|Like the FTDX-3000
||Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
|There isn't much more I can say about the Yaesu FTDX-3000. Most all areas are covered by other reviewers. There is one area that causes me the most concern. The VOX button control should have been one of the more used row of buttons on the left side of the display. Instead Yaesu designers chose to place it under the Scope section. Every time I want to turn on of off the VOX, I have to turn the scope completely off to expose the VOX control button. I use VOX exclusively and that control should have been placed in a one-step location. This is the one thing I really feel Yaesu could have done a better job while designing.|
Most all of the other features are right there where the other reviewers have given it good marks. I really do enjoy the receive and other controls. I will also agree with many that the overall view of the scope and waterfall lacks a lot to be desired when compared to the Icom IC-7300. I don't review a lot, but feel the VOX thing is important enough to mention.
||Time Owned: more than 12 months.
|I purchased my FT-3000D from a friend in Texas. He was downsizing his station in preparation for RV'ing full-time. A very good radio. The controls are very intuitive and well organized. Excellent receiver with a very low noise floor, great for weak signal work. Very good DSP for Tx/Rx.|
|Excellent++ Value HF Transceiver
||Time Owned: more than 12 months.
|The Yaesu Ftdx3000D was brought in to succeed my FT2000 from 2010 after more than 10 years of robust service. It does everything as well or better than FT2000 with some compromise due to the smaller footprint. The FT2000 came out of the box ready to play yet the FTdx3000 took some time to dial in to the same level of satisfaction, actually it took a long while of side by side comparisons. Both radios are excellent phone and Cw transceivers and from what I can see, much less reliant of raiding the Yaesu menus in normal operation than the newer SDR radios. FTdx3000D was released before "Touch Screens" were standard and that suits my taste as I demand knobs and buttons on the radio but don't like touching the screen. Yaesu can really have problems with the user interface on their radios and FTdx3000D is no exception. The radio is compressed in size in comparison to FT2K and yet much of the available front panel and screen gets wasted with redundant function or empty space. There are temporary "flashed" messages on the screen. Yet, Ftdx3000 does well enough with the interface compared to everything the radio has to offer. |
The most unfortunate idea for this radio was the spectrum display feature which is just a non-starter. Yet, even IC7300 which has a workable spectrum display in comparison has a very small visible area. In either case I demand a full feature spectrum display for a second receiver SDR displayed on the PC. FTdx3000D has an excellent SDR output for this, which I use, so I don't miss the implementation of the spectrum display on the radio itself.
In summary, I find the FTdx3000D a more robust radio than IC7300 for my operation and a good alternate choice compared to the new Yaesu SDR radios, at a lower cost. The built in roofing filters and superhet design are wonderful luxuries, especially for Cw operators. I wrote a computer program to further simplify radio operation at the front panel - you can see that here: https://wb8yqj.yolasite.com/sdrmetersandafedri.php
|Good Rig, Had it for 6 Years Now
||Time Owned: more than 12 months.
|Bought this rig in Dayton 6 years ago and worked flawlessly until 2 years ago where I had to have both finals replaced twice. I attribute this failure to the use of FT8 full power every 30 seconds. Upon removal of the transistors, you can see they were brown from burning, not the bright white when new. To solve this issue, I placed small heat sinks on top of both transistors and glued them there with thermal glue and right in the cooling stream from the fan. Yes the fan works.|
|A Hidden Gem
||Time Owned: more than 12 months.
|Having used the FTDX-3000 for more than five years, on digital modes, SSB, FM and AM, I’ve learned a LOT about this radio and its hidden and not so hidden features. But to cut to the chase, it’s a very, very good and remarkably flexible radio with an excellent receiver, very complete diverse and useful I/O and a TX side that tolerates high duty cycle modes very well. I’ve had no problems at all with mine – and I have two, at separate, mirrored stations/QTHs.|
As many have remarked, the receiver is top-notch – both sensitive and quiet – very easy to listen to. Sherwood does not rank this radio very high due to its lower RX 2KHz RMDR rating, which I presume is important for CW contests with lots of interference. In contrast, my main QTH is in a dense urban neighborhood with plenty of kilowatt stations nearby – and I never have an issue with selectivity on any mode I regularly operate on. The receiver just plain works. To be fair, I do have the optional mtu units attached (see my review/tests of those items – VERY similar in use and impact to the FTDX-101D preselector). But those are mainly useful as ultrasharp/tailorable bandpass filters – and not to filter out “Dr. KiloWatt”, who lives one home over and operates 2 KHz away. If he’s on another band or 300 KHz away, they can really help.
