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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Yaesu FT-450D Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-450D
Yaesu FT-450D Reviews: 155 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $$899.00
Description: 160-6 Meter Base/Mobile/Portable Transceiver.
Product is in production.
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N4WRE Rating: 5/5 Jul 16, 2017 15:22 Send this review to a friend
Amazing Little Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is an amazing little rig. I am reviewing this rig not comparing it to anything. It is packed with features that more expensive rigs have as options. This radio just performs. I have used it everyday for a couple of weeks on all modes and it is great. The only negative thing for me is the transmit audio. You really don't have a lot of options with it. Don't miss understand me it has good audio just not great audio. The receive is great and the filters work as they should. The CAT software is free and works great with the SCU 17.Digital modes are a snap with this setup. I don't think there is anything that compares in this price range.Try one for yourself you cant help but like it. This of course is just my opinion.

N4WRE Marty
WB8YQJ Rating: 5/5 May 12, 2017 09:56 Send this review to a friend
Great value in a standalone 160-6m all mode transceiver  Time owned: more than 12 months

I bought the FT450D in May 2016 as the 100 watt transmitter side for my SDRPlay receiver and as a backup for my fixed station HF. I was hooked by the Hamvention price of $599 online. There was a short wait from GGParts. The original SDRPlay had been marked down to $125 at HRO when the RSP2 was announced.

The radio has proven to be a very desirable addition to the hamshack along side of my FT2000 flagship HF. After some time using it, I find the FT450D to be greatly better than most entry level standalone HF rigs and comparable or better than many mid priced transceivers when used with an external SDR such as SDRPlay or Afedri.

Although the footprint is small, the receive current draw should be lower for mobile operation and is a little high for portable.

There is ample AF Gain and I don't hear the fan running at all on receive.

The fan increases speed on transmit and I do hear the air moving but no fan buzz.

This is a super CW radio and a good phone radio.

The receiver AGC is excellent. In fact, it is a great compliment to this rig that it sounds so much like analog, digital artifacts are surprisingly absent. The crystal filter is 2.7Khz on tx/rx. Using a computer soundcard and equalization you can find some great fidelity on receive that you would never guess was present when using the internal speaker or a small portable speaker.

I use a preamplified D104 on phone transmit to maximize the 2.7 khz transmit bandwidth available. The modular microphone jack is not the easiest to wire but the included hand microphone really needs to be better for fixed station use.

There is no Automatic DSP Notch, but the manually adjusted dsp notch is outside of the AGC loop, so you don't have the S Meter showing 20db over S9 with an associated reduction of the RF Gain as you would see on the typical auto notch after nulling a big carrier.

You can also turn off the AGC and rotate the RF Gain at the front panel for just the right receiver sensitivity.

The unit is of very nice construction even though I originally bought this unit to be the "hidden" transmitter side of a Windows SDR receiver. With an MFJ automatic antenna switch (or equivalent) you can use any of the wonderful computer SDR programs on receive and fully control the FT450D as transmitter from that program. SDR Console V3 is may favorite, HDSDR also integrates seamlessly.

I found myself wanting to use the radio standalone as often as not on CW. You get 100 watts, Auto Tuner, All Modes, 160m through 6m and that is a lot!

I ran a TS480Sat for over a year and that one is a great design, it has Auto-Notch, but all and all I do prefer the FT450, mainly because it has a better CW receiver to my ears. There is less noise and a better AGC.

This radio is an amazing value, for a backup or something fun to try with SDR, it's hard to lose with this one.

de Wb8yqj/6 Don
VK3DMN Rating: 4/5 Mar 7, 2017 18:56 Send this review to a friend
Value for money  Time owned: more than 12 months
I used my FT-450D at home for a couple of years until I (permanently) loaned it to our local scout JOTA station. It's still there and still running strong (and recently was used for a scout radio Foundation class radio course). Is it as good as my FT-3000D, nope and it's not as good as a 950D either. But it IS better than the other radio at the scout station radio which is an Icom IC-718 by quite a bit. It's also got a better receiver than my FT-857D (and FT-897D). Simply put these radios represent the most HF performance you can buy new at (or near) the price point they sell for.
K1WJ Rating: 5/5 Jan 29, 2017 15:36 Send this review to a friend
FT-450D  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I found the FT-450D to be a good mobile radio, installed with mini 20m MFJ whip, cut off two inches and antenna tuner takes care of 250khz of SSB section. Nice to see back light buttons and radio feet to prop up rig,Mic gain on high EQ at 0 works for me. Stock mic seems to drive radio well enough. QC looks good - See how she holds up over time.....73
N4YX Rating: 5/5 Jan 14, 2017 06:44 Send this review to a friend
Good Rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Picked up a used 450D recently and impressed with the features & performance vs $ invested. Have checked it all bands & all modes. It's a keeper.
K3IVB Rating: 5/5 Nov 29, 2016 12:08 Send this review to a friend
BARGAIN REAL BARGAIN  Time owned: more than 12 months
Been operating for 34 years. In that time I went from Kenwood TS520 to $5,000 HF radios. I have owned several of these radios, it's like they are addicting.
Over and over it has been said this is entry level, to that I say hogwash. It's my very strong view that there isn't a radio on the market that offers this many features at this bargain price and performs this well. Don't be afraid of the few naysayers, you got your eye on one go get you one.
W6LBV Rating: 3/5 Nov 6, 2016 08:52 Send this review to a friend
A True Three  Time owned: more than 12 months
I don’t own an FT-450D and I probably never will. But I have used one extensively for several years in an Emcomm radio operations environment, even though a better HF radio is stored unpowered under the operating bench in the shack.

