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Reviews For: Yaesu FTdx-3000

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - non QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FTdx-3000
Reviews: 187MSRP: 3299.00
Yaesu newest add to the HF line
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KH6TA Rating: 2015-12-11
Wow! Loving it so far! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Bought in October, took a little getting used to as I have owned mostly Icom xcvrs for the past 5 years, but bought a little FT-900 (10+ years old), and it really impressed me, so decided to go new Yaesu. I like the TFT color display, easy to read. Radio works great with HRD, LP-Pan2, has super Rx (haven't used IPO 1&2 yet) and always gets good comments from stations worked on Tx audio (MD-200 Mic).

Internal band scope is good for casual use, but needs some improvement. Upgrading firmware is a royal pain in the arse, but once you've done it once it becomes routine.

My only other complaint is that the VFO B knob needs some friction! I used some foam behind it which has helped. This is not an issue on the FT-991, but seems to exist on the FTdx series and the FT-950 as well as possible others.

Still, due to it's ease of use and great on-air performance, I still give it a 5 rating (my actual was 4.5).
KL2ZZ Rating: 2015-11-12
Very nice transceiver - 4.75 Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have used an FT-450D since passing my General exam. The 450D is a basic radio, although I found that it is actually a capable transceiver.

The FTDX-3000 is a massive upgrade from the 450D, although I found that there were some small omissions in documentation and some convenience features that were not carried over from the 450D. Some of my observations will be obvious to those of you who are used to operating big rigs. This review is tailored more for folks upgrading from a 450D or its equivalent from other manufacturers.

The good news first:
* Out of the box, this radio is easy to use. There are enough knobs on the front that you can get on SSB without much trouble. Oddly, my radio was set to LSB on 10 through 20 meters but all other defaults were fine. The controls on the fact of the radio are layed out well and useful. I might have moved the mode button away from the VFO-B control. Having all of the interference rejection controls RIGHT THERE is nice. Independently selectable attenuation and pre-amp controls, with shift, width and notch just a twist away is very nice compared to the 450D.
* Except for one laptop I keep around for programming software, my computer environment is all Linux. The built-in USB port on the FTDX-3000 is fully supported on any modern Linux distribution and is pretty much plug & play. If you are using a 3.x kernel, plugging in to the USB port will give you USB audio, and two serial ports: ttyUSB0 and ttyUSB1. The serial ports correspond to the "standard" and "enhanced" ports that the Windows driver provides. I find that hamlib/rigcat control via ttyUSB0 works fine (tell hamlib you have an FTDX-5000), and the USB Audio is, well, USB audio. My SignaLink and serial cable stay with the 450D for digital modes/cqrlog operation. Reduced cable count and one less device to power.
* The digital noise reduction is fantastic. I live in the suburbs with high noise, and the 450D's DNR was frustrating. Sometimes I could leverage it, but most often it resulted in muddy audio that was almost as bad as the noise. I pushed the button on the FTDX-3000 and was amazed at the clarity that came out at me. I have yet to dig into the menus to configure the DNR, even though the manual says you have to experiment to find what works for you. For me, factory default works wonders (Even if you start doing things like setting the attenuator to -18dB and then turning the pre-amp up all the way things might get a little tinny, but still very readable.)
* I am learning CW, and while I started on the 450D I've appreciated the ability to have two keys. I have both a straight key and a set of paddles connected. (Two keys may not be much of a selling point for folks used to comparable radios, but this gets more important later.) Even without the optional 300Hz filter you can get down to about 100Hz using the "NAR" button and width control. I did some SWLing during the recent sweepstakes and while the sweepstakes ops were all too fast for me, I could isolate the runner from the stations working him unless they did a good job of zero beating.