Features few talk about: The radio has three antenna ports, one of which can be designated as “receive only”/no transmit. Very handy. It also has RCA “RX-Out” and “9-MHz IF Out” ports – VERY important. Lots of comments that this radio’s waterfall display is small, etc. (It IS!) But few mention that with a $120 investment, less than a good mic, an SDRplay SDR can be plugged into the IF output port (OR RX Out port) and provide a fantastic and very tailorable waterfall display (RF and audio) on your computer that beats the pants off just about any other. Plus it adds a 2nd receiver. Not too shabby.
But I’m spoiled, so I run an Icom R75 or Kenwood R-1000 as a 2nd receiver, attached to the RX Out port with the SDRplay/waterfall on the 9 MHz IF. So I have THREE receivers and no external switching required. Even better, the external receivers can take advantage of the FTDX-3000 pre-amps, attenuators and mtu units. (THAT's NOT in the manual!) I often "browse" SSB QSOs with the search receiver, helped by the SDRplay waterfall, while working FT8 and then hop over to make an SSB QSO, then hop back to FT8. One at a time, though - I DO NOT leave an FT8 QSO "hanging" while I go off to "rag-chew" on SSB.
A word about the mtu I/O on the FTDX-3000. They’re NOT just for the mtu’s. It is possible to build your own bandbass filters and insert them into this path. Since the mtu I/O is automatically switched OUT by the FTDX-3000 during TX and switched IN during RX, the filters can be built as small signal devices to be very sharp and compact with no concerns about arcing/overheating or TX stage damage. Great for Field Day or experimenting.
The Contour control is a real boon, especially for seniors. Because it can be REVERSED to EMPHASIZE key frequencies rather than attenuate them and this emphasis can be easily tailored in amplitude and width while exact placement is show graphically and set by a simple knob. My hearing is not the best, and this works GREAT.
Lots of "hidden" features in this radio.
Let’s talk about digital modes like FT-8. The SHIFT and WIDTH controls work VERY WELL on that mode (also FT-4, JT-65, etc.) and can allow the operator to selectively suppress unwanted, very strong signals on the “sub-band” or emphasize weak ones, especially when used in concert with the IPO (pre-amp) and attenuator controls. On FT8, I usually leave the WIDTH control at maximum and the SHIFT control at +800 Hz to cover up to 3200 Hz while still allowing me to see somewhat attenuated signals down at 200 Hz. When I need to work a very weak 200 Hz signal, I dial it back to +300 Hz. Or I turn it up to +1000 to extend the top end. Need to do something about “Dr. Kilowatt” next door because he’s splattering? No problem. Dial the WIDTH down to 500 Hz and move the frequency “window” over the signal you’re trying to work, then adjust IPO and ATT to best effect.
Best of all, the status/setting of these controls is always graphically displayed on the display/front panel and is very easy to change “on the fly” via medium sized, easy to use knobs.
So is output power when assigned to the “mic/proc” knob. Need to turn down power, even during TX, to keep from blowing out the “ears” of a +15 db contact? Spin the knob. Same thing when more power is needed – it makes real time power control EASY.
Bob Sherwood doesn’t like the TX IMD of this radio. But in practice, I’ve monitored the output from it, through an amplifier, using a real, lab grade spectrum analyzer – and it looks fine. The signal is NOT -40db relative to the carrier at 1 KHz, but it IS within expected specs. And even running significant QRO on FT8, my many friends in the surrounding community report that this signal is visibly clean and not an issue (They use ICOM, Flexradio-6600’s and Yaesu gear and are engineers, just as I am). Not very scientific, but neither was a broad claim that FTDX-3000’s were “wiping out entire city areas with IMD”. I suppose that could be done – by overdriving the radio to the absolute max while enabling “3000WB” (one of the few amateur transceivers to support WB SSB out of the box). But that’s the operator, not the radio. I just have NOT seen what Bob Sherwood does, and maybe I'm just not as perceptive - and neither are my friends. Always a possibility with the human condition.
