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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: 162 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $$899.00
Description: 160-6 Meter Base/Mobile/Portable Transceiver.
Product is in production.
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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!!

N6QN Rating: 3/5 Jun 30, 2016 16:59 Send this review to a friend
Adequate: entry-level  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After 2 month's use, I'm more than a little disappointed with my FT-450D. A big part of that disappointment stems from my age: at 75 years of age and 58 years licensed, I don't do well with menu-driven radios. The 450's many features require some mastery of those menus, and when you're digging for a signal in the mud you need to be able to remember which function does what. By the time you get it figured out, your contact has moved on. Even though I've made a "cheat sheet," I know I'm not using all (most?) of the rig's features, and likely never will.

My greatest disappointment with the rig is an ability to easily change CW speed (if not weight). I'm constantly going back and forth between 35 and 12 WPM, depending on the condition of the band and the skill of my contact. For this, I need a knob, not a Function. I eventually bought a MFJ-407 keyer (knobs!) and turned off the 450's.

All my CW activity came to a halt anyway, when Yaesu's paddle/keyer cable failed. Flimsy construction. Off to Digi-Key for a replacement.

The 450's built-in antenna tuner, a feature which was important to my purchase, turned out to be essentially useless. I'm starting to believe it won't tune a 50-ohm dummy load. I finally gave up and bought a MFJ-941E tuner, right-angle connectors, and a short jumper cable. Problem solved.

For now, I'm keeping my Yaesu. The receiver seems to do an adequate job, and I'm getting good signal reports. In today's world, it's essentially an entry-level rig, and adequate at that. It's not duffer-friendly, though, and that may well lead to its being traded for something with more knobs and less functions.
WB4TJH Rating: 5/5 Jun 28, 2016 15:34 Send this review to a friend
Simple, yet superb radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned the original FT450, minus the tuner, for several years and was quite happy with it. I sold that radio to a friend, and then acquired an FT-450D several years ago. I also own an FT-950. The FT-950 has more adjustments, and offers more adjustable parameters than does the FT-450D, but I find myself using the FT-450D more and more because of its simplicity of use and its outstanding performance for 90% of my day to day operation. I'm not a DX hound, and abhor the confusion and bedlam of contests, and don't need the "contest" quality, $3000 radios. For general ragchewing, casual CW, and ease of use, including portable, I find the FT-450D very close to an ideal radio for me. I'm even considering trading my perfect FT-950 for one of the soon to be available Yaesu FT-891 mobile radios. In the meantime, after 45 years on HF and having owned dozens of HF transceivers of all brands, the small, portable FT-450D with the 300hz CW filter, and other enhancements over the original FT-450, fits my needs very, very well. Both of my FT-450 models have been totally trouble free for the past 5 years. It's a darn good little radio.
W0PP Rating: 4/5 May 18, 2016 05:45 Send this review to a friend
dim display  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've owned Yaesu products since the early 80's starting with a FT-101ZD system and have had the FT-897D and still have an FT-857D for mobile so purchased the FT-450D in April 2016 to have as a portable for NPOTA. Used it the first time at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield on May 16. The display is so dim you have to have something to cover the radio even if you aren't in direct sunlight in order to see it. All the other Yaesu radio's I've owned have nice bright displays that can be seen in bright light. Also the internal tuner is pretty weak, antennas that my Kenwood TS-590S will match totally flat this one won't even try. Still all in all it's a great radio for the price. 4 stars because of those two items.
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