I have been licensed for almost 57 years, and I’ve used a variety of different radios during that time. So I do have a basis for making comparisons!

The FT-450D is the RF equivalent of a Volkswagen beetle. The VW has one of every system that is needed to make a car move, it will take the driver to where he/she needs to go, and it probably won’t leave the driver stranded on the side of the autobahn. It’s basic transportation, at a basic price level. The VW will never perform as favorably, or give as satisfactory an operating experience, as does a Mercedes-Benz. That is the FT-450D also.

This is the sort of low-cost HF transceiver which could usefully be purchased by an entry-level ham, used for a year or so to gain some operating experience, and then sold off as part of an upgrade to a better quality station.

IMHO, among its other defects the radio lacks a “logical” human interface. Few buttons, knobs, and switches are located where an experienced operator would logically expect to find them in a modern HF transceiver. The internal menu system seems unnecessarily complex; it must be accessed too often to make necessary operating changes; and it needs simplification.

The on-air operating performance is “OK” by modern standards, but not more than that. The FT-450D does not provide performance equal to a current-design $3,000 radio. Regrettably, to date there still is no “free lunch.” You still need to pay for what you get.

To me, the biggest blunder in the FT-450D design involves the internal provisions for the 60 meter band (5 MHz). In Emcomm work, the band is important to us both for reliable regional land area communications coverage and for direct liaison with federal governmental emergency agencies. Inexplicitly as far as I can determine from the poor documentation, Yaesu have burned a set of 60 meter fixed operating frequencies into the radio’s BIOS, without providing any way to change the frequencies as future revisions to the bands are made! Nor can one circumvent this design failure by programming new, discrete 5 MHz frequencies into the general memory banks; the radio then simply won’t transmit! (Yes, the radio can always be user-modified to operate as an “all band” transmitter, but this is not a responsible solution!)

For use as a “newbie” first radio, a portable or mobile travel station, a Field Day operating position, or an under-the-bench emergency spare, the FT-450D is an adequate solution. But for the role of the sole HF transceiver in a modern fixed (home) base station, the FT-450D should not be the final destination. One should aim somewhat higher than this; the extra cost will be rewarded.
M6HQB Rating: 5/5 Sep 30, 2016 08:36 Send this review to a friend
Very good  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Very good radio for the money, good build quality and small enough for mobile
W0RUS Rating: 4/5 Jul 3, 2016 19:35 Send this review to a friend
Bang for the buck  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
With coupons and Daytona discount my cost was $599.00.

The previous concerns prior to mine of fan noise, hum when transmitting appear to have been resolved. The fans idles with no noise when in receive, and during long QSO's it is still quiet.
The hum during transmit due to the display being dimmed has been resolved. During QSO's, I would change the display brightness and had no hum on my transmit signal.

The internal tuner only likes my G5RV be Radiowavz on 40, and 20 meters. The antenna is up 40 feet at one end and slopes down to 30 feet at the other. I'm feeding it with one hundred feet of Cable Experts 1318.
I've read in other reviews that the tuner does not like above 2:1 SWRr and with my antenna it's looking to be true.

Typical of Yaesu is the menu with several options. Keep in mind this rig is almost mobile size so I would say this is the reason.

The internal speaker is quite good for a small rig like this.

One nice touch for me anyway is the headphone jack converts my stereo headphones to mono so no need for an external adapter.

I've gotten through several pile ups the first couple of days on the air with reports of good audio.

The DSP is nothing like my MarkV Field or IC-746, but it does well and helps to pull out signals in the noise.

The receiver however is really close to my IC-718 and IC-746, not saying anyone of the three is better than the other, but they are all close.

My reason for a 4 is as a base radio its small to operate, but Yaesu has put quite a few features into this rig. Easier to operate than a mobile, but ok for everyday base use.
This would shine as a field day, RV, air travel radio.

If your budget is $600.00 dollar range, this rig will give you a lot of bells and whistles that other than its small size will keep you happy when the big radio operators are saying they have this setting or transmit EQ or voice recording, you can say oh yea I've got that!
WA6MOW Rating: 5/5 Jul 3, 2016 11:36 Send this review to a friend
Very Under Rated!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I only work cw. This is my third FT 450D. I wear glasses and use the radio inside and outside. If you use polarized lenses it will be difficult to see the display outside if not impossible. I have the same problem seeing avionics in flight. With regular lenses it isn't a problem. I use the PF key to control cw speed. Again, no problem. The menu is very simple and straight forward compared to other modern rigs. Buy an old radio if you can't handle a menu. The menu allows for a more compact radio. Using this rig side by side a new Kenwood TS-590SG I was able to pull the same weak signals out of the noise and make them perfectly readable. Proper use of the contour control makes a huge difference in readability. I love ham gear and have owned almost every new rig made over the last few years. I could easily keep a 450D as my only rig and be perfectly content. I love the display, the size, the weight, and ergonomics of this little radio. Much easier to take on trips and move from room to room. The newer 450D rigs have a quieter fan than the early ones. For around $500 used this rig should be your first choice as it is truly a bargain. Keep in mind no matter how much money you spend on rig, there is no "perfect" radio. If I find one, I'll be sure to let you know!!

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