FM works fine as does AM. BUT AM SETTINGS ARE SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT FOR GOOD RESULTS THAN WHAT IS LISTED IN THE MANUAL. (YES - the manual is WRONG)
And therein lies the problem. The manual seems to be written by someone who wrote it "blind" and really did not realize the importance, limits, flexibility and use of FTDX-3000 controls, I/O and general characteristics. Users have to find this out for themselves, or from other users. And its a COMPLEX radio.
The FTDX-3000 is NOT like the IC-7300, another VERY good radio. The FTDX-3000 is NOT self-explanatory nor does the manual help much. It requires that the user get to know it, because it has a LOT of capabilities. Don’t expect to master the FTDX-3000 in 3 months. You won't. But it's a much, much more CAPABLE radio than the IC-7300 (I've used both). Not in a "just sit down in use it and look at the waterfall” sort of way, though. The IC-7300 wins that competition hands-down. But more like a complex lab instrument that has the capability to do many things well, if you know how to use it. 1. LOTS more I/O that can be used for waterfall displays, 2nd receivers, multiple antennas and experimentation, 2. An excellent, low-noise/low fatigue receiver with very good noise reduction. And the list goes on. It’s a radio for more advanced users, those that want to experiment, or users that simply want to expand station capabilities incrementally. Essentially a totally different target market than the IC-7300. Both are excellent in their intended segment – and cannot be directly compared – because they are aimed at different users.
I’ve used quite a few radios during my time as a ham and still have several different ones. The FTDX-3000, especially now that it’s discontinued and available for excellent prices 2nd-hand, is a hidden gem and very likely to become a used market "classic" - not for its beauty/maker, but for its utility and capability. Partly because on paper (Sherwood paper), it’s unremarkable, phase-noise, 2 KHz RMDR and IMD performance wise. But that’s from Bob Sherwood’s perspective – mostly hard core CW contesting – and Bob’s a good man who's done a lot for the community and should be respected. But my personal, actual use results and satisfaction with the radio are quite different. And I'm NOT a CW contester. For what I and many others like to do, its EXCELLENT and just flat-out WORKS.
Regardless, my favorite radio, the one that generated the most fun and excitement for me, ever – is a Heathkit HW-101. Go figure. Nothing outstanding about it. Just available cheap, used, easy to work on and did the job on SSB, CW, RTTY or (with a little help) AMTOR. Early on and for a few years, it "made my day". I was a little sad when I gave it away. But time moves on. And I grew up.
Is the FTDX-3000 the right radio for you, today? You’ll have to read ALL the reviews to get a more balanced perspective. Radio preference is a VERY personal thing. But the reviews can give you a hint. Good luck, and enjoy the hobby!
Brian – K6BRN
||Time Owned: more than 12 months.
|The FTdx3000, for me has the right balance between cost and features. The menus are intuitive and clear to read (I also have an FT897D) and the DSP is great. Transmit and receive audio are outstanding. I work mostly CW and RTTY and on CW I can listen for hours without fatigue and never felt the need to use an external speaker. I also wanted a rig with a|
downcoversion reciever. I have been getting great reports on my audio and the rig is a pleasure to use on CW. Some people have argued about "phase noise" degrading the receiver performance and while I won't argue with Sherwood Engineering, the receiver is outstanding to my ears. I also operate on 6 meters and having an additional preamp stage available is a plus.
Ergonomically the radio is very well laid out. It has knurled knobs with a substantial feel. It's a nice looking radio without too many controls to
clutter up the front. The buttons that I use regularly are large enough for normal fingers and the display is large and clear. I don't rely on the bandscope but like the large, easy to read display. I echo the comments that this is a quiet receiver, and the DSP is well implemented. The manual is mostly well written except for the digital mode section which could use some elaboration. I own a Yaesu FT897D and an Elecraft KPA500 amp and was originally planning on building a K3 which is also an excellent radio, but I felt that for the features I was looking for, the FTdx3000 was more up to date, less expensive, and I'd buy it again.
I've owned this radio for many years and still love it, and the firmware updates have made a good radio even better. I'm a contester and CW Operator and highly recommend the optional 300 Hz filter. All my original positive comments are unchanged, and if you're looking for an outstanding radio that's available used for around $2,000, this should be on your short list.
|Good Price quality EXTRA!
||Time Owned: more than 12 months.
|I have this transceiver for over a year and just today I feel very sure of what I write!|
If you must still assume PRICE+QUALITY = FTdx3000d wins 1000%
On the bench have gone with him several other transceivers of the type Kenwood TS930-940 and 950SDX , Yaesu FTxxx FT1000 FT1000MK5 FT2000PEP (the worst) and many many other more or less the same characteristics.
