in administrative and repair costs, let alone lost sales and brand damage costs) than if they just repaired all 3 at once or gave each owner 3 OLEDs (or charged for all 3 at cost).

In the end Yaesu provided me with one free OLED. I had no choice but to pay for the other two (total cost of $120). I will do the swap out myself.

Yaesu did a masterful job handling early FT9000 product issues with a field recall program. Makes me wonder why they are handling this flagship radio so differently.

I still recommend that you hand over $5,000 in your hard earned dollars to Yaesu. Just make sure you have an OLED replacement strategy in mind, if they have not been fixed already.

 
N1TX Rating: 5/5 Dec 30, 2014 14:31 Send this review to a friend
Worthy among top contenders  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
We built the KL2R contest shack on a foundation of Yaesu FT-950s, one of which which has been in service for over half a dozen years. While the Elecraft vs ICOM transceiver debate raged among contesters, we quietly chipped away at building the rest of the shack infrastructure before deciding to invest again in new radios. That time has now come.

I've had a fair amount of personal experience with a variety of mid-range and high-end rigs in challenging and casual settings in the past several years. I'm not going to knock any one of them. The $1500-3000 range has some really nice choices. However, none really made me feel any change was going to net a significant step up from the FT-950. Also, since we've tried to "standardize" things in our multi-2 shack, there was more to consider beyond the basic radio features and performance. Cables, software, etc. all would require some re-work, and the contest operators would go through some learning curve. As chief engineer and bottle washer at KL2R, I strongly believe ease of integration and maintenance on the equipment are big evaluation criteria for anything new coming into the shack.

Enter the FTdx5000MP. A friend loaned the radio for testing while I considered his offer to sell it. Our first intensive experience with the new transceiver was in October during the W1AW/KL7 operations. Pileups were unbelieveable. Run, run, run, day and night, which was no sweat for the beast doing mostly CW and RTTY work during that week-long event. The 200 watts was helpful, because one of our amps was down. One could even argue the FTdx5000MP pushed some parts of our station to the limits and then some. A toasted outboard 40m bandpass filter resulted when the antenna VSWR exceeded the specification (200W ICAS @ VSWR less than 1.5:1). The W1AW portable operation was a good start with the radio. After a few more weeks of evaluations, including CQWW and ARRL Sweepstakes, I became much more familiar with the features and custom settings.

I like buttons and knobs. While the radio's front panel is intimidating, it's actually well-labelled. Take time to learn the layout, which has controls more-or-less clustered by functional group. If you do not have experience with one of its siblings, the FTdx5000MP will take a bit longer to master in terms of figuring out where things are. Ergonomics are a mixed bag here, though. Buttons and knobs both are good for large hands. The smaller three knobs to the right of the main tuning knob were initially confusing, but within five minutes of reading the manual and pressing a few buttons, I had no more concern. (One tunes VFO B, and the other two configure A and B filter settings.) My biggest ergonomic peeve is that the volume knobs for VFO A and B seem to be reversed; i.e., why do I have to turn the left knob to adjust volume in my right ear? I still get it mixed up at times.

As others have cited, the audio is just brilliant and doesn't wear you out with harshness, whether through headphones or the Station Monitor speakers, especially on voice. DSP filters can often deliver unpleasant artifacts. The default settings of the IF filters were markedly cleaner-sounding than those on the FT-950. In fact, while you really need to engage the FT-950's peak filter for CW to clean up the audio, it is simply not needed under most circumstances with the FTdx5k. Even super-narrow filters like 100 and 50 Hz do not suffer from terribly notorious ringing. Also, the ability to tailor the filter rolloff characteristics on the new radio makes it exceptionally versatile for all operating conditions and personal preferences.

I love the dual-VFO tracking on CW. With both receivers tuned to the same frequency with left and right audio channels mixing in my head, very _slight_ differences in VFO settings really give a 3D quality to the sound making it easy for me to whittle down the pileups. The other operators found the new rig quite easy to move into from the FT-950s, at least when using the basic controls. A couple of non-CW ops decided the dual receive/VFO tracking was more of a distraction.

Several features on the FTdx5000MP suit our operating conditions exceptionally well. The four tx/rx and single rx antenna port make antenna diversity reception a real plug-and-play possibility. Here at our high latitude, receive paths often vary rapidly. Separate antennas on each receiver can make tremendous differences in reliably copying transmissions. Monitoring different bands simultaneously is dead easy as well. During an emergency communications exercise, I could continuously keep track of activity on both 40 and 80m with one transceiver and two mono-band antennas.