The things I would see changed:
* The 450D has the ability to set the C.S. button to "SWR." The SWR function switches mode to CW, sets 5 watts out, and sends a tone. This is perfect for external tuners. The FTDX-3000 has no way of doing this using a button. If you are working SSB, you can emulate this - sort of - by turning on CW Auto in the menu, switching modes to CW, setting the power to 5W on CW, and then switching back to SSB and returning to full power. (The radio will remember that CW is only running 5w, while SSB is at 100w. This is undocumented as far as I know and doesn't always survive a band change/power cycle.) When you need to tune just push on a straight key, or a paddle with the keyer turned off. Don't forget to reset your power when you go back to CW unless you're into QRP. Just setting the CW Auto function leads to folks tuning up at 100w which is just plain obnoxious. Yaesu, please encourage better operating practice and fix this by allowing the "TUNE" button to be programmed for this feature. Or...
* The aforementioned C.S. button would actually do something on a 450D. As far as I can tell, the C.S. button on the FTDX-3000 is really just a menu shortcut. You can use it to bring up a commonly used menu item, but it will not take any actions. If you hit the C.S. button accidentally, you find it is not a toggle. Hitting it again does not turn the menu off, you have to find the menu button. While I suppose some folks tweak their menus on a regular basis, I operate differently and tend to set it the way I want it and then just leave it be. Yaesu could fix the C.S. button and let ops actually give this button a custom function! Perhaps "SWR" would be a good option.

The lack of a "tune" function and the odd "menu shortcut" button make me wish I could do a 4.75 score. A fix for both shortcomings are but a firmware upgrade away.
K8OT Rating: 2015-10-28
not sure yet Time Owned: N.A.
No second Receiver. So I'll keep my FT2000 for now.

VE3TCV Rating: 2015-10-19
Great radio that does everything well Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I was somewhat frightened coming from a Yaesu FT-1000MP going to this radio as I tend to like knobs and switches a lot more than screens and menus. I was also looking at the Yaesu FT-991 but I told myself that I absolutely did not want a touch screen, this radio does not require you to ever touch the screen.

The receive on the radio is very good, just as good if not a touch better than on the FT-1000MP, my FT-1000MP also had all of the filters installed. One thing that is I noticed that is better on the older FT-1000MP is the auto notch. The auto notch on the FTDX-3000 does not fully notch offending signals 100%, I seem to always have to use the manual notch to accomplish this. Although the FFT screen on the FTDX-3000 makes notching out offending signals VERY easy and fun as you can visually see how your filters work. All of the other standard features such as Width/Shift work as expected and are very easy to use especially with the digital/visual display. The noise blanker works very well and cleans up just all of the noise I have encountered.

One of the main reasons I chose the FTDX-3000 was the built in sound-card. I absolutely hated having to run cables to Rigblasters, computers and microphones. With one USB cable I can run all of my digital mode and voice keyer software easily and efficiently, this is a big plus as it simplifies everything and clears up clutter in the shack. This also cleaned up some RFI I was experiencing when running a Rigblaster.

The scope is a nice feature as you visually see the signals and then tune to them, this makes chasing DX fun however i find that only the stronger signals show up on the scope.

Even though there is no second receiver in this radio running split operation is a breeze, the top RX/TX buttons are big enough to make switching back and forth really simple.

The DSP is described in one word, OUTSTANDING! On several occasions the DSP has made the difference in being able to hear weak contacts and not being to hear them at all, it is that good. Adjusting it on the fly is not as easy as say the FTDX-5000 but I'll forget about that based on the performance advantage it offers especially in weak signal work.

My only gripe with this radio is the "mode" button, switching between modes is a pain as you have to keep pressing or holding down the one button. But maybe I am being too picky here, this is a great radio that does everything really well, buy with confidence as you will not be disappointed.
AD9P Rating: 2015-10-15
Very Good Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Excellent receiver.
Fit, and finish is very good.
Overall a very nice radio
KO2LA Rating: 2015-09-02
good radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My first hf rig so nothing to compare it to.
It does everything it's supposed to. Others say it has great receive-if this is great receive I want better than great. Xmits 100w.pretty easy to use except for all the menus; adjust the bandwidth, the freq response, hi cut,low cut ba-baba-ba ba. The letters are painted dark gray-hard to see in dim light.
The firmware updates are a pain. Since it's my first radio I can't compare it to other radios. Maybe it's great, maybe not. It works no issues,
K5DSQ Rating: 2015-08-29
Great Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
After a couple of years or so of ownership I still love this radio. Like VA3MLV below, I preferred the FTDX-3000 over the Icom 7600. Lots of extra features and I could not tell any major difference in performance at the candy store. Dollar for Dollar the 3000 blows the 7600 away. Actually I got consistently better signal and audio reports on the 3000. Am I in love with everything on the radio? No way, but I have not found any radio that hits that mark. Both are fine radios but my side by side comparison clearly sided with the FTDX-3000.

