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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Yaesu FT-747 Help

Reviews Summary for Yaesu FT-747
Yaesu FT-747 Reviews: 40 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $1049.99
Description: Budget HF Transceiver
Product is not in production.
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K7LZR Rating: 5/5 Apr 27, 2019 18:16 Send this review to a friend
Refreshing change!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a great radio. About 30 years ago, a friend bought a brand new FT-747gx and was showing it around so I got to play with it for awhile. I had a Yaesu FT-101 at the time and I wasn't too impressed with the little FT-747 because it just didn't have that heavy metal feel like the FT-101 of course. The plastic case was a wet blanket for me too. And it didn't have near enough knobs & switches & features for my then taste.

Boy was I ever wrong. I recently had an old, battle scarred, non-working FT-747gx given to me by a friend who must now downsize. I cured all of the little radio's ills, and here is my revised opinion :).

The FT-747gx is a really refreshing radio to operate. No multipurpose knobs. No menus. No overcrowded multicolor touch display, and no plethora of DSP settings. Just enough features to work well on the HF spectrum. You get general coverage receive, two VFOs, 20 memories, noise blanker, attenuator, and here's a real treat - you get three IF filters(AM, SSB, and narrow CW) from the factory!

This radio is similar in operation to many 1980s & 90s era marine HF SSB radios but with a few added conveniences for amateur radio. In fact there was a commercial version of this radio minus some of the above named features, the FT-80C.

Performance? Very good. I find the receiver to be very quiet and sensitive. Besides on the air, I tested receive sensitivity using a calibrated HP 8656A signal generator. At 14.1 mhz on USB, I was able to hear the generator signal down to -127dbm which is the low limit of the generator without external attenuators. Ditto on all other bands. Selectivity is good with the supplied 2.4khz SSB filter, and CW selectivity is quite acceptable with the supplied 500khz narrow filter. AM sounds really nice too and SWLing with this radio is a pleasure. Audio on all modes is pleasant using the built-in front panel speaker.

Transmit performance is just as good - output power on CW is variable from milliwatts to just over 100 watts on my radio, and a simple modification allows this variable power on SSB as well. Transmit audio is clean and fresh sounding with the supplied hand mic and I've gotten glowing reports.

I'm glad that I got a chance to revisit this little rig from the past and it has quickly become my daily user radio. This once again proves that newer isn't always better, and I've come to appreciate the simplicity.

GM4SVM Rating: 3/5 Aug 21, 2015 03:46 Send this review to a friend
Good for mobile (in its day)  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought one of these when they were not long out to replace the TS520S in my car. Yes kids, we used valve radios in cars back then. The 520 had a built in inverter so you could run it off 12v. The FT747GX was quite cheap, but worked well on SSB. Mine had the FM board which was being given away free at the time. Its shortcomings were:

- Inability to reduce drive power on SSB.
- RF feedback issues when used at home.
- Receiver noisy by todays standards (I had an IC735 at the time that was much quieter)
- No CW break in.

Some people don't like the click step tuning dial, but in the car this was very useful and easier than using a dial lock switch. I used this radio every day for a year or so with good results. They seem to be popular with CB people these days so the used prices are a too high for what they really are. I believe the FT840 inherited some of the circuitry from the 747 but with the difficulties ironed out.
K7XFM Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2014 12:57 Send this review to a friend
No nonsense radio that performs well!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I recently purchased an fairly clean FT-747 for $150 with a serial number indicating that it was manufactured in 1988 (over 25 years ago). Other than encountering the common problem of VFO frequency drift, this radio is a rock-solid performer. I was able to remedy the frequency drift by simply cleaning the variable capacitors that were causing the problem. The FT-747ís electronics are easy to access and work on.

I have not experienced the reduced sensitivity that effects some of these radios. However, a simple modification to correct the issues is available if necessary. Furthermore, a modification to allow adjustable transmit drive in SSB is easy to perform and a worthwhile enhancement.

I have used the radio to make great voice and digital contacts using CAT and a Signalink interface.

Overall, the simple radio has an effective layout that makes the radio easy to navigate. Itís truly a no nonsense radio that performs well!
AA1ZO Rating: 5/5 Jun 3, 2010 02:50 Send this review to a friend
I has it where it counts  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a great old radio. It has all the filtering, a very effective noise blanker and a quiet but very sensitive receiver. The transmitter sounds very good on all modes. I have owned some of the big radios in the past. This radio will hold it's own with any of them. If you want a really good but simple radio that will get the job done, this is the one!
G7IGB Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2010 07:12 Send this review to a friend
Ideal HF starter  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've just bought a Yaesu FT-747GX for a newly licensed amateur colleague and Iím very impressed with this 20 year old HF transceiver which cost £150 (around 230 U.S. dollars). The serial no. indicates that it's a 1990 model and the rig came with the CW and SSB filters installed, which is a real bonus as these would be almost impossible to find nowadays. Received audio quality is excellent from the built in speaker, which is front facing and conveniently placed on the fascia panel. It was also nice to find a noise blanker which cancels out my local electrical noise, allowing even weak signals to be heard on 20m.