Another potent feature on the FTdx5000MP is the variable RF front-end filter (VRF). The VRF serves as a high-Q preselector prior to the normal bandpass filter in the receiver chain. During W1AW/KL7, the WARC station splattered occasionally into the non-WARC station due to lack of bandpass filters for the WARC frequencies. Engaging VRF significantly reduced the extra noise. VRF is also helpful for improving sensitivity from in-band interference. I have a neighbor literally 1000 meters away, who likes to DX and ragchew on 20m SSB. The KL2R tri-bander for North America is fix-pointed directly at his house. If he is transmitting, the noise level across the entire 20m band rises, which makes it difficult to work weak ones on CW. Turning on the VRF and tuning it down in frequency to make sure the pre-selector skirts attenuate my neighbor on phone, the noise drops dramatically, thus rendering CW usable again.

There are a couple of capabilities I really need to explore further. One is the sloped AGC function for dealing with pileups. When a pileup is wall-to-wall, a common technique is to turn RF gain down and AGC off. This allows the operator to pick out the loudest signals a bit more easily. As the pileup becomes more manageable, RF gain can be increased, etc. With the sloped AGC function (VFO-A only), the volume of the callers will vary slightly according to signal strength, and it theoretically becomes easier to discerne individual callsigns.

As if two receivers were not enough on the FTdx5k, the 9 MHz IF output makes for some intriguing possibilities with an outboard SDR receiver. On one of the FT-950s, I added an RF Space IF-2000 board, which brings out a 10.7 MHz IF signal and in turn feeds a FiFi SDR controlled by HDSDR. FiFi audio goes to a CW skimmer. I have plans to do a similar with with the FTdx5000MP, but no IF interface add-on is required. Operating SO2V with a skimmer makes for a very powerful tool for the CW or RTTY contester. Even for non-contesters, an outboard receiver and HDSDR software yields extraordinary high-resolution bandscope and waterfall displays. Point-and-click tuning is possible, whereas with the Station Monitor or even DMU-2000, it is not.

Finally, a few words about the SM5000 versus DMU-2000, since we have both. The DMU is most often used for an RF bandscope on one of the FT-950s. The DMU plugs directly into the Station Monitor, and it's a nice addition to the new transceiver, but it's also an expensive, redundant one for using it only as a bandscope. The SM5000 is adequate, although not the brightest or biggest display for anyone with visual impairments. I believe you would get more versatility with an outboard SDR on the 9 MHz IF as described above and a separate computer monitor.

It's safe to say the KL2R team all have come to feel the FTdx5000MP really, truly represents a major evolution forward for our contest station. My own enthusiasm for the rig goes well beyond contesting, though. DXing and net operations are especially well supported, and it would take a place of honor in just about any shack.
 
KB6HRT Rating: 5/5 Nov 11, 2014 16:47 Send this review to a friend
NICE RADIO  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Brought the FT5000MP in May of this year an have not regretted doing so, GREAT RADIO had a 5000 D for 3 years before the MP. The MP has better lit displays and the knobs are tighter, one thing I did before I brought the FT5000MP was buy a new SM5000 display because the old display was dimming on the D found the replacement SM5000 display was some brighter than the old Ds display, not nearly as bright as the display that came with the MP, but the audio that came out of the MP's speakers on the SM5000 had more background noise mixed with the signal, added the new old SM5000 to the MP radio, now think I have the best of both worlds, have 2 other radios a Kenwood TS590S and a FT9000D, all are wonderful radios and I would not trade one of them, use the Kenwood to go to sleep by, it works great with its built in timer. Use the FT5000MP for Rag Chew in the mornings for 75-40m an use the FT9000D for weak signal work an Rag Chew on 160m early in the AM an at night for weak signals. I believe the FT5000MP is a better radio than the D both are still 5s an great radios, The Kenwood TS590s to me is the best value in HF with its HOT receiver, its easy to use. The FT9000D is the best radio I have used, if you have had Yaesu radios an buy a FT5000 or a FT9000 it will help learn these radios faster, these radios requires some extra tuning to get them right but when you do its is worth every penny paid ...................KB6HRT
 
PA7M Rating: 5/5 Nov 10, 2014 08:38 Send this review to a friend
Great stuff  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am very impressed with this radio.
very well received good filters.
too good at receiver. couples
had before the ic-7700 but is quieter with his reception.
am very happy with it.

Henk 73'
 
K6YE Rating: 5/5 Nov 3, 2014 08:53 Send this review to a friend
STILL AWESOME  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my second review. I am still impressed with the performance of my FTDX-5000MP. It never developed the white line problem and I have owned it since 2011 CE. I did have the opportunity to use an FTDX-9000MP and was impressed especially with the 400 watt output and its overall performance. I may add one to my collection and part with the FT-1000 and IC-775DSP. No matter what, the FTDX-5000MP is a keeper.

Semper Fi,

Tommy - K6YE
DX IS and CW RULES
 
2E0WPZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 17, 2014 12:04 Send this review to a friend
lots to learn but very good so far  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Certainly the best radio I have owned. Only had the rig for a week but am impressed at how well it hears weak stations. The menus and all the adjustments on the front will need a learning curve for sure but with this quality of performance it will certainly be well worth the time setting it up.
 