Other transceivers much more expensive but with these comparisons would not be correct even if the FTdx3000d is absolutely NOT a bad impression, even in some case on the filters are really and excellent.
Moving from FT2000, with whom I was very disappointed with the FTdx3000d, I am reborn with the pleasure of doing radio.
For those OM looking for a second receiver (2RX or DualWatch) must do 2 or 3 or those few DX/year with big split (5-20KHz), it had to settle its SCOPE, more than enough, or the simple programmed button TXW in to FTdx3000d...
As I did, but that does not use its ever to connects a low costs SDR and will have a receiver certainly much better than many many 2RX or DualWatch...
Immediately the FTdx3000 it solved all problems: NOT false feature of glitches or bugs of the previous FT2000 and even today I can say that NOT finding any structural bug.
Filters are exceptional and work in CW up to 50Hz without the whistle PLL tight, you work at 1500Hz SSB audio with no audio problems, listening is not pathetically hard as annoying as in 2000 or in 1000.
All knob/menu and NB, NOTCH, AMP IPO Rflt... they work very well and do their job they have to do...
Headphone listening for hours without headaches, excellent audio and PROC that works and now!
DNR has a little to say OUTSTANDING and accuracy of its filter is excellent.
A keyer for PHONE CW RTTY PSK (5x4 = 20 memories).
The USB connection is superb and no more cables, free sparkling clean.
USB AUDIO CARD for all AFSK mode and FSK
SCOPE with extra PHONE DATA waterfall
For this PRICE in that figure there 'nothing better!
... And to be a YAESU generation: WORKS WELL WITHOUT PUTTING HAND TO CHANGE MENU to say that it's okay ... it works right away and without problems!
Of course we also have the FT5000, but as the price is double and has no chance of USB CAT MODS SCOPE PSK RTTY CW Keyer etc ... etc ... even the FT5000 is old ...
Of course they are also excellent the IC7850 or the TS990 but at what price?
We are realists, at a cost of $ 2,000 no's' better sometimes even spending twice.
Try it and you'll notice the quality.
We will wait for the next YAESU that surely will be a mix of analog / digital / sdr .... (update=none)
Check info, tips, docs, audio and many other more here from my server:
I repeat that the FTDX3000D is truly a fantastic transceiver as described for price / quality also on my website.
But since I switched to the new FTDX101MP I would never go back to the FTDX3000D ... I stay on the new and excellent FTDX101!!!!
Despite the bugs still present after 3 years on release and in the firmware only partially corrected:
it is quite another thing ... I would never go back to the FTDX3000D because the advantages of the FTDX101D or FTDX101MP are really!!!
seeing is believing...
||Time Owned: more than 12 months.
|I owned the FTdx3000 for several years and was completely satisfied using it. It requires a short period to get used to some of its unique controls, especially if you are used to the way other rigs work - but all features and functions work well and it soon becomes second nature. Some features, such as the DSP noise reduction system, and the "Contour" feature, are first rate with class leading performance. Outstanding transmit and receive audio can be tailored to personal taste with built-in EQ, but I prefer its default audio settings. |
The on-board spectrum scope and waterfall display is fun, and just adequate to the task. The real deal is the 9 MHz IF output that lets you add a full-screen band scope display using any number of inexpensive SDR receivers, even RTL dongles that cost only $25, which provide a more detailed, higher resolution panadapter display. I use an ELAD FDM-S2 receiver, and this is a super combination. Elecraft charges more than $800 for its P3, and it has a mere 7 inch display. The FT3000's onboard display is a bonus - using the 9 MHz IF output provides a huge high resolution display that that rivals any other solution. Add an SDR-Play receiver for $120 and you will have a killer combination.
The FTdx3000 is a good size - not too big, but big enough to avoid fussy, smallish controls. It looks good and sounds great - with a very quiet cooling fan. Front panel controls and LCD display are clear and easy to use. At first, some controls may seem a bit quirky and awkward, but quickly become second nature and easy to use in a short time with a little experience. Just another way of skinning the cat.