Thereís no speech processor or VOX operation and only 20 memory channels, but you do get a ĎGeneral Coverageí receiver built in, with the option of switching to full transmitter coverage if required. Controls such as IF width, APF and Notch are not included, but with the very low noise floor and excellent sensitivity I didnít really miss them, but the 10dB attenuator proved useful when switched in. Output power on SSB was over 100W on all bands and good reports were obtained using just a standard 500 ohm fist mike, but I'm sure that a Shure 444 or similar base mike would make transmission reports even better.

All in all, money well spent and an ideal transceiver for someone starting on HF.
GI0ZGB Rating: 4/5 Jul 16, 2009 07:13 Send this review to a friend
Remote Head  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got my 747 yesterday complete with a remote head mod.
I don't know if it employed the RMK-747 kit, I've never actually saw one. It looked a little like a home brew mod, but for all of that, extremely well done, and it worked perfectly.

The cable was Amphenol 36 Pin males which slotted into the female equivalent, one mounted on the upper front panel, the other fitted to the underside of the remote head.
The whole assembly looked a tad agricultural by todays standards with a two inch wide strip of velcro tape running the length of the head to presumably attatch to a matching strip of velcro somewhere in the truck, car or shack.

On TX using the MH-1 B8 dynamic mic, with two position tone control, recived very complimentary audio reports, as did the Datong "Blue Box" RF Speech Processor when set to ragchew levels, and noticably increased the average output when squeezing the audio to DX requirments.

On RX, in difficult conditions it suffered badly, but the ERA bandwidth audio filter helped enormously, as did the Datong FL3 equivalent. The rig operated perfectly with none og the gremlins outlined elsewhere in the forum.
All things considered I'm very pleased with my purchase, getting it for humble money, big bang for the buck!
W3TEZ Rating: 0/5 Jul 13, 2009 15:39 Send this review to a friend
Absolutely garbage  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
was given one for christmas one year and had nothing but problems with the radio. The crystals for the receive went bad along with the crystal trimmers and the radio has terrible receive drift problem that cannot be solved. Also now for some stupid apparent reason the radio does not transmit nor receive, absolute garbage. I also had friends that have owned other yaesu rigs and have had nothing but problems with them, excuse my language, yaesu sucks period, stick to kenwood and icom, they blow yaesu out of the water big time!!!
N0PL Rating: 5/5 Jun 5, 2009 11:00 Send this review to a friend
Good Deal  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was using a Kenwood R1000 rceiver by my bed and I wanted a receiver that had memories and some filters, etc. I bought the 747 for less than I could a receiver only! The 747 has memories and filters. It has a switch that will disable the transmitter so I don't blow my external preamp. Makes a great receiver and I can use it as a transceiver if and when I want.
AE5TE Rating: 4/5 Mar 8, 2009 00:25 Send this review to a friend
Basic but decent...  Time owned: more than 12 months
What can I say, you get what you pay for and for me this has been a rig that fit my needs and budget. Some folks I know can poo-poo the thing all day over it's lack of features, but if you're the sort who wants to just hang some wire & get on the air this rig will get you there.

I bought my 747 brand new at a hamfest about 20 years ago. When it was newer I used it on 10M packet and it did the job with no trouble, and otherwise used it a lot as a good, if not all that quiet, SWL receiver, so overall a lot of up time though not so much actually on the air (most of my Ham operating was done on VHF).

10 years ago I stored it away with most of the rest of my shack and only recently dug it out because something has given me the bug to finally get active on HF after 30 years as a Ham. I bought a shiny new MFJ-941E tuner & hung out a shiny new G5RV & hooked it all up with some fresh cables and it all worked great for about half a day then it started going deaf and dumb intermittently.

I struggled with that for a few days and found some notes about that particular symptom pointing to the in/out connections on the filter unit. In my rig the filter unit PCB through hole issue checked out good but simply removing and reinstalling the board fixed the problem and just that easy it's good as new.

On a more solid rig (like with a metal case) I might have tried a simple reseating (the old 2-4" drop to the bench top). Because of the plastic I have to rate it a 4, since really the flimsy construction is at the root of all it's common problems, and Yaesu could have done better even with plastic. But nobody should be surprised about that if actually having seen the rig before buying it.
N0PL Rating: 5/5 Jul 4, 2008 08:31 Send this review to a friend
No Frills But GREAT RIG  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This rig does exactly what it's suppose to do. No frills. No vox, keyer, RF gain, processor, etc. It's truly a plain Jane, so you know what you're getting when you put your money down. Built in filters for CW and AM (that work). FM board optional. Speaker quality is excellent (speaker faces you, like they should). I bought mine to use as a receiver by my bed (you can disable xmit by switch under the top cove so you don't blow your pre-amp). I've yet to install it by the bed as I'm having too much fun using it in the shack. I've got other rigs (TS-850SAT, TS-870S, Yaesu FT-900, FT-980, IC-703, all rigs are in-line at all times)but I've found the 747 simple and fun. If I find another one, I'll buy it. Cheaper to buy the transceiver than to by a receiver.
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