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Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Yaesu FTdx-1200 Help

Show all reviews of the Yaesu FTdx-1200

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VE3OIJ  Rating: 5/5 Aug 19, 2013 08:38  Send this review to a friend!
Excellent radio, decent price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Picked up one of these in July when my FT-857 gave up the ghost. The new radio sits in the shack, bumping the FT-847, which migrates to the portable case, replacing the dead FT-857.

So, my comparisons are the 1200 against the 847, 857/897, and two other radios I work with regularly: Kenwood TS-2000, and TS-590.

Right off, this radio is a level above the FT-857/897. It costs more, and from a user perspective is absolutely worth it. It is a better receiver all-round on the same antenna. The filters enable me to tune signals I simply could not with the 857/897, and the background noise is quite reduced. As it is new, Ham Radio Deluxe and other software doesn't appear to have the full or proper CAT command set, but it can be made to work with rig control software, so no worries there.

Compared to the FT-847 (which I think would be the same "class" separated by 15 years), it is still a substantially better radio. In addition to the superior filters and adjustments noted above, the speed memory (3 favourite frequencies/settings on each band key) is very handy. The built-in autotuner is effective and has allowed me to move some equipment off my desk, freeing up space. Interface required a new cable compared to the FT-847, but that wasn't a particular surprise. Morse key jack on the front as well as the rear is convenient. The knobs have a nicer feel on the 1200, and it doesn't have the annoying "jog" feature of the 847. However, I miss having 2m/70cm, but I wasn't working satellite from home anyway, although I'll need a dual-bander now for local repeaters.

The radio is comparable to the TS-590 in many ways. I prefer the display of the 1200, and my familiarity with the Yaesu user paradigm of menus makes the 1200 a more natural user experience, but that is personal. If you're a Kenwood person, switching to the 1200 would have interface issues. Compared to the 590, I find the handling of voice in from my mic to be superior on the 1200, in terms of effects of the ALC etc. I don't have scopes and test equipment to quantify that more, but it seems to work better - the 590 I get to use is touchy/non-linear as you increase the mic gain.

The 1200 is far easier to use, IMO, than a TS-2000, but the TS-2000 has options that the 1200 doesn't have (2m/70cm/1.2 Ghz for satellite). Price is similar to the TS-2000, and honestly, when I was narrowing the choices down, it was TS-2000, Icom 7100, and FTdx-1200 on the short list. Ultimately, I passed on the TS-2000 as older tech that would probably be discontinued sooner than later.

I do have an FFT-1 board. I find it a bit picky to receive PSK signals directly on screen. RTTY is easier, probably because of the wider nature of the signal. I haven't tried it for CW reception.

Overall, I am very happy with the rig after a month. 
Product is in production.
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