NR9R Rating: 4/5 Jul 23, 2014 13:44 Send this review to a friend
Great Receiver, Concerns about Long Term Relaibility  Time owned: more than 12 months
The FTDX-5000 has the best performing receiver I have every experienced in terms of both dynamic range and audio quality--it is very easy on the ears. I liked it so much I tried two of them, but gave up after experiencing too many issues.

My first 5000D was an early 2010 model. It was received with the misprinted label and QSK issue. I also had an issue with RF feedback sneaking into the headphone jack that required multiple trips to Yaesu to fix. Since this one felt like a lemon I returned it.

My second 5000D purchased in 2012 developed the OLED failure. Then the internal antenna tuner failed the first time I used it. After getting it fixed I sold it and decided to take a break from the 5000.

Both 5000Ds that I owned showed slight but noticeable receive audio distortion when both receivers where engaged as if the audio amp became overloaded. This is known by many owners and a general work around is to use an external audio mixer to drive the speakers and headphone.

NC0B did some measurements of the transmitter IMD and showed that with the processor engaged the IMD performance falls similar to 12V transistors, even in class A.

Another issue that seems to be increasing in frequency is failure of the VFO-A digital encoder. This has been reported by several owners on the FTDX-5000 Yahoo group.

Interestingly, there is a recent review of the FTDX-5000 that acknowledges most of the failures I have mentioned but the reviewer still gives a 5/5. I guess the good receiver performance is enough to make up for the reliability concerns for some.

In my case I decided to move (down) to the FTDX-3000D. It has a similarly nice sounding receiver and if it ever develops a problem it won't be an issue to ship (the 5000D costs $150 to ship one way).
 
W9KDX Rating: 4/5 Jun 19, 2014 17:42 Send this review to a friend
Line defect still there.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Just thought potential buyers should know, be prepared to pay for shipping if you don't like the dreaded vertical white line problem. Mine is just over a year old and they are still using defective parts. Nice that they stand behind this issue, but shipping is massively expensive and I would have preferred that they just use non-defective parts.
 
VE6TL Rating: 5/5 Jun 6, 2014 07:13 Send this review to a friend
4 Year Review  Time owned: more than 12 months
I reviewed my MP on eHam back in May, 2010 after having it a short time. Mine is one of the early ones with "Tranceiver" spelled incorrectly on the front panel.

So how well has this rig held up? The only thing I've done to it was the firmware upgrades - about 6 months ago. This was a delicate procedure that took me about two hours to complete, but the results were worth it. The APF now works amazingly well, whereas before, it was very ineffective. Other problems I've had with the rig include:

1) S-Meter occasionally sticking to the left pin (which is always fixed with a slap to the left side of the radio).

2) Vertical line (one or two of them) randomly appearing on the VFO-A OLED display. This initially went away with the firmware upgrade but came back a few months later. It seems to come and go and doesn't really affect the operation of the rig.

3) VFO-A rotary encoder very noisy. Apart from the main tuning knob, this is the second most used control on the radio. It controls the filter selection, notch, APF, DNR, IF-Shift, VRF, clarifier frequency, etc. Turning the knob one way or the other often results in random settings. Other FT5000 owners have also reported similar results with theirs, with one having opened up his rig and finding a "cheap and poor quality" rotary encoder.

While these three items appear to be very common and annoying, they don't really affect the radio that much and I haven't been able to justify the expense of sending the radio back to Yaesu.

4) The station monitor is pretty useless, so I've been using a third party pan adapter which has made a huge improvement on "seeing" the signals.

In terms of positives, the receiver is still hard to beat and with the APF working great, I can pull weak CW signals out of the noise that most rigs wouldn't hear at all. My neighborhood is plagued with all sorts of RFI and without the vast array of noise cancelling tools, I probably wouldn't be on the air at all.

Finally, regarding reliability, the rig has not let me down once in the 4+ years I've been using it - and this has included a lot of use (contesting, DXing, etc.). As I told the XYL when I was considering the purchase, this will be the last rig I will ever need - and I am still sticking with this years later.
 
KB6HRT Rating: 5/5 Jun 5, 2014 20:21 Send this review to a friend
FTdx 5000s Still my favorite!  Time owned: more than 12 months
About a month ago traded my 3+ year old FTdx5000D for the FTdx5000MP and have become acustum to the MP now. The MPs 3 little displays on the right of the radio are brighter than the radio it replaced, which make tuning easer, an some of the knobs on my D did not have the same feel as others, on the MP all the knobs feel the same, my D had a lot of hours on it an served me well, filtering on these radios is the best I have used for pulling out weak signals, signals sound natural sounding with little to no background noise. Both radios tranmits GREAT!
Could have brought the Kenwood TS990s or the ICOM IC7800 but to my ear I am very picky about the receive signals The FTdx 5000s does it better, the FTdx5000D an MP are very nice radios .......KB6HRT
 
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