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Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Yaesu FT-990 Help

Show all reviews of the Yaesu FT-990

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GM1SXX  Rating: 5/5 Jul 16, 2013 04:27  Send this review to a friend!
AN excellent Oldie.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

I bought this radio a month ago as a retirement present for myself. Well, nobody else offered.

I wanted a good quality large base station HF transceiver that was not lumbered by menus and which was straightforward to operate. I'd been looking at the FT990 for some time, because it seemed to meet all my objectives. I managed to buy one (The AC model) for a very good price on a well-known auction site. The radio looks like new with only a microscopic blemish on the top of the front panel moulding. Performance-wise, it does exactly what I expected. I've had the radio for a month now and to date, I've managed not to look at the manual. For me, operating convenience is as important as performance. This radio ticks all the boxes for me.

The 990 is a fine performer. I've had no problems with it and it's simple to understand and use, even without consulting the manual. The receiver is good, but not quite as good as my Racal RA1772.
On transmit, it works well with all the controls working as they should. It's nice to have a selection of SSB filter bandwidths, 2.0 and 2.4Khz, while for CW, it's 500Hz with the option of fitting a narrow filter.

The provision of the internal mains power supply is useful, but I believe it may be degrading the receive performance slightly. I can find very weak receive QRN at regular intervals across the tuning range with the aerial socket terminated with a 50R load. I suspect this may be leakage from the internal (switch mode) PSU. It's not a big thing, but it's definitely present. It would be nice to try a non 'AC' radio with a linear PSU to see if it offered an improvement.

The onboard aerial/antenna impedance matcher seems to be excellent and is quiet and efficient in operation. I wish others were so good. Some day I'll get around to reading the manual and I'm sure I'll find a few things I haven't discovered yet.

I very much like the ergonomics of this radio, and for me at least, it's close to perfect. It seems to lack a 'monitor' feature, which is really my only minor complaint. It's not a big think really.

If you can find one of these radios at the right price, I can recommend them.

Finally, mine is an early one fitted with the V1.2 ROM. The 1.2 ROM was supposed to provide CAT compatibility but doesn't really work. I don't really need CAT control.

If *you* really need CAT control, make sure you get one with the V1.3 ROM. It's very easy to find out which ROM is fitted. Hold in the 1.5 and 7Mhz buttons and turn on the radio. It will 'exercise' all the digits of the display and at the end will Display YAESU plus the ROM version.

So, all in all, I keep finding things to like about my 'new' radio.

73 Al.

Product is not in production.
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