Yaesu has updated firmware several times to address issues and customer demands. All firmware updates were easy to install with no problems. The free software control application mirrors the front panel and other controls and provides another way to adjust both front panel and hidden MENU settings, but is not particularly helpful in daily operation.
My FTdx3000 worked flawlessly and was a joy to operate. Monitoring online user discussion groups reveals it has had far fewer quirks, foibles, and peccadilloes (i.e., bugs) than practically any other radio - it has worked well with few bugs right out of the chute, and rivals my beloved Ten-Tec gear. So, that is just MY take ... your mileage may differ. I wish I still had it. K8JHR
|My favorite rig of all time.
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
| When the FTdx1200, and 3000 came out, I couldn't afford the 3000. I bought the 1200 and used it happily for three years, though I was never content with the scope.|
Last month I finally got a perfectly clean Ftdx3000 from a ham who made me drive 8 hours round trip to pick it up! I could not be happier with the rig. It has much of the great receiver technology from the Ftdx5000, and you can tell it. I'm an audio buff, and this receiver's sound is delicious.
I really don't understand the reviewers who complain about the scope. Do you have the firm ware updates? I find it EXTREMELY useful. Hint-adjust the IPO and or ATT for added contrast.
I use the rig in both ssb and cw. I got audio compliments without solicitation right out of the box with a MD-100 mic. The semi-break in cw works flawlessly.
There is something about this rig that only Yaesu has accomplished in terms of size, ergonomics and appearance. It is just beautiful, and everything you regularly use is on the front panel.
My only criticisms, the RIT is way too sensitive, and I constantly hit it by accident. Two, the mode switch is ridiculously small and hard to reach. Little nits.
It is a shame that Yaesu discontinued this wonderful rig. I'm glad I got to own one. 73, Bruce
|Great rig - love it.
||Time Owned: more than 12 months.
|Update - One year of ownership and the rig continues to be great. I had some hesitations about reliability but my 2nd copy has been flawless.|
Summary: Much nicer to use than the IC-7300 it replaces and priced reasonably. I’m sure the bigger rigs are great but this one hits a sweet spot for me in size / cost / performance. I love the knobs, analog S-meter and RX tools for CW. The menu system is a pain but fortunately most of it is set & forget things (but not all). I am 99% CW and have not used the rig on any other mode yet so read my comments with that in mind.
Fan Noise: The cooling fan is quiet and only comes on when it is needed. Nice. The IC-7300 fan was noisy and came on as soon as you key the rig.
QSK: Full break-in is reasonably quiet. I’m running semi break-in just to avoid excess cycles on the relays.
RX Sound: This rig is much better than the IC-7300 it replaces It gives smooth CW and is very balanced sound. The AF amp is a bit noisy but I solved that by putting a volume control inline with the headphones to dial down the level until the background hiss is gone. One thing I really love about it is the rig is that reducing RF gain works the way it should. Signals and noise all go down in volume. I compared it head-to-head with the IC-7300 and had a few instances where the 3000 would pull signals out of the gunk that the 7300 could not.
RX Overload: I have a ham a mile away and hit me at 60 over S-9. I had some overload and splatter issues with the IC-7300 when we were on the same band. This rig is cleaner. I have tuned through the bands during a couple of contests and this rig seems to handle them just fine. With all the filtering I can pretty much make everyone else disappear. Sherwood’s tests suggest the rig is not quite up to standards but in my shack, I’ve not seen the limit and probably never will.
RX Tools: Another win. Two flavors of AF peaking, multiple roofing filters, RF gain that works correctly and of course the digital NR. All useful tools for pulling signals out of the mud.
UI: Great and terrible at the same time. I love having knobs and buttons for most main functions. I really don’t like the Yaesu flat menu system. Also, I love the analog style meter even though it isn’t really that accurate.
ATU: Works better than the one in my IC-7300 did. It is quieter and seems to match wider loads.
Dual Keys: I can connect my straight key and paddles at the same time and switch mid-QSO if I choose. This is a big win for me.
Scope: Pretty lame. It is slow and hard to read compared to the IC-7300. Also, as soon as the scope is enabled, the S-meter gets sluggish. Still, the scope can provide some band info that is useful. Most of the time I turn it off and just tune up and down (old school) and enjoy using the rig.
Reliability: Unsure. My first copy had periodic power-on glitches that left the VFO backlight and/or TX output power off. Vender just send me a replacement that so far seems to be perfect.