Earlier 5-star review posted by K5DSQ on 2013-12-13

Let me first state that I date back to backlit dials and glowing tubes. I do miss the days when we were tickled to death just getting something put together that got us on the air. After numerous Heathkits, Icoms, Kenwoods and Yaesus over the years my first introduction to a menu driven transceiver was the Yaesu FT-2900. Like most, I struggled with the programming and still can't make much in the way of field changes without the programming software and/or manual. From there I moved on to the FT-950 which once again was a challenge. I finally got to the point where I could handle most menu items/changes until I blew that all to hell getting into the digital modes which required interfacing my computer and software programs like Ham Radio Deluxe with the 950. I cannot tell you how many times I gave up in frustration or how close the whole shack came to being listed in the classified section of this website. However, like most of my experiences with amateur radio some really nice talented guys came to my rescue and helped me get things (mainly my mindset) pointed in the right direction.

The FT DX 3000 has been no exception. It's a highly flexible, complex system, packaged in a small box and a new users who does not take the time to familiarize him or herself with this wonderful radio is going to be frustrated. After a great deal of research, reading, study, comparison and now operating I am very impressed with this radio. Not that I consider myself any kind of expert. Interfacing to my computer via the 3000's USB port went far faster and easier than with my FT-950's serial port. Other than a few level adjustments and setting the correct baud rate it was almost plug and play with HRD. The receiver is excellent (Icom 7600 & FT DX 5000 class) and I struggle to find any fault with it. The transmitter runs at full rated power, gets great audio and signal reports and the digital modes are a breeze with the built in interface/soundcard. The three antenna port options are an excellent addition. The updated band/audio scope is great and I find navigating the menu is very easy. Updates are much easier via the USB connection. Yaesu has done a great job by giving us old timers a very realistic analog signal meter.

When fellow hams complain to me about these new menu driven radios I suggest they look into the cockpit of any new aircraft. Menu driven digital electronic flight systems have made all the difference in the world to pilot situation awareness, cockpit resource management, navigation, dependability and most importantly safety. The complexity of having to scan several instruments, dials, meters and turn numerous knobs to complete the task of flying is greatly reduced. I find when I finally get my head out of my lower extremities and honestly compare the features, flexibility and options that these new menu driven radios provide, it's hard for me to complain or rate them poorly. We would have killed to get this kind of performance, reliability and flexibility back in the early days. The backlit dials, glowing tube with hundreds of knobs were great but these radios provide operating options we could only dream of. Rotary phones, glowing tubes and punch card programming were great in their day, but I have no desire to go back in that direction. Many thanks to Steve, KV4AN and others for their help (both pros and cons) and direction in selecting this radio. The Yaesu FT DX 3000 is an easy 5 in my book.
WA0BCM Rating: 2015-07-23
New firmware update Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
New firmware seems to install ok but seeing the following changes in behaviour. I have had this FTDX3000 for 10 days. Both waterfall settings need enabled to actually see the waterfall. On my box needs more contrast as waterfall area is almost entirely white, not enough contrast. Also my AF gain seems to effect the spectrum scope display. I now hwave to turn AF gain all the way up to hear audio and surprisingly this drops the noise level in the display as AF gain is turned up. I would think AF gain should not effect the noise floor. Maximum loudness is not as good as previous firmware version. I called Yaesu and they said they have had zero calls on the new firmware and that RF gain should be at max. On previous version I was running both RF and AF at 50 percent.
WB4YAL Rating: 2015-07-22
FB Transceiver Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This rig replaced my FT 2000D. I loved that big old rig except for the receiver. It was noisy and even after putting in the AC0C roofing filter, I still didn't feel like the receiver performed as well as my IC-756 Pro 3. I looked into the FT 3000 but, to me, it looked PLUMB UGLY!
But the more I researched it, the more I found folks who loved the rig. I sold my FT 2000D and bought an FT 3000. WOW!!! What a difference in receivers, quiet and sensitive. And the rig looked very nice up close. I updated the firmware last week and now the DSP REALLY SHINES!!!! Is the rig perfect? NO!
But I am more than happy with my FT 3000 and I will keep enjoying it.
KA2DDX Rating: 2015-07-19
ditto Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
read ve3njg's review below - I do care about the scope and other frills - but the gentleman to my north hit it dead on - 53 years of hamming says this rig is different - and it's special - I graduated from my ft920 and ft950 both of which I kept and really love to use - but the 3000 is in a different realm - the receive audio is of a quality I've not heard - need for repetition........reports from other stations are stellar - barefoot into a ground plane antenna....I don't own an amp.

Larry KA2DDX